Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sofia Rei Koutsovitis releases Sube Azul (World Village / Harmonia Mundi)
CD Release Party @ Drom, NYC
January 7, 2010

Drom Flyer
Flyer Drom

On January 7 at DROM, NYC, Argentine vocalist and composer Sofia Rei Koutsovitis will celebrate the release of Sube Azul , her sophomore CD on World Village/Harmonia Mundi. She will joined byJuancho Herrera (guitar), Eric Kurimski (guitar), Dana Leong (cello/trombone), Dan Blake (soprano sax), Jorge Roeder (bass), Yayo Serka (drums), Samuel Torres (percussion), and Jorge Perez Albela (percussion). Doors will open at 6pm for one show with two sets beginning at 7pm and 8:15pm.

Sube Azul ties together Sofia's myriad of influences into an album that brings to life her transit between hemispheres and highlights a focused and unified musical identity. Sube Azul spans the continents, transcends its origins and gathers force as a self-contained narrative, more than the sum of its parts.

Sube Azul features an impressive and wildly diverse cast of musicians: Jorge Roeder on bass; Anat Cohen on clarinet; Geoffrey Keezer and Leo Genovese on piano; Dana Leong on cello and trombone; Eric Kurimski and Juancho Herrera on guitars; Yayo Serka on drums; Celso Duarte on harp; Dan Blake on soprano saxophone; Diego Obregón on tres; and Samuel Torres, Juan Medrano Cotito, Jorge Pérez Albela, Morris Cañate, Ronald Polo and Nestor Gómez on assorted percussion.

A native of Buenos Aires, Sofia has recorded, performed and collaborated with renowned artists and bands such as Lionel Loueke, Danilo Perez, John Scofield, Bob Moses, Russ Ferrante (Yellowjackets), Pavel Urkiza (Gema y Pavel), Avantango (Pablo Aslan), Aquiles Baez, and the Pedro Martinez Project. She toured Europe with the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered Schneider's "Cerulean Skies" in Vienna. She was also recently featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin in "Instant Opera" at Carnegie Hall. In December 2009 she will be one of four featured vocalists chosen to premiere newly commissioned work as part of The Jazz Gallery's "New Voices" concert series. In early 2010, John Zorn's Book of Angels: Masada Book 2 will come out on Tzadik Records, featuring Sofia alongside Ayelet Gottlieb (Israel), Malika Zarra (Morocco) and Basya Shechter (USA).

Additonal New York Appearances:

  • January 5: Live on NPR's Souncheck @ 2:30 PM
  • January 9: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 10:20 pm
  • January 10: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 5:30 pm

sofia vid cap
Video EPK

Click here to preview " Sube Azul " (Title Track)

For more information visit

Nick Venti at DL MEDIA // 610-667-0501 //


Friday, December 18, 2009

Justin Time Records Set To Release Cuban Pianist Roberto Fonseca's "Akokan" in U.S. on February 16

Justin Time Records Set To Release
Cuban Pianist Roberto Fonseca's Akokan

Available in U.S. Stores on February 16

U.S. Tour Dates in Support of Cuban Legend Omara Portuondo

"A fabulously gifted pianist, composer and band leader... a gift for melody that outshines more celebrated of a new breed who can transcend musical boundaries through sheer quality" -The Guardian

"A genre-busting tour de force.. the lyricism of his playing recalls Herbie Hancock but he can animate the courtly dramas of Cuban tradition... a joyous poignant offering" -The Observer

"The man has soul" - The Sunday Times

"Music is my life and life is my music; they are both intertwined, enriching the other."- Roberto Fonseca

The world knows well the incomparable musical resources cultivated and harbored in Cuba. But with the release of Akokan, many jazz and Latin music lovers will receive enlightenment on one of the most distinctive contemporary artists to emerge from that vibrant creative community.

Roberto Fonseca has already visited the United States on several occasions, as pianist with the Buena Vista Social Club™ and the Grammy-winning group's legendary lead singer, the late Ibrahim Ferrer. Now, recording with the quartet he has led for the past dozen years, he asserts his own voice as a pianist, composer and facilitator of emotionally deep, intellectually stimulating performance.

Taking its name from the Yoruba word for "from the heart," Akokan blends Afro-Cuban genres, jazz and sounds too elusive to categorize. Perhaps the most immediate impression is that this music communicates powerfully through the connections of the musicians and the elegance of their restraint - an approach that differs from the more common practice among young artists of through blazing fireworks and technical display.

