Jazz and Bossa Radio

Jazz and Bossa Radio
Jazz and Bossa Radio

martes, 23 de abril de 2013

Comienza la segunda edición del Ponce International JazzFest

Comienza la segunda edición del Ponce International JazzFest

El viernes 28 de abril dará comienzo la segunda edición del Ponce International JazzFest. El evento organizado por la Dama de Jazz Wanda Borrero se efectuará del 26 al 28 de abril, será grabado como parte de la celebración mundial del Día Internacional del Jazz y se difundirá a través de la página www.jazzday.com.

El festival dedicado este año a dos grandes exponentes del jazz en Puerto Rico, el saxofonista graduado de Berklee Music College Frankie Pérez y al bajista graduado de New England Music Conservatory Irving Cancel, contará además con la participación de algunos de los mejores jazzistas de la isla. En la primera noche se presenta la Stage Band del Instituto de Música Juan Morel Campos, seguido por el grupo de féminas Diversis Quartet. Cerrando la noche uno de los homenajeados, Irving Cancel & 3926 Afro Jazz.

La noche del sábado comienza con Luis Gonzalez y su Orquesta en un tributo al latin jazz de Ray Barreto. Joseito Ruiz y su cuarteto será el segundo acto de la noche, y el cuarteto de saxofones Puerto Sax estará a cargo del cierre de las presentaciones del sábado.

El festival concluye el domingo con la música de Black Jazz, el Master Jazz Big Band y la Banda Municipal de Ponce.

lunes, 22 de abril de 2013

Programa Berklee en Puerto Rico: Impulso para la nueva generación de músicos

Impulso para la nueva generación de músicos:

Programa Berklee en Puerto Rico

Profesores de la prestigiosa institución Berklee College of Music viajarán e impartirán talleres de música para jóvenes en Puerto Rico. El periodo de inscripción para el programa de música finaliza el 3 de mayo.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO. 22 de abril de 2013 --- Los jóvenes interesados en participar del destacado programa Berklee en Puerto Rico, podrán hacerlo llenando una hoja de inscripción ya disponible a través de la página www.prheinekenjazz.com. Para ser elegibles, los candidatos que deseen ser parte del taller deben tener al menos 15 años de edad y un mínimo de dos años de estudios de música en su instrumento principal. La fecha límite para inscribirse en el taller será el 3 de mayo de 2013. Este año el taller se llevará a cabo del martes, 28 de mayo al domingo, 2 de junio de 2013 en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Carolina.

Por los pasados 17 años, Berklee en Puerto Rico ha sido el programa de responsabilidad social de Méndez y Compañía y el Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, el cual le brinda la oportunidad a más de 150 estudiantes a participar en un taller de una semana completa con profesores del prestigioso Berklee College of Music, la universidad de música más grande del mundo. El taller ha sido posible gracias a la colaboración de Fundación Banco Popular, quien por los pasados seis años ha donado sobre $170 mil para que los profesores puedan venir a Puerto Rico a ofrecer los talleres.

Los estudiantes participantes podrán aprender armonía, improvisación y desempeño musical a través de charlas y seminarios. La semana culminará con un recital de graduación el domingo, 2 de junio, cuando los estudiantes pondrán en práctica lo aprendido.

Cabe mencionar que el año pasado, Berklee College of Music, que ubica en Boston, Massachusetts, otorgó aproximadamente 25 becas equivalentes a $1,000,000 de dólares en asistencia económica para que estudiantes puertorriqueños pudieran beneficiarse de los ofrecimientos de la institución, entre ellos: programas semestrales, de verano y cursos en línea (online), entre otros. El programa Berklee en Puerto Rico es posible gracias a las aportaciones generosas de empresas amigas del programa como: Triple S, la empresa de seguros Carrión, Laffitte & Casellas, el bufete Fiddler, González & Rodríguez, PSC y recientemente, Liberty Puerto Rico. Todos ellos continúan su compromiso para el desarrollo del talento joven y la música en Puerto Rico.

Gracias a este programa y su aportación, sobre 100 músicos puertorriqueños han logrado cumplir sus sueños de asistir a Berklee y emprender sus carreras profesionales a través de estos 17 años.

