Wednesday, January 31, 2018

USA/CUBA: Rumbas of Remembrance: Master Musicians Michael Spiro and Jose Luis Gomez Honor their Afro-Cuban Elders on Mabagwe

Rumbas of Remembrance: Master Musicians Michael Spiro and Jose Luis Gomez Honor their Afro-Cuban Elders on Mabagwe

“Rumba is like el ajiaco, like Cuban gumbo: a blending of rhythms, songs, and dances that delights the heart and takes away your pain."
             Jose Luis Gomez
Rumba can be played anywhere—at the kitchen table, on some buckets in the patio, on a desktop—whenever and wherever rumberos decide to start playing clave and want to sing about what’s going on their lives.
That’s the way it’s long been in Cuba, and that approach was transplanted fairly seamlessly to the US as Cubans came to places like New York, Miami, and the San Francisco Bay Area. The rumberos would coalesce around a few notable Cuban elders and create a new community for a style rich in possibility, but with a legacy that goes back decades.
These American rumba moments, entwining Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies with secular celebrations, brought together Michael Spiro and Jose Luis Gomez in San Francisco in the early 1980s. Michael was a young professional musician working his way into the Bay Area Latin music scene, and Jose Luis was a newly arrived Cuban emigre and former basketball coach obsessed with the rumba of his native country.
They played together for years, and later came to “share” a Cuban elder who instructed and inspired them, Regino Jimenez Saez. Regino was one of the few Cubans who was able to obtain a visa to come to the US to perform and teach, and he soon became one of Michael and Jose Luis’ mentors. When he passed in 2004, Michael and Jose Luis vowed they would record an album to honor him.
Then life happened and a decade passed. But the two friends, along with producer/percussionist/vocalist Jesus Diaz (who’s played with everyone from Carlos Santana to Sheila E) finally came together as Los Rumberos de Bahia to pay tribute to “los mayores,” the elders who sustained and guided them. With the release of Mabagwe (“Remembrance” in Yoruba; release: March 23, 2018), the provide us with a wide-ranging exposition of the power of rumba and the gifts of the elders to our musical community.
“The album was recorded by rumberos from three different locations: Cuba, the US, and rumberos who recently emigrated to the US from the island,” notes Spiro. “There are all these different sounds and arrangements and influences, the way there are supposed to be in rumba. I think our core trio had enough expertise and energy, you could take the record to Cuba and people would say, yes, this is how it should sound!”
"I've been friends with Michael Spiro and Jesus Diaz since I came to the US 35 years ago, and we continue to share the stage professionally and participate together in rumbas and Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies,” Gomez explains. “The level of respect we have for each other, and the professionalism we have in our work always exceeds my expectations. Any time these two guys want to jump into some project, I'll be there."
The rumba runs far deeper than the party music and social dancing most people outside of Cuba associate with the style. Its breadth can embrace all the diverse spiritual traditions and rhythms of Afro-diasporic Cuba. It’s where Cuban music began, where Spanish decimas intersect with Yoruba-inspired call and response choruses to yield something radically new yet grounded in everyday life.
“Rumba for me is arguably the most important form of Afro-Cuban music, the first form of Cuban music that led to everything else, like son and salsa,” Spiro reflects. “It’s not African, not Spanish, it’s Cuban music, and not from a single African origin like some of the traditions. It’s where all the Cubans can give their cultural input.”
The balm for emotional and spiritual loss is remembrance and celebration, and Gomez, Spiro, and Diaz have gathered some of the strongest rumberos in the US and Cuba. The songs they selected for the elders range from classics (“Oye mi omelé” made famous by Los Munequitos de Matanzas) to new rumbas composed for Saez (“Elegía a Regino”). They encompass the many rhythms that often make their ways into rumbas, giving voice in pieces like “Lo que me dijo Changó” to the different orisha (spirits) who make themselves known throughout Afro-Cuban music and culture.
Spiro comments, “Cubans tell the stories of the day via rumbas. It might be something as simple as “shake your booty” to something as nuanced as triple entendre political commentary. Some are very poetic and metaphorical and tied to religious practices, and some are just “check my drums out, they’re kicking ass.’” Intersecting secular and spiritual topics are found throughout this recording, just like the style’s frequent mélanges of rhythms and medleys in “Potpourri de boleros.”
Spiro and Gomez wanted to capture this variety and depth as they put together their homage. They purposefully chose diverse kinds of rumbas and a wide range of rhythms and sentiments. “Rumba is as varied and different in its forms as any other music. If you don’t know any better, you wouldn’t necessarily know all the subgenres of say, rock or jazz. Rumba is the same,” Spiro remarks. “If we were going to have 10 tunes on the record, we decided we needed a certain number from this form of rumba, and a few of that form, and so forth. We wanted a fair amount of original stuff, but then also a couple of pieces that were standards or classics but with our take on it. The connecting thread was that they all had to pay tribute to our masters and mentors.”
The result does more than honor the elders; it gives an earthy, beautifully recorded window into a Cuban style worth getting to know in depth. It is performed here by musicians who have spent a lifetime exploring its subtleties and power.

