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La Liga de Las Americas

Grupo Brasil entertains at Rockefeller Greenhouse

By Arooj Ashraf, LaPrensa Cleveland Correspondent


Cleveland: The 5th annual JAZZ at the Rockefeller Greenhouse entertained nearly 2,400 attendees with a Brazilian twist on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2007. The free afternoon concert held at the City of Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, at 750 E 88th Street, featured locally-based jazz groups Grupo Brasil and Councilman Conwell & Footprints.


Grupo Brasil’s creator Kip Reed moved to Cleveland six years ago and was surprised by the lack of Brazilian music groups. So he invited his college roommate, Gary Aprile, to create the band. The band plays every Thursday night at Sergio Sarava, in Shaker Heights, and indulges in samba and afóxe while Maggie Green sings in Portuguese. Look for the band’s CD ‘Cleveland De Janerio’.

Grupo Brasil Gary Aprile



This year’s theme was Tour the Grounds! Dig the Sounds!” and there was plenty to do for everyone. Guests could walk the garden and enjoy artwork of local artisans provided by Sankofa Fine Art Plus. Children made facemasks and potted plants.


Lolly the Trolley was on hand for a free ride through the Cultural Gardens. The main attraction was the Greenhouse where guests could marvel at the banana tree, ogle at the coconut-size lemons, and enjoy the colorful array of delicate orchids. Or they could relax and enjoy the cool sounds of jazz.


“The purpose of the event is to increase the visibility of the Rockefeller Greenhouse,” said Doreen Lazarus, founding partner of HL Communications. She and her husband, Jim Harris, conceived the idea of an annual jazz concert to bring people to the Glenville neighborhood, and expose them to works of local artists and the cultural gardens.


The concert has grown each year and broke its record attendance from last year.


Harris said this year’s addition of kids-activates proved to be very popular. “The kids potted 100 plants to take home,” he said. Next year, Harris hopes the children’s activities will be in the ‘Talking Garden’ for the visually impaired. “It will be a great opportunity to touch and feel the plants and learn about them,” he said.


Royden Watson and his wife brought their 2-year-old twins to the Greenhouse for a good time. “It’s great to be outside enjoying the music and crafts before the fall starts,” said Watson, as Soren-glued foam shapes to his face mask. Nearby, his brother Arden was getting his hands dirty, potting his first plant—an African violet.


The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse, which supplies the flowers and plant materials for Rockefeller Park and other Cleveland properties, contains three acres of outside gardens and another acre under glass. The Jazz concert is typically held the weekend after Labor Day. The Rockefeller Greenhouse is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and offers free entry and parking. For more information, call 216-664-3103 or go to www.rockefellergreenhouse.org


JAZZ at the Rockefeller Greenhouse was produced by H/L Communications and supported by Friends of Greenhouse, Famicos Foundation, Ward 8 Councilwoman Sabra Pierce Scott, Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, and the City of Cleveland.







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