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By: Grace M. Castro

I'm a fan of MOCA North Miami, their cultural programming, and exhibits. On the last Friday of each month, they host Jazz at MOCA, a free event open to the public.

This December, Tito Puente Jr. and his Latin Jazz Ensemble made for a great Friday night outdoors. Junior, an artist in his on right, takes after his late father Tito Puente, a legend Latin jazz, salsa musician, and composer, from Puerto Rico. Puente Senior has also appeared in films like The Mambo Kings and you may have seen him guest star in a few television shows like The Cosby Show, Sesame Street, and The Simpsons.

"Oye Como Va", translation "Hear How it Goes", is the title of one of the better-known songs he wrote in 1963 that was also made popular by Carlos Santana, another music great. Junior, and his Ensemble, brought this number back to life on Friday night, getting everyone on their feet. Of course, I did not bring my camera but picture this: outdoor stage, hundreds of people sitting on the grass, a great diverse group of people, some dancing in the isles, and kids bopping up and down to their parents moves...and a few dogs. The only thing missing was the hot chocolate stand but overall a great night indeed. I look forward to next month and bringing the entire family and my camera.

To add to your calendar, visit MOCA for upcoming event information.