promoting improvisation

Sheryl Lynn Thomas

Percussionist Michael Spiro and Trombonist Wayne Wallace’s Canto América Earns Grammy® Nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album”

PERCUSSIONIST MICHAEL SPIRO AND TROMBONIST WAYNE WALLACE’S  CANTO AMÉRICA EARNS GRAMMY® NOMINATION  FOR “BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM”

 

“Simply put, Canto América is a certified masterpiece – one of the most aurally-arresting and culturally-distinctive recordings in recent memory.”
– Mark Holston, Latino Magazine.com

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World-renowned trombonist Wayne Wallace and percussionist Michael Spiro have earned a GRAMMY ® nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for their CD Canto América on the Patois label. The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

“We are extremely proud of this recording, and would like to take the opportunity to personally thank the Academy and all of the musicians who participated in the making of this project,” say Spiro and Wallace.

Wallace, Spiro and La Orquesta Sinfonietta (consisting of 35 performers, many of whom are affiliated with Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where Wallace and Spiro teach) weave a colorful tapestry of classic-to-modern rhythms – bolero to timba, Haitian petro to Cuban rumba, mambo to guiro – refreshed by traditional and newly composed compositions, along with surprising treatments of 20th-century standards. Thus the Great American Song “Stardust” is recast as a danzón, while the familiar John Coltrane vehicle “Afro-Blue” transforms into a Creole masterpiece.

Canto América artfully balances African and Western influences by way of “a strong rhythmic base over which orchestral elements of European classical music are featured,” write Wallace and Spiro in their engrossing liner essay. But here, the rhythmic base combines folkloric rhythms with the modern grooves of Wayne Wallace’s well-established Latin Jazz Quintet. This fusion forms the foundation for Canto América, upon which the co-leaders use post-bop harmonies, emblematic compositions, and their own eclectic experiences to create music far removed from the usual Latin Jazz formats.

The recording earned rave reviews:

“[Wallace], Spiro, and Orquestra Sinfonietta deliver something nearly peerless in Canto America. Though highly disciplined and carefully plotted, it is far from an academic exercise. Jazz improvisation and individual acumen shine through while feel and groove consciousness are paramount. Ultimately, this is more than the knowledge and practice of traditions; it is the collective expression of human imagination and heart. Brilliant.” – Thom Jurek, Allmusic.com

“Simply put, Canto América is a certified masterpiece – one of the most aurally-arresting and culturally-distinctive recordings in recent memory.” – Mark Holston, Latino Magazine.com

Five stars: “…an ambitious and panoramic endeavor…an engaging narrative of the Afro-Caribbean experience on a grand scale…. Michael Spiro and Wayne Wallace have done a tremendous favor to those interested in not only the music, but also the academic and intellectual approach to its formation and evolution as well.” – James Nadal, All About Jazz

What beauty! What a rarity!….prodigious work…” – Eric Gonzalez, Herencia Latina

“…joyous, celebratory…. a vision of groundbreaking jazz. The longtime collaborators are in top form in this fusion of ancient folkloric rhythms, modern Latin jazz grooves, post-bop harmonies, and stunning orchestral work.” – Monarch Magazine

“…sweeping and gorgeous…. Never unwieldy in its largeness, the music is focused, unpretentious, and heartfelt. Highly rewarding.” – Jeff Potter, Modern Drummer

In his four-decade career, San Francisco native Wayne Wallace has collaborated with artists ranging from Count Basie to Stevie Wonder, Sonny Rollins to Carlos Santana, Tito Puente to Lena Horne and Aretha Franklin – as sideman, composer, arranger, and producer. His debut album as a leader, 2000’s Three In One (Spirit Nectar), showcased his writing skills and his encyclopedic knowledge of Afro-Cuban rhythms, the result of years of music-making in the close-knit Bay Area jazz community, where Wallace has played an oversized role. He has earned particular notice for his approach to Latin Jazz, a vision shaped by his work with Latin Jazz percussion giants Pete Escovedo and John Santos, in whose Machete Ensemble he served as music director for more than 20 years. This is the eighth time that Wallace — a San Francisco native who splits his time between the Bay Area and the Midwest where he’s a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music — has been on a GRAMMY nominated album.