"Estos talleres son sumamente necesarios para los jóvenes que recién comienzan sus pasos en la música y deseen cumplir sus sueños de comenzar una carrera profesional”, indicó Luis Álvarez, Vicepresidente de Méndez & Compañía y productor del Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest. “Agradecemos a Berklee por su genuino interés y a las firmas patrocinadoras que nos dan la mano y siempre han creído en este programa como uno necesario para seguir construyendo una cultura musical en nuestra Isla, a la vez de exportar nuestros talentos en la esfera mundial”, concluyó Álvarez.

“Los talleres de Berklee en PR representan una experiencia musical y una plataforma para aquellos jóvenes que se distinguen en la música. Para nuestra Fundación es sumamente importante apoyar programas musicales como estos que amplían las alternativas de educación en las artes de nuestros niños y jóvenes” expresó Beatriz Polhamus, directora ejecutiva de la Fundación Banco Popular.

“En Liberty estamos muy comprometidos con el bienestar de nuestra comunidad y, brindando nuestro apoyo a programas como el Puerto Rico JazzFest Scholarship Fund, nos hacemos partícipes del enriquecimiento de la juventud puertorriqueña”, dijo Naji Khoury, director ejecutivo de Liberty Puerto Rico. “Nos llena de orgullo auspiciar un programa que le brinda la oportunidad a estos jóvenes de completar sus estudios y alcanzar sus sueños profesionales”.

Berklee en Puerto Rico es el programa de responsabilidad social de Méndez y Compañía y el Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest (PRHJF), que se celebró, durante el pasado mes de marzo, en el anfiteatro Tito Puente y que contó con la asistencia de miles seguidores de la música jazz.

jueves, 18 de abril de 2013

CON SABOR LATINO LA SEGUNDA EDICIÓN DE VENTANA AL JAZZFEST EN MAYAGÜEZ

CON SABOR LATINO LA SEGUNDA EDICIÓN DE VENTANA AL JAZZFEST EN MAYAGÜEZ

Este domingo, 21 de abril, se celebra por segunda ocasión el Heineken Ventana al JazzFest en el Litoral en Mayagüez. Compartirán tarima Luisga Nuñez & Holograma Collective y Elliot Feyjo Latino

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO, 17 DE ABRIL DE 2013 – Los aficionados y seguidores de la música latin jazz y entretenimiento de alta calidad del área oeste, podrán deleitarse nuevamente por segunda ocasión de Ventana al JazzFest, el próximo domingo, 21 de abril de 2013, en el Litoral de Mayagüez. Tras su exitoso estreno celebrado el mes pasado, la cerveza “Premium” holandesa Heineken se ha encargado de repetir esta propuesta musical que comenzó en Ventana al Mar (Condado) hace 4 años y que se ha convertido en la actividad predilecta de muchos, para que los residentes del área oeste puedan disfrutar mensualmente de una velada musical al aire libre y en buena compañía. Ventana al JazzFest en Mayagüez se estará llevando a cabo a partir de las 4:30 de la tarde. El evento, al igual que el de Ventana al Mar (en Condado), será gratuito para el público.

La segunda oferta de Ventana al JazzFest en el Oeste estará llena de ritmos pegajosos y fuerza latina a cargo de dos agrupaciones reconocidas localmente e internacionalmente. El primer turno de la tarde iniciará con Elliot Feyjoo Latino, trompetista puertorriqueño nacido en el pueblo de Aguada. Ha grabado dos producciones musicales como solista y en el campo del Jazz ha tocado en el Heineken JazzFest y ha colaborado con Paquito de Rivera, Michelle Camilo y Arturo Sandoval.

Le seguirá el turno Luisga Nuñez & Holograma Collective, el quinteto contiene flauta, trompeta, bajo, batería y piano. Influenciado por grandes estrellas del jazz como Eddie Palmieri, Miles Davis, Tito Puente entre otros, LuisGa anhelaba un sonido que lo representara como lo que es, tropical, caribeño y latino, pero sobre todo, puertorriqueño. Es por eso que en su grupo fusiona el Latin jazz con la samba, bossa nova, rumba, bomba, plena, blues y funk, entre otros ritmos. Es un viaje tridimensional donde el vaivén de los sentimientos encontrados en cada nota es lo más importante.

