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Weekly Update – 26/08/2012

Luciana Souza releases two albums on Sunnyside Records After a three-year hiatus from recording, Luciana Souza returns to Sunnyside Records with two new…



Luciana Souza releases two albums on Sunnyside Records

After a three-year hiatus from recording, Luciana Souza returns to Sunnyside Records with two new albums produced by multiple Grammy winner Larry Klein, and slated for August 28th 2012 release – Duos III, and The Book of Chet. The last decade has seen Luciana collaborate with Herbie Hancock, Paul Simon, Bobby McFerrin, Osvaldo Golijov, James Taylor, and so many others.

Duos III celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the release of Luciana’s Grammy nominated and much celebrated Brazilian Duos. Her Duos II record also went on to a Grammy nomination as Best Jazz Vocal Record. The last volume of this trilogy brings back her long time collaborators – guitar phenomenon Romero Lubambo, and master guitarist Marco Pereira – and introduces Toninho Horta, one of Brazil’s most unique guitarists and composers. The repertoire is again as varied as the Brazilian landscape – Jobim, Cartola, Ari Barroso, Toninho Horta…

The Book of Chet is Luciana’s tribute to trumpet player and singer Chat Baker. An iconoclast, Chat had a unique and lyrical approach to singing – informed by his superb musicianship, his singing was heartfelt, yet detached. On this recording (Luciana’s first exclusive recording of American standards), the Grammy winner reveals why she has been considered one of the most important Jazz singers of her generation – able to unveil the drama of the lyric and allow for intimacy with the listener, all the while creating an inventive and deeply personal recording. Her collaborators on this collection are West Coast great Larry Koonse, on guitar, David Piltch, on bass and Jay Bellerose, on drums.

Anat Cohen Releases Claroscuro

Anat Cohen Quartet – CD Release Celebration for Claroscuro at The Village Vanguard
September 18-23. Sets at 9 & 11 PM, 178 Seventh Ave South, 212 255 4037,

Celebrated the world over for her expressive virtuosity on clarinet and saxophone, not to mention the sheer joie de vivre in her charismatic stage presence – presents the latest record of her evolution with Claroscuro, her sixth album as a bandleader. To be released by Anzic Records in September 2012, Claroscuro takes its title from the Spanish word describing the play of light and shade (chiaroscuro in Italian). The album ranges from deliciously buoyant dances to darkly lyrical ballads, with live-in-the-studio spontaneity a priority; moreover, Claroscuro showcases Cohen’s fluency in a global set of styles, from the creolized chanson of New Orleans and the evergreen swing of an Artie Shaw tune to African grooves and Brazilian choro, samba and more. Cohen was joined in the studio by her ace working quartet – pianist Jason Lindner, double-bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman – as well as special guests: trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, percussionist Gilmar Gomez and star clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera. In its irresistible variety, Claroscuro encapsulates the description Jazz Police offered of Cohen in flight: “She becomes a singer, a poet, a mad scientist, laughing – musically – with the delight of reaching that new place, that new feeling, with each chorus.”

Donald Vega – Spiritual Nature

Classically-trained in his native Nicaragua, Vega emigrated to Los Angeles at age 14 and began learning the language of jazz from mentor Billy Higgins at The World Stage and later with bassist John Clayton at the University of Southern California. Bassist Al McKibbon, a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s band of the late 1940s, subsequently took the young pianist under his wing and schooled him on the bandstand on the finer points of bebop. Vega met drummer Nash while working in McKibbon’s trio in Los Angeles. For the recently released CD Spiritual Nature, Vega imagined pairing Nash with bassist McBride, whom he had met in 2007 while attending The Juilliard School in New York. “The idea of having this tasty drummer with this killing bass player was so interesting,” he says. “But for them to get together in one place, it’s very rare because they’re both so busy. And when we finally got together, the music just played itself, like magic.”

“There is always a concern in the jazz community as to where and who will be the next piano voice. After listening to a pre-release CD, I’ve found him… Mr. Donald Vega!”
-Ron Carter


Celebrate The Release of Our Thing (Motema) at The Jazz Standard – September 11, 2012! – 116 E 27th Street, NYC, Tel 212 576 2232,, sets @ 7:30 & 9:30 PM

The idea and inspiration for Our Thing was born in the summer of 2011 within the walls of the beautiful Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-la-Sardaigne, a 12th century church atop the tiny village of Saint Cézaire, France, where guitarist/composer Roni Ben-Hur and bassist/composer Santi Debriano co-lead a much-lauded annual jazz camp. This duo’s eagerly awaited annual concert has become the centerpiece event of Festi-Jazz.