Michael Spiro has performed on each of those nominated albums – a mere fraction of the literally hundreds of wide-ranging albums on which he has worked, which include GRAMMY-nominated albums by John Santos, pianist Mark Levine, and vocalist Karrin Allyson. He has also performed with Ella Fitzgerald, Carlos Santana, and McCoy Tyner. He is an internationally recognized author of multiple books on the subject of Afro-Caribbean percussion, and also has released two critically acclaimed instructional DVDs. The first album under his own name, BataKetu (with Mark Lamson), released in 1996, was named by DRUM! Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Drum Records” of all time.

Wallace and Spiro met more than 30 years ago in San Francisco, forging a personal and professional relationship tempered by their shared interest in the music of Cuba. In 2008, Spiro joined the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at IU, and under his direction the percussion department grew from its emphasis on orchestral work to include the world’s rhythms. He soon began leading a Latin Jazz big band at the school, which used many of Wallace’s acclaimed arrangements, which led to a guest appearance with the band — and eventually to the school hiring Wallace as a professor in 2013.

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NEA Jazz Master David Baker’s big band legacy celebrated on Basically Baker 2 out September 23, 2016 on Patois Records

Featuring special guests Randy Brecker, Rich Perry, Dave Stryker with the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra

Sequel to the 2007 release Basically Baker, named by DownBeat Magazine as one of the top 100 jazz CDs of the 21st century so far.

The music of the late NEA Jazz Master and world-lauded jazz educator David Baker is featured on Basically Baker 2, a new recording to be released September 23 on Patois Records. The two-CD set showcases the renowned Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra in Baker’s own big band arrangements of his music. Proceeds generated by sales of the recording will go to the David N. Baker Scholarship Fund to benefit students of the Jacobs School of Music Jazz Studies Program.

Basically Baker 2 employs former Baker students and proteges such as trombonist Brent Wallarab, saxophonist Tom Walsh, trumpeters Mark Buselli and Pat Harbison, and pianist Luke Gillespie in music previously heard almost exclusively at Indiana University concert performances. Another IU alum, trumpeter and multi-Grammy winner Randy Brecker, provides a lovely cameo appearance for “Kirsten’s First Song,” as does IU jazz faculty guitarist Dave Stryker, whose easy, elegant swing evokes 21st-century echoes of Baker’s good friend Wes Montgomery. Saxophonist Rich Perry of Maria Schneider’s award-winning orchestra checks in for solos as well playing on the lyrical “Soft Summer Rain,” “Sweet Georgia Peach” (Baker’s abstract take on “Sweet Georgia Brown”), and “Shima 13.” Trombonist and Patois Records label founder Wayne Wallace also steps up with a bold contribution to one of Baker’s most significant compositions, “Honesty.”

The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, with Baker’s blessing, first ventured into the realm of his large ensemble compositions with 2007’s Basically Baker. That recording landed on DownBeat’s top-100 list of jazz CDs for the 21st century, and is now being reissued by Patois Records in conjunction with Basically Baker 2.

The idea of Basically Baker 2 had been in the works for some time, but the project gained poignance and momentum after Baker passed away this March at the age of 84. “David and Lida approached me in 2005 to record the first volume, which was a great experience for everyone involved,” says Wallarab. “Since then, we talked a number of times about doing a second volume and especially in recent years, he mentioned it frequently. It was important to David that his music ‘live on’ as he would say and not languish away in the library at the music school. This project was a way we could all channel our grief into something productive that honored David’s wishes to care for his music after he was gone.”

The passion and skill of Baker’s musical progeny was matched by their dedication and desire to be a part of Basically Baker 2. “I was amazed by the overwhelming commitment and enthusiasm of everyone I asked,” says Wallarab. “Many musicians cancelled or rescheduled other commitments already on the books to participate.”

Basically Baker 2 extends the far-reaching impact of Baker’s life and accomplishments. When he was born David Nathaniel Baker in Indianapolis, Indiana on December 21, 1931, the United States was a racially segregated country, either by law or socially enforced custom, and jazz was a young and controversial form of music. By the time of his departure on March 26, 2016, an African-American was serving as the country’s president, and jazz education programs were thriving at various institutions across the land. Jazz and America had gone through some changes, and Baker made a major contribution, as a jazz education pioneer, a master trombonist and cellist, a prolific composer, a builder of cultural bridges, and an innovator who used the past in service of the future. George Russell, the jazz composer and theorist who helped shape David’s late-1950s Indianapolis hardbop group into one of the most progressive ensembles of the early 1960s, coined an appropriate term for David’s compositions, calling them “21st century soul music.”

