cuban

Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC

Grammy-nominated Cuban guitarist/composer/vocalist Juan-Carlos Formell re-ignites the connections between Cuban music and jazz with his explosive new project "Johnny's Dream Club". Named for a legendary Havana jazz cabaret, "Johnny's Dream Club" represents a place outside time - the vortex between New Orleans and Havana, where the parallel lines of Cuban music and American jazz converge. It's a new dimension of latin jazz --intense, lyrical, dangerously dream-like. Formell and his all-star quartet map this territory in a delirious sequence of juxtapositions: "Ciudad" ("City"), evoking the nightmare of an urban apocalypse, flows into a  jazz ballad about an elusive love ("Siempre que te vas"); songs about being lost at sea ("Las islas son malvadas", "Cuando hable de la noche") and the bloody history of the Caribbean ("Yanbando") are set against haunting, mystical love songs ("Sotavento", "Fuego de Amor") inspired by Havana's "Feeling" movement.

A precursor to - and influence upon - bossa nova, Feeling emerged from the Bohemian enclaves of Centro Habana in the late 1940s. Feeling's free-style guitar, with progressive harmonies, diminished chords and bittersweet texts of disillusioned love reflected the sophisticated after-hours atmosphere of Havana's bohemian AfroCuban musicians: composer/guitarists Jose Antonio Mendez and Cesar Portillo de la Luz; singers Elena Burke and Omara Portuondo; pianists Bebo Valdes and Peruchin.

Feeling was also the starting point of Juan-Carlos Formell's biography. Born in Havana in 1964, a fourth generation Cuban musician, he learned the technique of the Feeling guitar from the creators of the genre: Mendez, Froilan, Guyun.  He began composing in his teens, and studied bass with Andres Escalona, the first bassist of the Havana Symphony Orchestra. After completing his studies Juan-Carlos became the bassist for the jazz pianist Emiliano Salvador.

As a classically trained bassist, virtuoso guitarist, and composer gifted with a groundbreaking and powerful writing style, Juan-Carlos had all the elements to become a voice of his generation - but instead, was prevented from performing or recording his own work by Cuba's government-controlled music industry because his music didn't fit into any official category. In 1993, after touring Mexico as a replacement for bassist Cachaito Lopez, Juan-Carlos fled to the United State to realize his mission of creating a new wave of Cuban music. He settled in New York City and soon started his own band. His years of struggle were vindicated when he was signed to a major record label in 1999 and his debut album, "Songs from a Little Blue House" was nominated for a Grammy. Part prophet, part poet, in exile Juan-Carlos has forged a post-modern identity for AfroCuban music that has been hailed as "musical magic realism". His five albums constitute an epic poem of Antillean mytho-history, with songs ranging from a paen to the flora and fauna of his native country, a personal invocation to an AfroCuban deity, an ode to a sacred river or a hymn to the "divine light" that brings us to a union with our higher selves. Juan-Carlos describes his new project as "a reflection of our culture today -- in the post-modern landscape, we are all refugees from the broken city, haunted, adrift at sea, in danger of losing our true reference points and losing our way forever. I keep returning to New Orleans for inspiration because I believe that there, at the crossroads of the Caribbean, it's possible to create music that embraces the past while gazing at the future -- a new music without genres and categories."

--

Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC  -- November 10th, 2010

ZINC BAR 82 West 3rd St (btw Sullivan & Thompson)
sets: 9:30 PM, 11:30 PM & 1:00 AM

Omara Portuondo - of Buena Vista Social Club- 80th Birthday Celebration @ Boulder Theater

Omara Portuondo, the world-renowned vocalist who began her career in the music scene of her native Cuba in the 1940s, will celebrate her 80th Birthday with performances in the U.S. this fall. Portuondo on the heels of a GRAMMY win for her 2008 release Gracias will entertain audiences with her rich, soulful brand of jazz and balladry. Portuondo, is an original member of the internationally critically acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club a group whose roots date back to the Cuban club scene of the 1940s before it took the world by storm in the late 90s. She was the first Cuban artist in six years to be granted a visa to perform in the United States and the first Cuban citizen to appear on television as a presenter at The Latin Grammy Awards.

