Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hi-Jazz Guitar Trio on the Free Mp3 List on JazzWorldQuest

Track: Waking (Bossa for IR)
Composer: Pavel Semyonov
Recorded by Hi-Jazz Guitar Trio III at Hi-Jazz Music Studio (HJM), Moscow/Russia, April-18-2014.
Ivan Rakhmanov - guitar
Pavel Semyonov - bass
Arnold Gorokhovsky - drums, percussion

Track: The New Year Song
Composer: Ivan Rakhmanov
Recorded by Hi-Jazz Guitar Trio III at Hi-Jazz Music Studio (HJM), Moscow/Russia, April-18-2014.
Ivan Rakhmanov - guitar
Pavel Semyonov - bass
Arnold Gorokhovsky - drums, percussion
Jam at HJM Studio (Jan-18-2014
Year of Release: 2014
Label: Hi-Jazz Music (HJM)

PRESS RELEASE: First Studio Audio/Video Release in Ancient Future History

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                             4/18/2014
Contact: Ancient-Future.Com Records
415-459-1892 - info@ancient-future.com

View Press Release Online with Photos and Video: http://www.ancient-future.com/pr_yearning_wind.html

Ancient-Future.Com Records Presents:
Yearning for the Wind
by Ancient Future

Composed by scalloped fretboard guitar innovator Matthew Montfort, 'Yearning for the Wind' is a poignant piece based on Rag Kalyan, an evening raga that corresponds to the Lydian mode. The composition also incorporates harmony and other guitaristic elements. A duet with Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar, who is considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation, 'Yearning for the Wind' is set in matta tal, a nine beat rhythmic cycle. As a bridge between the slow and fast sections of the piece, Vishal Nagar performs an elegant tabla solo over the soft nine beat groove that slowly builds up to a vibrant rela (a fast tabla composition characterized by rapid drum rolls).

'Yearning for the Wind' is the first audio/video release in Ancient Future history. It is also the first brand new Ancient Future studio recording released to the general public since 2002's Planet Passion.  It isn't that Ancient Future hasn't been active. Indeed, Ancient Future has recorded over three hours of music in this period, much of it live. But rather than release it all in a market where a low value is placed on music while a high value is placed on the tech companies that deliver it, Ancient Future has taken a different approach.

Recorded in December 2013, this evocative piece was produced for the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings, Ancient Future's ambitious ongoing recording project. To finance A.F.A.R., Ancient-Future.Com Records provides financial supporters access to select files from Ancient Future's archives of alternate takes, live concerts, radio performances and new studio recordings as they are created. On February 11, 2014, the exact 35th anniversary of the first Ancient Future concert, 'Yearning for the Wind' became the 10th track added to the archive and was made available to A.F.A.R. supporters in mp3, CD quality, and 96-kHz/24-bit hi-res audio and HD video.

To promote the Archive of Future Ancient Recordings, Earth Day (4/22/14) of Ancient Future's 35th year performing was chosen for the digital release of 'Yearning for the Wind'. The quality is stellar with beautifully shot HD 1080p video and audiophile sound. Fans can download it on iTunes and other digital retailers as a a single (AF-20352), a video (AF-90302), an mp3 bundled with an HD video (AF-20302), or sign up to support A.F.A.R. to get it in full 96-kHz/24-bit audio resolution as a thank-you gift! An enhanced E-CD with the audio, video, and digital liner notes will be available at online stores such as Ancient-Future.Com and Amazon.com starting June 17, 2014.

