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Donald Vega: Spiritual Nature Recording Sessions

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Donald Vega 2Live behind the scenes videos from the Rising Jazz Stars Studios for Donald Vega’s recording Spiritual Nature (Resonance Records – August 2012). “It’s a dream come true,” says Donald Vega of the opportunity to record with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash. “Spiritually, this is my dream trio.”

“It takes probably three or four bars into the first song, “Scorpio,” on pianist Donald Vega’s Resonance album Spiritual Nature for a magical spell to unfold. This is not the spell of an exhibitionist on a dimly-lit stage that recalls a Houdini or some Eastern Pasha; rather it is an entrancing recital by one of the most elegant and intellectually astounding pianists of today. For this is who the Nicaraguan-born, New York-based virtuoso, Donald Vega really is.”. – Raul da Gama

Scorpion – Piano: Donald Vega; Bass: Christian McBride; Drums: Lewis Nash; Sax: Bob Sheppard; Trumpet: Gilbert Castellanos

Accompong – Piano: Donald Vega; Bass: Christian McBride; Drums: Lewis Nash; Guitar: Anthony Wilson

Child’s Play – Piano: Donald Vega; Bass: Christian McBride; Drums: Lewis Nash; Violin: Christian Howes

Spiritual Nature – Piano: Donald Vega; Bass: Christian McBride; Drums: Lewis Nash; Sax: Bob Sheppard; Trombone: Bob McChesney

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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Grant Richards’ Live Performance of “Ballyhoo”

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Grant Richards

Grant Richards – a pianist deeply immersed in bebop and the blues – leads his music in a bold
and emergent new direction with Ballyhoo, an Afro-Cuban celebration of a previously unspoken
dream, finally realized in a tangible elation of musicianship, culture, and unbridled wonder.
Richards, like the great jazz composers throughout history, wrote the music on Ballyhoo not for
generic instruments, but for the specific and unique musical personalities of the musicians in his
ensemble.

Ballyhoo is the title track from my new album, my first excursion into Latin jazz, combining
many elements that get me out of my comfort zone like intricate grooves, odd keys, and the
necessity for precise execution,” Richards shares. “The title implies an excited commotion and
with the crisp performance by my bandmates Damian Erskine, Reinhardt Melz, and Carmelo
Torres
, I think this track embodies the exuberance and playfulness I intended for the project as a
whole.”

Album cover - Grant Richards: Ballyhoo
Album cover – Grant Richards: Ballyhoo

What is Ballyhoo? The word embodies sensation, animation and enthusiasm, and the record at
its core presents all of the same. Ballyhoo was released on September 24, 2021.

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