Slavo Rican Assembly: ‘Moving Up’

In the words of bandleader Jan Kus, ‘Moving Up’ is a song about optimism and determination:  “This song is a sort of Slavo-Rican anthem. It’s about dealing with hardships in life, and getting out on top. The melody throws you a curve ball — just like life — but the chorus ends in a danceable Balkan fanfare that shows that no matter what the world throws at you, the good in people will always win out!” Built over a Cuban son montuno with a Balkan rhythmic twist, ‘Moving Up‘ is a slow-burner that veers off into unexpected, electronica-infused places: a tweaked Latin jazz workout that showcases Slavo Rican Assembly’s vision and versatility.

With band members from Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and Cuba,  Slavo Rican Assembly uses the international vocabulary of jazz as a springboard to delve deep into the sounds of their own musical roots – bomba, salsa and rumba  bump up against  Slovenian harvest songs, Bosnian lullabies, Serbian laments, Balkan brass and other melancholic South Slavic sounds  in a musical sofrito that’s 100% New York.

Aleksandra Denda (Serbia): vocals; Jan Kus (Slovenia): saxophone, synth overdubs; Gabriel Vicéns (Puerto Rico): electric guitar; Ahmed Alom Vega (Cuba): piano, keyboard; Dan Martínez (Puerto Rico): electric bass; Victor Pablo (Puerto Rico): percussion; Jean John (Slovenia): drums.

Slavo Rican Assembly – Photo credit: Vianca Maldonado

Following the critical acclaim of his chart-topping debut album as a leader, Faith, the eclectic NY-based saxophonist Jan Kus extends his group further, and heads into the direction he has been naturally drawn to for the last few years. His new project unites his experiences from the NYC Latin Jazz music scene (where as a member of the Fernando García Sextet, Jan recorded on one of Downbeat’s “best albums of 2018”) with his Slovenian roots.

The main focus of the Slavo Rican Assembly is the exploration of the similarities and differences between the music of the Puerto Rican (and generally, Caribbean), and South Slavic cultures, merging them into a cohesive, brand-new and unique sound.

The band members (3 Puerto Ricans, 2 Slovenians, 1 Cuban, plus a Serbian vocalist!) combine the musical traditions from the Balkans and beyond with the ones of the Caribbean, synthesizing them seamlessly in a never-before-heard, attractive, heartfelt and powerful rhythmical entity.

Web Editor
Web Editor
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.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

11,403FansLike
1,661FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,857FollowersFollow
5,656FollowersFollow
165SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more