Release Specifications

Digital Release Date: April 22, 2014 (Earth Day)
Radio Add Date: May 20, 2014
E-CD Release Date: June 17, 2014
Label: Ancient-Future.Com Records
Audio/Video Catalog Number: AF-20302: Audio/Video E-CD - $17.98 list; MP3/Video - $2.97 list. UPC: 825336203020
Audio Catalog Number: AF-20352: MP3 - $1.98 list. UPC: 825336203525
Video Catalog Number: AF-90302: Video - $1.99 list. UPC: 825336903029
Copyright: © 2014 Ancient Future Music
Genres: International/World/Indian Fusion/Hindustani Classical
Total Length: 9:37
Track List: 'Yearning for the Wind' (Matthew Montfort. 9:37)
Audio ISRC: US-N9P-14-20302
Audio Link: http://ethnocloud.com/Ancient_Future/?song=3713&b=942
Video ISRC: USN9P1490302
YouTube Video URL: http://youtu.be/zurMLOP68K0


Hi-Res Duet Photo for Print (6' x 4', 300 dpi, 1.1 MB): http://www.ancient-future.com/images/matt_vishal_6x4_300dpi.jpg

Ancient Future has expanded its musical vision through collaborations with traditional musicians from all over the world who are now an integral part of what is today more than just a band. To enable its core mission of creating world fusion music, Ancient Future has grown to become a large chamber ensemble of world music masters with many smaller ensembles within it, including this improvisatory duet featuring world guitar pioneer Matthew Montfort accompanied by renowned Indian tabla virtuoso Vishal Nagar. They present an innovative and accessible take on Hindustani classical music and contemporary fusion, with expressive and energetic renderings of raga and tala.

Matthew Montfort

Hi-Res Photo for Print (5' x 3', 300 dpi, 678k): http://www.ancient-future.com/images/yearningmatt300dpi5x3.jpg

"Matthew Montfort conjures lovely Asian zither-like inflections with a scalloped fretboard guitar." – Guitar Player Magazine

Honored as one of the world's 100 Greatest Acoustic Guitarists, Matthew Montfort has devoted himself to the scalloped fretboard guitar since 1978. He spent years of study with some of the world's best musicians, such as gamelan director K.R.T. Wasitodipuro and North Indian sarod master Ali Akbar Khan. He has performed concerts worldwide, from the Festival Internacional de la Guitarra on the golden coast of Spain to the Festival of India in Mumbai. He has worked with many world music legends, including tabla phenomenon Zakir Hussain and Chinese zither master Zhao Hui. Montfort wrote the book Ancient Traditions – Future Possibilities: Rhythmic Training Through the Traditions of Africa, Bali, and India,which has been used by many musicians to improve their rhythm skills.

Vishal Nagar

Hi-Res Photo for Print (5' x 3', 300 dpi, 708k): http://www.ancient-future.com/images/yearningvishal300dpi5x3.jpg

Considered one of the most gifted tabla players of his generation, Vishal Nagar was born into a family of musicians and had his initial training for a very brief period with the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan of the Delhi Gharana. Along with the dense and rare tabla repertoire which was he received from his Ustad, he also has had intense rhythmic training from his mother, the renowned and highly respected Kathak dancer and vocalist, Urmila Nagar. Vishal has been praised in the Indian press for his unique combination of melodic tabla sound production with masterful command of rhythm. Vishal has had the privilege of performing with many renowned artists: Ustad Shujaat Khan, Guru Urmila Nagar, Vidhwan Trichur Ramachandran, Pandit Ramesh Misra and Kala Ramnath, to name a few. Vishal has shared the stage with some great world music masters such as African drum legend Babatunde Olatunji, Michel Shrieve, Evyind Kang, Carmona Flamenco, and Michael Wimberley. Vishal has also expanded his cultural boundaries and collaborated with musicians from around the world. Some of his memorable works have been with the Ghanaian Guitarist Koo Nimo with whom he also appeared in WOMAD USA (a leading world dance and music festival started by Peter Gabriel).

Additional Links

'Yearning for the Wind' is available now for pre-order as an audio/video bundle on iTunes. Seven pages of liner notes including CD cover art and explanations of the musical concepts behind the music are included with the download at select digital download retailers.

iTunes URL: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yearning-for-wind-feat.-matthew/id836736892

'Yearning for the Wind' is available now for pre-order as an mp3 file on Amazon.com.

