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Que Vola? video series episode 1: Ramón, percussionist, son of Changó

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Ramón Tamayo Martinez, barely thirty years old has been around sacred drums for as long as he remembers. Son of Changó, god of lightning and war, he tells us how drums and afro-cuban deities are inseparable. Following him in a ceremony, we will see him become one of the Saints he invokes.

À tout juste trente ans, Ramón Tamayo Martinez baigne depuis petit dans l’univers des tambours sacrés. Fils de Changó, le dieu de la foudre et de la guerre, il nous raconte comment les tambours et les divinités afro-cubaines sont inséparables. Immergé avec lui dans une cérémonie, nous le verrons se mettre dans la peau des Saints qu’il invoque.

New French-Cuban jazz outfit Que Vola? is set to release their debut album, ‘¿Que Vola?’ on January 25, 2019 via French imprint Nø Førmat! (Oumou Sangaré, Mélissa Laveaux, ALA.NI, Blick Bassy).

¿Que Vola? “What’s up?” – that’s how Cubans like to greet each other. They like it so much that the phrase is common currency in the heavily-accented street slang of the island. It’s now also namesake to a unique new collective bringing together a French jazz septet with three young and talented Cuban percussionists, marrying dizzying virtuosity with the Afro-Cuban divinities that underpin Cuban music.

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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