Buy CD


Barefoot Dances and Other Visions is a seven-part suite composed in 2014 for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. Each piece expresses a different kind of fantasy. We performed it live in two concerts in Frankfurt February ’14, then recorded it in the studio in September of that year.

When I wrote this music I had been working with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band for about six years, so I knew the players quite well. The suite was written so that every one of the band’s soloists is placed in a framework that would be both familiar and challenging. Each piece features a pair of soloists, playing individually, sometimes together. Several of the pieces begin with a chamber-sized group, “in front of the curtain”. Then the curtain rises to reveal the whole band, having assumed yet another formation.

Bob’s Here imagines the return of composer/trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, who died in 2011. Black Snow conjures up the vision of a normally tranquil scene, still tranquil but rendered improbably dark. Barefoot Dances are just that, something I’ve never actually done in my life. A Glimmer of Hope tries its best to be optimistic, a difficult task these days. Redman Rides Again imagines the return of the arranger/reedman Don Redman. Among other things he was known for writing fantastic clarinet trios. This piece features a real clarinet trio, and a second “trio” formed by Oliver Leicht and his harmonized clarinet. Falling Upwards: try as I may, I still find it impossible. The Cosmic Hodge-Podge offers a vision of the cosmos where galaxies are replaced by blocks of sound; super novas become solo explosions; and a single black hole emerges at the end, emitting just a smidgen of light.     Jim McNeely


Barefoot Dances and Other Visions Jim McNeely and the
Frankfurt Radio Big Band
UPC #: 820428-301721

Catalog #: 301721
RELEASE DATE: January 31, 2018 

01. Bob ́s Here – 10:16
Christian Jaksjö, valve trombone Martin Scales, guitar

02. Black Snow – 10:20
Martin Auer, flugelhorn

03. Barefoot Dances – 6:51
Günter Bollmann, trombone

Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn, soprano saxophone
04. A Glimmer of Hope – 8:01
Rainer Heute, baritone saxophone Manfred Honetschläger, bass trombone

05. Redman Rides Again – 8:45 Axel Schlosser, flugle horn
Oliver Leicht, clarinet
06. Falling Upwards – 7:59 Peter Reiter, piano
Steffen Weber, tenor saxophone Jean Paul Höchstädter, drums
07. The Cosmic Hodge-Podge – 12:25 Thomas Heidepriem, bass
Tony Lakatos, tenor saxophone Axel Schlosser, trumpet 

Recorded: September 9 to 12 2014, Hörfunkstudio II, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Mixed: July 2015, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Mastered: October 2017, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Produced by Olaf Stötzler
Recording Producer (Recording/Editing/Mixing/Mastering): Axel Gutzler Recording Engineer: Michael Wayszak

Cover Art: Terry Lamacchia,
Cover Art Photography: David Corrigan, Package Design: Valerie Trucchia,

This project has been supported by a generous grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program 

CONTACT: Thomas Bellino 917 699 5339

USA/SERBIA: DUSAN JEVTOVIC-Live At Home(Moonjune Records 2018)

Title: Live At Home
Catalog number: CD009/2017

LIMITED EDITION CD. For promotional usage only and limited sale. Made possible with the generous support of SKC (STUDENTSKI KULTURNI CENTAR) KRAGUJEVAC. Released by SKC, for limited distribution and marketing by MoonJune Records. The proceeds from the album are intended to fund Dusan’s next studio release. 

There is something daringly creative about Dusan Jevtovic’s latest release. Live at Homeis an album that has many special characteristics. As the name aptly suggests this is a live album and was recorded on the 23rd December 2016 at the Decije Pozorište in Dusan’s home city of Kragujevac in Serbia. The recording is clear and uncluttered and does not suffer from any intrusive audience noise, or unwelcome audience participation.

Live at Home contains a number of pieces that featured on Jevtovic’s outstanding No Answer album. For the live performance, Jevtovic’s is aided, as he was in No Answer, by the renowned Serbian keyboard player Vasil Hadzimanov. The rest of the band on this live occasion are made up of Pera Krstajic on bass and Pedja Milutonovic on drums. Live at Home leaves little doubt that progressive fusion can be a passionate affair. It is an album that is never sterile, but is teeming with feeling and creative ideas that give it an organic and human touch. It burns energetically and ignites a multitude of senses; it gently serenades the heart, and when dissonance takes place, it seductively caresses the mind

Live at Home is a superbly-crafted fusion master class. It oozes with heartfelt emotion; containing dashing solo lines and dazzling instrumental passages. The music goes way beyond any normally defined parameters associated with fusion. This creates an album that is often exhilarating and challenging in its complexity. Technically excellent playing is combined with musical structures that enable boldly creative developments and well thought out embellishments to take place. Live at Home is a release that is able to take the listener through a range of moods and emotions. It combines the right mixture of aggression and charming serenity and never ignores the importance of the use of light and shade to emphasise its more explosive parts.