Amazon.com URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JFC7XXQ/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp

'Yearning for the Wind' will be available as an Enhanced CD with audio, video, and digital liner notes at Ancient-Future.Com:

Buy Physical E-CD URL: http://www.ancient-future.com/yearning.html

The 'Yearning for the Wind' YouTube video is already the #1 video on Ethnocloud. Ancient Future's Chinese Pipa and Scalloped Fretboard Guitar Improv video with Shenshen Zhang and Matthew Montfort was the #1 video in the Ethnocloud Top 40 for March, 2014.

Ethnocloud Video URL: http://ethnocloud.com/Ancient_Future/?y_video=2381&b=942

Ethnocloud Audio URL: http://ethnocloud.com/Ancient_Future/?song=3713&b=942

Alexey Kruglov - Structure # 54

Alexey Kruglov - Structure # 54
“Structure # 54” is another step on the way of this Siberia-Moscow quartet, a phase containing a unique improvisational line of a compositional structure. We wanted to create a metaphor through embodying paints, images, conditions, which might no longer exist. The figure 54 is very symbolic here. After the Novosibirsk region code was changed from 54 to 154, the special quality, certain state of being could leave Novosibirsk, or could transform to something completely different – this is what we try to show here with the help of hints and allusions. Fantasies and transiencу – recorded as sounds and well structured – reveal not just some statement of a specific period of time, but also the reflection of personal attitude of musicians to these local changes, which, however, do not affect or change the essence of the attitude to the Siberian world. The world with its immense space, bringing up the image of infinity in each Siberian soul.

Alexey Kruglov

Buy CD

Buy on iTunes
Buy on Bandcamp

Severino Quartet New CD: "Light Play"

AVAILABLE NOW: Guitarist FREDDIE BRYANT Releases His Most Personal Recording to Date, "Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio"

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Guitarist FREDDIE BRYANT Releases His Most
Personal Recording to Date on 
Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio
Album Features Performances by
Chris Potter and Scott Colley


"Guitarist Freddie Bryant is a rhythmic and melodic sponge. 
Put him in any musical situation, be it classical, jazz, funk, Senegalese, etc., 
and he'll tend to become one with the music." - DownBeat

Imbued with guitarist Freddie Bryant's inimitable touch, inherent soulfulness and the element of surprise, Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio (available on GJKSounds) is also marked by the guitarist's ability to seamlessly traverse the classical-jazz divide on this collection of jazz standards and compelling originals. As a follow-up to his dynamic recording with his band Kaleidoscope (2012's Live Grooves...Epic Tales), Bryant gets intimate on his latest release, Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio.

Alternating between nylon string classic guitar, archtop jazz guitar, 12-string acoustic and electric guitar, Bryant does some skillful genre hopping on this emotionally charged outing. "This album is a highly personal portrait of my influences from straight-ahead to Brazilian and classical guitar but also the key factor of my parents who were consummate concert artists," notes Bryant.

Joining Bryant for duo and trio numbers on Dreamscape are two acclaimed musicians and bandleaders in their own right -- multi-reedist Chris Potter (performing on tenor and soprano saxophones as well as bass clarinet) and bassist Scott Colley. "I played with them back in the late '80s-early '90s," Bryant recalls, "and their playing was always exceptional. They can play anything, and they play it beautifully and interactively too."

Easily Bryant's most personal and revealing project to date, he performs several solo guitar pieces on Dreamscape, ranging from Thelonious Monk's lyrical "Ask Me Now" to a rich chord melody treatment of Charles Mingus' "Goodbye Porkpie Hat." Bryant also includes a beautiful interpretation of Bruno Martino's melancholy ballad "Estate" along with a buoyant, bossa nova/samba take on "Secret Love." "I wanted to do a project that didn't have drums in it, principally because there's something that happens to the clarity of sound of the guitar when you have cymbals ringing and drums beating," says the guitarist. "Of course, I love drums, but there's an intimacy that you get when you have a microphone right in front of a guitar and nothing else. When I was a kid I used to sit under the piano and just listen to my father play. That's the setting I wanted to convey."

Scott Colley, Freddie Bryant, and Chris Potter
Photo Credit: Fernando Azevedo
Bryant grew up in a musical household with his parents, who were both renowned performers on New York's classical and opera scene. In fact, he began turning pages for his concert pianist father at the age of six. Bryant has already dedicated an album to his father, who passed away when he was in college, but now decided it was time to honor his mother for such an important role in his musical development.