While there are many moments on Akokan that demonstrate Fonseca's command of his instrument, these occur sparingly and appropriately; the fact that the album opens and closes with brief unaccompanied vocals, simple yet hypnotic, makes the point that spirit is what this music is about.

"This album is a step forward for my musical career," Fonseca says. "If everyone who listens to it can be transported towards a more spiritual world, then that is a great step for me."

Born in Havana, Fonseca was nourished through classical lessons, a diverse listening regimen and gigs on drums with a Beatles cover band. At age 21 he was touring in Italy with singer Augusto Enriquez; by 1999, four years later, he had recorded and produced his first album, the award-winning En el Comienzo . Since then, through work with Ferrer, Rubén González, Cachaíto López, Omara Portuondo and other giants of Cuban music, and through concerts and recordings with his own group, he was embraced by audiences and critics throughout Japan, Europe, Canada and beyond.

For all that he has accomplished, Akokan promises to be the pivotal album of his career to date, primarily in the paradox of its diversity and unity. The unusual Balkan elements in the timbres and complex rhythms of "Bulgarian," the vibrancy drawn into "El Ritmo De Dus Hombros" from memories of music in the streets of Fonseca's Havana neighborhood, the subtle props given to hip-hop in the room he gives for bassist Omar González to stretch out, his collaboration with American guitarist and singer Raul Midon on the son montuño feel of "Everyone Deserves a Second Chance," and the astonishingly complete statement he makes in 40 seconds of solo piano on "Pequeños Viajes" - each track opens its own door and yet all lead to an eloquent resolution.

His method for Akokan was to write and record an abundance of material and then whittle it down to those that joined best into a single conception. "Once I chose the songs, putting them in sequence was like making up a story or a film," he explains. "There are different ones for different moods, but what is most important is that each one transmits something different."

Focused on that goal, Fonseca kept Akokan free of anything that would inhibit its ability to touch those who hear it. "I am not interested in showing off any kind of giftedness," he says. "With what I have learned, I want to enjoy and transmit the essence of the music."

This is the second milestone represented to Akokan , in that for the first time Fonseca will present that gift directly to American listeners. "That is very important," he insists. "The U.S. is a very important place in the history of art, and at the same time for me it is a new place where I have this opportunity to express my experiences through music and share this with the audience."

For the first time in nearly half a century, there seems reason to hope that this communication between Cuban artists and the American public will finally happen without impediment. Fonseca, of course, is among those who share that hope.

"Cuban artists and American artists have always been very connected," he says. "From studying each country's music, really amazing things have appeared, and this helped us and our cultures. We would like that these cultural relations were normalized and that music was left alone, because music is the best remedy for the soul and the spirit. All of this helps to get us a little closer to a place where there aren't any differences between countries because, as we all know, music doesn't have any boundaries."

Nor do the future of Roberto Fonseca and his music know any limits. That much is clear, in the mystery and illumination of Akokan .

Click here to listen to an exclusive
streaming track from the album

Upcoming U.S. Appearances:

February 23: Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA
February 24: Lisner Auditorium @ George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
February 26: Sanders Theater @ Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
February 27: Town Hall, New York, NY
March 3: Filmore Miami Beach @ The Jackie Gleason Theater, Miami Beach, FL

Justin Time Records- JTR 8555-2 / February 16, 2010

For media information contact:

Steph Brown / DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)
Maria Echeverria / DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501(e)


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Resonance Records to release Gene Harris "Another Night in London," January 12

Resonance Logo



Recorded Live at Pizza Express,
A Follow Up to 2008's
Live in London

"One of the churchiest pianists in jazz, [Harris] turns the keyboard into an altar for preaching the blues and rocking the pews."
- People Magazine

"There is no pianist with a better feel for the blues than Gene Harris."
- The Wall Street Journal

"I never have anything in my mind when I play. I just play from my heart; from my soul, and just try to let everything I have inside of me come out...and it seems that the people love it that way."
- Gene Harris

For five decades, Michigan-born, self-taught pianist/composer/bandleader Gene Harris (1933-2000) beautifully blended blues, bop, soul, and gospel into his signature sound. As the leader of the legendary trio The Three Sounds - with bassist Bill Dowdy and drummer Andy Simpkins - to his final, productive years in Idaho, Harris was always swinging: in the pocket, on the one, and in the groove; with a logic and lyricism that drank deeply from the well of the blues.

Harris' artistry is in full effect on the forthcoming Resonance Records CD, Another Night in London (release date: January 12, 2010), a cool and combustive live quartet, recorded at Pizza Express in May 1996 with an all-British rhythm section featuring bassist Andrew Cleyndert, guitarist Jim Mullen, and Oscar Peterson's former drummer, Martin Drew. Another Night in London is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Live in London CD, released in 2008 on the same label. Both recordings are rare in that they are the only two available that feature Harris' European quartet.

