Spanish musician María Toro was born in 1979 in La Coruña, Spain. She is a respected flutist and flamenco-jazz composer whose career path has taken her across many countries in different continents over the years. Seven years after moving from her native Galicia to Madrid, in 2009, she joined an international flamenco company in Zurich, Switzerland.
Afterwards, she crossed the Atlantic to form part of the flamenco and jazz movement in New York City. Later, she settled in Rio de Janeiro in order to integrate her music with the effervescent musical sounds of the city.
In Switzerland, she started to compose her first album, A Contraluz, finally recorded in the United States in 2014 with renowned jazz performers in New York City. In 2016, while living in Rio de Janeiro, she recorded her second album, Araras, accompanied by great performers such as Hermeto Pascoal, who provided Brazilian rhythm to her proposal.
In 2017, Maria Toro returned to Madrid, where she continues composing and performing her musical repertoire throughout Spain and Europe.
Jose Romero Project (2012) A Contraluz (Jazz Activist, 2014) Araras (Jazz Activist, 2018)
Jorge Pardo was born in Madrid in 1955. He started his studies at the Conservatory of Madrid at the age of 14. From very early on in his career he immersed himself in jazz and was one of the founding members of the group Dolores (together with Pedro Ruy-Blas). Today, Jorge is regarded as one of the true leaders of a style of music that fuses flamenco with jazz. In fact, he is among the elite group of jazz figures from Spain with an international following.
Introduced to the world of professional flamenco at the hands of groundbreaking flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, he has acquired a new hybrid language between jazz “de raiz” (“from the roots”) and flamenco.
Jorge Pardo’s style and technique on both flute and the sax is blazing new trails in this constantly developing music. In addition to his work in Sexteto by Paco de Lucia, he has collaborated with nearly every major figure in the world of flamenco; his resume includes concerts with Chick Corea and Astrid Gilberto, and Jorge is also a longtime collaborator with flamenco rock bands Ketama and La Barberia del Sur, further exploring the outer reaches of the rhythms of flamenco.
In 2013, Jorge Pardo received the award for Best European Jazz Musician, by the French Academy of Jazz.
In 2016, Pardo released the Djinn Metaflamenco project that delved into the essence of flamenco, takinge it beyond the confines of its current borders. The album featured Hammond organs, keyboards with acid sounds, powerful drums, electric bass and flamenco guitars joined by saxophoness and flutes (sometimes processed) and the contributions of Dj’s and producers working with samples of vintage singing.
In 2017, Djinn Metaflamenco won the Best flamenco album award at the Premios MIN, the elading indepedne t jusic awards in Spain.
Jorge Pardo (Blau, 1982) El Canto De Los Guerreros (Linterna Música, 1983) A Mi Aire (Nuevos Medios, 1987) Las Cigarras Son Quizá Sordas (Nuevos Medios, 1991) 10 De Paco, with Chano Domínguez (Nuevos Medios, 1994) De Dos En Dos (Nuevos Medios, 1995) 2332 (Nuevos Medios, 1997) Music For Ebbe: Live In San Sebastian (El Delirio, 1999) El Concierto De Sevilla (Nuevos Medios, 2000) Directo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2001) Mira (Nuevos Medios, 2001) Bouderbala, with Nass Marrakech and Omar Sosa (World Village, 2001) Quid Pro Quo (Satchmo Jazz Records, 2003) Vientos Flamencos (Manantial De Músicas, 2005) 3dd’3 (Quadrant Records, 2006) Desvaríos (RTVE Música, 2007) Entre (MusiMagic, 2008) Sin Precedentes (Nuevos Medios, 2008) Vientos Flamencos 2 (Flamenco World Music, 2009) Sobre la Marcha (CQuadrant Records, 2011) Huellas (Cabra Road, 2012) Puerta Del Sol (Nuba Records, 2013) Historias de Radha y Krishna (Fol Música, 2014) Djinn (Karonte, 2016)
Live At The Auditori Pau Casals, El Vendrell (Quadrant Records Q00002V 2007
Seattle trio Duende Libre, led by keyboardist and composer Alex Chadsey, continues to explore sounds where skilled jazz meets diverse world music traditions. Drift is inspired by the ancient continent of Pangea, imagining the bends and paths of the ancient continent.
