Jerry González was nineteen years old when he started playing with Dizzy Gillespie's band. Not a bad gig for a guy just out of high school. González who's equally skilled on trumpet and congas then went on to record and perform with Afro-Cuban giants Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Manny Oquendo's band, Conjunto Libre. Since 1980, González and his Fort Apache Band have been playing and recording top-notch Afro-Cuban music, as well as putting Latin spins on songs written by jazz heavies. On his outstanding album Rumba Para Monk, González Latinized the music of Thelonious Monk, and on 2005's Rumba Buhaina, he did Latin interpretations of tunes written by Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard and Benny Golson. González and the Fort Apache Band were also featured along with other Latin jazz stars in the documentary Calle 54. For tonight's performance at the Mount Vernon Country Club, 24933 Clubhouse Circle in Golden, González will be joined by his brother and bassist Andy González, pianist Larry Willis, drummer Steve Berrios and saxophonist Joe Ford. A buffet dinner starts at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 8. Tickets are $16 for the concert only, $44.95 for the concert and dinner. For reservations, call 303-526-0616; for information, visit www.mountvernoncc.com/jazz_events.htm.
Thu., Jan. 17, 6 p.m., 2008