Another Night in London features the fleet-fingered Harris dropping syncopated science on several standards. "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Georgia on my Mind," and "Lady Be Good," all roll with a driving swing that could rock both the Philharmonic and the juke joint. In contrast, the bossa nova chestnut "Meditation" is given a samba-fied treatment, and "This Masquerade" is an exquisitely sensitive rendering of the Leon Russell/George Benson hit. Writer Don Heckman penned in the CD liner notes, "one can hear...the rich harmonic visions of Art Tatum; the playful articulation of Errol Garner, the propulsive rhythms of Ahmad Jamal. But each of these elements plays only an additive role in interpreting style that is Harris' own..."

Another Night in London is only the latest aural document to showcase Harris' show-stopping and scintillating genius, and it's on par with some of his greatest recordings including The Three Sounds, Feelin' Good, Blue Hour (with Stanley Turrentine), and The Philip Morris All-Stars Live. It is the zenith of an amazing career that took the Benton Harbor, Michigan native to the ends of the earth on the wings of his inexhaustible and indestructible swing, entrancing fans, critics and fellow musicians; influencing the likes of Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Ray Charles, and Benny Carter.

With the release of Another Night in London , we can still follow the eternal ebullient elegance of Gene Harris' pulsing piano as it casts a bright light over the legacy of jazz piano that will burn as long as the music is still with us. As a solo artist with dozens of recordings, Harris was one of the most well-respected and popular pianists of all time. "Recorded at a time when he was at the peak of his powers, just before he began to experience the health issues that would ultimately lead to his death from kidney failure in 2000," writes Heckman in the liner notes, "the album sparks with the drama that Harris invested in every note he played."

Resonance Records HCD-2006 / January 12, 2010

For further information on this and other Resonance Records releases,

Resonance Records Receives Two Grammy Nominations

Best Instrumental Arrangement "West Side Story Medley"
Bill Cunliffe, arranger (Resonance Big Band)
Resonance Big Band Pays Tribute To Oscar Peterson

Best Latin Jazz Album (Vocal or Instrumental)
Brazilliance X 4, Claudio Roditi

This is very exciting for us as these are our first-ever Grammy Nominations
in our label's one and a half year history.
We couldn't be more proud of our artists and their music.

Thank YOU for all of your support.
Everyone at Resonance Records

Resonance Records is a program of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation,
a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation

For media information contact:
Steph Brown at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)
Don Lucoff at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)

Monday, December 14, 2009



Vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis Releases Sube Azul (World Village/Harmonia Mundi) on January 12, 2009

CD RELEASE PARTY - January 7, 2009

"As the Argentine singer Sofía Rei Koutsovitis led her multinational band,(...) the passion and clarity with which she assayed a tricky mix of South American rhythms and jazz-inflected harmonies made clear why she has been embraced by New York City audiences from Carnegie Hall to the hippest downtown haunts."

-Phil Lutz, New York Times

"Sofia has a lovely sound that is human and earthy all at once. She creates such a broad spectrum of colors and sounds. Sofia is so creative..."
- Maria Schneider

"one of the most versatile and in-demand singers on the New York music scene",
- Simon Calle, All About Jazz

"One of the most memorable performers I have ever encountered...
a superb and original songwriter."
- Curtis Fuller

"Koutsovitis sings a varied, engaging set, with plenty to dance to, plenty to get down with, and plenty to think about. She's going for an ambitious goal: original, creative, and technically challenging music that's as exciting to a Bacchanalian crowd as to the ivory tower listener. "
-The Live Music Report (Canada)

Sube Azul , the vibrant sophomore release from Argentine vocalist and composer Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, proves why she's been called "one of the most versatile and in-demand performers on the New York music scene" (All About Jazz).

Her acclaimed multilingual debut, Ojalá was chosen as a top-10 release of 2006 by the Jazz Journalists Association. Now, in a departure, Sofia serves as Sube Azul 's composer, arranger, lyricist and - with bassist Jorge Roeder - producer. The result is a stirring collection of mostly original Spanish-language songs.

"[ Sube Azul is] a fully formed synthesis, reflecting Sofia's immersion in modern and progressive jazz while also responding to the pull of ancestry and the appeal of organic, pan-musical connections" writes David R. Adler in his liner notes.

