The Chano Domínguez Quintent will be touring the West coast of the United. Acclaimed flamenco jazz pianist Chano Dominguez will be joined by bassist and composer Alexis Cuadrado, and drummer/percussionist Henry Cole, along with two renowned Spanish artists, singer Blas Cordoba an National Flamenco Contest winning dancer Daniel Navarro.
The quintet will revisit the music of Miles Davis through the prism of flamenco with selections from Domínguez’s Flamenco Sketches album that pays homage to Miles Davis through interpretations of his classic 1959 album Kind of Blue.
In addition to the West Coast dates, Chano will be performing with his trio at New York City’s High Line Ballroom as part of Blue Note Festival on June 26h. This lineup consists of Dominguez, Alexis Cuadrado and Henry Cole; and at the Montreal International Jazz Festival on June 28th, with Cuadrado, Cole, and New York City-based flamenco duo Ismael Fernandez (vocals) and Sonia Olla (dance).
Lastly, Domínguez will be releasing Chano & Colina, his latest recording for the Sunnyside label, on June 1st, 2018. The album captures Chano and his old friend and collaborator, Spanish bass virtuoso Javier Colina, live at the Sala de Camara del Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid in January 2017. It’s an intimate and beautiful record that invites the audience to listen in on the duo’s extraordinary, decades-long musical rapport.
Chano Dominguez Summer 2018 U.S. Tour Dates:
May 25: SFJazz, San Francisco, CA
May 26: The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), Phoenix, AZ
May 29: The Athenaeum, San Diego, CA
June 1: The Ford, Los Angeles, CA
June 2: Stanford Live, Stanford, CA
June 3: Winningstead Theater, Portland OR
June 4: Triple Door, Seattle, WA
June 6: Chateau des Fleurs, Boise, ID
June 26th, The Blue Note Festival at The Highline Ballroom, NY *With Chano Dominguez Trio featuring Alexis Cuadrado and Henry Cole
June 28th, Montreal International Jazz Festival *With Quintet, featuring Ismael Fernandez and Sonia Olla
Pianist and composer Chano Dominguez, one of the essential innovators of flamenco jazz, and will be touring the West Coast of the United States in May and June. Chano discusses his music and the upcoming tour with World Music Central.
How did you come into contact with flamenco, rock and jazz?
Flamenco was played at my house in a pickup my dad had, rock came through my older brother who listened to groups like Emerson Lake and Palmer, Genesis, Yes and others, then the Beatles, and jazz came through the radio station at the US naval base in Rota.
What repertoire will you be performing during your upcoming American tour?
We will mainly play the repertoire of the album Flamenco Sketches, which are all Miles Davis songs adapted to flamenco rhythms, but with all the freedom that Miles was looking for in his music
What’s your current band lineup and how did you come into contact with the band members?
On this occasion I have the pleasure of having Alexis Cuadrado on the double bass, a Catalan musician who has lived in New York for more than 20 years, and on drums, the prodigious Henry Cole, a percussionist from Puerto Rico who has also been living in New York for more than a decade.
From Spain there is flamenco cantaor (singer) Blas Cordoba on vocals and palmas. He’s been my cantaor for more than 20 years in all my albums; and dancer Daniel Navarro, a virtuoso of foot percussion and a fantastic elegant dancer.
What do you consider as the essential elements of your music?
Who can you quote as your main musical influences?
There are many but Paco de Lucía is my biggest influence along with Bill Evans.
Tell us about your first recordings and your musical evolution.
This year I book my 40 career as a music professional. It all started in 1978 with my first project the Andalusian rock group Cai.
I think since then I have been mixing flamenco rhythms with everything that has influenced me, rock, classical, jazz, etc.
You grew up and lived in Spain for many years. How did you end up in Seattle and now in New York City?
Especially to give my children an opportunity to get to know other cultures and to develop in another country since in my own it seems that the economic situation is not going to change and also to develop my work where the cradle of this music is located, I think it is important to spread this way of understanding jazz and flamenco together and here I have the opportunity to do it in schools and universities.
Are you still connected to the Spanish flamenco jazz scene?
Yes, in fact on June 10, I’ll play with my flamenco quartet at the flamenco festival in Madrid.
Although your main instrument is the piano, you started playing electronic keyboards. Do you still have electronic keyboards and do you plan to use them in the future?
Yes, I still have my keyboards and play them. A few years ago I recorded a project for Verve that was called NFS, new flamenco Sound. In that work I played keyboards too.
