When popular local band leader/pianist Roberto Ocasio of the Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Project died in an auto accident on a treacherous winter night in January 2004, the Cleveland music and Puerto Rican communities mourned the loss of a dedicated musician and music educator. But it wasn’t quite the end of the story. Spearheaded by Ocasio’s tireless manager Bev Montie, Ocasio’s friends and family formed the Roberto Ocasio Foundation to carry the torch of his beloved Latin Jazz forward. Its biggest project is its annual Latin Jazz Music Camp, which will take place for the fifth year at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music July 12-17. It provides students of all instruments and differing skill levels with opportunities for group classes, individual instruction, jam sessions, performances and interaction with professional players. Once again, the artist-in-residence will be New York-based percussionist Bobby Sanabria, who was a friend of Ocasio’s from their days at Boston’s Berklee College of Music in the late ’70s. While most of the camp’s activities are aimed at kids in grade 8-12, Sanabria will be conducting a master class for college and adult musicians from 1-5 p.m. July 14. Go to robertoocasiofoundation.org for more information, applications and updates. — Anastasia Pantsios
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