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18

Article: Year in Review

2020: The Year in Jazz

Read "2020: The Year in Jazz" reviewed by Ken Franckling


The COVID-19 pandemic put the jazz world in a tailspin, just like the world at large, in 2020. And there is plenty of uncertainty going into the new year about what “new normal: might emerge from the darkness. International Jazz Day, like so many other things, became an online virtual event this time around. Pianist Keith ...

Musician

Sammy Morales / SM Quinteto

Born:

Sammy Morales was born in the Bronx on August 22, 1959. Currently, he works as the Music Director of Compañia Teatro Repertorio de la UPR' and the Taller de Música Popular at the University of Puerto Rico, and as electric bass teacher. He is also an ensemble professor and bass instructor at the Inter American University in San Juan. In Puerto Rico he has performed and recorded as a bass player with Wilkins, Danny Rivera, Lourdes Robles, Glenn Monroig, Luis Ángel, Proyecto M, René Farrait, Los Andinos, H20, Willie Colón, and others. In the jazz scene, he has played with Proyecto Evif, Ángel David Mattos, Frankie Suárez, Brenda Hopkins, Edgar Abraham, Jorge Laboy, David Sánchez (Heineken Jazz Jam, 1995), Perico Ortiz (Heineken Jazz Jam, 1995), Danilo Pérez (Heineken Jazz Jam, 1995), Amuni Nacer and many others

Musician

Fidel Morales

Born:

Fidel Morales is a Cuban Drummer, General Percussionist, Composer, Arranger, Musical Director and Author.Morales began his formal music education at the age of 12, having previously studied music reading and theory with the great Cuban clarinetist Amado Valdés. He graduated in 1981 from the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory, at Havana, Cuba, with a degree as instrumentalist and percussion professor. Drummer and Percussionist: As a drummer, he has played with musicians such as Danilo Pérez, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Giovanni Hidalgo, Nicolás Reynoso, Eddie Gómez, John Faddis, Mark Kramer, Mike Orta, Gary Campbell, Gary Keller, Luis “Perico” Ortiz, Eddie “Guagua” Rivera, Carlos Garnett, Charlie Sepúlveda, and the Hologram Quartet, among others

Musician

Viento De Agua

Viento de Agua is an original Latin dance/performance band with a groundbreaking new sound. The term itself refers to a Puerto Rican phrase used to describe the damp and humid air that precedes a heavy rainstorm. The traditional Afro-Puerto Rican rhythms bomba y plena, are combined with various Afro-Caribbean rhythms and jazz to create a fresh contemporary style. The result of this fusion is an explosive sound that both seduces the most skilled dancer and stimulates the most sophisticated listener. Hector 'Tito' Matos, the director of Viento de Agua, explains the concept: “Our purpose is to disseminate our original and creative way of performing these ancestral rhythms not only to our Latino audience but to the rest of the world as well.” This ensemble was conceived and created in New York City in the fall of 1997

Musician

Brenda Hopkins Miranda

Born:

Brenda Hopkins Miranda was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is currently doing trio (piano, bass and drums), quartet (piano, guitar, bass and drums) and piano solo concerts. Having grown up with the sounds that encompass Puerto Rican and Caribbean music, she has continued to expand her essence by adding soul, blues, funk, jazz, classical, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and all sorts of multicultural influences. Her music is influenced and inspired by a diverse list of artists that includes Radiohead, Nina Simone, Robert Plant, GoGo Penguin, The Chemical Brothers, Melody Gardot, Avishai Cohen and Nik Bärtsch. As a bandleader Hopkins Miranda has released six recordings of original music on her BHM label: “Boricua on Board,” (1998) “Bohemia,” (1999), “Recuerdos de Granada/Memoirs of Granada.” (2009), "Simple" (2012), "Aeropiano" (2014) and "Puentes" (2017). Brenda is known for her expressive sensibilities, daring compositions, powerful grooves and fearless improvisations

Musician

Richard Trinidad

Born:

Richard Trinidad Born May 14, 1963 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, Pianist in different styles, Salsa, Jazz, Ballads and classical

9

Article: Album Review

Miguel Zenon: Tipico

Read "Tipico" reviewed by Mark Corroto


The saying “like butta" comes to mind when listening to the alto of saxophonist Miguel Zenón. His tone has the consistency of velvety cream, with nary a sour note. Hearing him in the context of his long-standing quartet, we get something like the voguish bulletproof coffee, which consists of butter, whipped into your favorite cup of ...

10

Article: Album Review

Fidel Morales: Omío

Read "Omío" reviewed by James Nadal


There is a saying, that Cuba and Puerto Rico are two wings from the same dove. This could not be more evident than in the musical collaborations and cultural exchanges which have historically united both islands, and their people. Fidel Morales is a native Cuban who since 2006 has secured the drum chair in the Jazz ...

6

Article: Album Review

Miramar: Dedication To Sylvia Rexach

Read "Dedication To Sylvia Rexach" reviewed by James Nadal


The modern Latin-American bolero (romantic ballad) of Spanish heritage, originated from the Cuban trova. Mexico influenced the genre with numerous prolific trios recording boleros, gaining an international audience. Its popularity spread with the development of cinema and phonograph records, reaching a zenith between the 1930's and 1960's. Puerto Rico was not immune to this musical phenomenon, ...


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