Jose Marte, our great Cuban poet, once said that music is the soul of the people, says Omara. "Music is at the heart of every culture, something to be shared among all people, regardless of borders and politics. It has always been a universal language for people who might not otherwise understand each other. Perhaps, through these performances, I could be a goodwill ambassador between these two countries."

Portuondo's recent appearances in the U.S. in the fall of 2009 and spring of 2010 had critics saying the following:

The Cuban singer Omara Portuondo, is still impulsive onstage. ... She sang high and low, whispering and declaiming, hinting at tears and pride... -New York Times March 2010

"Her performance here of two classic boleros was enough to transport us to another time and place" - Tiny Desk Concert March 2010

More Info / Buy Tickets

Omara Portuondo, Nov 3 @ Boulder Theater

Singer. Born in 1930 in Cuba. The daughter of a Cuban baseball player, Portuondo began her career as a dancer at a famed Havana nightspot called the Tropicana. She started a duo with her sister Haydee, singing in clubs. The two later formed the group Cuarteto las d'Aida, which toured the United States and Europe, beginning in 1957.

In Miami at the time of the revolution, Portuondo decided to return to Cuba while her sister decided to stay in the United States. Under Fidel Castro, she continued to make music and tour in many countries except the United States. Portuondo is considered one of the most famous singers in Cuba. Known especially for her boleros, or ballads, she has been compared to American blues artist Billie Holliday and French vocalist Edith Piaf. A living legend, Portuondo has been the subject of a documentary, Omara, which won an award at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

Portuondo happened to be recording at the same Havana studios at the same time as the Buena Vista Social Club, an ensemble of Cuban musicians. Producer Ry Cooder asked her to lend her legendary voice to the project. As a result, she sang her lead vocals on "Veinte Años" on Buena Vista Social Club (1997). The album sold more than 1.5 million copies and stirred interest in Cuban music around the world. Unlike many of the other performers on the album, Portuondo already had a thriving career. But Buena Vista Social Club raised her profile in the United States and won her even more fans.

Portuondo continues to perform live and make new albums. Some of her most recent albums include Gran Omara Portuondo (2002) and Lagrimas Negras Canciones y Boleros (2005).


All Ages / GA: $41.00
ON SALE JULY 30
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office
Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com
Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

National Jazz Museum in Harlem 2010 June Schedule

Our June 2010 schedule includes discussions with musical artists Paquito D'Rivera and Craig Harris for Harlem Speaks; a talk with a living literary legend, Peter Straub, at Jazz for Curious Readers; and our adult education series, Jazz for Curious Listeners, features instrumentalists Jeremy Pelt, Nicholas Payton and Orrin Evans taking the reins of discourse on jazz in the 21st century.

On the performance tip, Craig Harris will let his horn do the talking as he headlines the first Harlem in the Himalayas concert of the month, followed by the sax/piano duo of Loren Stillman and Russ Lossing in the intimate performance space at the Rubin Museum of Art. We're also devoting a Saturday afternoon to piano jazz, on the Steinway piano of Dick Katz, in honor of whom the musicians will play in a range of stylistic approaches that Katz performed with aplomb for 50+ years.

Consider donning your dancing shoes for two nights of jazz-influenced music to dance to! The Afro-Cuban tradition will be celebrated for Jazz at the Dwyer, with David Oquendo and Havana 3. A special collaboration with the Riverside Theatre features percussionist Vanderlei Pereira  binding the ties between jazz and Brazilian music with groove and soul.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Jeremy Pelt
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Tonight young trumpet master Jeremy Pelt will confront topics not usually addressed by musicians and the jazz public, as we pursue a month-long consideration of jazz in the 21st century.

