Award-Winning Elio’s Quartet to Play Special Jewel Box Concert


The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department, in cooperation with Shakerag Culture Center, Inc., is pleased to announce a special, free Jewel Box Concert at the Historic Thomas Center, Friday, Jan.15 at 7:30 p.m., featuring the award-winning Elio’s Quartet playing selections from their newly released CD “Pathway.” This concert follows the 5:30 p.m. opening reception for the Thomas Center Galleries’ new exhibition Anima Unveiled: The Self by Emanuel Torres Pérez.

Elio Piedra's quartet has been delighting its jazz-loving fans with its unique brand of music rooted in the Afro-Cuban genre. The band mixes musical styles that range from hot and lively Latin jazz to subtle and sophisticated commercial jazz, always anchored to the foundation of the musicians’ native Cuban music.

In 2009, Elio’s Quartet won top honors at Chucho Valdes’ Jo Jazz International Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba. While participating in that festival, they recorded several programs for Cuban television with the renowned and incredible showman of Cuba, Bobby Carcaces. Elio’s Quartet and its members have played with many outstanding international music figures including Paquito de Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Chuchito Valdes, Jennifer Holliday, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, Mayito Rivera of the band Los Van Van and Soneros De Verdad, the second generation of the Buena Vista Social Club - all winners of jazz Grammy and Billboard awards.

Elio’s Quartet has just released its new CD “Pathway.” Its original compositions range from Afro-Cuban Latin jazz to gospel, swing, smooth jazz and classical music. Its selections transport the listener through the emotions of nostalgia, pain, joy, the love of music and desire to fight for a dream, even if life has imposed an immense pathway.

A sample of Elio’s Quartet music can be heard online at Photographs of Elio’s Quartet can be viewed at

In its second season, the Jewel Box Concerts at the Thomas Center are a series of multi-genre musical events staged in the Historic Thomas Center’s Spanish Court. They feature a spectrum of national and international touring artists from folk to classical and from jazz to bluegrass, with special holiday shows and surprise guests. The Elio’s Quartet Jewel Box Concert is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

Opening Friday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. in the Thomas Center’s Main Gallery, and running through Tuesday, March 15 is Anima Unveiled: The Self by Emanuel Torres Pérez, a solo exhibition of introspective and conceptual self-portraiture by an award-winning, young Puerto Rican artist. The show includes contemporary works of multi-media drawing, paintings and prints. This exhibition has been organized with the support of Héctor Puig and Héctor Framing & Gallery. An image from the exhibition can be viewed online at

The opening reception for the exhibition and the Jewel Box Concert, both held on Jan. 15, are free and open to the public.

The Historic Thomas Center is located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. For additional information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at or 352-393-8532.