During Baker’s formative years in the 1930s and 40s, he listened to the great big band orchestras of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and numerous others, as well as gospel, blues, pop, classical, and country music. By the late 1940s the bebop revolution had taken hold, and Baker was an enthusiastic convert, sneaking into the clubs along Indianapolis’ Indiana Avenue with his teenage friends to hear the exciting new sounds being propagated by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and other musical torchbearers of the times.

Throughout the 1950s Baker continued his studies, worked with orchestras of Fred Dale, Stan Kenton, and Maynard Ferguson, and taught in classrooms and privately. By the end of the decade he was leading a hard-charging big band at Indiana University, touring with Quincy Jones’ orchestra, and being praised in print by Gunther Schuller. In 1966 he took over Indiana University’s fledgling jazz studies program and spent close to 50 years there, building the foundation of the modern jazz education movement and codifying the lingua franca of 20th-century jazz for generations to come through his teaching, writings, performances, and recordings.

Significantly, much of the material on Basically Baker 2 comes from Baker’s first decade at Indiana University as head of jazz studies, stretching from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. “I think he was a little more daring as a writer then,” says Brent Wallarab. In addition to being a fascinating era for big band music, these were also the years when jazz made its first bold advances into the academy, and in Baker the music found one of its most effective ambassadors. The connections Baker forged in Indiana University’s world-renowned classical music program, and his own extensive work in the field of classical composition, played a vital role in jazz’s late-20th century cultural elevation, as did his leadership of the repertory-oriented Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra.

Baker never ventured too far afield from the primary colors of his musical palette, though: blues, popular song, and bebop. It’s fitting that the sole non-Baker composition on this CD is Baker’s arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie’s “Bebop,” suggested by Gillespie himself, who encouraged Baker to apply his own masterly touch to the composition’s bright, frantic, swirl-and-dash contours. There are other salutes as well, to longtime friend Tillman Buggs (“Terrible T”), and grandchild Kirsten (“Kirsten’s First Song,” which ends with a celeste solo that Wallarab says “is like a little kiss on his granddaughter’s forehead before he tucks her away for the night”). “Black Thursday” summons the sound and spirit of Baker’s Indianapolis hardbop era in memory of the friends and loved ones who passed on that particular day of the week. “Shima 13” invokes Baker’s love of puns and wordplay in honor of his sister Shirley, and “25th and Martindale” namechecks the Indianapolis neighborhood where Baker spent much of his youth, attending church, working as a caddy at a nearby golf course, and honing his skills as a musician. “Harlem Pipes,” which began as a small group piece and morphed into a big band arrangement, is dedicated to Baker’s friend and cohort, pianist Marian McPartland.

“David’s legacy as educator, author, and classical composer is well documented through many publications, recordings, and through thousands of his academic progeny continuing his pedagogy in schools worldwide,” says Wallarab. “As a composer for jazz big band, David has an important and distinct voice that most of the jazz world does not yet know. It is truly an honor to be involved in presenting his music to the global jazz community.”

Basically Baker 2 extends its predecessor’s contribution to the modern jazz canon and furthers the mission and legacy of David Baker’s life in music: to create, to swing, and to teach. At the same time, it offers a deeper portrait of an artist whose place in jazz history is destined to grow ever more significant with the passing of years, and whose music is filled with nuance, humor, melodicism, and the blues—at once earthy and sophisticated. It is a celebration of a remarkable individual’s vision of jazz, expanding that vision’s recorded element, just as Baker himself, through his composing, performing, and educational efforts, expanded the consciousness of jazz around the countries and cultures of the world.

The Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, founded by Mark Buselli and Brent Wallarab in 1994, includes many of the top jazz artists in the Midwest. The group has given over 1,000 public performances, played every Tuesday night over a 12 year tenure at The Jazz Kitchen, recorded seven CDs, and given hundreds of jazz education presentations in dozens of schools.

http://www.patoisrecords.com/

http://indianapublicmedia.org/davidbakerlegacy

http://info.music.indiana.edu/releases/iu/2016/03/david-baker-tribute.shtml

 

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet Earns Third GRAMMY Nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album

WAYNE WALLACE’s INTERCAMBIO EARNS GRAMMY NOMINATION FOR “BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM”

 

