Between elections and super storms, there’s been so much going in it’s been easy to overlook the everyday pleasures of living here but I have to acknowledge that I am once again giving a shout out to the Arts Garage, which is hands-down one of my favorite places to go these days. I was lucky enough to see the Havana-based Orquestra Aragon a couple of weeks ago—a band that originated in 1939 and was a huge draw throughout the Havana nightlife heyday of the 50s—to now. And there they were in downtown Delray, bongos and violin and flute and timbales and bass and cello and all the romance of that Havana magic filled the room. People could not just sit there; they were dancing salsa and meringue in the aisles and at the back, and if you weren’t dancing, you were imagining legendary nights at the Tropicana, the Sans Souci, showgirls and casinos and the mambo.
It was a magical evening, as most of them at the Arts Garage are. I was looking at who’s on board for future concerts and was gratified to see a full and diverse schedule well into summer, including two days of Boogie Woogie piano November 15 and 16, Rita Chiarelli on the 14th, and coming up in December Mac Arnold whose first band had James Brown on the piano. Arnold is the real deal, just like the Cuban band, and has toured with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King. And he’ll be right there in the intimate space that is the Arts Garage, with not a bad seat in the house and a great neighborhood feel.
Here’s to great entertainment in Delray again—and a stroke of programming genius that is selling out show after show. Get your tickets now at artsgarage/org.