Papo Vazquez's Pirates and Troubadours SFJAZZ Center San Francisco, CA March 22, 2013On Friday, March 22, 2013, jazz lovers at the new SFJAZZ Center were in for a very special experience. As part of the series of concerts curated by a jazz artist, conguero John Santos unleashed what can only described as a force of nature. By the conclusion of trombonist Papo Vazquez's performance, the crowd was dancing in the aisles, crying in its beers and hollering its appreciation for a real show-stopper. Vazquez demonstrated his chops while, at the same time, showing ...read more
Trombonist/composer Papo Vazquez brings in his Mighty Pirates Troubadours for another musical adventure full of scintillating melodies, energetic rhythms and heady grooves all of which make for a wonderful album. Not content to stay within one genre, Vazquez blends and mixes them with the skill of a wizard. The styles slide into place easily and compactly, propelled by as accomplished a bunch of musicians as any band leader would love to have.Vazquez not only has a fertile imagination as a composer, he is an exquisite trombonist, drenching his playing with verve, pathos and sublime feeling. He kicks it ...read more
Papo Vasquez Mighty Pirates TroubadoursDetroit Jazz FestivalDetroit, MISeptember 1, 2012When a musician decides to play Latin,, it is easy for him to get pigeonholed into the Salsa circuit with a little instrumental mambo disguised as Latin jazz thrown in. This isn't the case for trombonist Papo Vasquez who, for the last 20 years produced some of the most creatively eclectic and innovative music in the Afro-Latin Jazz genre. For one, the Puerto Rican Vasquez grew up in the Badlands of North Philly, a town where aspiring players have to be well-versed in bop, funk blues ...read more
Few musicians in Latin jazz have more street cred than trombonist Papo Vazquez. A member of the seminal Fort Apache Band, he has been a part of this music's renaissance both in the US and in Puerto Rico for several decades. He has been at the forefront of producing an Afro-Puerto Rican jazz that leans on traditional styles such as bomba, with its infectious resonant percussion, and plena, which relies on the guiro and tambourine-like pandeiros for its sound. As part of a commission from Philadelphia's Painted Bride Art Center, Vazquez composed new music for his large orchestra, The Mighty ...read more
Fate deals its own hand. Papo Vazquez and The Mighty Pirates were scheduled to perform at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia when an ice storm came by the previous day. And so, a two-hour drive from New York City turned into a five-hour ordeal. One would think that the strains of the journey would tell on the band. But that thought perishes from the moment the first note float in.
Trombonist Vazquez has the innate ability of letting his music breathe and speaking eloquently. It turns on the anvil he calls Afro Puerto Rican Jazz, but he blends ...read more
Poet Lola Rodriguez del Tio declared Puerto Rico and Cuba as two wings of the same bird, yet many people lose sight of Puerto Rico's musical contributions. Numerous Latin jazz musicians hold Puerto Rican heritage, yet most songs mix jazz harmonies with Cuban rhythms. New York Puerto Rican musicians applied their identities to traditional dance music, but most listeners hear salsa's Cuban rhythms rather than a Puerto Rican identity. Young musicians wanting to learn Latin music often overlook Bomba, Plena, and Danza in favor of Son, Songo, and Cha Cha Cha. Papo Vazquez Pirates Troubadours take a different stance on ...read more
Papo Vazquez wears his hats as composer, arranger and trombone player comfortably. As a composer he uses several genres including the aguinaldo, guaracha, bomba, mambo and jazz. His arrangements draw strong ensemble lines and then open the door to let the soloists ride into their improvisations. As a trombone player he has a vitality that lifts a tune and the ability to slip into a quickly created nook to add a delightful exclamation.
Vazquez'a music is earthy and powerful. He mines the music of Puerto Rico and Cuba for their dynamic impact and comes up with a colorful hybrid of ...read more