“Wayne Wallace is a fine trombonist but a better bandleader, and an excellent conceptualist. His ingenious knack for re-contextualizing bop standards using Latin idioms, or simply splicing cultures guided by his instincts and imagination, turns the song list on Intercambio into a steady series of surprises that are each distinctively delightful… the head, the heart and the feet all get nourished…” – Britt Robson, JazzTimes

 

4-stars. “Afro-Cuban jazz that shakes, quakes and practically immolates.” – Ken Micallef, DownBeat

 

Intercambio_Cover-smWorld-renowned trombonist, composer, arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace has earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his CD Intercambio his tenth CD on the Patois label. The release, which topped the radio charts and earned rave reviews, is a soul-deep communion, an ongoing and never ending intra-family conversation between the extraordinarily rich African Diaspora cultures of the United States and Cuba (and various Caribbean cousins). The project features The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with special guests.

This is the third Grammy nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” which The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet has earned and the seventh time Wallace — a San Francisco native now splitting his time between the Bay Area and the Midwest where he’s a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music — has been on a GRAMMY nominated album.

“It’s an honor that distinguished peers feel that this recording is worthy of a Grammy nomination,” says Wallace. “The Quintet would like to extend its thanks to the Academy and everyone who participated in the making of this project.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.00.28 PMIn a career spanning four decades, Wallace has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. Wallace was a driving creative force behind some of the Bay area’s most creative ensembles, including the Machete Ensemble, and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra. One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, he’s been named in DownBeat polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace earned a place in the 2015 DownBeat poll as a rising star producer. He is also a lauded composer and educator. He heads up Patois Records, which has released a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs, and is on faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, February 15, 2016, in Los Angeles. For a complete list of nominees for the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards go to http://www.grammy.com/nominees

 

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Media Contact:
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Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet Earns Second GRAMMY Nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album

 

“An earnestly grooving statement from Bay Area trombonist Wayne Wallace…great.” — Brad Farberman, DownBeat

 

“Gorgeous playing dominates along with highly inventive arrangements. Wallace’s trombone shifts easily from a seductive, warm ballad style to powerful statements on uptempo tunes. Every track offers a surprise and plenty of chops to back them up.” — Marc Myers, JazzWax

 

Latin Jazz - Jazz LatinWorld-renowned trombonist, composer, arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace has earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his CD Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin his seventh CD on the Patois label. The CD, which topped the radio charts and earned rave reviews and a place on numerous top CDs of the year lists, displays all the thrilling interplay, melodic invention, and blazing improvisational flights that distinguish his music. Every tune reflects the flow of rhythmic currents between Caribbean and African-American communities. The project features The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with special guests including 77-year-old percussion patriarch Pete Escovedo and 17-year-old rising flute star Elena Pinderhughes, plus violinists Mads Tolling and Jeremy Cohen.

This is the second Grammy nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” which The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet has earned and the sixth time Wallace — a San Francisco native now splitting his time between the Bay Area and the Midwest where he’s a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music — has been nominated for a GRAMMY for one of his own projects.

“This is a tremendous honor,” says Wallace.  “All the members of the quintet and I are deeply thankful for the consideration of the Recording Academy, as well as the support of our families, musical peers, and our extended family in the community. We very much appreciate your continued support.”

In a career spanning four decades, Wallace has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. Wallace was a driving creative force behind some of the Bay area’s most creative ensembles, including the Machete Ensemble, and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra. One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, he’s been named in DownBeat polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace is also a lauded composer and educator. He heads up Patois Records, which has released a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs.

The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, January 26th, 2014, in Los Angeles. For a complete list of nominees for the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards go to grammy.com/nominees

 

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Here’s what some journalists said about Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin and about Wallace:

“Trombonist Wayne Wallace and his Latin Jazz Ensemble have a well-oiled record-making machine that seems incapable of turning out a subpar album… Wallace’s trombone recalls the great trombone sections of the great Latin conjuntos, while his solos have the panache and lyrical intelligence of the late trumpeter Clifford Brown’s improvisational style.” – Jeff Dayton-Johnson, All About Jazz

“Wallace’s dazzling and spirited arrangements of both his own substantial compositions and four jazz classics help to make this album one of the most significant in Latin jazz so far this year.” – Scott Albin, JazzTimes.com

Five stars. “For the Latin jazz scene it is a pleasure to have a new piece from the brilliant composer and musician Wayne Wallace. This time around the five-time Grammy Award nominee brings us Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin, a powerful and tremendous ten-themed album where he showcases his incredible knowledge and his great playing, composing and arranging.” – Oscar Montagut, Latin Jazz Network