Jeremy Pelt arrived in New York in 1998 after graduating from Berklee College of Music. Once he got there, it wasn't long before he started being noticed by a lot of top musicians in the city. His first professional Jazz gig was playing with the Mingus Big Band. That gig lead to many long lasting associations with many of the talent in the band, and a great opportunity for growth. Since his arrival, he has been fortunate enough to play with many of today's and yesterday's Jazz luminaries, such as Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess,Charli Persip, Keter Betts, Frank Foster, John Hicks, Ravi Coltrane, Winard Harper, Vincent Herring, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Cliff Barbaro, Nancy Wilson, Bobby Short, Bobby "Blue" Bland, The Skatalites, Cedar Walton, and many, many more. Jeremy has also been featured in a variety of different bands, including the Roy Hargrove Big Band, The Village Vanguard Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Big Band. Currently, he is member of the Lewis Nash Septet, and The Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band featuring Louis Hayes.

His work earned him a huge write-up in the Wall Street Journal by legendary Jazz writer and producer Nat Hentoff. His performances have received rave reviews from publications around the world.

After a reading of Pelt's biography and discography, it's easy to see why Pelt was voted Rising Star on the Trumpet five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Craig Harris, Trombonist/Composer
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

When Craig Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone—from the growling gutbucket intensity of early New Orleans music through the refined, articulate improvisation of the modern era set forth by J.J. Johnson, into the confrontational expressionism of the '60s avant-garde.

Yet the contemporary music world quickly realized that his talents went far beyond his superb skills as a trombonist. While he performed with a veritable Who's Who of progressive jazz, including Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, Lester Bowie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Jaki Byard, Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, and so on, his own projects displayed both a unique sense of concept and a total command of the sweeping expanse of African-American musical expression.
Those two qualities that have dominated Craig's past two decades of activity, bringing him far beyond the confines of the jazz world and into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director.

In tonight's Harlem Speaks discussion, Harris will venture forth on his life and career, especially as it intersects with Harlem, where he has lived since 1976.

"I used to visit Harlem a lot before moving here. I went to Paris in July 1976 and returned in October 76. I walked the street with Sun Ra back then. I worked in Aaron Davis Hall. I did a piece entitled 'Brown Butterfly,' based on the physiology of Muhammad Ali, which included seven dancers and seven musicians," said Harris, who more recently composed a long-form composition on Harlem called the TriHarLenium. "I sought to capture the beauty, history and culture of a people who have always been originators. Harlem is currently undergoing gentrification and transition so I wanted to share its history through my TriHarLenium composition with Harlem's people."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jazz for Curious Readers
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

In an excellent overview of the oeuvre, themes, and achievements of renowned contemporary author Peter Straub, writer Stefan Dziemianowicz calls Straub "a jazz stylist of modern horror. Like the musicians whom he references frequently in his stories, he works at an art with deep-rooted traditions that he respectfully acknowledges. But also like those musicians, Straub works tirelessly to extend the range of those traditions, pushing them boldly into hitherto unexplored territory."  Critics and fans alike appreciate that Straub is knowledgeable of horror standards since his fiction abounds with ingenious riffs and variations on its classic themes. Yet he is also a restlessly imaginative artist who synthesizes original and deeply personal creations from seemingly disparate elements of his compositions as well as a versatile improviser who never approaches recurring ideas in his work the same way twice.

Straub came to writing horror by way of mainstream fiction, and he is arguably the most literary of contemporary horror writers, with influences that range from D. H. Lawrence to Vladimir Nabokov and John Ashberry. He was an established poet with two volumes of verse to his credit when his first novel, Marriages, was published in 1973. Like his second-written novel, Under Venus (not published until 1984), it was very much a tale of its time, concerned with characters in the grip of midlife emotional and spiritual crises and set in a realistically imagined post-1960s milieu. In much of his fiction to come, Straub would show readers that supernatural experience is an effective tool for expressing states of intense emotion.

