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Ritmo Jazz Latino Dazzles at Metro State University!

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Groovy rhythms by Ritmo Jazz Latino, one of Denver’s finest Latin jazz ensembles, created an inspiring atmosphere for music students on March 19.

Former chair of MSU Denver Music Program Walter Barr brought his jazz ensemble to a visiting artist master class. The group of seven musicians performed and spoke about the music industry.

“This was very fun for us,” Barr said. “It’s an opportunity to bring in professional people from the community for more than just a lecture.”

Ritmo Jazz Latino is a recent addition to the Denver jazz scene. Created by Barr and bandmate Fransisco Mejias, Ritmo brought together seven gifted musicians who specialize in the rhythms of Latin jazz.

“It’s a rather amazing circumstance to have these guys all together. It was the right time, right place, right people,” Barr said.

The master class Series features artists who aim to inspire MSU Denver students through music.

“It’s structured loosely to play and talk about music — break it down, pull it apart, and have the kids clap along with us,” Barr said.

Ritmo began playing songs as students bobbed their heads to the music.

Between each song the members of Ritmo would talk to the students about salsa and Latino jazz as Mejias would match beats from his congas, with Mestas accompanying on piano.

The ensemble spoke about coming together and how each member’s has a unique contribution to the group.

Afterward, students stuck around the talk to Barr and his group about the industry, jazz music, and the life of a professional musician.

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