“Wallace… seems to have concocted the right formula to keep you moving while slipping in a little education too. Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin is an absolute joy from start to finish.” – Stuart Kremsky, Mr. Stu’s Record Room

“Yet another triumphant project from trombonist, composer, and bandleader Wayne Wallace, whose quintet continues to display a quality that is the holy grail of Latin jazz ensembles: the fiendishly difficult juxtaposition of utter tightness and rubbery looseness that makes Afro-Latin grooves possible… Highly recommended to all fans of Latin jazz.” – Rick Anderson, CD HotList

“San Francisco-based trombonist Wayne Wallace had the cojones to call his latest album Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin. That’s okay, because Wallace has the musical talent to back it up.” – Curtis Davenport, Jazz Inside

“If you have a hankering for Latin music that will set you soul on fire and cause you to dance around the house, Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin is what you want. As he has done throughout his career, Wayne Wallace hits all the right notes, ably supported by his fine Quintet.” – Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“Horns, percussion and danceable rhythms are an essential combination for Latin jazz. Add to that stellar performances from all players, including guest musicians, and a biographical sketch of each song, and you get Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin.” – Woodrow Wilkins, The Jazz Writer

“The repertoire, instrumentation and even the generations of participants speak to the whirling, cyclical energy of the genre. A deft blend of jazz standards and originals provides the platform for Wallace’s soaring and soulful artistry.” – Jim Byers, Port of Harlem

“Wallace has been perfecting the small-combo Latin-jazz vibe for many years, and each new album is a delight. The ensemble’s 2013 release is called simply, and accurately, Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin. Once again, the group displays a mastery of the various rhythms of the Latin side of their double helix, while soulfully bringing jazz with the other strand.” – Jeff Dayton-Johnson, KUSP Featured Album August 2013

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Media Contact:
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SALSA DE LA BAHIA A Groundbreaking Anthology of Afro-Cuban Music

SALSA DE LA BAHIA
A Groundbreaking Anthology of Afro-Cuban Music, Salsa De La Bahía, Reveals the Hidden History of Tropical Heat From the San Francisco Bay Area

Salsa de la BahiaA Two-CD Companion Piece to the Upcoming Documentary Film The Last Mambo, Featuring Latin Music Giants Orestes Vilató, John Santos, Jesus Diaz, John Calloway, and Benny Velarde.

Rather than dwelling on the reasons why the San Francisco Bay Area’s longtime role as a creative hothouse for Latin jazz and salsa has been overlooked and undervalued for half a century, trombonist/arranger Wayne Wallace and filmmaker Rita Hargraves decided to let the music speak for itself. Scheduled for release on Wallace’s Patois label on August 13, Salsa De La Bahía is a two-CD companion piece to Hargraves’ celebratory documentary The Last Mambo, which traces the evolution of the Bay Area’s Latin music scene from Cal Tjader, Benny Velarde, and the Escovedo Brothers to present day masters such as John Santos, Jesus Diaz, and Anthony Blea. The Last Mambo DVD will be released on Patois in spring 2014.

More than a historical survey of the singular sounds that have emerged from the Bay Area, the album opens and closes with three thrilling pieces recorded especially for the project by Estrellas De La Bahia, an all-star orchestra encompassing many of the scene’s key players. The package includes extensive liner notes by Jesse “Chuy” Varela, who has incisively chronicled the Bay Area scene for more than three decades as a journalist (JazzTimes, Latin Beat, The San Francisco Chronicle) and DJ and music director for KCSM.

“Rita was inspired to make The Last Mambo by the closing of Jelly’s,” Wallace says, referring to one of several popular San Francisco salsa spots that closed in rapid succession in 2010. “I suggested we do something that documented and captured the whole scene. We’re calling this ‘volume one’ because we had to leave some bands out, like Conjunto Céspedes, but we were able to really capture what was a golden age, and to show what’s going on in our scene today (which very well may look like a golden age in retrospect).”