Ventana al JazzFest en Mayagüez se llevará a cabo cada 3er domingo de mes en el el Litoral. Al igual que en todos los eventos de la marca y por razones de estricta seguridad, no se permitirá al público llevar neveritas.

Para más información puede acceder: www.prheinekenjazz.com

martes, 9 de abril de 2013

Concert Review: Miguel Zenon - Rayuela

Miguel Zenon - Rayuela Concert Review

With the original group that recorded his most recent album Rayuela, Puerto Rican altoist virtuoso Miguel Zenón took the stage of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. The music from the album Rayuela is completely different from Zenón previous projects. On Rayuela, instead of fusing Jazz with Puerto Rican music like he did on the critically acclaimed albums, Jíbaro, Esta Plena and Alma Adentro, this time Zenón decided to compose music based on one of the best books in Latin America literature, Julio Cortázar Rayuela.

Zenón composed half of the compositions, the french scenes from the book, and pianist Laurent Coq composed the other half, the Argentina scenes. These are compositions with an eclectic blend of textures, sounds, dense harmonics, provocative and richly inventive melodies, technically challenging structures and with an almost cinematic feel.

The concert started with Coq composition, the waltz like Talita, followed by Zenón classical sounds of La Muerte de Rocamadour hightlighted by Leong cello. A sublime piano intro lead the way to the exotic sounds of Coq "Gekrepten", followed by Zenón composition "Moreliana" based on chapter 151 of Rayuela. After a short recess, the group came back to the stage to play Coq "Traveler" and "Buenos Aires". Dana Leong masterfully played the trombone on these two pieces. The quartet almost end the night with Zenón "El Club de la Serpiente". After a standing and well deserved ovation the quartet closed the show with Zenón cinematic composition "La Maga".

Besides the alto sax of Miguel Zenó and the piano of Laurent Coq, the instrumentation is not typical for a jazz quartet. Trombonist Dana Leong also plays the cello and drummer Dan Weiss also plays the hindu tabla. These instruments give the music an exotic and classically tinged sound. Even though the music feels very structured, there is plenty of space on each one for these amazing musicians to display their virtuosic and ingenious improvisations.

With Rayuela, Zenón once again demonstrated why he is considered one of the best jazz musicians and one of the most creative minds in music today.

martes, 2 de abril de 2013

Review: Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 2013

The twentieth third edition of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest was dedicated to one of the most creative musicians in Puerto Rico, trombonist, composer, educator, and advocate of Puerto Rican traditions, William Cepeda. A true music genius, Cepeda is a pioneer in the fusion of Jazz with Puerto Rican folk music, especially with the rhythms of Bomba and Plena, a fusion he calls AfroRican Jazz.

Thursday, March 21

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 01The first night opened with the music of Viento de Agua, a group that perfectly fits the folkloric music vision of William Cepeda and the theme of the fest. Founded in New York in 1997 by percussionist and singer Tito Matos and saxophonist Ricardo Pons, the music of Viento de Agua is a blend of Puerto Rican folk music with Jazz and other influences. Viento de Agua started with the contagious rhythms of Plena in the songs “Fiesta de Plena”, “La Reina mia“, “Lola” and the modern arrangement with Peruvian influences of “El que no tiene de dinga”. Excellent improvisations by Eliud Cintrón on the trombone and Roberto Calderón on the saxophone were the highlights of these first pieces.

In the song “Plena Azul”, a Ricardo Pons composition, the fusion of Plena with Jazz and Blues can be heard more clearly. Eliud Cintrón adds another excellent improvisation on this one. Next, the rhythms of Bomba filled the stage with “Cu Cu”, a song by one of the masters of the Bomba tradition, Rafael Cepeda. The beautiful and powerful voice of Kiani Medina closed Viento de Agua’s presentation with the Plena “Ciudadano del Mundo”.