To that end, Bryant composed the piece "Songs," which is based on tunes he remembers hearing his mother sing. He closes out Dreamscape with a snippet of a 1974 recording from New York's Alice Tully Hall that has his mother, Beatrice Rippy, singing the uplifting spiritual, "I'm Going to Tell God All of My Troubles," accompanied by her husband, Carroll Hollister, on piano. Bryant also performs a new arrangement of that same powerful tune on classical guitar as a duo with Potter on bass clarinet. On the three other trio tracks on Dreamscape, Potter plays soprano sax on the bristling title track, switching to bass clarinet on the suite-like "Songs," which travels from work song form to hymn to gospel vibe, and rounding off on tenor saxophone for the aptly titled "Everyday is the End and the Beginning of Life Beautiful" which Bryant wrote on December 12, 2012, the date which marks the supposed end of the world from interpretations of the Mayan calendar.

Bassist Colley, a longtime duo partner with the late, great jazz guitar legend Jim Hall, makes an indelible connection with Bryant on two companion duo pieces -- the gentle, chamber-like "Vignette #1," which has Bryant on nylon string classical guitar, and the lively and contrapuntal "Vignette #2," which features Bryant on electric guitar. "Scott has a beautiful tone and great ears," says Bryant of the in-demand bassist. "I always thought of him as such a fluid player, and he's a very melodic improviser too. It was a joy to play with him."

Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio will confound those looking to put guitarist Bryant in a stylistic box as it reaches out to those who simply enjoy good music. "I grew up with straight ahead jazz and I love swinging with great jazz musicians like Ben Riley and Tom Harrell," he says. "I love that and it's totally me. I still play straight ahead but I also play Brazilian music and classical music. And now this recording makes it a little bit harder to categorize me. For me, that's a positive thing. And that's why I'm rejoicing in being able to play all these different styles of music on these different instruments and have them recorded in such a beautiful way in this intimate setting."

Freddie Bryant ·
Dreamscape: Solo-Duo-Trio
GJKSounds · Release Date: April 1, 2014
For more information on Freddie Bryant, please visit: FreddieBryant.com
For media information, please contact:
DL Media ·  610-667-0501
Matthew Jurasek·  matthew@dlmediamusic.com

Serving the Finest in Jazz Since 1988
Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos
and bios) on all DL Media artists can be found at our website: dlmediamusic.com

USA:Dimitrije Vasiljevic at the Kennedy Center on May 12

Dimitrije Vasiljevic is an award-winning New York-based jazz pianist and composer from Serbia whose music weaves Balkan motifs into the subtle flavors of European jazz. Following a recent successful concert at Carnegie Hall, Vasiljevic will debut at the Kennedy Center on May 12 at 6pm showcasing his original piano compositions and he will also perform works of some well-known American jazz masters in his own arrangements. FREE ADMISSION.
For those of you far away, you can watch the live broadcast http://www.kennedy-center.org/explorer/live/

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Alex García's AfroMantra "This Side of Mestizaje" CD Release Party @The New York City Business Club on Friday, May 2nd 7PM

Alex García's AfroMantra
"This Side of Mestizaje"
CD Release Party
@The New York City Business Club
Friday, May 2nd 7-10 PM

