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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series


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Sunday, 15 December 2013, 12:08 AM

Yosvany Terry and the Bohemian Trio

Melón-Branly-del Puerto Monday

Click here for Tom Ehrlich's new gallery on Yosvany Terry's Bohemian Trio concert in NY.

And don't forget Melón-Branly-del Puerto at Yoshi's SF Monday night.

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Tuesday, 10 December 2013, 06:55 PM

Melón • del Puerto • Branly


The Pedrito Martínez Group concert at Kuumbwa last night was the best I've heard them - I keep waiting to come down to earth but every time I hear this band I'm further convinced that nothing else comes remotely close in terms of crystalizing and extending all of the innovations of the timba era. It's to the point that it's not timba anymore - it's the next generation of Cuban musical genius. It would need its own genre name except that no one else can play like this. Local hero Erick Barbería sat in twice and some truly amazing sparks flew. If you're in LA, trust me - you need to drop everything and go to The Echo on Thursday night. The opening act is Changüí del Guaso - led by changüisero extraordinaire and friend of Gabriel García .

Meanwhile, back en la Bahía - Melón will be here Monday night with Jimmy Branly and Carlitos del Puerto for a historic "Havana Reunion" show at Yoshi's SF - see below. [Kevin Moore]

Havana Reunion at Yoshi's SF Monday, Dec. 16

This trio reunites three of the pivotal titans of the timba era who left the island and went on to conquer la Yuma as jazzistas: 

Iván "Melón" Lewis - arguably the greatest timba pianist based on his years with Issac Delgado - now tours regularly with megastar Buika (they play SF JAZZ from Dec. 12-15), won the Cubadisco award for his Latin jazz CD/DVD Travesía, and is of course the subject of four volumes of Beyond Salsa Piano.

Carlitos del Puerto, son of the Irakere founder, has played with nearly everyone: Chick Corea, Sting, Herbie Hancock, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder ... you get the idea.

Jimmy Branly played with Melón in Issac's band. Then, when Calixto Oviedo left for Europe, he took over as NG La Banda's drummer and is featured in Drumset Artists of Cuba by Chuck Silverman. Since moving to LA he's played with the likes of The Yellowjackets, Bryan Lynch, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Lyle Mays, Flora Purim, Tom Scott, Celia Cruz ... it would be easier to list those he hasn't played with.

More important than their success playing other types of music is the chemistry and cubanismo they can bring to the table when they're only in each others' company and have no need to rein in their creativity. I've heard Jimmy and Melón together in LA (and of course you can hear them on Issac's El año que viene), and Jimmy and Carlitos play together on many albums, but this will be the first time all three have played together since leaving Cuba. You can expect the kind of "Cuban ESP" produced by their shared experience in the one of the most explosive eras in Latin music history. See you there. [Kevin Moore]

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Monday, 09 December 2013, 06:07 AM

Pedrito Martínez Group

Incredible in SF - Kuumbwa Jazz Tonight

PMG played even better than last time to a packed house at SFJAZZ - and signed copies of their new CD. Tonight they'll be at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA. See you there! [Kevin Moore]

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Sunday, 08 December 2013, 10:54 AM

Latin Jazz Nominees in the 56th GRAMMY® Awards

Also: New Manuel Valera Video

Musicians born in Cuba figure prominently in four of the five nominees in the Latin Jazz category of the 56th GRAMMY® Awards, and two of the nominees (Yo by Roberto Fonseca and La noche más Larga by Buika) are good illustrations of why it can be a challenge to assign a genre to some of the best new music being made today.   Here are the nominees in alphabetical order by title:

Eggn by Omar Sosa.  Omar was born in Cuba and is now based in Spain.This recording's origins are in a commission from the Barcelona Jazz Festival.
You can read our review in English here

La noche más larga by Buika.  Although Buika herself was born in Mallorca and is still based in Spain, her key collaborators (including Musical Director Ivan Melón Lewis) have usually been Cuban in recent years. 
You can read our review in English here
Se puede leer nuestra reseña en español aquí 

Latin Jazz - Jazz Latin by the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet.  This quintet is based in the San Francisco Bay Area,   This writer admits that he didn't see this one coming, but it's a quality album from a bandleader who was already a five-time GRAMMY® nominee. 
Not yet reviewed.

Song For Maura by Paquito d'Rivera.  Born in Cuba and now based in the United States, Paquito needs no introduction, and he now works in multiple styles. This time, he teamed up with Brasil's Trio Corriente for a Brasilian Jazz recording. 
Not yet reviewed. 

Yo by Roberto Fonseca.  Roberto was born and is still based in Cuba, and the group toured the United States earlier this year, electrifying audiences wherever they went. This recording won the Cubadisco Award in the Fusion category (it was also nominated in Jazz) earlier this year.
You can read our review in English here 
Se puede leer nuestra reseña en español aquí

Finally, one of the recordings that this writer had hoped would make the cut was Expectativas, the second recording by Manuel Valera and the New Cuban Express.  It didn't, but a video from the recording session was recently published on YouTube and is worth sharing: 

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