Our Thing, which features these stellar musicians on disc together for the first time, is, in essence, a continuation of the sublime musical conversations Ben-Hur and Debriano have shared over the years in Saint Cézaire, with Duduka Da Fonseca adding another brilliant, international element. These distinguished members of the jazz diaspora, Ben-Hur (Tunisia via Israel), Debriano (Panama) and Da Fonseca (Brazil), form a trio that is anything but typical. They represent the colorful world of New York City’s jazz scene today, each hailing from a distant culture with the experience of traveling and performing around the globe.  The eleven tunes on Our Thing comprise seven original compositions by these musicians, as well as four unique treatments of well known standards (from Monk, Jobim, and Berlin); a collection that reflects many of strands of the jazz tradition, while being strikingly fresh, original and of the moment.


The album CHICO ALVAREZ “El Montunero” & THE PALOMONTE AFRO-CUBAN BIG BAND • “COUNTRY ROOTS/URBAN MASTERS” has been selected in the first round of the Latin Grammy Awards, and is among the top twenty for nomination in the category “Best Traditional Tropical Album” and “Best Engineered Album”.

Omara Portuondo Back to Colombia

After dazzling European audiences with the great Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portuondo is performing in Colombia, South America in September. Medellín, Cali and Bogotá are three unique stops where Omara will grace fans with songs from her Best Tropical Latin Grammy Award winning album Gracias (World Village) among other classics.

OBVSC Guest Star Eliades Ochoa

This year, the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club will be honoured to have Eliades Ochoa performing with them during part of their European summer tour. Over ten years have passed, and the legendary guitarist and voice of the original recording will join Omara Portuondo, Jesús Aguaje Ramos and Barbarito Torres on stage. France, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, Madrid will witness these unforgettable shows.

2012 NCLR Alma Awards

Esperanza Spalding has been nominated for the 2012 NCLR ALMA Awards in the category of Best Female Music Artist, along with Jennifer López, Gloria Estefan, Naya Rivera and Demi Lovato. On Friday, September 21, some of the biggest names in entertainment unite for the 2012 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) ALMA Awards on NBC, a one-of-a-kind tribute to the spirit of Latino talent in television, film, and music. The NCLR ALMA Awards are an opportunity to applaud the incredible, enriching contributions that Latinos make to American culture and celebrate the country’s Hispanic heritage.

Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours at the Detroit Jazz Festival

Trombonist, composer, arranger and NEA Latino Master Papo Vázquez has more than thirty-five years into a career spanning Jazz, Latin and Afro-Caribbean music. The music he will perform on Saturday, September 1st. at the Detroit Jazz Fest is from his newly released recording “Oasis” with his Mighty Pirates Troubadours. The septet includes Willie Williams, Rick Germanson, Dezron Douglas, Alvester Garnett, Anthony Carrillo and Carlos Maldonado. Vázquez is a 2009 Grammy Nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album “Marooned/Aislado Papo Vazquez The Mighty Pirates”. For more info visit:

The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet launches kickstarter project

The Afro-Peruvian Sextet was formed in January of 2005 and has since been traveling the world to showcase Afro-Peruvian jazz music. The band is very much a family that has grown not only to include founding members but also US members that have grown with the band and its search for the Afro-Peruvian jazz sound. The new Afro-Peruvian Sextet CD will be called “City of Kings” which is how the city of Lima was known from Colonial times and it is a tribute in sound to their home town. The band already went into the studio, expecting to come out with their best effort to date! Here is the line up:

GABRIEL ALEGRIA: Trumpet and Flugel horn
LAURA ANDREA LEGUIA: Tenor and soprano saxophones
YURI JUAREZ: acoustic guitar
JOHN BENITEZ: double bass
FREDDY “HUEVITO” LOBATON: peruvian percussion
HUGO ALCAZAR: drums and cajón
SHIRAZETTE TINNIN: drums and cajón

PAUL GELUSO: Sound engineer

Ramón Valle Touring in Colombia and  Venezuela

With a big hand of the Dutch Performing Arts Fund, Cuban pianist Ramón Valle, who’s been living in Europe since 1998 will be playing in Colombia and Venezuela, presenting the music of his most recent CD entitled “Flashes from Holland.”

04 september – Centro Cultural Comfandi, Cali, Colombia
05 september – Auditorio Leon de Greiff, Bogota, Colombia
08 september – Festival Internacional de Jazz, Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

Web Publisher. Founder, Editor & Webmaster for 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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