But as with the greatest jazz artists, Straub's fiction moves beyond the bounds of simple genre. Jazz itself is a theme around and through which Straub plays variations, as in the title of his path-breaking 1988 novel, Koko. And in a brilliant interview with writer David Mathew, Straub discusses the origin of his novella story-within-a-story, "Pork Pie Hat," and gives a taste of the feeling tones in store for our talk with him tonight.

"The inspiration for Pork Pie Hat came from a long moment in a videotape of 'The Sound of Jazz,' a live television broadcast in 1957 or 1958 that assembled a lot of great jazz musicians in a studio and let them play whatever they felt like for the space of an entire hour. Just before its conclusion, Billie Holiday sat perched on a stool to sing a blues she had written called "Fine and Mellow" at the center of a circle made up of heroic figures like Ben Webster, Vic Dickenson, Jo Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge, Rex Stewart, and - above all - the tenor saxophonist Lester Young, then only months from the end of his life and in terrible shape. Billie sang a chorus, two musicians played a chorus apiece, Billie sang another chorus, and so on...

"Lester Young wandered into view at the beginning of the second go-round. Someone had to give him a push in the back to get him on his feet and moving toward the microphone. You can see him lick his reed and settle the horn in his mouth. What he plays is one uncomplicated chorus of the blues that moves from phrase to phrase with a kind of otherworldly majesty. Sorrow, heartbreak, and what I can only call wisdom take place through the mechanism of following one note, usually a whole note, with another one, slowly. There he is, this stupendous musician who had once transformed everything about him by the grace of his genius, this present shambles, this human wreckage, hardly able to play at all, delivering a statement that becomes more and more perfect, more and more profound as it advances from step to step. I cried every time I watched it, and I watched it over and over. I played it for my friends and made them watch it. Eventually, I wondered: what could lead a person to a place like that, what brought him there? That was the origin of Pork Pie Hat."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Considered by many the premier jazz trumpeter of his generation, Nicholas Payton is also an outspoken thought leader among his peers. His musings via blog, or his pithy questions and insights via Facebook are evidence of a deep, provocative thinker.

The son of bassist and sousaphonist Walter Payton, he took up the trumpet at the age of four and by the time he was nine he was playing in the Young Tuxedo Brass Band alongside his father. Upon leaving school, he enrolled first at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and then at the University, where he studied with Ellis Marsalis.

After touring with Marcus Roberts and Elvin Jones in the early 90s Payton signed a recording contract with Verve; his first album, From This Moment, appeared in 1994. In 1996 he performed on the soundtrack of the movie Kansas City, and in 1997 received a Grammy Award (Best Instrumental Solo) for his playing on the album Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton. After seven albums on Verve, Payton signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing Sonic Trance, his first album on the new label, in 2003. Besides his recordings under his own name, Payton has also played and recorded with Roy Haynes, Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, and Joe Henderson.

In 2008, Payton became part of The Blue Note 7, a septet formed that year in honor of the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records. His own latest release, Into the Blue, is a collection of ten tunes steeped in melody and groove that Nicholas says “embodies the sensibilities of beauty, elegance and simplicity” and delivers “danceable tempos.”

Tonight's discussion is the first of two consecutive Jazz for Curious Listeners he's leading . . . don't miss this chance to engage with a jazz master in the making.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Craig Harris Quartet
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Born in Hempstead on Long Island, N.Y. in 1953, Craig Harris is a graduate of the renowned music program of SUNY at Old Westbury. Profoundly influenced by its legendary founder and director, the late Makanda Ken McIntyre, Craig's move to New York City in 1978 quickly established him in the forefront of young trombonists, along with Ray Anderson, George Lewis and Joseph Bowie.

First playing alongside another of his teachers at SUNY, baritone saxophonist Pat Patrick in Sun Ra's Arkestra for two years, Harris embarked on a world tour with South African pianist/composer Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand) in 1981. Highly affected by their stay in Australia, Craig played with Aborigine musicians and returned with a dijeridoo, a haunting wind instrument that has become a part of his musical arsenal ever since.

