Tag Archives: fusion

Artist Profiles: Carles Benavent

Carles Benavent – Photo by Mario Pacheco

Bass player, Carles Benavent, was born in the Pueblo Seco (Poble Sec) neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain. His earliest days playing music were in blues and rock groups at the age of fourteen.

Essentially self-taught, Carles benefited from being in the midst of the surging musical environment in Barcelona of the 1960s. It wasn’t long before he formed the fusion band, Musica Urbana, along with keyboard player, Joan Albert Amargos, recording two albums. After that group broke up, he began to play and record with flamenco guitar virtuoso and innovator, Paco de Lucia in 1978. It was the starting point of a continuous musical relationship between both musicians that lasted for many years.

1991 proved to be a high point for Carles when he performed with Miles Davis in one of the music legend’s very last concerts in Montreux, Switzerland.

His lowest low was hit in 1995 when Carles suffered a serious accident that caused great damage to his left arm. However, he was determined to return to playing music. With hard work he recovered and for the past years he has performed throughout the globe in many different contexts with musicians like Al Di Meola, Peter Erskine and many others.

Carles Benavent

Carles Benavent has an unmistakably distinct sound. He is considered by many to be among the finest, most complete bass players in the world. Musicians and fans alike can hear his outstanding playing in a variety of settings including his work with Paco de Lucia, his own solo recordings, and with Chick Corea and Touchstone.

Discography:

Carles Benavent (Nuevos Medios, 1983)
Dos de copas (Nuevos Medios, 1985)
Peaches with Salt (Frog Records, 1985)
Colors (Nuevos Medios, 1991)
Agüita que corre (Nuevos Medios, 1995)
Fénix (Nuevos Medios, 1997)
Aigua (Nuevos Medios, 2001)

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Artist Profiles: José Rossy

Born in Humacao, Puerto Rico, José Rossy studied at The Conservatory of Music. He finished three years of a Bachelors Degree in Music education with a timpani major. Moved to New York in 1975 and studied with Fred Hinger who was the timpanist for The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

In 1976 he auditioned for a group called Labelle. Shortly after getting that job, Rossy started a long career of touring and recording with various artist in the U.S. and around the world.

Between 1977-80 he recorded and toured with various pop artists including Nona Hendrix, Chic, and Cameo.

In 1981 he joined legendary jazz fusion band Weather Report. He toured and recorded with the band until 1984. He participated in the albums Domino Theory, Procession and Live & Unreleased.

After Weather Report Rossy continued working with pop, rock and soul artists, including Patti Labelle, Robert Palmer, Soniadada, etc.

Rossy plays a wide variety of drums and percussion instruments: Latin percussion, mallets, electronic percussion, timpani, African and Middle Eastern drums, drum set. “And a whole lot of toys.”

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Artist Profiles: Santana

Carlos Santana

Carlos Santana was born on July 20, 1947 in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico. His father, José, an accomplished mariachi violinist, introduced Carlos to ‘traditional music’ at the age of five. The family moved to the border boom town of Tijuana in 1955, where Carlos seriously took up guitar, studying and emulating the sounds of B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, T. Bone Walker and other blues greats he heard on the radio.

As much as he was inspired by the early training he received from his father in traditional musical form and theory, Carlos soon realized his dream was to break free and play rock and roll. He began performing with local bands like The T.J.s, adding his own personal flair to the popular songs of the 1950s.

As he continued playing with different bands up and down the bustling ‘Tijuana Strip,’ Carlos Santana began to hone his considerable skills and invent his inimitable sound. In 1961, he moved to San Francisco, in the United States, joining his family, who had relocated there the previous year.

Destiny had most certainly brought Carlos to the right place at the right time, planting him right in the middle of the burgeoning and hugely influential San Francisco Bay Area music scene. The Bay Area in the 1960s was a melting pot of cultural, political and artistic change. In this climate, Carlos continued to evolve his unique, genre-bending style, and in 1966, he took his music to the people with the debut performance of the Santana Blues Band.

For the next two years, the group was swept up in a whirlwind of acclaim and popularity that carried them from Bill Graham’s historic Fillmore West venue to the main stage at the Woodstock ‘Peace, Love, Music’ Festival. There, on August 16, 1969, the Santana band’s Latin-flavored rock was delivered to the masses.

The world embraced Carlos Santana with passion, captivated by music that was always changing, heralded by a guitar prowess that today remains among the most distinctive. Each new release – including several platinum and gold albums – emerged as a reflection of Carlos’s personal growth and artistic evolution.

Fans also reveled in his humanitarian messages and spiritual affirmations – subtle urgings towards peace, joy, acceptance, compassion and understanding – that have been consistently communicated in a gentle, heartfelt manner at live performances around the globe.

Carlos Santana

The Santana Band achieved double-platinum status their first time out with the 1969 Columbia debut album, Santana, featuring the hit single ‘Evil Ways,’ and quadruple-platinum with Abraxas, the classic 1970 follow-up which boasted among its tracks ‘Black Magic Woman’ and the incomparable Tito Puente composition “Oye Como Va.”

