Chris Smith Caribbean Jazz Quintet plays the Garde

Do you know how maddening it is, as the blizzard howls outside, to write a preview for a concert by a band called the Chris Smith Caribbean Jazz Quintet? Just the suggestion of something remotely "Caribbean" right now is a cruel thrust - like sending a Mardi Gras postcard to someone in jail.

That's all the more reason to show up Saturday in the Oasis Room of New London's Garde Arts Center. It'll be the musical equivalent of jerk chicken as the Smith Caribbean Quintet presents an evening of tropical sounds and rhythms. A long-time percussionist/steel drummer for the United States Coast Guard Academy Band, Smith will be joined by Robert Langslet (piano/vibraphone), Cedric Mayfield (saxophone), Kevin Smith (upright and electric bass), Jerrod Cattey (drums and percussion), and Javier Diaz (congas/percussion). Onward, Mon!

- RICK KOSTER

Chris Smith Caribbean Jazz Quintet, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oasis Room, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $33; (860) 444-7373, gardearts.org.

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