The fact that all of the bands featured on the CD are active, save for the Machete Ensemble, speaks to the scene’s vitality. At the same time, all the music, except for the three Estrellas De La Bahia tracks, was originally released on indie labels, which goes a long way toward explaining why so much of it stayed under the national media radar. The album opens with “Canto, Clave y Candela,” a benediction by Edgardo Cambom that serves as a roll call for the album’s guiding spirits. Wallace’s “El Espirtu Del Mambo” provides a vital survey of the scene’s essential voices, with brief, incisive solos by Bahia bandleaders (John Santos and Jesus Diaz) and invaluable sidemen (such as pianist Murray Low, bassist David Belove, and saxophonist Melecio Magdaluyo). The project closes with “Rumba Para Paul,” a beautiful and soulful tribute to the beloved drummer Paul van Wageningen, an integral part of the Bay Area scene for more than three decades until his death in 2012.

Part of what makes the Bay Area’s Latin music scene so distinct from New York or Miami is the lack of a Caribbean critical mass. The region received an infusion of Cuban rhythms in the early 1950s via vibraphonist/drummer Cal Tjader, who became fascinated with Cuban grooves as a member of the George Shearing Quintet. When Tjader launched his own Latin jazz band in the early 1950s he ensured a steady flow of top Cuban percussion talent to the Bay Area, most notably masters such as Armando Peraza, Mongo Santamaria, and Willie Bobo. The Panamanian-born percussionist Benny Velarde was present at the creation, recording with Tjader on his classic 1954 Mambo albums for Fantasy. He’s represented here by two tracks with his Su Super Combo. The following generation, who came of age in the 1970s, is vividly captured via tracks by flutist/composer John Calloway and percussionist John Santos, whose improvisation-laced Machete Ensemble embodied the experimental edge of the Bay Area Latin music scene during its two-decade run.

As the name suggests, Salsa De La Bahía doesn’t focus only on the Latin jazz side of the equation. The salseros share the spotlight, with hard-charging work by Santana timbalero Karl Perazzo’s Avance, Cuban percussionist Carlos Caro’s Vission Latina, Uruguyan percussionist Edgardo Cambon’s Edgardo y Su Candela, and Louie Romero y Su Grupo Mazacote. “I was looking to showcase the diversity of the scene,” Wallace says. “A central theme of the project is the synergy between the dance community and the musicians. I wanted to highlight all of the colors. Everyone who recorded salsa also plays Latin jazz. You can’t disconnect the two things.”

With less pressure to stay in fashion, older styles have flourished in the Bay Area. Orquesta la Moderna Tradición, an 11-piece charanga ensemble co-led by Cuban percussionist and dancer Roberto Borrell and violinist Tregar Otton, focuses on stately danzón, a 19th century style that has largely disappeared. But one shouldn’t overstate the divide between the East and West Coast. Before he moved to the Bay Area in 1981 to join Santana, legendary Cuban timbalero Orestes Vilató helped found contemporary New York salsa through his seminal work with the Fania All Stars, Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades, Celia Cruz, and Johnny Pacheco. His piece “Toca Vilató” is a tour de force arranged by Rebeca Mauleón (who is a shoe-in for inclusion on volume 2).

A later wave of Latin American artists helped invigorate the Bay Area scene. Cuban percussionists Carlos Caro and Jesus Diaz both brought new rhythmic information directly from the source when the settled near San Francisco. But one vitally important facet that can’t be covered by the CD also helps explain the high level of Latin jazz creativity in the Bay Area, namely a widespread commitment to passing on hard-won knowledge. Many of the players documented on Salsa De La Bahía are influential educators, particularly John Santos, John Calloway, Jesus Diaz, and Wayne Wallace.

Only a streak of modesty could have kept Wallace from featuring his own work more prominently, as he could have easily included numerous tracks from his own Grammy-nominated albums. Steeped in jazz and R&B, the trombonist followed his passion for Afro-Caribbean music to Cuba, where he made several trips to study with top players. Over the past three decades, he’s been an essential force on the Bay Area’s Latin music scene through his work as an improviser, arranger, producer, and music director of landmark bands such as Pete Escovedo Orchestra, the Machete Ensemble, and Conjunto Céspedes. His work as an arranger and player is well represented here, but he was determined to make a compelling case for the depth and breadth of creativity on the Bay Area’s Latin music scene.

“These people are alive and the music is present,” Wallace says. “John Santos and John Calloway are at the height of their careers. So much great music has come out of this funny little outpost for Cuban music, where so many of us have gone down there and brought back contemporary and archaic strains of the tradition. We don’t have an overt Cuban population but the Bay Area really embraced the music, and Salsa De La Bahía offers a good place to start checking it out.”