If you enjoy edgy tunes flavoured with lavish amounts of unpredictability and filled with accomplished playing; Live at Home is sure to delight. It is an album that rewards intensive and repeated listens. 

PERA KRSTAJIC bass guitar
Produced by Dusan Jevtovic.
Executive production SKC Kragujevac, Dusan Jevtovic and Leonardo Pavkovic.
Recorded live at Decije Pozoriste, Kragujevac, Serbia, December 23, 2016.
To stream and purchase this album:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

USA: Scholar and Drum Legend Bill Bruford Authors New Book, “Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer”

For Immediate Release

Scholar and Drum Legend Bill Bruford Authors New Book, “Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer”

Pre-order in hardback, softback or e-book

Scholar and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bill Bruford, best known for his work with Yes, King Crimson, Genesis and his prolific solo career, has authored a new book, to be Published by the University of Michigan Press on January 28th.  Pre-orders are now being taken.

What’s it about?

The book is an exploration of the creativity involved in the way drummers make things work, make things matter, and make sense of both. It draws on interviews with nine top drummers and Bruford’s own experience to improve understanding in collaborative popular music performance. What do expert drummers do? Why do they do it? Is there anything creative about it? If so, how might that creativity inform their practice and that of others in related artistic spheres? Applying ideas from cultural psychology to findings from original research into the creative behaviors of a specific subset of popular music instrumentalists, Bruford demonstrates the ways in which expert drummers experience creativity in performance and offers fresh insights into in-the-moment interactional processes in music. 

Why buy?

“If you’re an instrumentalist” recommends Bill, “give it to the nearest drummer, so he or she knows what drummers are for. If you’re a drummer give it to the other people in your band, so they know what drummers are for. And get a copy for yourself, so you know what drummers are for!” 

Early praise for ‘Uncharted’

 “… an intelligent, thought-provoking treatise on the notion of creativity in Western popular music. Over the course of a number of interviews and case studies involving expert drummers, Bill Bruford examines how such practitioners approach and understand creativity. In the process, he crafts a relational processual model for understanding creativity and the creative process for real-time interactive performing arts (theatre, dance, music). The result is a fascinating and rewarding read that will surely affect players and listeners alike as they think about the concept of finding ‘creative meaning in making it work and making it matter.’”
—Rob Bowman, Grammy Award Winning Professor of Music

“After forty years of creating professional music, pretty much all of it to his taste (passing rare), Bill Bruford has laid down the torches — and tried to capture their flame in words. Begin by running your eyes down the list of Bill’s collaborators. The expert performers and teachers will attract any reader with more than a passing affection for music. Simply put, it is a lights-out masterpiece of useful insight and passionate, reflective wisdom.”
—Neil Peart, drummer Rush

“The contributions of the wide-ranging active percussionists Bruford surveyed will make this an important primary document for future researchers examining the role of drummers in group improvisation, the recording process, and more.”
—Kevin Holm-Hudson, University of Kentucky

“The book lives up to its expectations. Drawing on his own insider’s knowledge and extensive interviews with an impressive roster of expert drummers about the nature of creativity and what it means to them, Bruford has produced a brilliant ethnography of professional drummers and drumming culture in the rock era.”
—Mark Spicer, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center

“It is no surprise to find Dr. Bruford so eloquently putting into language that which springs from such a non-linguistic source. Bill’s scholarly insights matched with a career’s-worth of personal experience shed an authoritative light on the creative role of the drummer. In today’s world of computer-generated rhythmic music, how wonderful to tap into this most organic and visceral element in music’s heritage, and deepen our appreciation of this immense creativity, past and present.”
—Tim Garland, saxophonist, composer

“The author cites relevant scholarly work, his roster of drum experts is beyond question (including himself), but most importantly, the insights he synthesizes from his source material are both original and valuable.”
—Shaugn O’Donnell, The City College, CUNY

How to order  

Bill Bruford's “Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer”:

University of Michigan Press: ;

Bill Bruford's official website:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US),

USA/ITALY: SLIVOVITZ-LiveR(Moonjune Records 2018)

Title: LiveR
MJR catalog number: MJR089

Recorded live in Milan, Italy, in May of 2016, "LiveR" showcases the eccentric young Italian maestros at their collective best – playful, daring and just having fun! Some of their most potent material to date (primarily from their heralded 2011 release, "Bani Ahead" and 2016's delectable "All You Can Eat") is revisited in truly refreshing style: uninhibited, lively, but still with their decidedly tight synchronicity and intuitive interplay as a unit. Brilliant individual moments abound, with many songs extending well beyond their previously-established studio confines: affording soloists the opportunity to really step out and shine, while harmonic and rhythmic potentials are explored with playful delight by an always-adventurous rhythm section, steadily smoldering in the background. While many live albums may come across as merely a rehash or an attempted recapturing of some previous musical magic, from the opening frame it's apparent that Slivovitz is completely engaged in the material -- showcasing both their collective and individual brilliance and ambition, while continuing to push the bounds of each song's structural and harmonic blueprints. This album roars with intensity, while serving as a testimony to the intrepidity and unfettered spirit of adventure which make this band one of progressive music's most unique, innovative collective entities. "LiveR" is a merry frolic; a wonderfully vibrant live recording (enhanced by excellent production) which continues to grows on you with repeated listenings ... delightful, essential ear candy!  For fans of Snarky Puppy, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, PFM, John Zorn, caffé espressola vera pizza napoletana and of course, of slivovitz!

