By Hannah Rose Williams
Morristown resident Martha Nunez met Armando Son Jiménez when she moved to the United States. One day, Jiménez promised her, he would have his own salsa band.
On Tuesday he delivered on that promise, performing on the Morristown Green with his ensemble, Grupo Sabor, at the free Music Beyond Borders lunchtime concert series.
“I’m from Dover, born in Colombia. I love to play salsa because it makes me feel free and happy, and at the same time I think I communicate a message to people outside,” Jiménez, the band’s lead singer, said after an hour-long show that had people dancing.
“If you look around, you see young and old, people of every ethnicity and background. Everyone is smiling, and there’s nothing better than that,” said Dr. Lynn Siebert of Morris Arts, co-sponsor with the Mayo Performing Arts Center of Music Beyond Borders, now in its 10th year.
Armando Son Jiménez’ Grupo Sabor in Morristown, July 9, 2019. Video by Bill Lescohier for MorristownGreen.com:
“It’s been a highlight of our summer season to see the crowds come out and experience all this wonderful diverse music. It’s really one of the thrills of each summer. We are delighted to bring it out in the community this year,” said Allison Larena, president and CEO of MPAC, and one of Tuesday’s dancers.
Ed Kirchdoerffer, general manager of MPAC, added: “It’s an opportunity to share the different cultural diversity in the community and just to enjoy the music on a nice summer afternoon.”
Slideshow photos by Bill Lescohier.
Jiménez brought four members of his 11-piece band to Morristown. He said he fell in love with salsa the first time he heard it, around age 6 or 7. He believes the old saying: Do what you love, “and no matter how much money you’ll make, you’ll enjoy your life.”
When Nunez, a native of Colombia, learned that Jiménez was coming, she was excited to bring her kids.
“Being here and being a part of all this, it’s amazing,” she said. “Just seeing other cultures getting involved with our music, it’s fantastic!”
Music Beyond Borders continues on July 23, 2019, with Forestdance: Music of Africa, and concludes on Aug. 6 with Mariachi Citlalli: A Taste of Mexico. Performances start at 12:30 pm. If it rains, the shows move from the Green into the Morristown United Methodist Church across the street.
Morristown Green Correspondent Hannah Rose Williams is a rising sophomore at the Morristown-Beard School.