Ole Mathisen-soprano sax
Mike Eckroth- pianist
Ariel de la Portilla- bass,
Alex García-drums, arrangements and compositions
Ok, listen up everybody. This new CD by AFROMANTRA/Alex Garcia, is so hot, that it burns the delights of all senses. From beginning to end, Alex Garcia and all the members of AFROMANTRA, demostrate once again, that this a very serious group to pay attention to. -  Ivan Acosta Latin Jazz USA
By Eliseo Cardona
He may be the first to disputed. And yet when writing music, drummer and composer Alex García seem to always be working in the realm of songwriting. Set lyrics to those long musical exploration he likes to write for his band AfroMantra, and you'll probably get songs of the kind Chabuca Granda o Violeta Parra would have enjoyed if they approached the Latin American experience as a cross-pollination experiment.
This is what García does best, bringing together everything he has made his own: the Cuban rhythms he studied and treasured while growing up in Havana; the ancentral sounds of Peruvian music while also growing up in Lima; the jazz masters he has studied in awe. All has been mixed with the formative years in his native Santiago de Chile, which gave him the foundaton to open his ears, heart and mind. You can say that García does is jazz, claiming roots everywhere. This also what “This Side of Mestizaje” is all about.
The album is AfroMantra's latest recording. And it is the band's most brilliant. To peg the word jazz to it would be simply an understatement. True, these songs are springboards from which García and company work at once subtle and complex improvisations, but they also form a strong narrative that claims space in the chamber music hall. Songs with big musical statement.
Pianist John Lewis used to say that was higher call. Actually, all great music requires an elevation. Garcia invites his listeners to listen carefully while enjoying the journey.
--BlueMonk Moods

(Cover Photo By Eliseo Cardona)

(photo by Martin Cohen)

Music is the most intimate journey there is. And when music is good, it brings listeners together, fans are pleased and hearts are contented.

Drummer and composer Alex García has made this belief the cornerstone of "This Side of Mestizaje" the latest recording of his iconic band AfroMantra. Described by many as "a gorgeous suite of intelligent details," the album will be released May 6, 2014.

The CD release party will take place on Friday, May 2nd, 2014 in The New York City Business Club, located at 4 West 43rd St Between 5th and 6th Av in Manhattan from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. www.newyorkcitybusinessclub.com

AfroMantra is one of the most refined, sophisticated bands in New York's Latin jazz scene. It is, as one critic described it, "a lab of rhythms crisscrossing the Americas." Indeed, the band is the brainchild of Chilean-born, New York-based drummer Alex García, a composer who also believes that sounds celebrate many identities, not one, cultural experiences and artistic heights.

"This Side of Mestizaje" was recorded by soprano sax Ole Mathisen, pianist Mike Eckroth, bassist Ariel de la Portilla and Alex García on drums, arrangements and compositions. AfroMantra has been recording and performing for more than 13 years. Its third CD, "Uplifting Spirit-Espíritu Optimista," garnered the attention of numerous jazz critics and radio stations around the world. The latest "This Side of Mestizaje" reaches new levels of interaction and beauty through a program of songs that celebrate the art of polyrhythms. Each is a small suite in a suite-like, larger canvas that pays tribute to many sounds of the Americas. This is what AfroMantra does best: to ride the different American sounds in an effortless way.

"Even in the beginning, we all felt that the band was like a musical family," says Alex García. "But now, of course, the spirit of togetherness is more intimate, more tight and more telepathic. We aim for beauty and surprises, leaving spaces to learn more and enjoy the music."

Born in Santiago, Chile, raised first in Lima, Perú and then Havana, Cuba, Alex García hails from a family of artists and musicians: his father, Fernando García Arancibia, is a prestigious contemporary composer who has seen his work performed by many important Latin American and European musicians; his mother, Hilda Riveros Wainstein, was an accomplished choreographer and dancer who after being the First Dancer at the National Ballet of Chile, worked for many years with her own modern dance company, Ballet Moderno de Camara in Lima, Perú; she then went to Cuba to become staff dancer and choreographer for Ballet Nacional de Cuba, and again to Chile to the Ballet Nacional Chileno and Ballet del Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile.

Alex graciously has dedicated this new release to her late mother as a way to say thank you for all the positive influences and impact she and his father have made on him.

"Music was not something I decided to follow," says García; "even though I started a little late (17 years old), I believe music was always part of my DNA, part of who I am. I would say that music has been the passion that pushes me to live and create." 