Upon his return, Harris became a member of such major groups as David Murray's Octet, the Beaver Harris-Don Pullen 360 Degree Musical Experience, Sam Rivers' various orchestral aggregations, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and many, many more. He also played for the now dearly-departed Lena Horne in her Broadway orchestra for a year.

Harris has performed all over the world with his own ensembles and has recorded numerous albums for various labels; tonight hear this innovative creative spirit make music with his quartet that will certainly be a highlight of the Harlem in the Himalayas roster of concerts in 2010.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Nicholas Payton
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Since 1994 when Nicholas Payton made his recording debut as a leader with From This Moment, the trumpeter has been lauded as a significant, top-tier voice in jazz. Even though he started out as a “young lion of jazz,” heralded as one of the new-generation guardians of the hard bop flame, Payton consistently committed himself to discovering his voice outside of the strict confines of that rearview mirror approach to the music.
While his jazz journey has taken him down many roads – from heritage artist to electric experimenter – the 34-year-old trumpeter has arrived at a new plateau of jazz maturity with Into the Blue, his ninth album and his first for Nonesuch. It’s at once a nod to the past and a leap into the future. “It’s an amalgam of every recording I’ve done up until now,” says Payton. “As a musician, as an artist, you’re always trying to zero in on the bull’s eye as a means of becoming a better version of yourself. With Into the Blue, I’ve been able to find the kind of music that’s more inclusive of all of my life. The approach and the ideas of my music have become more singular, more cohesive. I had no agenda in terms of a specific genre or style, only to be true to who I am now.”

True to himself: that's a fitting way to describe Payton's approach to music and the issues that he addresses in writing, online, and at rare public discussion appearances such as last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners. Come witness the continuation of Payton's improvisation on life, the mind and spirit.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Paquito D'Rivera, Composer/Saxophonist/Clarinetist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Born on the island of Cuba, Paquito D'Rivera began his career as a child prodigy. A restless musical whiz during his teen years, Mr. D’Rivera created various original and ground-breaking musical ensembles. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. He eventually went on to premiere several works by notable Cuban composers with the same orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere. With its explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music never before heard, Irakere toured extensively throughout America and Europe, won several Grammy nominations (1979, 1980) and a Grammy (1979).

Paquito D'Rivera is the first artist to win Latin Grammy's in both Classical and Latin Jazz categories (2003), for Stravinsky’s Historia del Soldado (L'Histoire du Soldat) and Brazilian Dreams with the New York Voices. The other historic recipient who has won duo Grammy's in both Classical and Jazz categories is Wynton Marsalis.

D’Rivera is a recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, presented at the White House by President George W. Bush in 2005, and was named one of the 2005 NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters.

While Paquito D'Rivera's discography includes over 30 solo albums in Jazz, Bebop and Latin music, his contributions to classical music are impressive. They include solo performances with the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. He has also performed with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Costa Rica National Symphony, the Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, and the St. Luke’s Chamber Orchestra, among others.

In addition to his extraordinary performing career as an instrumentalist, Paquito D'Rivera has rapidly gained a reputation as a dynamic composer. The prestigious music house, Boosey and Hawkes, is the exclusive publisher of Mr. D'Rivera’s compositions. Recognition of his significant compositional skills came in 2007 with the award of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition, and the 2007-2008 appointment as Composer-In-Residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. His works often reveal his widespread and eclectic musical interests, ranging from Afro-Cuban rhythms and melodies, including influences encountered in his many travels, and back to his classical origins.

Also a gifted author, Mr. D’Rivera’s book, My Sax Life, was published in Spain by the prestigious literary house, Seix Barral, and contains a prologue by Guillermo Cabrera Infante. Acclaimed by the public and critics alike, the English edition was released by Northwestern University Press in November 2005.

