Palante Jazz

June 3, 2023 @ 8:00PM — 11:00PM Pacific Time (US & Canada) Add to Calendar

Arcata Playhouse: 1251 9th St Arcata, CA 95521 Get Directions

Palante Jazz image

Playhouse Arts, together with Salsa at Six, are excited to present an evening with Palante Jazz at the Arcata Playhouse. Starting off the evening at 8 o’clock, founder and director of Salsa At Six, Miss Julie Hayes, will offer a delightfully easy salsa lesson. You will learn basic steps and simple partner work that you can use on the dance floor during Palante Jazz! No experience or partner required, so come join the fun. Salsa At Six has been offering the hottest Salsa and Bachata dance lessons, performances, and events in Humboldt County for the last 10 years, right next door to the Arcata Playhouse in Arcata’s beautiful creamery building, and all are welcome to their fun weekly classes every Friday. Find them online at for more information.

Then at 9 PM, practice your dance moves to local and live music with Palante Jazz. Palante Jazz brings together seven musicians who, collectively, have more than a couple of centuries of experience playing jazz and Cuban dance music. The band’s name translates as ‘jazz language’ in Haitian Creole. The roots of Cuban dance music and jazz's birth in New Orleans owe a great deal to the Haitian migrations of the turn of the 19th century. The band’s name has a second meaning. “Pa’lante Jazz” is Spanish slang that loosely translates as ‘forward-moving jazz.’

Palante Jazz performs Latin jazz classics such as Manteca and Morning; jazz standards such as Impressions, arranged with a Cuban-style rhythm section; as well as originals and Cuban descargas (jams). All of their music is highly danceable.

Jimmy Durchslag (trombone)
Matthew McClimon (keyboards)
Howie Kaufman (bongos)
David Peñalosa (congas)
Michael Stephenson (timbale/drumset hybrid)
Francis Vanek (tenor saxophone)
Cyrus Wong-Weissman (bass)

The group is fronted by horn players Francis Vanek and Jimmy Durchslag. Francis has long been recognized as one of the finest jazz musicians in Humboldt County. He has been gigging mostly in Mendocino County and the Bay Area in recent years. Music lovers are in for a treat when he returns to Arcata on June 3rd. Jimmy has been playing jazz and Cuban music in the county since 1979. Besides directing Palante Jazz, Jimmy currently leads his own jazz ensemble and the salsa band The Latin Peppers.

Matthew McClimon is a pianist equally at home with jazz and Cuban dance music. He is also a member of Timbata. Cyrus Wong-Weissman spent much of his musical career in the San Francisco Bay Area. He returned to Humboldt in 2016 and plays in several bands, including The Latin Peppers. Michael Stephenson is a multi-instrumentalist who plays timbales/drumset hybrid in Timbata and Palante Jazz. Howie Kaufman is a member of Timbata and a professor at Cal Poly Humboldt, where he teaches, among other things, Afro-Cuban percussion. A performing percussionist for decades, he is a familiar face to local music lovers. David Peñalosa is the founder and leader of Palante Jazz. He began teaching and performing Afro-Cuban music in Humboldt back in 1979. Like Matthew, Michael, and Howie, he is also a member of Timbata. David creatively mixes jazz and Cuban music elements in combinations that are not typically found in Latin jazz.

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