The University of Iowa Jazz studies program have announced they will be hosting their ever Afro-Cuban Jazz Summit this week.

The Summit will serve as an extension to the departments annual Latin Jazz Festival, which takes place at the end of the college’s Fall semester every year. The festival usually sees talented college and high-school Jazz bands perform at a major Iowa City venue with distinguished guest artists after learning from University Jazz instructors.

Now, with the summit, the department have extended the festival to include a number of additional workshops and performances from the likes of Grammy award winner Wayne Wallace, and acclaimed Latin percussionist Michael Spiro, who has been in-residence teaching in Iowa City for the past week.

University of Iowa Jazz Lecturer James Dreier explained to the IC Press Citizen that Afro-Cuban music has been part of America’s musical heritage from the beginning, saying: “The music is music that people enjoy listening to. It’s got great soul and spirit and rhythm and flow to it… We put together a program that examines the development of Afro-Cuban Latin jazz.”

Iowa City’s Annual Latin Jazz Festival kicks off tonight at the Englert Theatre at 7.30pm – Admission is free to the public.