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to feature one of the most respected and beloved artists in jazz this evening for what promises to be a discussion full of fun by a free-spirited virtuoso artist who puts profound feeling into his music, no matter the style or genre.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas Loren Stillman/Russ Lossing Duo
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office
or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

A saxophonist and composer from Brooklyn, Loren Stillman is hailed as a writer and a stylist that has found a previously unoccupied slot in the jazz spectrum. He's been recognized as one of today's truly original creative voices by publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Jazziz and Jazz Times as well as by National Public Radio. A former student of Lee Konitz and David Liebman, Stillman has performed and recorded throughout the United States and Europe and Japan with his own ensembles, and with those led by Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Paul Motian, John Abercrombie, Andy Milnes DAPP Theory, Eivind Opsviks Overseas, Tyshawn Soreys Obliquity, Vic Juris Quartet and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Russ Lossing is a provocative, fresh leader in creating alternatives to long held conceptions in music. His individual voice, as a pianist, teacher and composer, is sought out as an authority in the jazz and avant-garde fields emerging in music today. He's has composed over 300 works and is in special demand as a world class jazz pianist and improviser.  Lossing has seven CDs as leader and is featured on over 30 other CDs as sideman and collaborator with world acclaimed musicians such as Paul Motian, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Mat Maneri and Mark Dresser. He has composed 21 film scores from avant-garde shorts to full length documentaries for PBS, BBC and world broadcast performances, as well as dramatic features both foreign and domestic.  He has numerous television and live radio performances and interviews in the U.S.A. and Europe relative to his distinction as a performer and composer.

Tonight's performance promises to be an adventure into musical territory both expansive and introspective, not to be missed by those with a cutting-edge sensibility.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Jazz at the Dwyer
Afro-Cuban Jazz Dance Night: David Oquendo and Havana 3
7:00 – 11:00pm
Location: The Dwyer Cultural Center
(258 St. Nicholas Avenue at W. 123rd Street)
$15 | More information: info@DwyerCC.org
<mailto:info@DwyerCC.org>

A Night to Remember!

Dance was formerly a mainstay of the public ritual of jazz performance, and remains an essential part of the variety of Latin American music. The Afro-Cuban legacy in jazz brings dance to the forefront, as declarative horns and clave-based rhythms kiss the American impulse to swing. Come ready to do your own thing . . . on the dance floor at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem!


David Oquendo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958.  Self taught, Oquendo absorbed the essence of the Afro Cuban rhythmical vernacular in the poorest neighborhoods of his native city. At 12 years of age, David started playing guitar and singing in several “Rock” bands around Cuba.  Even though he was not conservatory trained, his passion for music, his discipline and self-criticism, took him to the point where eventually he was considered one of the best guitar accompanist in Cuba. This was evident in his appearances at “El Rincon del Feeling”, “Cabaret Tropicana”, “Cabaret Internacional de Varadero”, “ Salon Rojo” at the Hotel Capri and many more venues.



As accompanist, David has worked with artist of the caliber of: Moraima Secada, Elena Burke, Lucho Gatica, Meme Solis, Maggie Carles, Lenny Andrade, and many others.  As guitarist, singer, composer, arranger and bassist, David has performed in concerts and recordings in Cuba, Panama, Dominican Republic, Austria, Canada, Greece, Spain, Brasil, Bermuda and the US with names such:  Paquito D’Rivera, Compay Segundo, Marc Anthony, Johnny Ventura, Ray Barreto, Arturo Sandoval, Giovanni Hidalgo “Manenguito”, Mauricio Smith, Andy Gonzalez, Manny Oquendo, Johnny Pacheco, Gilberto Santarrosa, El Gran Combo, Jose Luis Quintana “Changuito”, Willie Chirino, Regina Carter, Candido Camero, Patato Valdez, Gato Barbieri, Carlos Ponce, Sergio Vargas, Rudy Calzado, Basilio, Yomo Toro, Anthony Rios, Jose Fajardo, Israel Lopez “Cachao”, Graciela and Chico O’Farril to mention a few.

