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Artist Profile: Justo Almario

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Justo Almario

Justo AlmarioJusto Almario is a multi-instrumentalist at the highest caliber, Music Educator, Musical Director, Composer, Arranger and Clinician, Justo’s influences include John Coltrane, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bach, Bartok, and Debussy, and most importantly Antonio Maria Peñaloza, a significant Colombian composer.   Known as “Justico” in his native country, he could frequently be found jamming with the local, and much older players on the streets.

“Hearing the Cannonball Adderley recordings at age 11 had such a powerful impact on me, I had never heard anything that sounded like that.  It was then I realized that music was not just something written on a piece of paper, but something that nourishes your spirit and impacts your life.” Although I was only 11, I realized music was as important as the oxygen we need to breathe in order to live.”

“Later on, I had the opportunity to see them perform live, and in my mind I only imagined of what it would be like to perform at that level someday”  Justo Almario

A native of Colombia, Justo Almario was born in a Caribbean city called Sincelejo, and at age 11, went to Medellin, where his parents now live.  The unfolding of his life events, and the musical opportunities he was given have been a dream come true.

At age 16, he was recruited by Composer/Arranger Jose Madrid to travel to the US with the band Cumbia Colombia to showcase special arrangements of Colombia’s Folk Music. A few years later Justo visited San Antonio Texas, where he met Jazz Pianist/Educator Jorge Martinez Zapata who encouraged him to apply for a scholarship to Berklee College of Music, which he was awarded.

It was during his years of studying at Berklee that Justo was discovered by Mongo Santamaria, who invited him to join his band.

While touring with Mongo, Justo met Roy Ayers, a powerful entertainer, who asked him to record on the first of many albums:  “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” which would achieve gold record status, and whose albums are the most sampled to this day by many notable Hip Hop artists.

Charles Mingus, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Herb Alpert, Andy Garcia, Cachao, Placido Domingo, Justo has performed, arranged, produced, and performed with these greats and many more.

His own compositions are performed and recorded by some of the biggest names in Jazz today.

Since 2009 Justo has been the saxophone instructor for the Jazz Studies Program at UCLA.  He continues to record, and performs at Jazz Festivals throughout the world.

Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

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Artist Profiles

Artist Profile: Adrien Brandeis

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Pianist, composer, Adrien Brandeis
Jazz pianist and composer, Adrien Brandeis

Adrien Brandeis is a french jazz pianist and composer born in Annecy. After studying at the Nice conservatory, he moved to Paris in 2018 to study with Manuel Rocheman and graduated from the CRR conservatory in Paris.

In 2017, he produced and released his first album in quintet Euforia, which had great recognition and international success after performing in Asia (Jazzmandu Festival in Nepal, Kolkata International Jazz Festival in India).

Euforia put Adrien Brandeis, in the spotlight of the Jazz scene, and led him to be awarded the prestigious Letter One Rising Stars Jazz Award 2018. This award, which recognizes the best young European jazz artist of the year, opened the doors for him to share his music on the biggest European stages during the summer of 2019: Nice Jazz Festival (France), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Leopolis Jazz Festival (Ukraine), Love Supreme Jazz Festival (England), Heineken Jazzaldia Festival (Spain), Kongsberg Jazz Festival (Norway), JazzOpen Stuttgart (Germany).

Adrien Brandeis: Euforia
Adrien Brandeis: Euforia

Subsequently, he toured Mexico to present Euforia in trio, at the International Jazz and Blues Festival of Zacatecas 2019 and in several theaters in the center of the country.

On the French scene, he has won numerous awards: first prize at the Jazz à Juan 2017, public prize at the Jazz 2017 in Porquerolles, among others.

In Paris, he has collaborated with numerous musicians such as Orlando Poleo, Inor Sotolongo, Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Abraham Mansfaroll, Felipe Cabrera and Philippe Ciminato.

Very attached to Latin music, he went to study in Havana, Cuba, with Ernán López-Nussa to perfect his piano skills, in September 2019.

These trips and experiences enriched his piano playing and allowed him to write his second album Meetings, a quartet album with Damian Nueva, Arnaud Dolmen, Inor Sotolongo and special guest Orlando Poleo.

Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings
Adrien Brandeis featuring Orlando Poleo: Meetings

Meetings, released in October 2020, allows him to move towards a more modern sound while maintaining a certain freshness. It was selected as one of the best jazz albums in France in 2020 by TSF Jazz radio.

In 2021, Meetings is presented more than 30 times; including festivals and clubs in France (Altitude Jazz Festival, Festival Jazz en Sol Mineur, Festival Musique en Cour, Duc des Lombards) as well as in Mexico (Festival Internacional de Polanco, Festival Internacional de Irapuato, Ciclo de Jazz del Forum Cultural Guanajuato, Festival EuroJazz, Festival Cultural de Mayo in Jalisco).

After two tours in Mexico in May and November 2021, where he was very well received by the Mexican public, he created a strong bond with this country and was fascinated by its culture and the places he visited.

It is then, that he decided to record his third album Siempre más allá, a testimony of his experiences and his personal tribute to Mexico.

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá
Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

This album was recorded as a quartet, with the musicians with whom he had shared the stage a few months before: Giliard Lopes (Brazil), José Loria Triay (Mexico) and Roberto Vizcaíno Jr. (Cuba).

Roberto Jr. Vizcaino, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaino Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay - Photo: Nayeli Mejia.
Roberto Jr. Vizcaíno, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot, Giliard Lopes, Pepe Triay – Photo: Nayeli Mejia.

He also had the collaboration of two great Cuban musicians of the international jazz scene: Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot.

In the summer of 2022, he had outstanding participations in the A to jazz Festival (Bulgaria), Jazz à Toulon (France) as well as a special invitation to the San Jose Summer Jazz Festival (USA). He even had the opportunity to arrange and present his music in Piano Solo in Portugal and England.

YouTube Video – Adrien Brandeis – Siempre más allá (EPK)

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