JD & JACKSON ON RED CARPET"A native of Buenos Aires, Sofia brings to bear the folkloric traditions of Argentina and its regional neighbors (Peru, Colombia, Uruguay), tying together diverse influences in a program full of complexity, melody and romance. The songs speak of heartbreak, individuality, special characters in Sofia's life, and the challenges of life abroad. There are tributes to Argentina's copleras (female folkloric singers), and comments on what Sofia terms 'the end of the utopia of the upcoming Latin American revolution.'"

Sofia fills out Sube Azul with an impressive and wildly diverse cast of musicians: Jorge Roeder on bass; Anat Cohen on clarinet; Geoffrey Keezer and Leo Genovese on piano; Dana Leong on cello and trombone; Eric Kurimski and Juancho Herrera on guitars; Yayo Serka on drums; Celso Duarte on harp; Dan Blake on soprano saxophone; Diego Obregón on tres; and Samuel Torres, Juan Medrano Cotito, Jorge Pérez Albela, Morris Cañate, Ronald Polo and Nestor Gómez on assorted percussion.

After immersing herself in modern and progressive jazz during graduate studies at Boston's New England Conservatory, Sofia relocated to New York in 2005 and began working in an array of projects, including the 12-piece Colombian unit Folklore Urbano and the Afro-Peruvian quintet Alcatraz, along with more straightforwardly jazz-related groups like Geoffrey Keezer's Aurea, whose self-titled 2009 release received a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Sofia has also recorded, performed and collaborated with renowned artists and bands such as Lionel Loueke, Danilo Perez, John Scofield, Bob Moses, Russ Ferrante (Yellowjackets),Pavel Urkiza (Gema y Pavel), Avantango (Pablo Aslan), Aquiles Baez, and the Pedro Martinez Project. She toured Europe with the Grammy-winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra and premiered Schneider's "Cerulean Skies" in Vienna. She was also recently featured with vocal giant Bobby McFerrin in "Instant Opera" at Carnegie Hall. In December 2009 she will be one of four featured vocalists chosen to premiere newly commissioned work as part of The Jazz Gallery's "New Voices" concert series. In early 2010, John Zorn's Book of Angels: Masada Book 2 will come out on Tzadik Records, featuring Sofia alongside Ayelet Gottlieb (Israel), Malika Zarra (Morocco) and Basya Shechter (USA).

Sube Azul ties together Sofia's myriad of influences into an album that brings to life her transit between hemispheres and highlights a focused and unified musical identity. Sube Azul spans the continents, transcends its origins and gathers force as a self-contained narrative, more than the sum of its parts.

Upcoming Appearances:

  • December 15-16: Jazz Gallery "New Vocal Series Commission 2009," New York, NY
  • January 5: Live on NPR's Souncheck @ 2:30 PM
  • January 7: "CD RELEASE PARTY for SUBE AZUL !" Drom, New York, NY
  • January 9: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 10:20 pm
  • January 10: APAP Showcase - Hilton Hotel, New York, NY @ 5:30 pm
  • February 18: Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
  • March 12: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

sofia vid cap
Video EPK

Click here to preview " Sube Azul " (Title Track)

For more information visit

CONTACT: Nick Venti at DL MEDIA // 610-667-0501 //


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fahir Atakoglu's "FACES & PLACES"

Fahir Atakoglu's Faces & Places available January 5
features Randy Brecker, John Patitucci, Wayne Krantz, Bob Mintzer, Romero Lubambo and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez

Fahir - Faces and Places

A highly regarded figure in his native Turkey since the 1990s, pianist-composer-arranger
Fahir Atakoglu is only beginning to make his mark on stateside audiences. His latest offering, the compelling world-jazz project Faces and Places , may be the breakthrough album to finally gain him widespread acclaim here.

Boasting an all-star cast of trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Wayne Krantz, Yellowjackets' saxophonist Bob Mintzer, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist John Patitucci and Horacio"El Negro" Hernandez on drums, Faces and Places is a formidable followup to 2008's Istanbul in Blue (a ferocious fusion project that reached #1 on the JazzWeek World Music Albums chart and features guitarists Mike Stern and Wayne Krantz, tenor saxophonist Bob Franchesini, bassist Anthony Jackson, and Hernandez on drums).

"It's great, of course, to play with these musicians," says the celebrated 46-year-old pianist-composer from Istanbul. "They bring the best to my compositions; Their use of colors, their timbres and most importantly their personalities. So when I get together with these musicians, all I want is to capture the moment. That's what is most important."