David has a Grammy Award for the album “Tropicana’s Nights” with Paquito D’Rivera, a Grammy Nomination for “Bebop Timba” with Raphael Cruz and three Latin Grammy Nominations for “Raices Habaneras”, “50 Years of Mambo” and “Paquito D’Rivera Presenta Las Hermanas Marquez”.

Founder and director of the Afro Cuban folklore group “Raices Habaneras”, which has been performing, without interruption, every Sunday since 1996 what has become known as “Domingos de la Rumba” (Rumba Sundays), David’s mission is to expose the public to a genuine representation of the “Rumba” genre.  David, was musical director and producer for “The Cuban Rumba All Stars”, a first time, historical collaboration by members of Cuba’s Rumba groups:  Los Munequitos de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo, Clave y Guaguanco, Obba ILU, Coro Folklorico Cubano, Raices Profundas y Grupo Tata Guines.

As a member of Faculty of Harbor Conservatory for The Performing Arts, since 2002, he is teaching guitar, Cuban tres, bass, voice and the Afro-Cuban folklore workshop, the Latin Band workshop, the Guitar ensemble and the Vocal training Group Class.

David has appeared in: “El Show de Cristina” in Univision, the series “OZ” in HBO, “Harmony in the Kitchen” in the Food Network, “State of the Arts” and “The Cuban Americans” in PBS, The Ivan Acosta’s films “How to Create a Rumba” and “ Candido Hands of Fire”, The Heddy Honigmann’s film “Dame la Mano”, “Al Rojo Vivo” in Telemundo and “Orgullo Hispano” in Channel 47 Telemundo NYC, “Sabado al Mediodia” and “Al Despertar” in Channel 41 Univision NYC.  As well as WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, WBAI 99.5 FM and WADO 12.80 AM radio in NYC.  He has also performed in prestigious stages such as: Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Town Hall, Beacon Theatre, NJPAC Newark, Symphony Space, Cami Hall, Seattle International Children Festival, Jackie Gleason Theater, Olympia Theater at Gusman Center and Tropigala at The Fontainebleu in Miami Beach as a part of The 4th Annual Latin Grammy’s performance, The WOMAD Festival in Spain, Tenerife’s Carnival, Sao Pablo and Rio de Janeiro Jazz Festival in Brasil, The JVC Jazz Festival, Ravinia Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival and The Montreal Jazz Festival.



Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Panels A Piano Extravaganza
12:00 – 4:00pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Special guest: Ethan Iverson and others

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to present four hours of live piano jazz as we welcome into our museum holdings the Steinway piano of the late Dick Katz, kicking off our Memorial Concert Series in his honor.

Renowned as a repository of the variety of jazz piano styles from the earliest years of the idiom to the modern styles of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Katz was last at the museum during our Saturday panel on Papa Jo Jones in 2009. His body was weak, and his gait slow that day, but his eyes gleamed with delight as he discussed Jones's life and career, and the generation of musicians that were central to his own development as a jazz artist.  

In tribute to this friend of the museum and exemplar of the continuum of jazz piano styles, we'll feature hours of the versatility of jazz piano by Katz's friends and admirers.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

We continue with a month of conversations led by jazz musicians on topics not usually associated with jazz musicians with pianist Orrin Evans, whom Executive Director Loren Schoenberg invited to participate based on "illuminating chats spurred on Facebook."

Born in Trenton, NJ but raised in Philadelphia, acoustic pianist Orrin Evans was among the "Young Lions" of straight-ahead jazz who emerged in the 1990s, as was the previous Jazz for Curious Listeners guest host, Nicholas Payton. Evans' main focus is hard bop, although he has occasionally ventured into soul-jazz and R&B when backing such vocalists as Denice King http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,525768,00.html and his wife, Dawn Warren http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/music/artist/card/0,,679983,00.html.

