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Diego Urcola: Musical Ecstasy

By Published: April 5, 2011
Urcola and D'Rivera are thinking of doing a whole album using valve trombone. "I think it's an interesting idea, because it's an instrument that has been in the shadows. Paquito, he loves the sound of that instrument. Maybe this year we can throw together something. I actually contacted Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
Bob Brookmeyer
1929 - 2011
, to see if he was interested in doing something. He's the main guy on that instrument. Maybe this year we can do it."

In the meantime, Urcola is busy playing gigs with first-rate musicians, as well as pushing for his own group as much as he can. He says, "Usually, I do many projects at the same time. I'm trying to establish myself a little bit more as a solo artist. It's not easy, especially now. I have a family, and I need to make money. I'm not at the point that I go out with my band and make money, I need to work with established people to make a living. Also I'm teaching a little bit. That helps."

While it's difficult to get established as a leader, "I can't complain," says the trumpeter. "I'm working with well-known musicians. Nice gigs. I don't have to do commercial work. There's nothing wrong with that [commercial work], I did a lot of that. But the main reason for me being here is to play jazz. New York is maybe the only place you can do that. There are maybe a few guys that can do it somewhere else. It's what I told my father when I came here. 'If you want to be an astronaut, you can be an astronaut in Argentina.' If you want to make a living just playing jazz, improvised music, it's hard to do it in any other place other than New York. Maybe a few guys can do it in Europe after long careers and stuff like that."

So, this splendid trumpeter remains committed to his love of improvised music. He's an excellent major talent, with an exceptional, hard-driving band of his own, and his career is sure to be a long one.

Selected Discography

Diego Urcola, Appreciation (Cam Jazz, 2011)

Guillermo Klein/Los Gauchos,
Filtros (Sunnyside, 2008)

Paquito D'Rivera, Funk Tango (Sunnyside, 2007)

Diego Urcola, Viva (Cam Jazz, 2006)

Caribbean Jazz Project, Here and Now (Concord, 2005)

Bebo Valdes, Bebo do Cuba (Calle 54 Records, 2005)

Diego Urcola, Soundances (Sunnyside, 2003)

Avishai Cohen, Lyla (Razdaz Recordz, 2003)

Guillermo Klein/Los GauchosLos Gauchos III (Sunnyside, 2002)

Danilo Perez, Motherland (Verve Music Group, 2000)

Guillermo Klein and Los GauchosLos Gauchos II (Sunnyside, 1999)

Diego Urcola, Libertango (Fresh Sound, 1999)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Toeter Boef, Courtesy of Diego Urcola
Diego Urcola
Diego Urcola

Page 2: Diaz Duran
Page 3, 5: Lourdes Delgado, Courtesy of Diego Urcola
Diego Urcola
Diego Urcola

Page 4: Gabors

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