Continuing in the fusion mood, Henry Cole Afro Beat Collective took the stage with a mix of Bomba, Plena, Cuban rhythms, Jazz, funk, rock, hip hop and more. Psychedelic sounds on the Fender Rhodes over Bomba rhythms were the intro for the first piece, “Uncovered Fears“. The Plena rhythms came back to the stage in the song “Solo dos veces“, with Killy Vializ on voice and the dancers Lourdes Gandía and Charma Avilés.

The next two songs ”No eres tú, soy yo” (It’s not you, it’s me) and “Trabajala” (Work it out) included the urban, hip hop poetry of Hermes Ayala, both ended with some funk/fusion. In “To living without seeing” was the turn for Cole to shine on drums with a nice intro, and rock influences on this and the last one. Besides Cole display of his amazing technique, Billy Carrión Jr. on baritone sax impressed the public with masterful solos and passionate playing.

Friday, March 22

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 03The rain almost ruined the debut of one of the young promises of Puerto Rican Jazz, alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo. Fortunately, the rain went away and people enjoyed the artistry, and virtuosity of Suazo and his Quintet, pianist Eduardo Zayas, guitarist Gabriel Vicéns, bassist Alex Gasser and drummer Leonardo Osuna. Remember these names as they are the future of jazz in and out of Puerto Rico.

All the outstanding compositions played by Suazo Quintet, the energetic “Pace of Life”, the bolero and bomba fusion of “La ira de una flor”, the soulful “Lucharemos Juntos” (dedicated to Suazo father) and the samba “The Joy of You” were originals, except for Cole Porter “What is this thing called love?”. Percussionists Jhanlee Aponte Poro, Amarilys Ríos, Branlee Mejías and Paoli Mejías joined the quintet for the Latin jazz arrangement of the Cole Porter classic tune.

The second act on Friday night was one of the Jazz true masters in recent years, trumpet virtuoso Nicholas Payton. Accompanying Payton on stage were bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Marcus Gilmore.

As a native of New Orleans, where Jazz was born, Payton music is a real gumbo of modern jazz, funk, fusion, bebop, cool jazz, traditional jazz and everything in between. One can hear on Payton virtuosic improvisations the voices of Freddie Keppard, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown and all the great trumpet players in the history of jazz.

The guitar duo of Strunz & Farah closed the Friday night presentations of the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest. Jorge Strunz from Costa Rica and Ardeshir Farah from Iran are not new to Puerto Rico and the Fest, they played on this same stage 12 years ago. Their melodies and compositions, “Four Winds”, Night Jasmine”, “Vela al Viento”, influenced by Flamenco, Arabic and music from South America, could be better described as World Music.

Saturday, March 23

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 04A trombonist from Costa Rica with vast experience in both Latin music (Willie Colon) and jazz (Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner) Luis Bonilla was the first act for the third night of the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest. All the music played by the Luis Bonilla Quintet were original compositions, influenced by blues (Double Trouble), New Orleans Jazz (Uh, Uh, Uh) and Tibetan music (Bhurmkukuta). All throughout the presentation Luis Bonilla and Puerto Rican saxophonist Iván Renta exchanged flawless improvisations over the amazing rhythm team of bassist Andy McKee and drummer John Riley. Luis Bonilla closed with the blues “Elis”, a composition dedicated to his daughter.

It is not often that one is in the presence of a true jazz legend; Mr. McCoy Tyner is one of the few giants still alive from the so called golden era of jazz. Tyner has a distinguished career creating and recording amazing music on his own, but besides that, he was the pianist of maybe the best tenor sax player in the history of jazz, John Coltrane. Some references to the music of Coltrane still can be heard in Tyner arrangements, like the “A Love Supreme” chord progressions his quartet played in “Fly with the Wind” and the passionate interpretation of “Ballad for Aisha” in obvious reference to another classic by Coltrane “Aisha” from the album Ole. With seventy three years of age, Tyner still has a clear mind and passion for the music he loves, as he demonstrated on his piano solo “For all we know.” Accompanying Tyner this night, there were three fabulous musicians: saxophonist Gary Bartz, bassist Gerald Cannon and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela.