PIETRO SANTANGELO tenor saxophone
RICCARDO VILLARI electric violin 
DEREK DI PERRI harmonica
Produced by Slivovitz.
Executive production by Bruno Savino and Leonardo Pavkovic.
Recorded live, May 27th 2016 (except track 7, January 25th 2014) at Casa di Alex (Milan, Italy).
To stream and purchase this album:

Monday, January 29, 2018

USA: 80's Prog-Fusion Jazz Reimagined

Blue Canoe Records releases “Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence”, the debut effort from Cody Carpenter on January 26th, 2018. 

Mr. Carpenter combines the best of 80’s synth-pop with the jazz/rock fusion of that time to create a complex, breakneck brew that both inspires and energizes.

Cody Carpenter is the son of Adrienne Barbeau, a star of film, television and the Broadway stage, and legendary Academy Award-winning writer, actor, composer, producer and director John Carpenter. The Senior Carpenter is best known for classic horror films (Halloween, The Fog, The Thing) and sci-fi thrillers (Escape From New York, Starman). As a composer, he is known for synthesizer-based pieces and is perhaps best known for the theme song to the movie Halloween (1978). It is not difficult to see how Cody Carpenter comes by his synthesizer-based compositions. Cody was introduced to his first musical instrument around the age of three and has been playing and composing original music ever since. In addition to contributing music for two of his father’s films, Vampires (1998) and Ghosts of Mars (2001), Carpenter composed and performed the full-length score for “Cigarette Burns” and “Pro-Life” in Showtime’s Masters of Horror (2005) movie series. Cody co-wrote, co-produced, and performed on the acclaimed Lost Themes (2015) and Lost Themes II (2016) with his father and Daniel Davies. In 2016 and 2017 Cody toured North America and Europe with his father and a six-piece band, performing material from both Lost Themes albums and his father’s films.

Cody Carpenter opens his debut with the expansive track “Jinrai Fuuretsu”. The Emerson Lake and Palmer drenched opener rushes out of the gate like a tornado. Mr Carpenter’s driving synth melody bashes up against the phenomenal rhythm section of Scott Seiver (drums) and Jimmy Haslip (bass). Mr. Seiver has worked with current pop stars including Aimee Mann, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz. He also drummed on Grammy award-winning recordings for Tenacious D and Flight of the Conchords. Mr. Haslip was a founding member of jazz fusion superstars The Yellowjackets and has worked with Bruce Hornsby, Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau and Donald Fagen among others. The track opens powerfully and then soars wistfully before Mr. Carpenter drives the listener back home to its powerful opening theme…only to spin back to a thoughtful passage. The track resolves only to leave the listener yearning for further insight.

Another track of note is “Thinking Of What Might Be”. Mr. Carpenter’s gracious synth melody drifts out in front of the tight, pulsating rhythmic punches. While much of Cody’s music is fairly complex, this straight-forward tune harkens a daydream on a sunny afternoon. Mr. Carpenter even steps out with a contemplative guitar solo midway through that sits perfectly afloat on the steady rhythmic offering.

“Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence” is a brilliant entry for Cody Carpenter that has been a long time coming. Drawing on the many years of playing with John Carpenter and his accomplices, Cody finds his own unique voice all while the accepting the independence he has come by honestly. “Cody Carpenter’s Interdependence” deserves a serious listen.


ITALY/MEXICO: Marco Lo Russo Humanitarian Project to help kids in Puerto Vallarta Mexic

➡ Subscribe Proyecto benéfico para los niños de Los Fridos en Puerto Vallarta Mexico Marco Lo Russo Music Center y La Boquita. Made in Italy tour concert Mexico 2018. Gennaio 2018 Teatro Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico More info for beneficenza charity and fundraising: ➡ ITA ➡ ENG ➡ web site ➡ SoundCloud ➡ Twitter ➡ Facebook ➡ Instagram Marco Lo Russo Music ➡ ITunes: ➡ Google Play: ➡ Rouge Sound Production ➡ Facebook Ass. Marco Lo Russo Music Center ➡ Facebook ➡ News Music Center Official Marco Lo Russo fans club USA - UK ➡ Facebook

USA: Jazz Vocalist Gabriele Tranchina Announces Hudson Valley CD Release Shows

Hudson Valley Jazz Vocalist
Gabriele Tranchina

Is Pleased To Announce

CD Celebrations For Her New Recording

"Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes”
Warwick Center for Performing Arts
63 Wheeler Avenue, Warwick, NY 10990
Sunday Feb 4
2:30pm to 4:30pm
Gabriele Tranchina, voice
Joe Vincent Tranchina,  piano
Andy Eulau bass
Scott Neumann, drums

