Thursday: Zapato Negro, Self Titled, Cellar Live.
The first album for this three-year-old Vancouver-based Latin jazz quintet highlights their impeccably tasteful ensemble playing during a two-night stint at the Cellar Jazz Club. Tasteful, yes, but not so carefully played that fiery moments don’t escape, like Ivan Soto’s frenetic conga explosion over the last half of "Jazz Tumbao Thing," or the escalating wildness of Andre Carrasquero’s piano during "Segundo Recreo."
"Gilbertónn" is one of Cuba's foremost drummer/timbaleros. A master in all styles, he is known internationally for the "funk-in-clave" style of Afro-Cuban 'Salsa' known as Timba. He has been a featured member of many of Cuba's most popular groups, including Charanga Habanera, Bamboleo, and Charanga Forever. Gilberto has now settled down in Vancouver, quickly making a name for himself locally. . www.gilbertonn.com
Also from Havana, percussionist Iván Soto is the latest addition to the group. Before leaving Cuba, Iván played with many of that country's finest musicians, including the group "P.G", sister group to Jose Luis Cortés' ensemble "N.G. La Banda". Since making Vancouver his permanent home, Iván has added his own touch to many musical situations
Pianist and Composer André Carrasquero has spent many years teaching and touring throughout Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, the United States and Canada. Though born in Montreál, he was raised in Caracas, where he began a career as a jazz and studio musician in 1983. This eventually led him to become a successful producer of CDs and music for documentary films. While still in Venezuela, his CD ‘Todo Brasil' was recognized as best independent production of 1994 by ‘Premio Casa del Artista'. Since settling in Vancouver in 1998, he has become very active in the local music scene.
Bassist/composer Allan Johnston has played with many of Vancouver's finest Jazz and Latin ensembles, including his own acclaimed septet Grupo Jazz Tumbao, JUNO-Nominee Rumba Calzada, Orquesta Goma Dura, and many more. He's also been privileged to play behind some of the giants of Latin Music, including NY Salsa legend and Fania All-Star Larry Harlow, Grammy winner Lalo Rodriguez (with La Clave), and Ernán Lopez-Nussa, and has opened for Orquesta Aragón, Eliades Ochoa, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, "Maraca", and Arturo Sandoval. For over two decades he has studied Latin Music in its places of origin, including Cuba, Puerto Rico and New York City
Miguel Angel Valdes de la Hoz (Miguelito Valdes), was born in Havana, Cuba on Sep 3, 1974. He began studying music when he was 11 years old at the Elementary School of Music "Paulita Concepcion", and continued at the Provincial School of Music "Amadeo Roldan". In 1992 he did his first professional trumpet work with the group "Jelengue". Since then, he has played with many of Cuba's top performers, including the Cabaret Tropicana Orquestra, Giraldo Piloto & Klimax, Pablo Milanes, Issac Delgado, Haila Mompie, and Mayito Rivera (from Los Van Van), and has participated in award-winning recordings such as "La rumba Soy Yo", which won a Latin Grammy in 2001. In 2000, he began playing with Omara Portuondo (of Buena Vista Social Club fame) with whom he traveled around the world for 6 years. He has also played with important musicians abroad, including Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Danilo Perez, Wayne Shorter, and many others. Since making Vancouver his home, he's become very busy on the local Latin Music scene.