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ARTIST NEWS (click on red links for more info/videos/press)

Myra Melford’s multi-media work Language of Dreams, featuring her quintet Snowy Egret, texts by Eduardo Galeano, butoh dance, and film projections, was performed last month at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. Just a week earlier, Snowy Egret’s concert at the Berlin Jazzfest was hailed by the UK’s Jazz Journal as “absolutely superb” and “one of the best in the festival.”

Dafnis Prieto is currently preparing the launch of his most ambitious project yet, the Dafnis Prieto Big Band, to be comprised of the drummer’s longstanding sextet plus another dozen of New York’s top jazz musicians. He recently began a fundraising campaign for the Big Band’s debut recording, Tribute, to be recorded in the fall of 2017, featuring prominent special guests, including some of his early mentors.

Edward Simon’s Ensemble Venezuela enthralled the audience at the SF Sonido Fest at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts earlier this month.  Be sure to also see this video from the September world premiere of House of Numbers, Simon’s CMA commissioned work for jazz quartet and chamber ensemble, featuring Afinidad & Imani Winds.

Guitarist Rotem Sivan’s newest and fourth album, Antidote, featuring his excellent trio with bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Colin Stranahan, will be released in March 2017 on the Fresh Sound New Talent label. Still performing more often in Europe and Latin America, the young Israel-born and New York based guitarist will undoubtedly gain more and more fans stateside, as his musicianship and songwriting prowess are nothing short of extraordinary. Following his trio’s next New York shows in early January (details below), Rotem will embark on a 3-month teaching residency in Chennai, India.

The Westerlies eponymously titled second album, released in October, has received stellar reviews by the Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Reader, and AllAboutJazz, among others. During a recent tour, the young brass quartet performed at the NPR studios for the popular Tiny Desk Concert Series. Following their performance at New York’s Winter Jazzfest on January 6 (details below) The Westerlies will be Artists-in-Residence at the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival in their home state Washington (January 12-15).

Currently in his second year as Director of Jazz Ensembles and Senior Lecturer at the Music Department at Harvard University, Yosvany Terry continues to balance extremely busy teaching and performance schedules. Guest artists of the Harvard Jazz band included George Cables, Tia Fuller, Rufus Reid, and Dena DeRose as part of Harvard’s Master-in-Residency program. Besides his own quintet, Yosvany also performed with the Vijay Iyer Trio, Rufus Reid Quartet, Joshua Bell, Dave Matthews, and Chick Corea’s Experiment in Electronica, part of the iconic pianist’s 75th Anniversary Celebration at New York’s Blue Note. Earlier this month, Terry premiered a new composition commissioned by the renowned visual artists Los Carpinteros for the opening of the Faena Art Forum in Miami. In January, he will record the first album by the Ancestral Memories Quartet, with French pianist and co-leader Baptiste Trotignon, bassist Yunior Terry and powerhouse drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts. Terry calls the Ancestral Memories project “a unique musical journey researching and learning from the musical traditions that originated in the French former colonies including Guadalupe, Martinique, Haiti, New Orleans and Cuba.” With support from the French-American Jazz Exchange Program (FAJE) the Ancestral Memories will tour in the 2017/18 season. Fee subsidies through the FAJE program will be available to non-profit concert presenters in the eligible Mid Atlantic region.

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS:

The great jazz drummer Paul Motian (1931-2011) composed and recorded music that is uniquely suited to improvisation and exploration. For the first time, his written music has become available in a book, featuring 64 of his compositions in his own handwriting. The Compositions of Paul Motian, Vol. 1 (1973-1989) makes a beautiful gift for any musician, professional and hobbyist alike, and is available by mail order at www.paulmotianarchive.com.

Dafnis Prieto’s recently published A World of Rhythmic Possibilities has been mentioned here before, but I want to recommend it again because it also makes a great holiday gift. Accompanied by over 300 audio and 33 video clips, available as downloads with the book purchase, Prieto explains in great detail a multitude of rhythmic concepts and patterns, many of them reflecting the rich Afro-Cuban drumming traditions of his native country, and demonstrates their integration into a modern jazz language and other musical styles.

ARTIST SHOWCASES DURING
WINTER JAZZFEST, JAZZ CONNECT AND APAP CONFERENCES
NEW YORK CITY, JANUARY 6-10, 2017:

THE WESTERLIES:  
Friday, January 6, 8:20pm, The Bowery Electric 327 Bowery

ROTEM SIVAN TRIO: 
Friday, January 6, 7-8pm, Caffe Vivaldi   32 Jones St. (off Bleecker St.)
Tuesday, January 10, 8:30 & 10:30pm, Bar Next Door  129 MacDougal St.

2017/18 ARTIST TOURING ROSTER

DAFNIS PRIETO
Big Band
Sextet
Si o Si Quartet

EDWARD SIMON
Trio: Latin American Songbook
Ensemble Venezuela
Afinidad & Imani Winds: House of Numbers

LIBERTY ELLMAN’S SUPERCELL

MARK ORTON
Live score for Buster Keaton’s silent classic The General (formal announcement forthcoming.)

MYRA MELFORD
Snowy Egret
Language of Dreams (multi-media)

RON MILES
Circuit Rider w/Bill Frisell & Brian Blade

ROTEM SIVAN TRIO

THE WESTERLIES

YOSVANY TERRY
Quintet
Ancestral Memories Quartet w/Baptiste Trotignon
Afro-Cuban Roots “Ye-Dé-Gbé”