Claire Beebe and Shawn Rawls of
The Warwick Dance Collective  dance to "O morrow now tem vez”

$15.00 admission
(845) 986-2466

The Sound Bite
737 9th Ave
New York, NY, 10019
Friday, Feb 09
7:00pm to 10:00pm
Gabriele Tranchina, voice
Joe Vincent Tranchina,  piano
Andy Eulau bass
Willie Martinez drums

CD release Party
The Falcon
1348 US-9W, Marlboro, NY 12542
Wed April 11
8:00PM to 10:00pm
Gabriele Tranchina, voice
Joe Vincent Tranchina,  piano
Andy Eulau bass
Tani Tabal,  drums

Reservations: Phone(845) 236-7970



Gabriele Tranchina, voice
Joe Vincent Tranchina, piano
Andy Eulau, bass
Willie Martinez, drums
Renato Thoms, percussion
“ Tranchina can swing with the vivacity of Anita O’Day and echo the fragility of Astrud Gilberto on ballads, but there is nothing derivative in her kaleidoscopic flourishes, embracing chants, rap, spoken passages and vocalese.”
            - Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes

“…it is clear from Tranchina’s performance that she is a vocalist of the highest order. Her style is not conventional. ...when she interprets the narrative of a song and gets in to character she has few peers. Anything new from her will be a welcome addition to the literature of vocal music.”
            - Raul da Gama,

Gabriele Tranchina moves like a fish in the water through different rhythms, with an educated and wonderful voice. She is able to walk through different moods, languages ​​and musical genres. The one based in New York is an explorer by nature and this is printed in each of her songs.”
            -Luis Felipe VALERO ARISTIZABAL

Her voice is just as much an instrument as the keys, melodica, programming, bass and percussion that accentuate her dizzyingly delightful worldview.
            - Mike Greenblatt,  rant ’n’ roll 2017 
Not your typical bossa/Latin set that you can set and forget while you sit back and enjoy it, Tranchina has a way with the special sauce, ladling it out in just the right measure at just the right time.  A sassy modern take on a classic vibe, this nicely ear opening set is a tonic of feel good music throughout.  Check it out.

            - CHRIS SPECTOR, Midwest record

Gabriele Tranchina moves like a fish in the water through different rhythms, with an educated and wonderful voice. She is able to walk through different moods, languages ​​and musical genres. The one based in New York is an explorer by nature and this is printed in each of her songs.


Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes is a varietal musical adventure that sparkles with shining vocals by a respected world vocalist…
If you love lilting jazz vocal work with a decidedly jazzy flavor, your ears will be mightily satisfied as you listen to Gabriele’s performance in this multicolored collection of music from around the world.
            - Grady Harp

Tranchina’s lithe, clear; elegant singing evokes Sade, Flora Purim, Corinne Drewery (Swing Out Sister), and that “Girl From Ipanema,” Astrud Gilberto. ..—She uses her voice a bit like an instrument but never at the expense of the song. This set will fly you ‘round the world in a (happy) daze.
            - Mark Keresman Icon Magazine
Gabriele surprises with her ability to hold steady notes that other singers might artificially push down to make smoky, or force up to sound light. All of Tranchina’s notes sound right and expertly turned. None of the notes sound as though the singer has strained to reach them. In short, she doesn’t make a grating sound.
Tranchina’s work flows easily from one cultural to the next. Each piece of the instrumentation meshes with the other, and none of it overwhelms the singer. That is important; the album remains one of vocal jazz and listeners get a chance to hear who the singer is, as shown through the work.

            - Doudie Miller-Gould, Lemonwire

… In every song Gabriele's sonorous and strong voice is the theater of one actor, where she skillfully gets used to the image of a representative of this or that culture.
            - Leonard Auskern jazzquad
Gabriele Tranchina, whose fourth release (and first since 2010), Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes, demonstrates the singer's firm grasp across styles, genres, and, yes, languages.
The singer's voice is singular and well-balanced, capable of low purrs and assertive exuberance. Refined and fine is Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes.

            -Michael Bailey – All about jazz

Endowed with a unique and specific voice and an ingenious interpretation of Gabriele Tranchina, on his new album she takes us on a true musical cruise, full of surprising events.

            -Robert Ratajcza

A world artist, a jazz vocalist, a creative interpreter, a heavenly sound, a woman with a unique view of music, the world, and of singing.  This is just a small description of songbird Gabriele Tranchina.  She brings to her music a worldview -- using music as a force for wholeness, a source of unity and energy for all.

Setting sail into oceans of music, drawing from the world’s beauty and versatility.

A sailing ship is sure to encounter various adventures in its travels -- sunshine, storms, calm waters, and high waves. Of Sailing Ships and the Stars in Your Eyes is a varietal musical adventure that sparkles with shining vocals by a respected world vocalist of broad tastes and distinctive experiences, the amazing Gabriele Tranchina.