Media Contact

Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services
272 State Route 94 South #1
Warwick, NY 10990-3363
Ph: 845-986-1677 / Fax: 845-986-1699
Cell / text: 917-755-8960
Skype: jazzpromo


MoonJune releases the new cd of TOHPATI feat. Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman

MoonJune is releasing the new studio album of the Indonesian guitar master TOHPATI featuring JIMMY HASLIP (guitar) and CHAD WACKERMAN (drums). "Tribal Dance" is the 11th album of Indonesian artists on MJR, and the 6th featuring Tohpati.

Dear MoonJune Friends in Music
With Tohpati’s 3rd release (2nd as a trio) on MoonJune, recorded in Los Angeles in September 2013, we see the Beckian progressive metal riffing of 2012’s Tohpati Bertiga ”_Riot_” supplanted by a pairing of compositional dexterity along with the unique guitar voice that is the essence of Tohpati, one of Indonesia's most famous guitar players. Though there is no shortage of acrobatic axe-wielding on “Tribal Dance”, Tohpati’s democratic interplay with the formidable world class rhythm section of Jimmy Haslip and Chad Wackerman is the real star here – creating a powerful synergy that gives voice to the whole of the music over its parts and delivering a richly rewarding listening experience. Power chords, distorted spare note leads, chugging rhythmic grooves and nuanced jazz phrasings are all summoned up by Tohpati, as he locks in with Haslip’s dubmaster basslines and the rubber-limbed kitwork of Wackerman, creating tracks of infectious syncopation and of sufficient complexity to warrant a player recount. Aside from a few ambient vocal samples, “Tribal Dance” is an instrumental album, though many of Tohpati’s melodic guitar lead lines feel “sung” in both song context and in the expressive way in which they are played. This diversity of guitar voicings and textures, along with the enthusiasm and chemistry between the players, will keep this disc in heavy rotation. Fans of Jeff Beck, Wayne Krantz, Allan Holdsworth, Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, and, of course, the Indonesian guitar icon Dewa Budjana, will surely want to pick this up.
DIrect link => bit.ly/TOHPATI
BandCamp link => moonjunerecords.bandcamp.com
Yours truly
"Tohpati’s playing is extraordinarily fluent, effortlessly expressive and multi-textured." - London Jazz News (UK)
"Indonesian guitarist Tohpati Bertiga spews lightning strikes across the studio, enamored by his slick-picking breakouts and shrewd use of space. He's a seasoned vet, noted by his prominent session duties and affiliation with the ultra-progressive jazz-rock band simakDialog, and his own Tohpati Bertiga power trio and Tohpati Ethnomission." - All About Jazz (USA)
"One of the world's greatest and most versatile guitarists of the XXI Century." - Leonardo Pavkovic, MoonJune
"Tohpati appears as a fantastically skilled guitarist here, displaying a wide range of techniques and styles, embracing Prog-Metal, Hard Rock, Space Fusion, blues, jazz and psychedelic, often delivered in a ‘guitar hero’ manner." – Progressor (Russia/Uzbekistan)
".Tohpati has matured into a singular voice on his instrument as well as a composer of uncommon breadth and skill." - Grande Rock (Greece)
"Tohpati plays a mean lead guitar, lightning fast but still with great feel and drama." - Prog Planet (Denmark)
"Tohpati is at the forefront of modern magicians of electric guitar." - WIld Thing Magazine (Greece)
"Tohpati's guitar is breathtaking ... from fluid Jazz passages to experimental sections and mystic moments ... just brilliant." - ProgArchives (USA)
"Tohpati certainly knows his chops, but his playing shows a depth of feeling as well as heaps of technical ability." – Astounded By Sound (USA)
"Tohpati is an outstanding guitarist and it's refreshing to hear a guitarist with his own voice - while he's often playing lines that are technically difficult, they never sound much like what we normally hear from a hot guitarist." - Exposé Magazine (USA)
"Tohpati can be as fluid as Holdsworth when he wishes, playing with the mastery the progressive fusion in it's truest sense." - Jazz Music Archive (USA)
TOHPATI "Bertiga"


simakDIALOG "The 6th Story"

simakDIalog "Patahan"
simakDIALOG "Demi Masa"

DEWA BUDJANA "Surya Namaskar"

DEWA BUDJANA "Joged Kahyangan"

