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Just Play Puerto Rico Presents: Guerreras Puertorriqueñas



Guerreras Puertorriqueñas Documentary

Women Gather for Historic New Music Documentary in Puerto Rico – “Guerreras Puertorriqueñas” – Just Play Unites Fierce Talents in a Statement of Pride and Power

Following his Latin Grammy nomination, in the category “Best Long Form Music Video”, bassist, composer, music producer and filmmaker Matt Geraghty, has continued the journey of searching and documenting hidden musical treasures in the Americas, this time on the island of Puerto Rico.

Just Play Puerto Rico, the itinerant musical documentary series, now brings together women artists to share their stories of struggle, music and culture. The music documentary entitled GUERRERAS PUERTORRIQUEÑAS captures the spirit of resilience among a group of women percussionists, singers and dancers in the face of natural disasters, political upheaval and a pandemic.

“When I look at how artists are reinventing themselves this past year in light of so many challenges, there’s probably no more inspiring example to me than the artists from Puerto Rico. We wanted to spotlight their drive, creativity and determination. Our documentary focuses on traditional roots music while providing a space for emerging talent on the scene. This continues Just Play’s mission to create  a platform for voices and greater visibility for artists in the Americas.”  says producer Matt Geraghty. 

At the heart of the new release is a community of talented women artists represented by the Puerto Rican Bomba scene in Loiza, the music from the west coast and the styles of reggae, jazz and hip-hop. Just Play Puerto Rico features a roster of renowned Puerto Rican singers, dancers and musicians, including Grupo Folclórico Belelé, Dali Marie, Tanicha López, Maribella Burgos and Nelie Lebrón. 

This production reveals the diversity of the talent on the island with the breathtaking backdrop of the natural landscapes of Puerto Rico.

With a collective of more than 300 musicians, JUST PLAY was created in 2013 by New York producer and bassist Matt Geraghty and is produced by Araceli Poma. Just Play provides a platform for the music of the African diaspora, bringing its musical roots and traditions into the eyes of the world. 

Photo by Bill Wadman. From top left to right: Tanicha Lopez, Nelie Lebrón, Maribella Burgos, Dalí Marie, Hilda Pizarro, Johnsuaris Davila and Yariana Calderón
Photo by Bill Wadman. From top left to right: Tanicha López, Nelie Lebrón, Maribella Burgos, Dalí Marie, Hilda Pizarro, Johnsuaris Davila and Yariana Calderón

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Founder, Editor, Webmaster: Latin Jazz Network, World Music Report, That Canadian Magazine. A passionate and committed communicator with a sensibility for the arts based in Toronto, Canada.

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New Releases

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band to release new recording: “Vox Humana”



Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria
Drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria

Celebrating 25 years! The multi-Grammy nominated Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is set to release their new recording: “Vox Humana” featuring vocalists Janis Siegel, Antoinette Montague, Jennifer Jade Ledesna.

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Cola in NYC
Release Date: Spring 2023
Record Label: Jazzheads

New York – January 18th – On the heels of their Grammy nominated and 2019 Jazz Journalists Association Album of the Year Award winning critically acclaimed masterwork, West Side Story Reimagined, and in celebration of their 25th anniversary – drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, Bobby Sanabria and his Multiverse Big Band return with their most ambitious work to date, VOX HUMANA.

Bobby states, “Over the course of our many Grammy nominated albums we’ve occasionally featured tracks with vocals. But I’ve always envisioned doing an entire vocal album framed by the Multiverse Big Band. Now with three of today’s greatest contemporary singing talents – multi-Grammy award winner Janis Siegel from the Manhattan Transfer, blues and jazz Queen Antoinette Montague, and the multilingual powerhouse, Jennifer Jade Ledesna, today that vision has finally become a reality.

The individually distinct voices that Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer possess make them each unique. But the X factor they all have is they are all masterful improvisors in the best sense of the jazz tradition. Added to the mix is our great conguero, Oreste Abrantes, who also sings lead on two tracks. Having that multi- dimensional vocal talent framed by the power, nuance, and tonal variety that only a big band can provide, combined with the repertoire I’ve chosen to showcase them and the band and the incredible variety of Afro- Latin, straight ahead swing, funk, R&B, and rock rhythmic vocabulary that we are masters of and readily have at our disposal in the Multiverse, I believe VOX HUMANA will prove to be our greatest achievement. 

Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: "Vox Humana"
Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band: “Vox Humana”

That repertoire has a personal meaning to me as I see VOX HUMANA as a biographical work. I’m a product of my environment. I’m a Nuyorican, a person of Puerto Rican descent growing up in New York City. In my case the South Bronx during a time period when pop, jazz, R&B, rock, funk, and Latin music of all kinds all co-existed as equals. It was the last era when the big bands of masters like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Machito, Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Don Ellis, and more were in the public eye, and they became my heroes. Vocalists who could deliver a message with subtlety, nuance, and when needed, power, were called upon to deliver poetry crafted by genius song writers. You’ll hear all that and more through the soaring vocals and improv talents of Janis, Antoinette, and Jennifer, along with Oreste, as well as the incredible jazz-oriented arrangements and exciting Pan Afro-Latin rhythms played by a big band that literally takes no prisoners when it hits the stage.”

The repertoire Bobby speaks of includes 1 original and 12 unique re-workings of pop hits like Spooky, Christine Aguilera’s Genie In a Bottle, and Steely Dan’s Do It Again; NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri’s, Mi Congo and Puerto Rico along with the island’s greatest composer, Rafael Hernandez’s, Capullito De Aleli; the classic Joe Cuba R&B bolero, To Be With You; Brazilian standards Partido Alto and Amazonas; and from the world of Broadway theater, I Love You Porgy, and the iconic jump blues, Let The Good Times Roll. The CD also includes an original message bearing piece, Who Taught You That, as well as what may possibly be the most exciting interpretation of the Ellington associated classic, Caravan, and that has ever been recorded. 

Adding to the excitement of the performance, VOX HUMANA was recorded in front of a live audience. Bobby states, “As with our previous work, we recorded VOX HUMANA live at NYC’s Dizzy’s Club Coca – Cola. My musicians represent NYC’s finest. That means they’re the greatest in the world. The added level of excitement created by the audience inspired us in the MULTIVERSE Big Band to a heightened new level of performance virtuosity that listeners will hear explode out of the speakers just as the audience at Dizzy’s experienced in person.”

The history of the Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band is indeed one based on his rich multi-cultural heritage as a Nuyorican growing up in New York City’s South Bronx. His concept of having a big band that has no genre boundaries with limitless possibilities was forged 25 years ago back in 1998. It has yielded a series of groundbreaking, critically acclaimed albums that have all been Grammy-nominated with the band thrilling audiences worldwide at venues like the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Ravinia Festival, Verona Jazz Festival in Europe, and more.

Content Source: Two for the Show Media

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