Fahir AtakogluThe energy and ideas surging through Faces and Places are apparent from the outset, beginning with the invigorating, chops-busting opener "Into You" through the Middle Eastern flavored "High Street." Atakoglu's Turkish roots come into play on the challenging 14/8 vehicle, "Faces," while the flamenco flavored "Mediterranean" conjures up a vibe reminiscent of Chick Corea's '70s classic,My Spanish Heart. "Rio Da Noite Intro" opens with an evocative motif created by a blend of synths and strings sounding like it might've come from one of Atakoglu's orchestral film scores. The strings paint dark, mysterious hues here as Mintzer (on soprano), Fahir and Lubambo each add powerhouse solos.

Randy Brecker makes his first appearance on the decidedly funky "NY-Retrospective," an Atakoglu original that combines the energy and urgency of New York with some hints of his own native Turkey. The off-kilter groove number "Rhythm of Corners" showcases the chemistry between Atakoglu and his longstanding drummer Hernandez while the hauntingly beautiful ballad "...and Places" features flamenco guitarist Rene Toledo against a lush string arrangement. Brecker returns for the slamming "Seven," a funky throwdown which features a particularly nasty, distortion-laced guitar solo from Krantz, and Mintzer is showcased blowing robust tenor lines over Fahir's lush and provocative string arrangements on the gorgeous ballad closer, "Your Face."

Atakoglu dedicates this album "to all musicians who have come to the United States from all corners of the world: Those who follow their dreams and touch people's hearts, lives and souls with their music."

Fahir Atakoglu is a prolific composer who first gained fame in his native Turkey in the early 1990s for his best-selling soundtrack to a popular documentary film on Turkish history. Born in Istanbul, Atakoglu began playing piano and drums at age seven. He later studied with Cemal Resit Rey, Turkey's famous composer, pianist, script writer, and conductor, and subsequently attended the Istanbul State Conservatory from 1978-1980. In 1980 he moved to London and for five years studied at the London School of Music and Croydon College. After earning a degree from Croydon College in 1983, he returned to Istanbul to work as a jingle composer in the advertising sector. Beginning in 1987, Atakoglu has created music for commercials, news segments, and documentaries, and has even fulfilled commissions for the Istanbul National Opera and Ballet. He has also composed music for Turkey's top bands and musicians, including Sezen Aksu, and Sertab Erener. He composed music for Greek musician Notis Sfakianakis, with Atakoglu's song Telos Dios Telos going platinum with sales over 480,000 copies. Since his rise to fame in 1994 Atakoglu has recorded eighteen albums that have sold over two million copies in 17 countries including the United States. Atakoglu continues to compose film scores, ballet music, operas and other symphonic works while also performing solo and trio concerts around the world.

Faces and Places is an adventurous and rewarding musical journey, conceived and realized by a talent who is definitely worthy of wider recognition.

  • FACES & PLACES: featuring Rogerio Boccato, Randy Brecker, Wayne Krantz, Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez, Romero Lubambo, Bob Mintzer, John Patitucci, Rene Toledo - FAR&HERE LLC-2009
  • UCLEME-TRIO: 3 CD album - FAR&HERE LLC-2009
  • IZ: the 25th Anniversary - FAR&HERE LLC-2008
  • ISTANBUL IN BLUE: Fahir Atakoğlu, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Anthony Jackson, Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Bob Franceschini - FAR&HERE LLC-2008
  • EAST SIDE STORY: Fahir Atakoglu demonstrates his virtuosity with the music he composed for the Istanbul National Ballet's East Side Story, a DanceTheather created by Aysun Aslan - FAR&HERE LLC-2007
  • BEYZANIN KADINLARI: Movie - Original Music/Score - March 2006
  • LA LUNA / AS ONE: Fahir Atakoğlu - FAR&HERE LLC-2005
  • IF: Fahir Atakoğlu / Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez / Anthony Jackson - FAR&HERE LLC-2005
  • LIVE IN ISTANBUL 2: Symphonic Concert - Re-released as Live In Istanbul - FAR&HERE LLC- IMAJ Nov 2004
  • AS ONE: Universal Music Turkey, 2002
  • Dar Alanda Kısa Paslasmalar: OFF-SITE Movie - Original Music/Score - January, 2001 - distributed by BMG
  • FAHİR ATAKOĞLU "First Of All"- Fahir's Music Distributed to 17 Countries By KOCH International - April 2000
  • FAHİR ATAKOĞLU 75.Yil Konserleri Concert for the 75th anniversary of Turkish Republic
  • LIVE IN ISTANBUL FAHİR ATAKOĞLU Symphonic Concert (Live at Istanbul Open Air -IMAJ Co-Production
  • YARINA DÖRT ISIK (Four Lights For Tomorrow) Yarina Dort Isik (Four Lights For Tomorrow) - December,1996
  • FAHIR ATAKOGLU 2-Tempa Foneks
  • FAHIR ATAKOGLU 1 Tempa Foneks