Expect a far-reaching discussion with jazz at the starting gate, and audience participation and feedback determining the finish line.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Special Event
Evening of Brazilian music and jazz: Vanderlei Pereira 5
2:00 – 4:30pm
Location: Riverside Theatre (at the Riverside Church)
91 Claremont Avenue, betw. 120th and 122nd
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Music by drummer, percussionist, composer and educator Vanderlei Pereira and friends. Come dance!
Drummer Vanderlei Pereira is one of the most sought-after musicians on the contemporary Brazilian jazz scene. Combining a prodigious knowledge of Brazilian rhythms with dazzling technique and a distinctive touch, Vanderlei has captivated audiences with his unique and electrifying performances.

Yet Vanderlei Pereira's proficiency on the drum set extends beyond his mastery of Brazilian rhythms. He received a Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied with the renowned jazz drummers John Riley and Vernel Fournier. In addition, Vanderlei has studied with the Latin jazz drum and percussion masters Ignacio Berroa, Bobby Sanabria and Johnny Almendra. He has incorporated these diverse influences into his playing and, as a result, has earned the respect of both straight-ahead and Latin jazz musicians on the demanding New York scene, where he is widely admired and respected for his musical versatility.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Hear Me Talkin' To You: Orrin Evans
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Influenced by McCoy Tyner, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk, among others, our guest host Orrin Evans graduated from high school in the early 1990s and studied at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ before going on to private study with Kenny Barron, and work as a sideman with Ralph Peterson, Duane Eubanks, singer Lenora Zenzalai-Helm and Bobby Watson. In fact, Watson's effect on Evans has been so affecting that Evans's latest CD, Faith in Action (on Posi-Tone Records), is a tribute to the silvery alto saxophonist.

Evans recorded his first CD as a leader, The Orrin Evans Trio, for his own Black Entertainment label in 1994. After that, he signed with Criss Cross and recorded numerous CDs. Most recently, he's released a DVD titled, "Live All Over the Place," excerpts from which he may share tonight.

Dedication to Afro-Cuban Jazz: Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillespie

Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Club, located at 2167 Third Avenue (NE corner 118th St.), known for its great food according to ZAGAT, ambiance, and for bringing Jazz and R&B back uptown, proudly presents a Dedication to Art Blakey and Dizzy Gillispie for the inspiration of Afro-Cuban Jazz in America on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2010, respectively.  

Art Blakey (1919 – 1990) was a drummer, leader, composer and teacher, and co-founder the Jazz Messengers for 35 years. Blakey introduced congas to the sound of jazz in 1949, blending Afro-Cuban rhythms with straight ahead jazz.  After six decades of influencing Jazz around the world, Art died at the age of 71.

Dizzy Gillespie (1917 –1993) was a significant developer of the American jazz art form of bebop and modern jazz, and he was instrumental in founding Afro-Cuban jazz the infusion of Spanish rhythms.  He was a jazz trumpet player, bandleader, singer, and composer.  In the late 1940s, Gillespie was also involved in the movement called Afro-Cuban music, bringing Latin and African elements to great prominence and in the late 1940’s recorded with Chano Pozo and Mario Bauza.  Dizzy died at 75 leaving his legacy in Jazz and leaving Americans dancing to Afro Cuban jazz rhythms.

Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Club continues its tradition of being true to the American Jazz art form, by not forgetting jazz origins.  On Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10, 2010.  Grammy™ award winner Brian Lynch (trumpet), Grammy™ award winner Ian Smith (Alto Sax), Little Johnny Rivero (congas), Joel Forbes (bass), Todd Herbert (tenor sax) and “Killer” Ray Appleton (drums) will deliver an out of this world performance both nights, two sets each night, 7pm and 9pm with a $20 music cover charge. Doors open at 6pm and 8pm. Call 212-876-8838 ext.4 or visit their website for more information and to make reservations.