Emma Pask – Latin Fiesta

The vibrant rhythms of Latin America are on show in Emma Pask’s Latin Fiesta. The feisty horns, toe-tapping beats, and the phenomenal bass lines, along with Emma’s grasp of Spanish, Portuguese and English make Latin Fiesta a veritable party.

Emma Pask is a musical force to be reckoned with. Place a 10 piece band behind her and anything is possible! Following lengthy introductions – the only problem with 10 world class band members is that each deserves a world class introduction – the music really fires up.

Emma Pask, Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2016, Photo by Kurt Sneddon
Emma Pask, Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2016, Photo by Kurt Sneddon

The show, based on her most recent studio album Cosita Divina, strikes the perfect balance between chatter and music. The tunes are intertwined with amusing anecdotes about her Uruguayan husband’s grasp of English idioms, her experiences with her new extended South American family, and her disappointment with Ricky Martin.

Despite the amazing band bringing items like ‘Quizas, Quizas, Quizas’ and ‘Donde Estabas Tu?’ to life, contrast is king. The pared back duo featuring Emma Pask’s perfect vocals and Phil Stack on double bass is an absolute highlight, as are the impossibly rapid lyrics, verging on oral percussion, in ‘Afro Blue’ – mesmerising.

Having spent a good portion of this year in Latin America myself, Latin Fiesta exceeded all expectations. It was like being back in the streets of Havana, but musically better. The familiar rhythms excite the senses. The only thing missing was the omnipresent Guantanamero (of One Ton Rodeo fame), but that’s probably for the best.

Latin Fiesta is the perfect cure for the Adelaide winter blues. It’s impossible to leave without your hips rocking to the rhythm of the Samba. Everyone loves the Samba – if you don’t there’s something wrong with your feet, or your head!

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