 

Media Contact:
Ann Braithwaite
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Ann@bkmusicpr.com

SHED A LITTLE LIGHT New Patois Records release by Trelawny Rose

SHED A LITTLE LIGHT
New Patois Records release by Trelawny Rose

Shed A Little Light Trelawny Rose

Trelawny Rose, is a soulful folk-jazz vocalist with a deep love of a good backbeat. With her feet firmly planted in her early roots in gospel/R&B, as well as 70’s singer/songwriters, Trelawny explores the tension between jazz and pop, folk and soul, strength and vulnerability. She is driven to tell important stories, mostly very personal ones, by interpreting  and arranging songs that draw her in and also by composing her own.

With Shed A Little Light Trelawny Rose explores songs of struggle and resilience. Arrangements of jazz standards, pop standards, some obscure favorites and two original compositions.​​

“Trelawny Rose is the kind of pure talent that’s instantly accessible, classic and timeless. Her smooth delivery across a wide range of styles makes her one of the standout voices of a generation.”  – Josh Haygood, MTV

 

Vocals, Trelawny Rose
Piano, Murray Low,
Guitar, Mimi Fox
Bass, John Shifflett
Drums, Jason Lewis
Percussion, John Santos
Produced by Wayne Wallace

Also featuring Joe Cohen on saxophone and background vocals by Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

Released 3.28.2013

Vocalist/Vocal Coach Trelawny Rose lives in Los Angeles where she trains aspiring singers and established recording stars. She works to preserve the health of the voice, while allowing students to express themselves fully on stage and in the recording studio. Trelawny has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance, 10 years of performing as a soloist with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and a current thriving career as an independent recording and performance artist.

Trelawny is a Master Associate of celebrity vocal coach, Roger Love teaching along side him since 2005. Trelawny is a vocal coach for the Number One Hit TV singing competition THE VOICE, and personally coached the 2012 season 3 winner, Cassadee Pope. Trelawny has extensive performance and coaching experience in Pop, Folk, R&B, Rock, Gospel and Jazz, she acts as a motivator, mentor, advocate and cheerleader for her clients.

Trelawny is a sought after performance coach, training singers to bring every song alive by helping them connect to the lyric and create dynamic and interesting ad-libs and vocal arrangements. Trelawny tailors each session to the needs of the client. She is not only a top notch vocal technician, working with scales to improve tone, range, endurance and pitch but also works in a less technical, more intuitive way to bring out the best in students with different learning styles.

THE LAST MAMBO A documentary film by Rita Hargrave

THE LAST MAMBO
A documentary film by Rita Hargrave

The Last Mambo

Patois Records is pleased to announce the signing of filmmaker/dancer Rita Hargrave. Ms. Hargrave and Patois Records are currently in production of “Salsa De La Bahia Vol.,1” a musical compilation of the San Francisco salsa/Latin jazz communities to be released this summer. The CD features world renowned musicians John Calloway, Pete Escovedo, Edgardo Cambon, Roger Glenn, Karl Perrazo, John Santos, Orestes Vilató, Benny Velarde, Wayne Wallace and many more luminaries of the San Francisco Bay Area Latin music scene.

Also in production is the DVD “The Last Mambo” due to be released in early 2014. “The Last Mambo” explores the world of salsa/Latin jazz in the San Francisco Bay area from the diverse perspectives of dancers, DJs and musicians. The film discusses how the dance aesthetic, musical presentation and cultural context have changed in the wake of Afrocuban music’s growing popularity and commercialization. “The Last Mambo”, punctuated with interviews, photographs and concert footage captures the spirit of Salsa/Latin Jazz, celebrates its rich cultural heritage and debates the nature of its future.

Patois Records looks forward to sharing this legacy of great music with you.

Learn more about the project at www.thelastmambo.com

Press Room

CANTO AMÉRICA RECEIVES GRAMMY NOMINATION!

Best Latin Jazz album

World-renowned trombonist Wayne Wallace and percussionist Michael Spiro have earned a GRAMMY ® nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for their CD Canto América on the Patois label. The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 12, 2017.

5 out of 5 Stars - Superb!
Not just great music—this is a great work of art. Exquisite musicianship, impeccable performances, with a range that includes vocals, instrumentals, ballads, and uptempo numbers that will get you up and moving—and yet the parts fit together seamlessly. A beautiful, beautiful album. Support these gifted, thoughtful musicians and buy a copy today! – Eric T. Macknight

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