Ed Fast & Conga Bop bring Afro-Cuban influenced rhythms and hard-bop harmony fused to create unique, soulful originals and creatively arranged jazz standards.
Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic.
6 pm Gates open
6:30 pm Performance begins
Rain Date: Thursday, August 26
In person tickets | $20 per person; $15 for museum members
Seating is limited and we strongly advise attendees to purchase tickets in advance. Any available tickets sold at the gate will be by credit card only.
As the percussion playing leader of Conga-Bop, the hard-swinging Latin jazz ensemble, Ed Fast has become a celebrated figure in town through his band’s many well-received appearances in Hartford, including its soulful, sizzling sessions at The Firebox Restaurant. As a versatile, Hartt School-trained percussionist, Fast is also right at home sitting-in on occasion with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, touring with premier Broadway roadshows throughout Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea, or gigging in backup bands at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun accompanying big-name, casino favorites like Aretha Franklin and Paul Anka. Besides being a bandleader, composer, arranger, and much-in-demand utility player, Fast is a multi-instrumentalist who not only plays drums but also timbales, congas, and, far too rarely, vibes, a weighty, bulky but beautiful mallet percussion instrument he dearly loves but loathes to lug to gigs. “Vibes is a great instrument, but if I’ve got to choose between drums or vibes it’s a real problem because I can’t fit them all in the car for one thing. And, besides, a lot of clubs just don’t have the kind of space they need,” Fast says. As a junior high school student and budding percussion player, Fast, who was born in Albany and grew up in Old Lyme, took marimba lessons as his first step towards playing vibes. As busy as he is playing drums with Conga-Bop or in Broadway pit bands, he retains his deep affection for vibes, an instrument that gives him the opportunity to express melodic and harmonic ideas.
Adapted from by Owen McNally’s “Riffs” appearing in The Hartford Courant, January 26, 2012