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Artist Profile · Leandro Saint-Hill

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Musician & Composer, Leandro Saint-Hill

Musical talent and a passionate connection to the music was literally born to Leandro Saint-Hill Montejo. In Camagüey, Cuba, at the age of seven he first got violin lessons from his father Marcelo Saint-Hill Sweeney. At eleven he was introduced to the basics of saxophone playing by Mario Lombida, and a few years later J. Blanco & A. Thompson took over as mentors. The way was paved for an extraordinary development as a musician and composer.

After graduating from the Escuela Profesional de Musica in Camagüey, Cuba Leandro worked as a lecturer at the Conservatory in Las Tunas. He moved to Havana and worked with great musicians such as the bolero singer Beatriz Márquez, salsa star Manolín “El médico de la Salsa” or the Carlos Maza Jazz Quintet.

Leandro Saint-Hill moved to Hamburg in the mid-1990s. From here, his unique style made him one of the most sought-after saxophonists on the Latin funk scene in Europe. He expanded his instruments to include clarinet and flute and incorporated them into his studio and stage work. And he develops sophisticated compositions that are able to combine European-inspired jazz with Afro-Cuban yearning and originality.

In 2008 Leandro received a Grammy nomination for Best Instrumental Album and Best Contemporary World Music Album with Omar Sosa. With his band Saint-Hill Colectivo, he was placed on the shortlist of the Latin Grammies in 2011 in the categories of Best Engineered Album, Best New Artist and Album of the Year.

Leandro also wrote soundtracks for the road movie Cuban Dreams and the arte documentary Das Mafia-Paradies. On stage and in the studio he has been with Patrice, Jamaica Papa Curvin, Klazz Brothers, Nena, Modern Talking and Helene Fischer, among others.

Leandro tours worldwide with stars like Omar Sosa, Trilok Gurtu, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Tony Martinez and The Cuban Power, R. Santamaria or Julio Barreto. This lively international exchange also benefits his own new project: the Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet.

Leandro Saint Hill Quartet: Cadencias

New Cuban Jazz in an extraordinary mix: The top-class and international Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet from Hamburg, Germany presents his debut album Cadencias.

His international experience with renowned and top-class jazz greats led Leandro Saint-Hill to found his own quartet – with double bass player Omar Rodriguez Calvo (jazz echo winner with the Tingvall Trio), pianist Matthäus Winnitzki and percussionist Nené Vasquez.

Leandro and his musicians not only contribute their individual virtuosity as instrumentalists, they create a homogeneous, organic interplay. This creates refined interpretations full of elegance. That is why interaction with the audience on stage is of great importance. In the spirit of the music, his sophisticated compositions always have a bit of Cuban sunshine.

With this debut, Cadencias, Leandro Saint-Hill and his colleagues manage to combine the sophistication and emotional depth of modern Afro-Cuban jazz with the lightness of traditional rhythms to create an innovative style.

The album offers a carefully balanced balance of instrumental and vocal pieces that can also inspire the live audience. Traditional genres of Cuban music and their rhythms such as Danzòn, Habanera, Rumba, Son and Chachachá give the album a special lightness.

The compositions achieve a fine harmonic and melodic catchiness at the highest musical level. They also give the very charming lyrics of the vocal pieces a harmonious home.

The album is released by the Hamburg label German Wahnsinn Records.

Leandro Saint-Hill Quartet
Leandro Saint-Hill: saxophone, flute, clarinet, vocals
Matthew Winnitzki: piano
Omar Rodriguez Calvo: double bass
Nené Vasquez: percussion

Guest Musicians on the album Cadencias: piano & percussion: Omar Sosa  (3,8); violin: Marcelo Saint-Hill Sweeney (13); piano: Sandor Saint-Hill Montejo (13); backing vocals: Jocelyn Saint-Hill (3,8,12); vocals & percussion: Arturo Martinez (4,14); vocals: Fernando Spengler (2); batá: Silvano Mustelier Cabreja (8); percussion: Maurice Remedios Sarria (2,4,6,10,12,14); violin: Yanara Figueroa (13); cello: Annika Stolze (13); tres & guitar: Dany Labana Martinez (14); congas & back vocals: Elio Rodriguez Luis (1);  drums & percussion: Raul Pineda (7,8,13); percussion: Jesús Díaz (7);  alto sax & vocals: Antonio Lizana (7); piano: Tony Martinez (7).

The Saint-Hill Colectivo

Leandro realized his first own musical concept in 2008 with his band Saint-Hill Colectivo, which impressively combines different genres and styles in soul and funk. Groovy beats of the radio merge with Afro-Caribbean rhythms and form a dynamic basis for the feeling of soul, the improvisation of jazz and above all for the expressive lyrics.

The Saint-Hill Colectivo stands for a variety of musical styles. Even so, Leandro’s Cuban and Afro-Caribbean roots shine through and inspiration from great musicians like The Brothers Johnson and Maceo Parker. There is not only space here for fine solos and powerful soneos, but also for guest appearances by international greats such as Omar Sosa, Arturo Martinez, Nené Vasquez and Tony Martinez.

Saint-Hill Colectivo therefore stands for an effective symbiosis of funk / soul and Caribbean music, with a good pinch of contemporary jazz and blues. The septet is not only convincing in the studio, but above all on stage. The charming performance in connection with sophisticated music inspires every audience.

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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