A period of experimentation with fusion jazz and non-Latin world sounds began with the supern Middle Eastern flavored fusion album Caravensarai in 1972. Santana also collaborated with John McLaughlin, leader of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, one of the top jazz-rock fusion bands at the time.

A musical family reunion took place in 1994 with the album Brothers, which featured collaborations with Carlos’s sibling Jorge and nephew Carlos Hernández.

In 1995, the comprehensive Legacy boxed-set retrospective came out. This was followed in 1997 by a 2-CD collection, Live At The Fillmore, featuring performances from Santana’s historic 1968 shows.

Carlos Santana

Significant filmed repertoire include the 1988 video retrospective Viva Santana, the 1993 South American concert video Sacred Fire, and 1997’s CD-ROM A History of Santana: The River Of Color And Sound. Fox Television aired the gala special A Supernatural Evening with Santana, a celebration of the record-setting album featuring performances with Rob Thomas, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews and Sara McLachlan, among others. This passion also paved the way for ventures into the new musical and geographic territories, including the scoring of the feature film La Bamba, participating in 1987’s Rock ‘n Roll Summit, the first-ever joint US-Soviet rock concert and embarking on a 1988 tour with great jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

Carlos Santana has also contributed his talents tot he benefit of numerous charitable causes, among them Blues for Salvador, San Francisco Earthquake Relief, Tijuana Orphans, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and education for Latin youth in association with the Hispanic Media &Education Group. He’s received numerous civic and humanitarian commendations over the years. In 1998, Carlos Santana and his wife Deborah started the Milagro Foundation.Its mission is to help underprivileged youths.

On Thursday, June 5, 2003, Carlos Santana pledged the profits of his 2003 Shaman tour to fight AIDS. The 23-show Shaman tour was estimated to bring in between 2.5 and 3 million dollars to the cause.

Discography:

Solo albums and collaborations:

Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live! (Columbia, 1972)
Love Devotion Surrender, with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin (Columbia, 1973)
Illuminations, with Turiya Alice Coltrane (Columbia, 1974)
Oneness (Silver Dreams-Golden Reality) (Columbia, 1979)
The Swing Of Delight (Columbia, 1980)
Havana Moon (Columbia, 1983)
Blues For Salvador (Columbia, 1987)
Divine Light (Columbia, 2001)
Live At The 1988 Montreux Jazz Festival, with Wayne Shorter Band (Liberation Entertainment, 2005)
The Essential Santana ‎(Sony Records, 2009)
Illumination Live At Montreux 2011, with John McLaughlin (Eagle Records, 2013)

Santana band:

Santana (Columbia Records, 1969)
Abraxas (Columbia Records, 1970)
Santana III (Columbia Records, 1971
Caravanserai (Columbia Records, 1972)
Welcome (Columbia Records, 1973)
Lotus (Columbia Records, 1974)
Borboletta (Columbia Records, 1974)
Amigos (Columbia Records, 1976)
Festival (Columbia Records, 1976)
Moonflower, (Columbia Records, 1977)
Inner Secrets (Columbia Records, 1978)
Marathon (Columbia Records, 1979)
Zebop! (Columbia Records, 1981)
Shangó (Columbia Records, 1982)
Beyond Appearances(Columbia records, 1985)
Freedom (Columbia Records, 1987)
Spirits Dancing In The Flesh (CBS, 1990)
Milagro (PolyGram, 1992)
Sacred Fire: Santana Live In South America (Polydor, 1993)
Live At The Fillmore 1968 (Columbia Records, 1997)
Supernatural (Arista, 1999)
Shaman (Arista, 2002)
All That I Am (Arista, 2005)
The Woodstock Experience (Sony BMG, 2009)
Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics Of All Time (Arista, 2010)
Shape Shifter (Sony Music, 2012)
Corazón: Live From México – Live It To Believe It (Sony Music Latin, 2014)
Corazón (Sony BMG, 2014)
Santana IV (Santana IV Records, 2016)
Santana IV Live At The House Of Blues Las Vegas (Eagle Rock, 2016)
Power Of Peace, with The Isley Brothers (Legacy, 2017)
Africa Speaks (Concord Records, 2019)

DVDs

Supernatural Live – An Evening with Carlos Santana and Friends (2002)
Santana – Live by Request (Arista, 2005)

Books

Jam with Carlos Santana with CD with CD (Audio). Publisher: Warner Brothers Publications (2000). ISBN: 1843285371
Santana Easy Guitar Anthology. Publisher: Alfred Publishing Company (2001). ISBN: 0757902200
In Session with Carlos Santana. Warner Bros Pubns; Book & CD edition (1999). ISBN: 1859096220
Carlos Santana: Back on Top by Marc Shapiro. Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (2002).ISBN: 0312288522
Soul Sacrifice by Simon Leng. Publisher: Firefly Publishing (2000). ISBN: 0946719292

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Artist Profiles: Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Santaolalla

Gustavo Santaolalla has been a force in Latin American music since the 1960s. He is one of a small group of musicians who created the hugely popular “Argentine Rock” movement, which included very creative bands that played progressive rock, jazz fusion, and other genres, sometimes combined with Latin American melodies and rhythms.