After a legend like McCoy Tyner, a future legend, sax virtuoso Joshua Redman was the closing act for Saturday night. Redman, son of saxophonist Dewey Redman, was part of a group of amazing young musicians that came out in the early nineties, and revived the classic sound of jazz, going back to the use of the acoustic bass and getting away from the electric sound of the seventies and eighties. Joshua Redman Quartet, Aaron Goldberg on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums, started with two outstanding original compositions, Redman “Disco Ears” and “Shed” by Aaron Goldberg.

A wonderful introduction on sax gave way to Hoagy Carmichael classic “Stardust”. Redman is a perfect example of how is not necessary to discard tradition in order to innovate. His improvisations and compositions, like “Curley Q” and the funky “D.G.A.F” are always full of new ideas but at the same time are rooted deeply in the jazz history and tradition. Proving his incredible technique playing any music form, Redman amazed the public with his interpretation of “Adagio” by Johann Sebastian Bach, closing the night with another Redman original, “Hide and Seek”.

Sunday, March 24

Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest 05For the last day of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest it is already a tradition to include a presentation of a Berklee Student Band. This year’s band, bassist Alex Gasser, drummer Leonardo Osuna, pianist Santiago Bosch and saxophonist Edmar Colon has been one of the best in recent years. Gasser and Osuna already played on Friday night with Jonathan Suazo Quintet, and on Sunday evening they came back to the stage with Edmar Colon, another young talent from Puerto Rico and for sure a name jazz fans will hear a lot in the future.

These students demonstrated not only that they are already great instrumentalists but also good composers and arrangers. All the compositions played by the band were originals, “Transición” and ” El Tren” by Santiago Bosch, “PG-13″ and “Unión” by Edmar Colon, “Libertad” and “Fé Perdida” by Leonardo Osuna and “Flap Jack” by Alex Gasser. As a special guest, master percussionist and professor at Berkleee, Eguie Castrillo joined the band for the last part of the presentation.

In 2011 I had the honor to write an album review for a female singer relatively new and unknown in the jazz scene. Even though I knew and liked her earlier recordings, this one in particular was very special. On the album Mexico Azul, this lady and her band recorded beautiful jazz arrangements of songs from the golden era of Mexican cinema, including “Obsesión” by Puerto Rican composer Pedro Flores. I selected that album as one of the best of 2011.

So when I heard Magos Herrera was part of the selection of artists scheduled to play in the 2013 Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest, I knew I had to be there and also knew the public would fall in love with Magos’ music. As it turn out I was right, Magos Herrera was one of the pleasant surprises of the Fest, captivating the jazz aficionados with her phrasing and beautiful voice in songs like “Reencuentro”‘, “Tus Ojos”, and Milton Nascimento “Canção de Sal”.

From the album Mexico Azul, Magos sang “Noche Criolla”, “Lamento Jarocho”, “Obsesión”, “Tres Palabras” and ”Luz de Luna”, perfect music for a tropical clear night under the moonlight. Two of the musicians from the Mexico Azul album accompanied Magos on this night, bassist Hans Glawishnig and from Venezuela, pianist Luis Perdomo, adding masterful improvisations alongside drummer Alex Kautz and guitarist Mike Moreno.

Closing the night and the Fest, the honoree, trombonist and composer William Cepeda, filled the stage with the joy and power of his music and a true big band of master musicians. Cepeda is always creating, and looking for new ways to express himself. Flamenco, Bomba and Tap dancers, a Dj and even a rappper were part of Cepeda’s musical proposal for the night. Cepeda played the trombone, caracoles on “Pa’ mi Cuembe” and “Bombatap” the bombarding on “Aires de mi Borinquen” and also was the music director.

The influences on Cepeda’s music include the Puerto Rico traditional music of Bomba, in “Oya, Oye”, the blues fused with Plena in “Cumba Blues”, Bomba fusion with Flamenco in ” Bomba Flamenca”, and more. Some musicians who played earlier in the Fest joined Cepeda for this spectacular closing. Kiani Medina on voices, Iván Renta on saxophone, Henry Cole on drums and Hector Tito Matos on percussion, who joined Cepeda on “Cumba Blues” to end one of the best editions of the Puerto Rico Heineken JazzFest.

Photographs and Review by Wilbert Sostre