Over its 18-year history, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) Lively Arts Series has engaged local and national artists to share their work with the college and surrounding Blue Bell community. In recent years, MCCC has explored the influence of African culture on new world music, with Center-supported projects such as Africa, the Call and Response and Then and Now: Jazz Cubano. The latter is a fall 2013 series of concerts and programs focusing on the Afro-Cuban influence in jazz, featuring Poncho Sanchez's Cubano Be Cubano Bop, Ninety Miles, and the Omar Sosa Afri-Lectric Experience. MCCC has emerged, along with Bryn Mawr College, as an important venue for performances that are not otherwise available for Philadelphia audiences.
Montgomery County Community College presented Sabor Latino: A Caribbean Journey, a four-concert series featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, Cuban saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Venezuelan drummer/percussionist Marlon Simon. The project explored Latin jazz, including the many styles of salsa, merengue, rumba, son, mambo, bomba, and plena. Residency activities included school performances at Eisenhower and Pottstown Middle Schools; a master class with Paquito D'Rivera for area jazz students; lecture demonstrations with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra; and a weeklong school residency by Marlon Simon, culminating in a community concert in Pottstown.