I still have interest in playing other instruments such as the guitar, the vibraphone or the drums.
If you could gather musicians or musical groups to collaborate with whom would that be?
I would love to have a good concert tour with my original trio with which we have worked for more than 15 years. To me they are part of this language that we have invented between these two cultures. Javier Colina and Guillermo MCgill are the musicians that I would put together for some good concerts.
Do you have any upcoming projects to share with us?
I just recorded a project for brass quintet, percussion and piano. It’s my compositions arranged by me for this project. I am lucky to have the best brass quintet from my country, Spanish Brass and we hope to tour the United States next year with this project.
Sebastián Dominguez Lozano, better known as Chano Domínguez, was born in Cadiz on March 29, 1960. His father was a flamenco enthusiast and young Chano grew up listening to his father’s LPs.
When he was eight years old, Chano’s parents gave him his first instrument: a flamenco guitar. Chano was able to teach himself to play guitar and practiced everything that he had heard on his father’s flamenco records so that he could jam with his friends in the neighborhood.
Chano started playing keyboards with Cai, one of the best rock bands in Andalusia. This group from Cadiz fused traditional Andalusian roots music, including flamenco, with progressive rock. The young keyboardist’s impressive solos and improvisations foretold a promising future. Cai released three landmark albums: Más allá de nuestras mentes diminutas (1978), Noche abierta (1979) and Canción de Primavera (1980).
After Cai’s breakup early in the 1980s, Chano became part of a jazz group called Hixcadix that was also made up of musicians from Cadiz.
In 1992, he decided to form his own trio. Chano led the group with his personal style, fusing flamenco rhythms with the musical forms of jazz. That same year, he was awarded First Prize in the National Jazz Competition for Young Performers and he released his first two records: Chano and Diez de Paco (Paco’s Ten).
In 1995, he produced Coplas de Madrugá (Morning Songs) with acclaimed Spanish singer Martirio. This work covers some of the most important themes in traditional Spanish song and treats them with a genuine jazz aesthetic.
Once Chano established himself as one of the great names in Spanish jazz, his fame spread beyond Spain’s borders. His earthy jazz, Latin, and flamenco sounds were heard by an international audience, thanks to records such as Hecho a mano, Directo a piano solo and Imán, as well as his participation at MIDEM Latino and other famous festivals and conferences.
In 2000 Chano participated in Siegfried Loch’s Jazzpaña II. This project brought jazz and flamenco together. In the summer of 2000 Chano and other Flamenco and jazz luminaries came together at Madrid’s Sonoland Studio. The musicians included bassist Carles Benavent, saxophonist Jorge Pardo, flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nuñez, drummer and percussionist Tino Di Geraldo, celebrated Spanish bebop alto and soprano saxophonist Perico Sambeat, Franco-Spanish bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons, singer Esperanza Fernandez and Chano on piano.
After his successful appearance in the Plaza de La Habana Jazz Festival, and having rubbed shoulders with the best in Latin jazz for the movie and recording Calle 54, the pianist from Cadiz recorded a collection of unforgettable boleros with Marta Valdés for his disk, Tú no sospechas.
In 2005 Chano recorded his first children’s CD. Cuentos del mundo (World Tales) features 16 stories narrated by Constantino Romero and music by Chano.
Chano joined Cuban legend Paquito D’Rivera in 2006. Their performance at Madrid’s Teatro Real was released on DVD. The band included Chano on piano; Paquito D’Rivera on saxophones and clarinet; Angá Díaz on percussion; Marc Miralta on drums; Mario Rossy on double bass; and Israel Suárez “Piraña” on flamenco percussion.
In 2010 Chano collaborated with film director Carlos Saura’s Flamenco Hoy. The show featured musical direction by Chano, choreography by Rafael Estévez and Nani Paños and a cast of 20.
In 2016 he produced “Bendito” featuring Chano as composer and pianist with his favorite ‘cantaor‘ (flamenco singer) Blas Cordoba (a.k.a. “El Kejio”).
In 2018 Chano released Chano & Colina, a collaboration with his longtime friend and collaborator, Spanish bass maestro Javier Colina, recorded live at the Sala de Cámara del Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid in January 2017.
Chano is also an experienced educator, available for master classes, workshops and residencies. He has taught at Taller de Músics in Barcelona, The Music Conservatory of Bogotá, the Julliard School in New York and at the School of Music at the University of Washington.
In 2016, Chano moved to New York City.
* Más allá de nuestras mentes diminutas, with Cai (Trova Records, 1978)