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Meet Martin VejaranoChia's Dance Party: CHIA's Dance Party is a New York City-based quartet/quintet. The band delivers a unique musical experience, where infectious, danceable grooves mix harmoniously with extensive compositional and improvisational work. The band performs original material inspired by the Colombian rhythmic and melodic traditions, yet explores different genres and compositional approaches. CHIA's Dance Party has a distinct sound, as a result of the diverse background of its musicians: Ben Stapp, an exceptional tuba player, brings his vast experience in experimental, classical and rock music; Alex Terrier, on soprano saxophone, delivers the best, virtuosic sounds of modern jazz; and Justin Wood, on alto sax and flute, adds adventurous and fearless contemporary sounds and concepts. All of these sounds are catalyzed by musical director, Marti¬n Vejarano on drums. We are also proud to feature the sounds of very special guests such as Rafi Malkiel, on bombardino (euphonium), and Federico Ochoa, on soprano sax.
Teachers and/or influences? Colombian street bands and traditional music. North American big bands and jazz combos. Classical composers. Improvisers. World music.
Your teaching approach: Expose them to the different musical traditions, specially the one they are getting inspiration from.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Combining the intellectual aspect but bringing back the danceable spirit of the old days.
What is in the near future? Gigs, composing, gigs, recording.
Practice, cook, compose, stay healthy.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: a folk musician.
I love Jazz because of its freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teenager years.
I have met Art Blakey in Juan-les-Pins, my drum teacher Orphelia took us to his concert, it was magical!
The best Jazz shows I ever attended were Art Blakey, Michel Petrucciani, Miton Nascimento, Naná Vasconcelos.
The first jazz record I bought was Jazz from Hell by Frank Zappa.