Each cut found on Of Sailing Ships and The Stars in Your Eyes (Rainchant Eclectic Records, RER1001, Oct 2017) is a side trip to a new destination. Bossa, Latin, swing, ballads, a 7/4, improv.... sadness, hope, joy, relationships, the future... all are there. We are again reminded of how much music is a true and accurate reflection of life itself. Gabriele sets foot on many shores, singing in 5 languages and a vocalese on the 7/4  “A Song for India”. This CD is a progression of her desire to explore music and rhythms from different cultures.

Gabriele Tranchina, vocalist, is joined on this album by her husband pianist, composer and arranger, Joe Vincent Tranchina, who fills the tunes with unusual textures and shapes, guiding the high-level musicians in the band. His tastes, too, are complex and unexpected and the arrangements add an enormous richness to the overall impact of the individual tunes and the entire album.

The other musicians in the band Carlo De Rosa (bass), Grammy award winning Vince Cherico (drums) and Renato Thoms (percussion) each give a distinctive flavor with their individual specialties, contributing unique aspects to each melody and rhythm. Whenever a group of musicians of this highest level gathers, the music they spontaneously create is impossible to categorize or even capture in words. Only listening will truly reveal what has been sculpted as it arose in each moment.

National Distribution:
CD Baby
Global Digital Distribution:
iTunes, eMusic plus most internet download sites

Bookings and further info:

National Press Campaign: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services, 272 Route 94 S #1, Warwick, NY 10990 (845) 986-1677

National Radio Campaign: Kate Smith (814) 482-0010 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

USA/TRINIDAD: Etienne Charles Upcoming Gigs

Feb 2

Feb 12

Feb 23

Feb 24

USA/BELGIUM: Moonjune Records Releases; VANTOMME-Vegir

Title: Vegir (featuring Tony Levin)
MJR catalog number: MJR090

Vantomme is a project of Dominique Vantomme, keyboardist, composer, band leader and producer, equally as well known for his work with many European pop and rock acts as for being the jazz piano instructor at the Music Conservatory in Kortrijk, in his native Belgium. In the studio session in Antwerpen, Belgium, in October 2016, Dominique Vantomme was joined by two musicians from the MoonJune circuit: the legendary Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel, Sick Men) on bass guitar and Chapman stick, andMichel Delville (The Wrong Object; douBt; Machine Mass) on guitar, with Dominique's ultra-talented Belgian colleague Maxime Lenssens, tasked with holding down the timekeeping duties. The spontaneity and freshness of this sizzling, high-altitude set reflects the equally unpretentious manner in which the session itself came together. Tackling some decidedly hip musical sketches of Dominique Vantomme, the band is given full artistic liberty - and with all participants in top form, the resulting music weaves and winds its way across paths previously untrodden ... in stunning fashion, and with sure footing! In the truest MoonJune tradition, "Vegir" thumbs its nose at convention and showcases these seasoned veteran musicians at the top of their game: with the skill set, bravery and chutzpah to follow their instincts and, in the process, allow the music to seek out and ultimately capture its own form. It slinks; it growls; it stalks; it devours! It grooves; it stutters; it holds you in suspense, then explodes! (... think 'juggling chainsaws' in the sonic realm.)

DOMINIQUE VANTOMME Fender Rhodes Electric Piano, Piano, Mini Moog, Mellotron
TONY LEVIN Bass Guitar, Chapman Stick
Recorded by Pascal Deweze at Studio Jezuz, Hoboken, Belgium, October 29th 2016. 
To stream and purchase this album:

USA: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jazz Club of Sarasota announces "World of Jazz" for 38th Sarasota Jazz Festival, March 7-10, 2018


Contacts: Jo Morello, 941.587.8290; Carline Ash, 941.366.1552 (Wed.-Fri., 9-5)

Musician interviews & photos available. Click HERE for the Sarasota Jazz
Festival website
 with short soundtracks and detailed event schedule. 

SARASOTA, FL: Jazz, the uniquely American musical art form, was born in New Orleans in the early 20th century and nurtured on a lively diet of music from around the world--the blues of the American South, rhythms from Africa and the Caribbean, classical music from Europe and France, and more. It’s entirely fitting, then, that the Jazz Club of Sarasota--one of the most active jazz societies in the nation--will present “A World of Jazz” for its 38th Annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. The four-day event, from March 7-10, 2018, will feature 14 musicians from seven nations in four concerts, over a dozen locally based musicians for a Pub Crawl by Trolley, and the French art film Django. In addition, at one of the concerts the Club will present its highest honor, the Satchmo Award, to a musician for “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz.” Festival activities will be presented in various Sarasota venues including Marriott’s new Art Ovation Hotel, downtown Sarasota night clubs and Burns Court Cinema. Live jazz will fill the lobby before each concert, and four special VIP receptions—for those who purchase VIP ticket packages--will add to the luster of this star-studded festival.

“We’re pleased to recognize the global impact of jazz, and we’re especially honored that the celebrated Ken Peplowski, one of our audience favorites, is the festival’s music director,” said Peg Pluto, Jazz Club president. “We’re also delighted that our vice president, Ed Linehan, is managing director for the festival. Ken and Ed have both worked with our festivals before so we know we’re in good hands.