Duende Libre draws influences from various cultures and countries and parts of the world. Chadsey explains: “On the new album, we explored using different rhythmic feels and styles as a way to meld those sensibilities. That’s what I was going for: a musical pangea where borders become less rigid, and where surprising new sounds emerge in the grey areas between traditions.”
Areas explored include Spanish music in the form of flamenco jazz by recreating Chick Corea’s iconic “Spain.” Brazilian music is also present and a major influence on Chadsey. “Choro” is a tribute to Jovino Santos Neto.
“Kiki” is dedicated Cuban cuatro maestro Kiki Valera Alarcon of La Familia Valera Miranda, transforming Cuban son through a jazz prism. And then there is Afro-rooted music on “Drift” and Turkish influences on “Bosphurus.”
The lineup includes Alex Chadsey on piano and keyboards; Farko Dosumov on bass and vocals; Jeff “Bongo” Busch on drums; and guest vocalist Chava Mirel who appears on two tracks.
Drift is a refreshing and finely crafted recording that brings together jazz and some of the great global music traditions.
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.
Spanish guitarist Rycardo Moreno will present his new show titled Galeano on March 10, 2018 at Joe’s Pub in New York. A day later he will play at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, in a concert framed within the activities of the Chicago Flamenco Festival 2018 that is supported by SGAE Foundation.
Galeano is a flamenco tribute dedicated to iconic Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. “Spain is the only country where flamenco jazz is made. Why don’t we export it and modernize flamenco? With Galeano we do a bit of that, it is a cutting-edge project, which sets to the most social and current texts of this international author. I think it will work well abroad, “said Moreno at Flamenco Eñe.
Acclaimed flamenco guitar innovator Josemi Carmona is set to perform this evening, Friday, December 15, 2017 at Garra Bar in Barceló Torre de Madrid, a luxury designer hotel in Spain’s capital.
Josemi Carmona is one of the key figures in recent Spanish music. He was a member of iconic band Ketama and is part of one of the most traditional flamenco sagas, the Habichuelas. Josemi toured with his father, Pepe el Habichuela, as part of the Flamenco Puro show in the United States, along with other renowned flamenco artists.
Garra Bar is a place where art, music and urban style meet. It’s a location for music and cocktails in the heart of Madrid, by the Plaza de España.
Admission is free.
Barceló Torre de Madrid
Plaza de los Cubos
Plaza de España, 18, 28008 Madrid, Spain
Puerto Rican-American Multi-instrumentalist Jerry Gonzalez (congas/flugelhorn/trumpet) leads The Fort Apache Band, one of the most influential modern Afro-Caribbean Jazz Group of the past years. The group blends complex Latin rhythms with impeccable jazz improvisations.
Jerry Gonzalez’s first High profile professional engagement came at the age of 19 in 1971 with Dizzy Gillespie. Since then he has worked with masters from the jazz and Latin music fields such as: Kenny Dorham Tony Williams McCoy Tyner Jaco Pastorius Tito Puente Eddie Palmieri and Manny Oquendo y Libre. Jerry Gonzalez’ first session as a leader came in 198 with the critically acclaimed recording of Ya Yo Me Curé on the American Clave’ label. Following the success of Ya Yo Me Curé, The Fort Apache Band was formed and included such members as Kenny Kirkland, Sonny Fortune, Nicky Marrero, Papo Vazquez, the late Jorge Dalto and Milton Cardona. The ensemble’s first two albums were recorded live at European jazz festivals The River is Deep 1982 in Berlin: Obatala 1988 in Zurich.
In 1989 Fort Apache recorded the groundbreaking Rumba Para Monk as a quintet featuring: Jerry Gonzalez (trumpet flugelhorn congas), Andy Gonzalez (bass), Steve Berrios (drums), Larry Willis (piano) and Carter Jefferson (tenor saxophone). Rumba Para Monk was named album of the year by the French Academe du Jazz and resulted in the group being voted The Word Beat Group of the year in Downbeat’s 55th annual Readers Poll. It is this recording that has been cited as leading the resurgence in Afro-Caribbean Jazz in the past decade.