Nick Venti at DL MEDIA (p) 610-667-0501 (e)


Motéma Music Recording Artist Antonio Ciacca Releases "Lagos Blues" January 12

Internationally Acclaimed Pianist
Antonio Ciacca Collaborates with
Renowned Saxophonist Steve Grossman

Motéma Music Set to Release Lagos Blues on January 12

"At the heart of any true jazzman is the ability to tell his own musical stories in his own way, and hopefully touch a few hearts along the way. Down in his heart, there's a song he can feel, something that no one can steal. It's his own tune, all and in part. Pianist Antonio Ciacca dances to the unique songs in his heart."
- Todd Barkan, Jazz at Lincoln Center

More than an exceptional album, Antonio Ciacca's Lagos Blues (Available January 12) is a mirror that reflects the broader story of jazz, its international reach as well as its inclination to come back and nourish at its American wellspring.

Ciacca's new album, Lagos Blues , released on Motéma Music, features his regular quartet - saxophonist Stacy Dillard, bassist Kengo Nakamura and drummer Ulysses Owens - supplemented by saxophonist Steve Grossman,an artist whose impact on jazz has been profound and on Ciacca directly has been transformative.

Steve Grossman (pictured at left) has been living in Italy since the 1970s, teaching and playing locally. His résumé includes the honor of having replaced Wayne Shorter in Miles Davis' group as a teenager and work with other giants of jazz including Elvin Jones, Michel Petrucciani, Cedar Walton and more. His decision to settle in Bologna seems, in retrospect, like fate putting the pieces in place for him and Ciacca to meet. Ciacca attended the Bologna Conservatory and Grossman became his mentor.

Ciacca (pictured at right) set two days aside for his mentor to join him and his regular quartet in a studio at Bologna. There, they recorded Lagos Blues , a set of originals by Ciacca and Grossman along with several standards. From start to finish, Lagos Blues respects advice bestowed upon Ciacca by another friend and mentor, his Lincoln Center compatriot, Wynton Marsalis, to first and foremost add to each player's strengths and to respond to what the others are playing.

Following this mandate, Ciacca presents a textbook example of this art form being practiced at its highest level. One of the crucial arrangement decisions that allowed these musicians to thrive was for both Grossman and Dillard to stick to tenor sax.

"Steve always loved to play with another tenor player, probably because of his experience with Elvin and Dave Liebman," says Ciacca. "But there's a long history of dual tenors: Johnny Griffin playing with Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis, Lester Young and Hershel Evans, 'Hawk' and Ben Webster, Albert Ammons and Sonny Stitt, 'Newk' and 'Trane.' I love the vibe of a young musician like Stacy getting together with an icon like Steve and the way they discover each other."

Ciacca laid a lot of groundwork prior to the session, for example coming up with an arrangement of a tenor-sax classic, "Body and Soul," based on analyzing eight or ten versions of the tune and weaving elements of each into his own statement. In the end, though, the magic of Lagos Blues is in the moment - when the tape rolled and the performance began.

Born in Germany, raised in Italy, Ciacca plays with a rare blend of earthiness, fire and intellect, with elements of Wynton Kelly, Red Garland and Bobby Timmons that recall the most creatively vital and yet oddly neglected schools of jazz.

That's not to say that he's a nostalgist - far from it. As Director of Programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center, Ciacca serves this music on multiple levels - as a player whose sound is unique, especially in the context of our time, and as an educator who knows that to spread the word about jazz, the best thing is to let the music speak for itself.

Ciacca began his studies at the Bologna Conservatory. At the time he played only classical repertoire, the effects of which led him to consider switching his energies to sports and becoming a professional soccer player. This all changed when his future Lincoln Center compatriot (Marsalis) came to Bologna give a concert.

"What impressed me was the relationships between the musicians," Ciacca says. "They were all proud and accomplished and dignified. They were just perfect."

Speaking with Marsalis after the concert, Ciacca took to heart the trumpeter's advice: "Try to swing as hard as you can and you're going to be good." That mission began when he sought out Grossman, whose lessons laid a solid foundation for the young pianist. After three years, at Grossman's suggestion, he left for the States in 1993 to immerse himself fully in jazz culture, working first in Detroit and then in New York.