 “In keeping with our theme, Ken will present the world of jazz as interpreted by internationally respected musicians and fast-rising young stars from around the world,” Pluto said. “Many of them have never played together before, and they may never share the same stage again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Acclaimed reedman Peplowski, based in New York, will both direct the international cadre and frequently join them on stage. “These accomplished performers will play the universal language of jazz, an American language that everyone now speaks,” he said. “They’ll draw on musical influences from their homeland countries—Brazil, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the United States—to present the exciting sound of what jazz has become today.”

Ken has designed a playbook of two sets for every concert, each with a different mix of performers. “We’ll present unique combinations of musicians for every set with a fresh sound for each segment,” he said. He’ll also add another treat: “After each concert, we’ll bring back all of the evening’s musicians for an All-Star jam session number or two—an improvised finale that takes us right into the very essence of jazz.”
Peplowski has been highly praised and frequently honored. “Ken Peplowski is arguably the greatest living jazz clarinetist,” said Russell Davies of BBC2. Will Friedwald (The Wall Street Journal) wrote, “Mr. Peplowski sounds the way (Benny) Goodman might if he had kept evolving … polishing his craft . . . into the 21st century.”

Among other credits, Ken has been a featured performer at practically every significant jazz festival, was music director of the Oregon Festival of American Music for eight years, has backed dozens of major performers, and has recorded some 50 CDs as a soloist and nearly 500 more as a sideman. He has also been a frequent performer for the Jazz Club of Sarasota, often with Dick Hyman, and in 2014 received the Club’s highest honor, its Satchmo Award, for his “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz.” (Other Jazz Club Satchmo winners since 1990 have included Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Gerry Mulligan, Ella Fitzgerald, Dick Hyman, Branford Marsalis and Family, Four Freshmen, Bucky and John Pizzarelli, and Wycliffe Gordon.)
In addition to Peplowski, several other musicians will make encore appearances with the Jazz Club of Sarasota. These include Houston Person,saxophone; Diego Figueiredo, guitar; and Jeff Hamilton, drums.
The festival’s house band is the Scandinavian Jazztrio: 
  • Writer/musician/composer Kristian Leth (Denmark), drums; a Danish Academy Award-nominated film composer and Grammy-winning recording artist who has written, performed and produced scores for TV series, films and commercials.
  • Hans Backenroth (Sweden), bass; acclaimed as “one of the best bass players Sweden has developed—ever!” (Arne Domnérus, Swedish jazz legend).
  • Ole Kock Hansen (Denmark), piano; “one of the most significant artists in modern Danish Jazz” (Wikipedia).
“Some of our festival musicians currently reside in the United States as well as abroad. We’ve hand-picked performers who beautifully understand and represent the musical influences they bring from their countries of origin,” Peplowski said. In addition to the Scandinavian Jazztrio, festival musicians (in alphabetical order) are:
  •  Ehud Asherie, piano, Israel; “a master of swing and stride” (New Yorker); a jazz pianist who integrates the New York piano tradition with his inventive style.
  • Graham Dechter, guitar, U. S.; honored in the DownBeat Critics Poll as "Rising Star Guitar" (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017).
  • Sinne Eeg, vocalist, Denmark; considered the preeminent jazz vocalist in Scandinavia.
  • Diego Figueiredo, guitar, Brazil; a fast-rising star among the world's greatest jazz guitarists; plays with an infectious, joyful feeling.
  • Jimmy Greene, saxophone, U.S.; GRAMMY® Award-nominated saxophonist, composer, and arranger.
  • Jeff Hamilton, drums, U.S; known for his versatility as a drummer, composer, arranger, and educator; leads his own trio and performs with other respected groups including the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.
  • Chiara Izzi, vocals, Italy; described by JazzTimes as “a talent to be heard, admired and anticipated.”
  • Jeremy Pelt, trumpet, U.S.; featured by Nat Hentoff in The Wall Street Journal; voted "Rising Star - Trumpet" for five years by DownBeat and the Jazz Journalists Association.
  • Houston Person, saxophone, U.S.; a “rock-solid, full-toned” musician, recording artist and winner of the Eubie Blake Award.
  • Akiko Tsuruga, organ, Japan; called “Queen of the Organ”; winner of the 2017 Hothouse Magazine Jazz Award for Best Organist.

Festival Schedule
TROLLEY rides from 5:30 p.m.; JAZZ at downtown CLUBS from 6-10 p.m.
Jazz lovers and club-hoppers will board trolleys for the 20th consecutive Jazz Pub Crawl by Trolley, riding to downtown nightclubs where over 50 local musicians will swing the night away. Trolleys will run continuous loops of the venues throughout the evening. A wristband, available from the Jazz Club office* or at the trolley parking location, is required for admission to the trolley and all clubs.  This is a separately ticket event, not included in Festival VIP or Combo Tickets. Wristband are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the event.