The group became a sextet with the addition of Joe Ford (alto & soprano saxophone) for 1991’s Earthdance (Sunnyside) and 1992’s Moliendo Cafe (Sunnyside). Following the death of Carter Jefferson, former Fort Apache member John Stubblefield returned to the band on tenor sax to record Crossroads (Milestone). The ensemble’s 1995 recording Pensativo (Milestone) also received a Grammy nomination. On the heals of the Grammy nominations for Crossroads and Pensativo the ensemble was awarded The Beyond Group of the Year by both Downbeat Magazines reader’s and critic’s polls in 1995 and 1996.
Firedance (Milestone) was recorded in February 1996 at Blues Alley in Washington DC and is the first live recording of the ensemble as a Sextet. Following this fiery recording the ensemble won the award of Best Jazz Group in Playboy Magazines Readers Poll for 1997. In 1998 the ensemble swept the Latin Jazz category at the New York Jazz Awards winning both the Industry and Journalist Polls. In 1999 the group swept the critics and readers polls for Beyond Group of The Year in Downbeat Magazine.
In 2000 Gonzalez moved from New York to Madrid. The Spanish capital, a cultural melting pot full of Flamenco musicians as well as Cuban Argentine Brazilian Equatorial Guinean Sudanese and many other expatriates welcomed the Newyorican musician with open arms and he quickly joined the bustling Flamenco and jazz scene.
In 2001 Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band were prominently featured in Fernando Trueba’s film on Latin Jazz Calle 54 (Miramax). This film received critical acclaim throughout the world and was followed by a series of concerts promoting the film including an engagement at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. The Soundtrack Calle 54 – Music From The Miramax Motion Picture is available on Blue Note Records.
The collaboration with Fernando Trueba also resulted in the production of a new CD Jerry Gonzalez y Los Pirates Del Flamenco featuring Jerry Gonzalez along with a Gypsy Flamenco group that includes the esteemed Flamenco singer “El Cigala.”
Guitarist Josemi Carmona and bassist Javier Colina will present their unique sound at the Flamenco Festival in New York on March 10 at Joe’s Pub: “We will play humbly but with the certainty that what we do is special and very enjoyable. Up close, it’s not a project of virtuosity but of emotion and emotion difficult to match,” explains guitarist Josemi Carmona.
On March 12th, the duo will land at the Miami Festival to show, in Colina’s words, this “jazzified flamenco that combines improvisations with touches of flamenco and African-American music“.
Finally, on March 14 Carmona and Colina will present their music at the XV Chicago Flamenco Festival, which collaborates for the first time with Flamenco Eñe.
“Opening the range of flamenco artists is very difficult, festivals always present the same musicians. Flamenco Eñe has made younger generations express their talent to the programmers, giving strength to flamenco and energy to authors who are not so well known, “added Josemi.
The duo’s most recent recording is De Cerca (Universal Music Spain, 2016).
Flamenco pianist David Peña Dorantes was born in Lebrija (Sevilla province), Spain in 1969. He has become a flamenco piano innovator, incorporating jazz, classical music and world music elements to his sound.
His family tree reveals his undisputed roots in flamenco. He is María La Perrata’s grandson, Pedro Peña’s son, Juan Peña de Lebrija’s nephew and a relative of Fernanda and Bernarda de Utrera.
Dorantes has collaborated with well-known Spanish and international artists, including Lole Montoya, Alba Molina, Susheela Raman, Renaud Garcia-Fons, El Barrio, Arcángel, Carmen Linares, Miguel Poveda, and José Mercé.
Throughout 2016 and 2017, Dorantes collaborated with Turkish ensemble Taksim Trio. the lineup included Dorantes on piano; Hüsnü Şenlendirici on clarinet and duduk; Ismail Tunçbilek on baglama; Aytaç Doğan on kanun; and Spanish musician Javi Ruibal on drums and percussion.
In 2018, Dorantes composed Ícaro (Icarus) for the Spanish National Ballet.