Mambo Jazz Kings Are A Hit at the Harbor

Oh what a night we had for the first 2012 Keller Williams Concert at Kings Harbor last Friday. The weather was perfect up until a little drizzle ten minutes before the concert was to end and the Mambo Jazz Kings mesmerized the crowd with their eleven-piece band playing jazz, soul and disco hits. The band performed two full sets with just a short break in between, indicating they were having as much fun as the audience.

The horn section started out the evening with an instrumental number, “Pick up the Pieces.”  Their sound reverberated off the Kings Harbor buildings leaving no doubt that the concert was underway.

Vocalist Tameka took the stage next to sing her soulful version of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” accompanied on vocals by “Mr. Excitement” Keith Ward. Noticing that the crowd was a little slow to get started, Tameka encouraged them to sing along to “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

“It’s Friday night and we need to relieve a little stress by singing and shouting to the mountain top,” she announced. That got everyone spelling out S-T-O-P-P-I-N.

But it was the song “Knock on Wood,” that got the adults in the audience dancing. They packed the Harbor Plaza for that one and the dance floor stayed full with moving bodies from that point forward. Even with so many people, a few “ringers” from Fred Astaire Dance Studio could be spotted in the crowd, showing up the amateurs.

Eventually, the band threw in some disco to the mix with KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight” followed by everyone clapping along to the tune “Car Wash.” They kept the tempo high with “a little ‘50s and ‘60s favorites,” including “Twist,” “Brick House,” and “Ladies Night.”

During the band’s break, Keller William’s Master of Ceremonies Roland Duhon introduced the concert’s guest charity: Comfy for Chemo. Kingwood resident Dave Nypaver spoke about the charity that he founded in memory of his daughter, Kimberley Hansen, who died of cancer. He said that it was her wish that cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy be provided with blankets to keep them warm during treatments. He was accompanied on stage by his wife Lori, daughter Lara and two granddaughters, who helped pull the raffle ticket winners. He gave a special “thanks” to the Keller Williams agents for inviting them to the concert and Jennifer Moore of Jennika’s who painted kids faces during the concert for donations to the charity.

Noland of Alspaugh’s Rent-A-Husband, the concert’s band sponsor, also spoke at the band’s break. He said that everyone attending the concert could have a special $55 hourly rate from Rent-A-Husband to get things fixed around the house through the end of April. No coupon is necessary, just ask at Alspaugh’s Ace Hardware.

The band played a slow dance, “’Til I get there,” to close the evening, but not my choice. As soon as they started it, a soft rain began to fall and many people packed up their lawn chairs for the night. But there were more than a few couples who stayed on the dance floor oblivious to the weather, just enjoying a nice night out.