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Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba Release New Album: Hallowed



Celebrating 35 years of evolution, Latin Grammy® recipient Michele Rosewoman releases the anticipated next chapter from the groundbreaking ensemble New Yor-Uba on November 1st on her own Advance Disques recording label.

Produced by Michele Rosewoman and Liberty Ellman, and co-produced by: Habana/Harlem® Neyda Martínez and Onel Mulet, the album melds her longstanding assemblage of master musicians. From both worlds of spiritually based Cuban folkloric music and contemporary jazz, featuring Oru de Oro, an extended work commissioned by Chamber Music America. Original cover art by Rosewoman’s late mother, the artist Estera.

Alejandro Berti trumpet, flugel horn (11.2); Alex Norris – trumpet, flugel horn (11.8); Román Filiú – alto & soprano saxophones, flute; Stacy Dillard – tenor saxophone; Chris Washburne – trombone, bass trombone, tuba; Andrew Gutauskas – baritone saxophone; Michele Rosewoman – piano, vocals; Yunior Terry – bass (11.2); Gregg August – bass (11.8); Robby Ameen – drums; Román Diaz – batá, congas, vocals; Mauricio Herrera – batá, congas, vocals; Rafael Monteagudo – batá, congas; Abraham Rodriguez – lead vocals.

Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba: HallowedThe anticipated next chapter of Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba marks its debut on November 1, 2019 with the release of “HALLOWED,” on the artists’ own label, Advance Dance Disques. CD release events, will kick off with a residency at New York City’s ZINC, 82 West 3rd Street, 212.477.9462, on November 2 & 8, 2019 at 7:30pm & 9:30pm, presented in association with Habana/Harlem®  Neyda Martínez & Onel Mulet, and a performance at The Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz on December 21.

Following up on their 2013 double disc release, which celebrated 30 years and garnered NPR’S #1 Latin Jazz Recording of the Year Award, Rosewoman continues her artistic exploration along with her cast of master musicians and folklorists. With an evolution in personnel, New Yor-Uba returned to the studio to record and present its next groundbreaking offering, “HALLOWED”.  Recorded in 2017-2018 at Systems Two Studios, the return of the ensemble represents the next body of work in its 35-year musical evolution. Her current and long-standing ensemble members are some of the brightest and most sought out voices from both the spiritually based Cuban folkloric tradition and contemporary jazz worlds. To conceive a thoroughly uncompromised synthesis of both, Ms. Rosewoman has spent a lifetime immersed in the essence of these two profound musical traditions.

In recent years, Rosewoman delved more deeply into a distinct liturgical set of rhythms, preparing her on multiple levels to manifest a new and challenging composition. “Oru de Oro”, an extended work commissioned by Chamber Music America, is considered adventurous and pioneering and has been well-received by audiences including the D.C. Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club and the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference.

Oru de Oro roughly translates as  ‘room of gold’.  “It is an instrumental body of music that I created around a venerated sequence of rhythms with often baffling transitions, known as the Oru Seco or Oru del Igbodu, which is played on traditional Batá drums in sacred chambers,” Rosewoman explains. “Compositionally, Oru de Oro is anchored in the rhythmic patterns that are associated with various Orishas (Yoruba deities), endowing them with unique musical content while fully integrating featured soloists and master drummers.” Oru de Oro is presented on “HALLOWED” as multiple tracks (1-10) that can be seamlessly heard as one unified rhythmic suite.

“I’m very rhythmically motivated, both as a composer and pianist” says Rosewoman. “The Batá tradition explores the cracks of time—they reveal endless nuances that one never knew existed.  I think it’s in my nature to explore time in this very way – that’s one reason why I am so drawn to and intrigued by it. This latest work is built on the foundation of the form, contours and mastery of folklorist and percussionist Román Díaz (a treasured member of New Yor-Uba since 2008)—and the way he plays the traditional Oru Seco.  It is a strict tradition, but there are many points where those with the knowledge can take liberties. Each master drummer interprets it somewhat differently and definitely has his own feel.  Sometimes the order in which the Orishas are addressed,  and thus the order of rhythmic patterns, are changed. Our improvisations and solo sections are obviously not a part of the traditional Oru Seco.  To fit those in involved various stage of adjustments to make room for them and to find the sections that could accommodate them naturally, while staying out of the way of some of the most nuanced moments of the Batá.  It’s almost like we’re decorating what the drummers do—which is not to say there isn’t already a lot of decoration. But the ensemble is endowing all of these rhythmically-defined Orishas with musical content where traditionally there isn’t any.  In fact, from what I’m told, no one has previously written a musical piece (in contemporary form or otherwise) built on the Oru Seco in its entirety.”

The final two tracks are also suites with surprises built in. The Wind Is the First To Know, (a tribute to Oyá) features Román Díaz’s and Nina Rodriguez’s heart-stirring vocals over Fender Rhodes, prefacing a purely folkloric presentation that later intersects with the rest of the ensemble.  The final track, Alabanza, (Praise) is full of instrumental textures and groove, rhythm and mood — a piece that earned Ms. Rosewoman a 2016 Latin Jazz Grammy® for her work as both pianist and composer on the track which made its debut on the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) recording, “Cuba, The Conversation Continues”.

The cover art on the double CD is a detail from an original oil painting entitled Cathedral Splendor by her late mother, Estera. Rosewoman explains, “Any 2-inch section of any of her paintings is a painting within itself.  There are energies and beings vibrating throughout her body of work. The more you look,  the more you see – nothing accidental – and her irrepressible manifestations gave life to endless layers, worlds and beings. I feel close to her way of seeing and find many similarities in my way of hearing. This chosen image embodies the music on the disc in many ways. Her vision has always stirred mine and her art on this cover serves as a portal into what I hope will be a hallowed and rich musical experience for those who enter.” Estera’s art legacy includes oil painting, watercolors and printmaking with forays into batik and experimentation in many mediums. Her life-long interest in culture is evidenced in her sizable body of work.

*Source: Kim Smith PR

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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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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