Following the admonition to swing above all else, Ciacca gravitated toward the post-bop school even though few players his age drew their primary inspiration from it. "People of my generation are totally into Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and more modern styles," he says. "Those guys are great, but even if you're a deep harmonic thinker, if you can't swing, you really can't play this music."

The story of jazz, embedded in American soul and having blossomed in the imagination of a young pianist from Italy, is here for all to hear.

Motéma Music - Release Date: January 12, 2010

For more information contact:

Don Lucoff / DL Media / 610-667-0501




E1 Music announces the release of a new album from vibraphonist Joe Locke. For The Love of You will be released on January 26th, 2010 and features vocalist Kenny Washington. Joining Locke and Washington is an all-star rhythm section: Grammy nominated pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassistGeorge Mraz, and drummer Clarence Penn. Locke, a top radio charting jazz artist, is highly regarded as an instrumentalist, composer and band leader.

Elegance, lyricism and soul are the sublime qualities at play in this magical new release. For the first time in many years, the vibesman includes vocals as a primary part of the mix. Forging a style that seems to be made of equal parts Nat King Cole and Donny Hathaway, Kenny Washington weaves his unique spell around a diverse repertoire. The seven vocal tunes include pieces taken from the contemporary pop / soul lexicon as well as the Great American Songbook. There is also a stunning Locke original, "Verrazano Moon," which is given a deeply poignant reading by Washington and the band. Three instrumentals round out the collection - the swinging "I Miss New York (When I Been Gone Too Long)," the contemporary "Bright Side Up" (both Locke originals) and an elegant reading of Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso."

When Locke's group made its debut last year at New York's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, word quickly got out that this was a "can't miss" gig, and the lines at Jazz at Lincoln Center were proof positive of the fact.

Now, with the release of For The Love of You, jazz fans everywhere can hear what all the talk was about.

The critical community continually cites Locke for his artistic work. He has been given the "Mallet Player of the Year" Award by the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) on three occasions, and he has received two Golden Ear "Concert of the Year" Awards for his performances at the Ballard and Port Townsend Jazz Festivals. He has been voted the #1 "Rising Star" vibraphonist in DownBeat Magazine's Critic's Poll several times and has been acknowledged as "best vibraphonist" in Brazil's International Jazz Poll.

As a jazz musician, Locke was young prodigy, having played with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Pepper Adams and Mongo Santamaria before he was even out of high school! Since moving to New York in 1981, Joe has performed with Grover Washington Jr., Kenny Barron, Dianne Reeves, Eddie Daniels, Jerry Gonzales' Fort Apache Band, Rod Stewart, The Beastie Boys, Eddie Henderson, Hiram Bullock, Bob Berg, Ron Carter, Jimmie Scott, The Mingus Big Band and Randy Brecker, among many others.

Locke has toured extensively throughout the world, both as leader and guest soloist. Some highlights include a 16 city tour of Russia, which culminated in a concert with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of world- renowned violist, Yuri Bashmet; a 30 city tour of all major European capitals, performing Charles Mingus' magnum opus, "Epitaph" as a featured soloist under the direction of distinguished conductor, Gunther Schuller; and a series of volcanic duet concerts in Italy with pianist Cecil Taylor, where Locke went head-to-head for three nights with the undisputed high priest of the jazz avant-garde.

In addition to his strengths as an instrumentalist, recent recordings and live performances by hisForce of Four quartet, The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group and his 4 Walls of Freedom project offer further evidence of his ever-growing stature as a band leader, composer and conceptualist.

Joe Locke and his band will launch For The Love of You with a week-long engagement at New York's world-famous Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, January 26th through January 31st, 2010. Sidemen include vocalist Kenny Washington, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, bassist George Mraz, and drummer Clarence Penn

Click here to listen to an exclusive
streaming track from the album

Track Listing:

1. Two For The Road
2. Old Devil Moon
3. For The Love Of You
4. Verrazano Moon
5. I Miss New York (When I Been Gone Too Long)
6. Birds
7. The Shadow Of Your Smile
8. Cinema Paradiso
9. Pure Imagination
10. Bright Side Up

Please visit or

For more information contact:

Jordy Freed at DL MEDIA
(p) 610.667.0501 (e)

Giovanna Melchiorre at E1 MUSIC
(p) 516-484-1000x279 (e)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009





Panama's annual cornerstone cultural event, the seventh Panama Jazz Festival will be held January 11-16, 2010. With upwards of 100,000 people in attendance since the festivals 2003 inception, this year's edition is dedicated to Panamanian pianist, Ellerton Oswald (better known as Sonny White), noted for his work as Billie Holiday's accompanist and his role in the production of her seminal recording Strange Fruit. About Oswald, Artistic Director and Festival founder Danilo Pérez commented, "despite the lack of information in Panama about this extraordinary artist, whose career in the United States dates back to the 1930's, his participation on Strange Fruit was considered ground breaking." Oswald was also best remembered for his collaborations with such jazz greats as Sidney Bechet and Dexter Gordon.