THURSDAY EVENING, MARCH 8: CONCERT and other events, Art Ovation Hotel1255 N. Palm Avenue

5-7:30, Local JAZZ MUSICIANS in lobby bar; 6-7:30, VIP RECEPTION; 7:30 p.m., CONCERT; 10-11 p.m., VIP MEET-AND-GREET with FESTIVAL MUSICIANS.
 Co-Hosts: Ken Peplowski and Mike Cornette, director of jazz & on-air host, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa
  • 1st Set: Scandinavian Jazztrio with special guest vocalist Sinne Eeg.
  • 2nd Set: Scandinavian Jazztrio joined by Jimmy Greene on saxophone and Jeremy Pelt on trumpet. Featured performances by Sinne Eeg,vocals, and Ken Peplowski, reeds.
  • Finale: All-Star Jazz Jam with all of the evening’s musicians

10 a.m.-10:45, LIVE GYPSY JAZZ;  11 a.m., 2017 FILM DJANGO
Keven Aland (violin) and Jon McLaughlin (guitar) of the Hot Club of SRQ present a Gypsy Jazz performance to set the mood for Etienne Comar’s filmDjango. This new film, called “a plucky historical drama that leverages a famous musician into a story about fighting fascism,” will be screened with English subtitles. The “dazzling biopic,” which had its world premiere at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival, depicts the struggles of the famous French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt in German-occupied Paris.
Seating is limited: ALL guests must make reservations. Contact the Jazz Club office* for reservations and tickets. Admission: FREE for holders of VIP Festival Passes; $10 for Jazz Club members; $15 for nonmembers.

FRIDAY EVENING, MARCH 9: CONCERT and other events, Art Ovation Hotel1255 N Palm Avenue
5-7:30, JAZZ MUSICIANS in lobby bar; 7:30 p.m., CONCERT; 10-11 p.m., VIP MEET-AND-GREET with FESTIVAL MUSICIANS
Co-Hosts: Ken Peplowski and Whitney James, jazz vocalist; on-air jazz host, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa 
  • 1st Set: Diego Figueiredo, guitar; Chiara Izzi, vocals; Jimmy Greene, saxophone.
  • 2nd Set: Scandinavian Jazztrio; Houston Person, saxophone; Graham Dechter, guitar.
  • Finale:  All-Star Jazz Jam with all of the evening’s musicians.
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, March 10: CONCERT and other events, Art Ovation Hotel1255 N Palm Avenue12:30-2, Local JAZZ MUSICIANS in lobby bar;  2 p.m., CONCERTCo-Hosts: Ken Peplowski and  Kayonne Riley, general manager, WUCF 89.9 FM, Orlando; host of “Middays with Kayonne Riley Mix-and-match concert with Scandinavian Jazztrio; Graham Dechter, guitar; Akiko Tsuruga, organ; Jeff Hamilton, drums; Houston Person, saxophone; Diego Figueiredo, guitar; Chiara Izzi, vocals; Ehud Asherie, piano; and Ken Peplowski, reeds.

SATURDAY EVENING, March 10: CONCERT and other events, Art Ovation Hotel1255 N Palm Avenue
5-7:30, Local JAZZ MUSICIANS in lobby bar; 7:30 p.m., CONCERT; 10-11 p.m., VIP MEET-AND-GREET with FESTIVAL MUSICIANS
Co-Hosts: Ken Peplowski and Bob Seymour, retired director of jazz and on-air host, WUSF 89.7 FM, Tampa; honorary member, Jazz Club of Sarasota Board of Directors
  • 1st Set: Kristian Leth, drums; Hans Backenroth, bass; Ehud Asherie, piano; and Ken Peplowski, reeds       
  •  Presentation of the Jazz Club’s highest honor, the Satchmo award, to honor a person selected by the Jazz Club  for “unique and enduring contribution to the living history of jazz.”   
  • 2nd Set: Jeff Hamilton, drums; Akiko Tsuruga, organ; Graham Dechter, guitar; and Houston Person, saxophone.
  • Festival Finale: All-Star Jazz Jam with all of the evening’s musicians
Sarasota Jazz Festival ticket prices peak at $49, with discounts available for Jazz Club members and through several combination packages including a VIP ticket that includes admission and preferred seating for all concerts and four private receptions. Prices for the movie Django and the Jazz Pub Crawl are lower. Contact the Jazz Club* for Jazz Pub Crawl wristbands ($20/advance; $25/at event), information about the movie, VIP Combo Ticket Packages, and other options. To purchase general admission tickets for single concerts ($39/member; $49/nonmember), contact or 800.838.3006.

The Jazz Club of Sarasota, founded in 1980, is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz, America’s original musical art form. The Club has provided over 50 jazz-related events annually for more than 37 years. Chief among them is the highly respected Sarasota Jazz Festival, including the 38th Annual Festival set for March 7-10, 2018. In addition to producing numerous jazz events, over the years the Club has granted more than $200,000in scholarships to aspiring young jazz musicians.

Click HERE for the Sarasota Jazz Festival website.
*Jazz Club of Sarasota: For more information visit, e-mail, or phone 941.366.1552(Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.Monday-Friday during Festival Week).