Latin Jazz This Week will bring you a weekly look into news from the Latin Jazz world. You’ll find new releases, recommended performances, web finds, and more. You can check out some current sounds in the Listening Center tab at the top of the page.
You may have noticed things slowing down around LJC lately; it’s been a bit of a journey. I’ll be doing a full article to explain, but in the meantime, I do want to let you know that there will be some changes. I’m taking the Live Listings out of LJC for the time being – this is a huge time commitment that hampers my ability to deliver content to the site on a regular basis. I am working on a solution to allow artists to enter their gigs directly into LJC, but that will happen in the future. Interview will be coming to you in audio format through the new LJC podcast, which be premiering with a discussion with pianist Bill O’Connell. As things progress, I do encourage you to hop to the Latin Jazz Corner Facebook Page and “Like” us to keep up with all the latest.
Saxophonist extrodinaire Miguel Zenon has his group on tour right now to support his outstanding release Alma Adentro, making the rounds to the major jazz clubs across the country. Fortunately for us, that means that he’s doing quite a few interviews and giving us further insight into his fantastic artistry. There were a couple of great interviews posted online this past week where he discussed his recent projects, Puerto Rican music, modern jazz, and more. In this interview with CapitalBop, he speaks with Giovanni Russonello. Over at the San Jose Mercury News, Zenon discussed Latin Jazz with Andrew Gilbert. Zenón is doing some of today’s most interesting takes on the combination of jazz and Puerto Rican music, make sure that you check out all the great things that he has to say!
Drummer Bobby Sanabria performed with his group Quarteto Aché at the annual Percussive Arts Society International Convention this past week in Indianapolis, Indiana. As expected, the group tore up the stage and fortunately Vic Firth drum sticks caught a bit of the show on film. You can check out the footage below:
Conguero Poncho Sanchez is not only one of the Latin Jazz world’s most important congueros, he’s also a smart businessman. That’s one of the reasons that jazz fans around the world know and love his music. He discusses Latin Jazz and business with AARP in a great interview – well worth the read.
Late night T.V. host Conan O’Brien was on the go this past week delivering Chinese Food in New York – it’s a funny skit, well worth the watch. He was lucky enough to run into Argentinean Latin Jazz vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis along the way, who had a couple of minutes of worldwide airtime with the comedian. It’s pretty cool watching Conan drink Mate with Sofia . . . next time he’s going to have to ask her to sing on the show. Check out the clip below; fast forward to 4:18 to see Koutsovitis.
Percussionist John Santos has made a career not only out of delivering outstanding music to the world, but also by being one of the world’s foremost historians and students of jazz, the Caribbean, and South America. There’s no doubt that when Santos makes a statement about music, culture, and history, there’s some studied basis for his thoughts, and it’s well worth listening to what he has to say. This past week Santos spoke with KALW’s Martina Castro about jazz and Latin roots. There’s some good ideas in there worth considering – checking it out.
Congratulations to saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, who won two Latin Grammies in the Latin Jazz and Contemporary Classical categories this past week for his outstanding album Panamericana Suite. As JazzTimes reminds us, the protest over the elimination of 31 Grammy categories in the main awards show continues – let’s celebrate the recognition of D’Rivera’s excellent musicianship but keep our eyes on the issue.
Henry Brun & The Latin Playerz, A Very Latin Christmas
Mark Weinstein, El Cumbanchero
Hendrik Meurkens, Live At Bird’s Eye
Duduka Da Fonseca, Plays Toninho Horta