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Opinion | Chase away the winter blues with the Flato Markham Theatre

Not everyone can hop on a plane and head south to the sun-kissed beaches of the Caribbean islands or Latin American destinations at this time of year. Come in from the cold; thaw out to sizzling hot Cuban-influenced dance and music. Between now and March 23, a taste of the tropics comes to Flato Markham Theatre — in the guise of notable performances from masters of the Latino music scene.

Originally from the Cuban province of Camagüey, Yaima Sáez presents her repertoire of bolero and ballads in all its variants: sones, guarachas, cumbias, sambas and interpretations in Portuguese on Thursday, Feb. 27. Check your winter coats and feel like you’re partying in Havana with the powerful, velvety voice of Cuban contralto Sáez.

Named one of the BBC’s 100 most influencing and inspiring women in 2018, and awarded the White House’s International Focus Award by former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2016, Litz Alfonso founded her own dance company in Cuba at the age of 23; she’s never looked back. Alfonso’s company is one of the most prestigious in the dance and music world, renowned for its novel style: a fusion never seen before. Litz Alfonso Dance Cuba comes to Markham to warm spirits in the deep of winter on Friday, March 1.

Recognized as one of the greatest guitarists in the world, Brazilian guitar sensation Diego Figueiredo partners with master Cuban musician and modern jazz pianist Chuchito Valdes — this musical duo’s phenomenal techniques and hot sounds promise to thaw out any icy chill. A hell-bent intensity of Caribbean rhythms, bossa nova, classical music and Afro-Cuban Latin jazz on Thursday, March 7.

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With the Ides of March behind, and the promise of spring ahead, one of the most multifaceted and renowned live performers of our time marks the change of seasons with a searing performance on Saturday March 23. Legendary guardian of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, Emmy winner, six-time Billboard winner and 10-time Grammy Award recipient — Arturo Sandoval — returns to Markham by popular demand.

For tickets and information, visit the Flato Markham Theatre website or call 905-305-7469.

— Eric Lariviere is the general manager of the Flato Markham Theatre.