Santaolalla’s professional music career started in 1967 at the age of 16, when he founded the seminal group Arco Iris, making history as the pioneer in the fusion of rock and Latin American folk. Santaolalla’s work as bandleader (Arco Iris, Soluna, Wet Picnic); solo artist (Santaolalla, GAS, Ronroco); and record producer (Cafe Tacuba, Kronos Quartet) showcases his expertise in a wide variety of other musical styles.

For a few years, Santaolla lived between Buenos Aires and Los Angeles. Eventually, he settled in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

He has since become the most important name in Latin Alternative music in North America, having won Grammy awardss for his work with Cafe Tacuba and Juanes and has also produced critical and commercial successes for million-selling Mexican group Molotov, as well as Julieta Venegas, Maldita Vecindad, Caifanes, Leon Gieco, Los Prisioneros and Divididos, amongst others.

After the launching of his label Surco, he also played a major role in producing music for his label’s roster of artists, including Bersuit, Erica Garcia, Arbol and La Vela Puerca. Gustavo later entered the world of film music by scoring the music and producing the soundtrack for the Oscar-nominated and Cannes Film Festival-winning film Amores Perros, and again teamed up with Amores Perros director Alejandro Gonzalez Izarritu to work on his film, 21 Grams. Since then, he has composed numerous scores for film, TV and video games.

Santaolalla is the producer of Carnabailito, by Gaby Kerpel, the third Nonesuch project with which he has been involved. Proving once again his versatility, Santaolalla co-produced Kronos Quartet’s Nuevo, which pays homage to the rich musical styles of Mexico.

Gustavo Santaolalla’s musical style fuses rock, soul, African rhythms, and Latin American folk.

Discography

Santaolalla (1982)
Gas (1995)
Ronroco (Nonesuch, 1998)
21 Grams, soundtrack (Varese Sarabande, 2003)
The Motorcycle Diaries: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deutsche Grammophon, 2004)
Café de los Maestros (Universal, 2005)
Brokeback Mountain, soundtrack (Verve Forecast, 2005)
North country (Sony Music, 2005)
Babel (Concord Records, 2006)
I Come With The Rain (2009)
The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom (2009)
Nanga Parbat (2010)
Biutiful (Relativity Music, 2010)
Dhobi Ghaat (2010)
On the Road (2012)
The Last of Us (Sony Masterworks, 2013)
August: Osage County (2013)
The Book of Life (Sony Masterworks, 2014)
Wild Tales (Quartet Records, 2014)
Camino (Sony Masterworks, 2014)
Making a Murderer (2015)
Borrowed Time (2015)
Before the Flood (2016)

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Invitation from Krakow to the Summer Jazz Festival at Piwnicy pod Baranami

The end of winter in Krakow coincides with the beginning of the annual celebration of jazz music. Since 1996, Piwnica pod Baranami (Cellar under the Rams) has hosted the Summer Jazz Festival.

For twenty years, Summer Jazz Festival has hosted outstanding stars of popular music in Krakow: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lenny White, Lee Konitz, Stanley Clarke, Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Richard Bona, Eddie Henderson, Nigel Kennedy, Larry Coryell, the Rosenberg Trio, and many other outstanding artists.

From year to year the Festival has expanded its program, presenting, along with daily concerts at Piwnica pod Baranami, concerts at Filharmonia, Opera Krakowska, Radio Kraków, and all of Krakow’s jazz clubs. Today, the Festival is Poland’s biggest jazz festival, and one of the biggest in Europe. Over the past fourteen years all of the elite performers of Polish jazz have appeared many times.

This year the Krakow stage will be graced by the Arturo Sandoval Sextet, Chick Corea Trio, and Ivo Pogorelić.

Arturo Sandoval will be performing in Krakow on February 17. This world-renowned trumpeter and jazz pianist of Cuban origin has won 10 Grammy Awards and is a six-time Billboard Music Award winner; he has also been awarded the Medal of Freedom for his artistic achievements. A student and friend of Dizzy Gillespie, in his youth he was a drummer, later a master of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, pianist, and composer. Through his Cuban roots and inspirations, Sandoval has ventured into the field of World Music through his work with the group Irakere.

Ivo Pogorelić will be appearing in Krakow on June 9. A native of Belgrade, the artist received his musical education at Moscow Central Music School and the Moscow Conservatory. He is the winner of many prestigious awards, including the Casagrande Competition (Terni, Italy 1978) and the Montreal International Music Competition (1980). He performs with symphony orchestras around the world, including those of Berlin, Vienna, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, New York … His extensive discography includes baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary works.

Performing on May 8 is world-renowned jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. For lovers of jazz-inspired fusion, jazz-rock, or bebop, this concert needs no advertising. The work of Chick Corea is known to everyone. His visit to Poland is not only an artistic event but also a media happening.

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