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Randy Weston's African Rhythms Trio with special guest Candido: Tribute to Chano Pozo

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RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS TRIO with special guest CANDIDO: TRIBUTE TO CHANO POZO At the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal - July 2, 2005

Montreal- May 10, 2005 - Composer,pianist Randy Weston proudly presents a special new concert for the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS TRIO with special guest CANDIDO: Tribute to CHANO POZO. This concert will take place on Saturday July 2, 2005 at 9:30 PM and is part of the Jazz Beat TD Canada Trust series at the Spectrum de Montréal, at 318 Sainte-Catherine Street West.

RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS TRIO with special guest CANDIDO: Tribute to CHANO POZO will explore the migration of African percussion to Cuba and America, and will feature Randy Weston’s special guest, the legendary percussionist Candido. (Candido Camero) Together with Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio, (Randy Weston on piano, Alex Blake on double bass, and Neil Clarke on percussion) they will tribute the great conguero and composer Chano Pozo, one of the most significant and influential figures in the history of American jazz, Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban jazz. Randy says: “The impact of Chano Pozo changed my music life. When I heard his drum with the fabulous Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra in the 1940’s, it was for me, a complete circle. The African-Cuban drum with the African-American orchestra: a natural merger. It represented the beauty and depth of African civilization through its music. Ever since that experience I have been working with African percussion.”

American jazz was never the same, after the day Mario Bauza introduced Chano Pozo to Dizzy Gillespie, in New York City in 1947. It was this meeting and then collaboration that formed an integral element in the foundation for what is known as Latin Jazz and Afro-Cuban Jazz. This was achieved by adding Chano’s single conga drum into the jazz orchestra setting. This historic integration of conga playing with the other more traditional jazz instruments, mixed bebop with Cuban folk music, and became known as Cu-bop. Among some of Chano Pozo’s many compositions and collaborations in his all too short lifetime, (he was killed in 1948 in a bar fight in Harlem, just shy of his 34th birthday) he co-wrote the great ‘Manteca’ and ‘Tin Tin Deo’ with Dizzy Gillespie.

Randy Weston first met Candido in New York City, in the 1950’s. Randy says: “Candido is a master percussionist from Cuba. We worked together in the early 1950’s and on my recordings “Uhuru Afrika” in 1960, and in 1973 on “Tanjah”. It a pleasure to play with a master percussionist like Candido.” Candido is hailed as one of the greatest Cuban percussionists ever. He was born in 1921 in the El Cerro neighborhood in Havana and came to the United States for the first time in July of 1946. Candido is heralded as the father of the percussion technique called coordinated independence. He pioneered the use of two congas, and then later the use of three, whereas in the past, congueros in America used only a single drum. His playing also became distinctive because of his tendency to tune, when possible, to the melody of the song. He has performed with an enormous list of artists past and present, and one of his last major concerts in Montreal was on November 2, 1954 at The Montreal Forum with The Stan Kenton Orchestra. In 2004, the Montreal based KoSA International Percussion Festival & Workshop (founder/president is Montreal’s Aldo Mazza, & leader of the group Repercussion) awarded Candido with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Candido was recently nominated for a GRAMMY Award® for his reunion album, “Inolvidable” which pairs him with the great son singer Graciela Perez.

After contributing five decades of musical direction and genius, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers. He is a true innovator and visionary. Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his musical-global creations continue to inform and inspire. Randy’s first recording as a leader was in 1954 with the album ‘Randy Weston plays Cole Porter - ‘Cole Porter in a Modern Mood’. In the 1950's, Randy Weston wrote many of his best loved tunes, “Saucer Eyes," “Pam's Waltz," “Little Niles," and, “Hi-Fly." His greatest hit, “Hi-Fly," Randy (who is 6' 8") says, is a “tale of being my height and looking down at the ground”. Randy Weston has always, and continues to make the connections between African and American music. His dedication is due in large part to his father, Frank Edward Weston, who told his son that he was, an African born in America.

Among Randy Weston’s many achievements, awards and accomplishments include a Living Legacy Jazz Award from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in 2004, a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2001, and in 2000 he received The Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) Black Music Star Award. Randy Weston last appeared in Montreal in 1995 at the invitation of The Montreal International Jazz Festival, when he was honoured with a 5 night tribute-residency, which also resulted in the live recording “Earth Birth”, released in 1997, featuring Randy and The Montréal String Orchestra/Orchestre du Festival de Jazz de Montréal.

RANDY WESTON'S AFRICAN RYTHYMS TRIO features percussionist Neil Clarke and bassist Alex Blake. Neil Clarke has been a student of percussion for more than thirty-five years and he has had the opportunity to study and collaborate with masters worldwide, from North, West and South Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and a majority of the United States. Regardless of where or what the musical genre: folkloric, jazz, popular, rhythm and blues, gospel or classical, Neil Clarke is equally at home and has had longstanding performing, touring and recording relationships with many notable artists. Bassist Alex Blake has established himself as a drummer's bassist, and after becoming one of the major proponents of the fusion movement in the late 1970’s, he is considered to be an entire rhythm section on his own because of his range and ability to flow between melodic and extremely rhythmic playing.

RANDY WESTON’S AFRICAN RHYTHMS TRIO with Special Guest CANDIDO: Tribute to CHANO POZO will be a concert to remember as this powerful group of artists summon the sprit of the mighty Chano Pozo, the sprits of our ancestors, and the intensities of ancient African rhythms. - 30 - For further information please contact: Glenda Rush Calzado 514- 276-6870, cell 917- 691-2118 L’agence Vivo! de Montreal [email protected]

Tickets & gen.info, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal: http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/fijm2005/presse_en.asp

Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio: http://home.wanadoo.nl/randyweston/ * Randy Weston plays Bösendorfer pianos

Candido: http://www.lpmusic.com/Pros_That_Play_LP/Players_Roster/camero.html http://www.congahead.com/Musicians/Meet_Musicians/Camero/camero.html http://www.lpmusic.com/Play_Like_A_Pro/Tips/candido.html *Candido plays LP Percussion Inc. Instruments

For more information contact .

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