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Manuel Valera

Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger, Manuel Valera is in the forefront of contemporary modern jazz. He represents the next generation of great performers and composers. His sound is fresh, inviting and evocative, and his goal is to forge innovative sounds that bring a vitality and newness to the idioms of jazz and Latin jazz. He is constantly workshopping musical ideas to develop new composition and arranging techniques that bring together Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian and various jazz styles and forms. His musical training started at an early age at Havana’s Manuel Saumell Conservatory where he originally studied classical saxophone

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Kabir Sehgal: Spirited Warrior for Jazz

Read "Kabir Sehgal: Spirited Warrior for Jazz" reviewed by Michael Ricci

Kabir Sehgal has a history of championing meaningful causes for jazz. His wildly impressive background includes five Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards as a producer. He is also the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of fourteen books including Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology (Better ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Carlos Henriquez: Dizzy Con Clave

Read "Dizzy Con Clave" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Anche se l'incontro tra jazz e ritmi caraibici è presente fin dagli albori è stato Dizzy Gillespie negli anni quaranta a dare identità e popolarità al genere Afro-Cubano, integrando nel be-bop le musiche Mario Bauza e Machito. Questo tributo alle musiche del grande trombettista è stato inciso nel 2017, anno in cui s'è celebrato il Dizzy ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Carlos Henriquez: Dizzy Con Clave

Read "Dizzy Con Clave" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In closing out the liner essay to this savory set recorded live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, bassist Carlos Henriquez succinctly summarizes one of many important points worth noting about the legendary honoree: “Dizzy Gillespie is and always will be the American bridge to Afro-Cuban music," he states. But it need be noted that he doesn't just ...

The Planets

Label: Mavo Records
Released: 2018
Track listing: Sun Prelude I; I Mercury-The Messenger; Sun Prelude II; II Venus-Peace;, Intro to Earth; IIIEarth-History of Us; IV Mars-Ancient Warrior; Sun Prelude III; V Jupiter-Joyous Thunder; VI Saturn-The Wise One; VII Uranus-Morphing Skies; VIII Neptune-Prophet of the Seas; Bonus Tracks: Llora; Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.

ARTICLE: RADIO

Newk with Bud, a Trip in the Way-Back Machine & More

Read "Newk with Bud, a Trip in the Way-Back Machine & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We start with our usual dose of twenty-first century music (Marsico should be better known in the States!). And there's a quiz for you in tracks two and three; so pay attention! Then, it's 19-year-old Sonny Rollins with Bud Powell from '49, followed by a walk in the Fall air where the original French ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bohemian Trio: Okònkolo

Read "Okònkolo" reviewed by Neri Pollastri

Raffinata formazione in equilibrio tra camerismo e jazz, musica cubana ed europea, questo trio nasce per iniziativa del pianista Orlando Alonso e del sassofonista Yosvany Terry, entrambi cubani diplomati al conservatorio e con studi alla Juilliard, quando nel 2012 sentono l'esigenza di mettere a punto un progetto che fosse la sintesi dei molti stimoli e interessi ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back to the Sunset

Read "Back to the Sunset" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The astonishingly talented and prolific drummer Dafnis Prieto has done a lot since moving to the States from his native Cuba in 1999. He's made a host of sideman appearances with musicians of widely varying stripes, including Peter Apfelbaum, Michel Camilo, Steve Coleman, Marilyn Lerner, Brian Lynch, Henry Threadgill, Chucho Valdés, and John Zorn. He won ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back to the Sunset

Read "Back to the Sunset" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The alliance of Latin music and American jazz ripened on these shores more than seventy years ago, nourished by pioneers such as Mario Bauza, Chano Pozo, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Tito Puente and others. It has been carried forward and enhanced since then by a succession of remarkable innovators including in recent years the Cuban-born drummer Dafnis ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Manuel Valera: The Planets

Read "The Planets" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Cuban-born pianist Manuel Valera is not unknown to jazz-heads who make it their business to listen and champion. But, since his acclaimed 2004 debut Forma Nueva, a couple of Grammy nods, and last year's quietly brilliant The Seasons, Valera's name and exciting blend of culture, tradition, and progression has spread deservedly like wildfire through the larger ...


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