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Thirteenth Anniversary of the Jazz Encounter

By Cristóbal Martínez

During a musical career of more than 35 years as sax player and composer, Salomon Maawad has been greatly influenced by the rhythms, melodies, and harmonies of the legends of jazz. Although classic jazz might have been his stepping stones, Salomon has developed a style of his own. By blending melodies and rhythms from all over the musical map (Bebop, Latin, North African, Funk, and Modern Jazz) and using the offbeat time signatures characteristic of avant-garde jazz, Salomon has come up with a varied and eclectic sound that is at once highly original, musically complex, and pleasing to the ear. Salomon has been organizing these National Jazz Encounters since 2003 to bring together a group of jazz-loving musicians in order to explore, develop, and present original projects, and most of all to jam and have fun together. Jazz quintet, Sun, Feb 7, 7:30pm, Rancho el Cáctus, 400 pesos.

Wings Trio, Wed, Feb 3, 7:30pm, Teatro Ángela Peralta

This group has emerged to create music that is a mix of avant-garde and traditional sounds, using improvisation and interplay as fundamental aspects of their sound. Whether they are playing original pieces or arrangements of standards, the group seeks a modern sound while at the same time maintaining clarity of musical expression and a connection with traditional jazz.

Adrian Flores studied classical music on the double bass at the Superior School of Music (INBA) in Mexico City. He is well known in the Mexican jazz scene. He has participated in many projects presented in jazz festivals and concerts and also in many jazz recordings.

Andrés Gándara was born in Querétaro and majored in jazz music at the University of Veracruz. Currently he is participating in various jazz groups, such as a Querétaro big band and the Wings Trio in Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende, and México City.

Diego Flores studied jazz at the Superior School of Music (INBA) on the drum under the tutelage of Armando Cruz. He is continuing his jazz studies at the Faro Institute with the masters Agustín Bernal, Gabriel Puentes, and Héctor Rodríguez and private masters such as Juan Alejandro Saens, Henrán Hetch and Gustavo Dandayapa. He also has a scholarship in the 11th semester of an International Jazz Seminar under the tutelage of Yron Israel, Marco Pignataro, Tal Gamlieli, Joanne Brackeen, and Mageshen Naidoo.

Gabriel Hernández and his Jazz Trio, Thu, Feb 4, 7:30pm, Teatro Ángela Peralta, 200/150/100 pesos

Gabriel is a Cuban pianist who has appeared in many international jazz festivals, including Montreal, Montreaux, Jambori in Poland, Yugoslavia Jazz Fest, and Danube Fest. He was also part of the project of the famous jazzy blues singer from New York, León Tomás. At this time he also played with Dizzy Gillespie. Later he was part of several groups, such as Miguel Escolonia and Maravillas de Florida. Currently, in addition to being a piano soloist and having his own jazz quintet, Gabriel is part of the very prominent music group, Afro-Cuban All Stars, directed by the well-known Juan de Marcos González, with whom he appears in prestigious international festivals and renowned world-wide music venues.

The other members of the trio are Víctor Monterrubio, a great Mexican drum performer, and Adrian Flores, distinguished Mexican upright bass player who has studied classical and jazz music. Both have extensive experience in the national and international music scene.

Tribute to Charlie Parker and John Coltrane by the Downbeats Jazz Quartet, Fri, Feb 5, 7:30pm, Teatro Ángela Peralta, 250/200/150 pesos

Charlie Parker was a genius on the alto saxophone. He was a leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuostic technique, and improvisation. Parker introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords and chord substitutions, making bebop very challenging to interpret and giving way to an indefinite number of ideas. Parker’s technically difficult compositions such as “Donna Lee,” “Anthropology,” “Confirmation,” and many more, give us an authentic taste of his bebop style. Parker’s genius, speed, and musical ideas left the public, as well as musicians, hypnotized. Sadly, Parker died too young, when he was 38, consumed by drugs. But his musical legacy has remained, influencing future jazz musicians and composers around the world.

John Coltrane was a great genius on the tenor saxophone. He worked with bebop and hard bop and helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. Since his musical beginning, Coltrane has been distinguished by his distinct sound on his instrument, which comes through giving his own unique touch to jazz ballads and standards of great composers such as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rogers and Hart, and many more. Coltrane created a revolutionary jazz transition with his very personal style, making him a great jazz genius of the past century.

Tribute to Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, with Salomón Maawad, Armando Servin, Ken Basman, Víctor Monterrubio, Sat, Feb 6, 7:30pm, Teatro Ángela Peralta, 300/200/150 pesos

Miles Davis was a major force and top musician in the jazz world as a trumpeter and bandleader. His bands were composed of many greats of the time including John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, George Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, and the list goes on. Many well-known musicians rose to prominence as members of Davis’ ensembles.

Clifford Brown was a jazz trumpeter and songwriter who sadly died in a car accident at age 25, leaving only four years worth of recordings. He amazed his peers with his ability to blend technique with emotion to create a rich, full sound that earned him praise as the “preeminent trumpeter.”


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