In downtown Glen Cove, Miami s Cuban sounds


More than 100 people gathered in the streets of downtown Glen Cove last Friday in lawn chairs, awaiting the Cuban grooves of Gloria’s Miami Sound, featuring Nikki Torres, a Suffolk-based band that brings the music of Gloria Estefan to crowds all over the country.

The event was part of Downtown Sounds, a concert series hosted by the Glen Cove Business Improvement District. Each Friday through the end of August, the intersection of School and Glen streets will be the home of musical acts ranging from a horn ensemble that specializes in funk and Motown to a producer and keyboardist who has performed with Aretha Franklin and Ashanti.

This was not the first time Nikki Torres and her band had been to Glen Cove; last year they played at the Morgan Park Summer Music Festival. Torres said she liked the city, and was excited to play in a different part of town.

The show got off to a late start, which left some audience members feeling antsy, some of them vocally so. At around 8:15 p.m., 30 minutes after the posted start time, one woman, who identified herself only as T.T., impatiently called this reporter over and asked, “Do you have any idea what’s taking so long?”

According to Patricia Holman, executive director of the BID, the band was all set to start, but the sound man was down a worker as well as some necessary cables. “Fortunately for us,” Holman said, “our chairperson, Fred Guarino, has a recording studio in Glen Cove.” Guarino was tasked with wangling the equipment.

Once it was in place, the band did a quick sound check, and after some adjustments, the sound man gave the “all good” order. Torres left the stage to change into her show outfit.

“Now she’s getting changed?” T.T. asked, glancing at her watch, which told her that the concert was about 45 minutes overdue. “This is unbelievable.”

When she came back onto the stage, Torres was wearing a frilly black and red dress that flared as she danced. She designed the dress, and, in fact, all of the band’s bright red costumes.

It only took a few minutes of rhythm and Cuban-inspired horns before the area in front of the stage was filled with people dancing, from young children jetting around their parents to old men shuffling gently back and forth to the beat.

After the performance, Holman noted that it was the first time in the history of the Downtown Sounds series that there had been such a delay, and added that it was unfortunate that people were left waiting. “It happens,” she said.