XII National Jazz Encounter 2015
By Gil Givens
Salomón Maawad has organized the XII National Jazz Encounter 2015 at the Angela Peralta Theater. Opening night will feature Gabriel Hernandez and his Jazz Quintet. Gabriel, a Cuban pianist, has appeared in many international jazz festivals, such as Montreal, Montreaux, “ambori in Poland, Yugoslavia Jazz Fest, and Danube Fest. He was part of the Leon Tomas project, a jazzy blues singer from New York, and also played with Dizzy Gillespie. Gabriel now performs regularly as a piano soloist, has his own jazz quintet, and is part of Afrocuban All Stars, appearing in prestigious international festivals and renowned music venues worldwide. The other members of the quintet are Jorge Manuel Brauet Torrentre, sax; Víctor Monterrubio, drums; Adrian Flores, upright bass; and Alex Guardiola, trumpet. All of them have an ample national and international curriculum.
XII National Jazz Encounter 2015
Organized by Salomón Maawad
Wed, Feb 4-Sat, Feb 7, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
The second night will feature a local favorite, Hopalong Jazz Sextet. José Luis Chagoyán (Hopalong) is an upright bass player with studies in musical arrangements, composition, and orchestration. He has been present in the Mexican music scene since 1975, playing with some of the most renowned musicians. In 1978 and 1979 he played with the Francisco Mondragon Trio, performing in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. They recorded live in the Quasimodo Club in Berlin. He has also recorded in Mexico City with guests Francisco Téllez, Jaco Grau, Alex Campos, Claudia Shiu, and Miguel Villicaña. Since 1968 he has been composing original pieces and won the First Prize in the UIA Song Festival in 1974, and the Yamaha Award for best group in 1986. The other members of the Hopalong Jazz Sextet are Victor Monterrubio, drums; Julian Arcos guitar; Alejandro Villagómez, piano; Armando Servín, trumpet; and Paco Servín, tenor sax.
For the last two nights of the event, Salomon Maawad has prepared a special treat, performing on Friday night with his Jazz Quintet, interpreting some of his latest compositions, recording live for his next CD. On Saturday will be the Grand Finale: performing with his Jazz Sextet and the Assai String Quartet, a special arrangement of one of his favorite original compositions, the Suite “Exotic Nights of Babylon.”
During more than 35 years as a sax player and composer, Salomon has been greatly influenced by the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of the legends of jazz. Although classic jazz might have been his stepping-stones, Salomón has developed a style of his own, blending melodies and rhythms from all over the musical map and utilizing the offbeat time signatures characteristic of avant-garde jazz. Salomón has come up with a varied and eclectic sound that is at once highly original, musically complex, and pleasing to the ear.
He has organized these National Jazz Encounters since 2003, bringing together jazz-loving musicians to explore, develop, and present original projects and, most of all, to jam together and have fun.
Salomon will be together with Gabriel Hernandez on piano, Ken Basman on guitar, Adrian Flores on upright bass, Victor Monterrubio on drums, and Paco Servín on tenor sax; and the Assai String Quartet: Alejandro Zaragoza, first violin; Damaris Ramos, second violin; Fabe Ramos, viola; and Victor Hugo Ramos, cello.