Thursday November 8, 2012

NORTH BENNINGTON -- Join Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE) for a night of great food, art, music, friends and fun at VAE’s Fall Fling benefit fundraiser Friday. Enjoy a gourmet dinner by local culinary artisans, silent auction, special opening of the Annual Group Artists’ Show & Sale by local artists and Afro-Cuban/Brazilian-roots jazz concert and dancing with Grupo los Santos.

The festive evening begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails and a very special dinner created by a team of North Bennington gourmet chefs; a silent auction of great items generously donated by local businesses and friends; and preview opening VAE’s Annual Group Artists’ Show & Sale, featuring artwork by talented local artists.

At 8 p.m., spicy Afro-Cuban and Brazilian-roots jazz fills the Basement Music Series concert studio, as Grupo los Santos takes the stage, featuring RumbaTap percussionist/dancer Max Pollak.

Fall Fling tickets are $60 per person, including dinner and cocktails. Tickets for the concert only are $30 (doors open at 7:30 p.m.). All proceeds benefit VAE’s community art programs. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit vtartxchange.org, or send a check to: Vermont Arts Exchange, P.O. Box 725, North Bennington, VT 05257.

About Grupo Los Santos and Max Pollak

Formed 15 years ago, Grupo los Santos has developed a strong following and individual sound, fusing Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, flamenco and New York City-jazz influences into original rumba, samba, and funky acoustic songs. Drawing from the traditional/folkloric music of the Americas, played with an open and spontaneous jazz sensibility, Grupo los Santos cuts an atypical profile in New York’s jazz and Latin Jazz scene. "An intoxicating blend of Brazilian rhythms and styles and jazz sensibilities," praises JazzImprov NY. "The music is inspired and fiery."

Celebrating its just-released third CD, "Clave Heart" (Origin/OA2 Records, Sept. 2012), Grupo los Santos performs brand new songs for Fall Fling listeners. "The entire group is at top peak performance, and their sound is flawless," praised JazzReview.com of the new album. For more information about Grupo los Santos, visit grupolossantos.com.

Special guest Max Pollak is the creator of RumbaTap. The original music/dance concept (and touring ensemble of the same name) is a melding of Afro-Cuban music and dance, American jazz, body percussion and tap dance. "Tap as music, rhythms that harmonize," praises the New York Times, "like a mojito, going down easy with a kick of rum." Pollak and his RumbaTap ensemble of dancers and musicians have performed throughout Europe, Japan, Cuba, and the United States -- recently performing at New York City’s Central Park Summer Stage. For information about Max Pollak and RumbaTap, visit rumbatap.com.

More information

VAE’s Annual Group Artists’ Show & Sale is open during VAE’s regular hours beginning Monday, Nov. 12, with special weekend hours to be announced.

For more information about Vermont Arts Exchange, exhibitions, classes and more, contact VAE at 802-442-5549 or visit vtartxchange.org. Vermont Arts Exchange is an accessible facility; please contact VAE with any requests for, or questions.