DEWA BUDJANA "Dawai In Paradise"

LIGRO "Dictionary 2"

ligro orgil logo
LIGRO "Dictionary 3"

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AVAILABLE NOW: Guitarist OSCAR PENAS Showcases Diverse Cultural Influences with Release of, "Music of Departures and Returns"

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AVAILABLE NOW via Musikoz:
Guitarist OSCAR PEÑAS Showcases Diverse Cultural Influences with Release of Music of Departures and Returns
Featuring Special Guests 
Esperanza Spalding, Gil Goldstein and Paquito D'Rivera 

"Oscar is a beautiful player with a totally unique sense of 
sound and color in his writing." - Esperanza Spalding

"Oscar Peñas has a very well-traveled musical passport. Born in Spain, 
he sounds like a  citizen of the world, crossing musical borders with 
quick and sure footing. I have seen his style develop and expand in the 
past 5 years I have known him and have been happy to be a passenger 
on his journeys. I am sure he will continue to develop and expand and 
we all wait for his next musical travels." - Gil Goldstein

Catalan guitarist, composer and bandleader Oscar Peñas´ fourth album and second release in the United States, Music of Departures and Returns, includes a Brazilian choro and a tribute to flamenco master Paco de Lucia; a jazz standard and a classic from the Cuban Nueva Trova songbook; and music by the great Catalonian composer Frederic Mompou. Yet this is neither a music sampler nor a showcase of Peñas´ talents in different settings and styles.

"This is more or less who I am. I'm not trying to push boundaries, prove anything or show off in any
way," explains Peñas. "It's a collection of pieces, some mine, some by other composers that I have always admired, that I felt had a common mood, a certain sound that reflects my personality and where I come from."

Music of Departures and Returns features his quartet, comprised of his long-standing rhythm section featuring six-string electric bassist Moto Fukushima, drummer Richie Barshay, and violinist Sara Caswell. The band is augmented by special guests such as bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, reedman Paquito D'Rivera and pianist, producer and arranger Gil Goldstein who appears on accordion.

Born in Barcelona, Peñas began his career in music studying classical guitar as a child. He graduated with honors from Berklee College of Music and later earned a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance from New England Conservatory before settling Brooklyn. He arrived at his musical discoveries step by step.

"I started to explore jazz a bit out of boredom. As a teenager (and still is the case) it was more appealing to me to pick up my own melodies within a style and interact with other musicians than spend hours of solitude trying to perfect a technical dexterity and devote my youth to learn a repertoire by others. Discoveries and interests come sometimes erratically... listening to Pat Metheny's Letter from Home or Wayne Shorter's Native Dancer you end up coming across Toninho Horta, Gismonti or Milton [Nascimento] and their music opens doors to a sea of possibilities, that's
how I learned about choro.

"I didn't study choro, but listened to a lot of them and love Pixinguinha and Guinga. If you ask a purist, maybe he won't approve of the form or the harmonies of  'Paquito's Choro,' but this is my unpretentious take on it."

As for incorporating all these influences, "there was never a grand plan," he says. "I've been finding music and what I liked, I researched it and add it to my music. I was not born here and I did not grow up here. I like these different styles as much or more than bebop. Settling in NYC was a kind of wake-up call as I realized that in order to break through in the most vibrant scene on the planet I had to be honest and that meant digging into my own culture to find a personal voice."
Oscar Peñas - Music of Departures and Returns - EPK
Oscar Penas - 
Music of Departures and Returns - EPK

Upcoming Oscar Peñas Tour Dates:
April 18 / BAMcafé / Brooklyn, NY
November 7 / Strathmore / Bethesda, MD

Oscar Peñas ·  Music of Departures and Returns
Musikoz ·  Release Date: April 15, 2014
For more information on Oscar Peñas, please visit oscarpenas.com
For national media inquiries, please contact:
DL Media ·  610-667-050
Amy Miller ·  amy@dlmediamusic.com

Information and press materials (including album covers, promotional photos and bios)
on all DL Media artists can be found at our new website: dlmediamusic.com