Among the artists slated to perform are Grammy award winning saxophonist Joe Lovano, the famed New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis, Grammy award winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, Grammy award winning bassist John Patitucci, drummer and composer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Jamey Haddad, flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual, and saxophonist Carlos Garnett.

"I love seeing our festival grow. We had the biggest theater in Panama sold out in 2009 with the Wayne Shorter Quartet, and the free outdoor concert had 10,000 people," states Artistic Director Danilo Pérez. "I can say now Panama and Latin America have some of the biggest supporters of jazz music on the planet!"

The Panama Jazz Festival's Commitment to Education

A core mission of the Panama Jazz Festival is music education. This year the Panama Canal Authority will sponsor classrooms, where all invited artists will teach master classes and hold music clinics for students from all parts of Latin America. Several institutions make Panama their Latin American musical hub, offering lessons and holding auditions for admission and scholarships to their different academic programs. This year the institutions confirmed include Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico, and The Goldansky Institute.

"The educational component of the festival is the highlight of all the annual programs we do at the Danilo Pérez Foundation in Panama," explains Pérez. "In 2009 we had almost 1,000 students from Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, USA, Mexico. This year, we are expanding to European countries and hope to have even more students."

The Berklee Global Jazz Institute, based in Boston, MA and led by festival Artistic Director, Danilo Pérez, will officially be announced in front of national and international vip guests during the PJF Gala Night. The Global Jazz Institute is designed to foster creativity in an interdisciplinary environment. It is to become a center of musical creativity that will emphasize personalized goal-setting, directed study, experiential and service learning with a special emphasis on nature and the environment, along with intensive access to world-class visiting artists.

Also of note among the festival's educational programs, The Golandsky Institute,will offer a week-long program of daily master classes for jazz and classical pianists as well as other instrumentalists, emphasizing the application of the Taubman approach to build technical ease and to explore musical interpretation. This approach has proven to be highly effective in the resolution of technical and artistic limitations, as well as in curing and preventing repetitive stress injuries in musicians. At the 2010 PJF, Edna Golandsky will give private lessons and instruct a class on the proper use of computer and Blackberry keyboards so as not to harm playing.

The Panama Jazz Festival also offers master classes on Panamanian Folkloric music taught by Maestro of the Panamanian tambor, Ricaurte Villareal, dance with members of the Panamanian National Ballet, classical music with renowned national and international musicians from Panama and the New England Conservatory, a literature program and a technology program with the Technology Division of Berklee College of Music, as well as a summer music program for children aged 4-16 years.

Festival President and Founder

Danilo Pérez

A Grammy award-winning artist, composer, educator, President and Founder of the Panama Jazz Festival, Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. In just over a decade, his distinctive blend of Pan-American jazz (covering the music of the Americas, folkloric and world music) has attracted critical acclaim and loyal audiences. Pérez has recorded and performed with the likes of Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy, Roy Haynes, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Tito Puente, and Wynton Marsalis, among others. Recently signed to Mack Avenue Records and plans to release his debut Mack Avenue Records album in 2010.

Born in Panama in 1965, Danilo started his musical studies at just three years of age with his father, a bandleader and singer. By age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. After receiving his bachelor's degree in electronics, he moved to the United States to enroll at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and, after changing his major to music, transferred to the prestigious Berklee College of Music. From 1985-88, while completing his studies in jazz composition, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D'Rivera, producing the critically-acclaimed Reunion album (Messidor) featuring D'Rivera and Arturo Sandoval. In 1994, Danilo also appeared on Sandoval's Grammy-winning album, Danzon.

Pérez is also a part of the Wayne Shorter Quartet, voted "Best Small Ensemble of the Year" by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2002 and 2004. He is featured on Shorter's Verve releases, Alegria and Footprints Live! Shorter invited Danilo to join his first all-acoustic group after hearing him play, "[Pérez] was adventurous and fresh," Shorter observes (Jazz Times, 2002). "He wasn't playing to show off his technique. He was interested in telling stories."

Currently, Pérez serves as the Ambassador of Goodwill for Unicef, Cultural Ambassador of Panama, Artistic Advisor of the innovative Mellon Jazz "Up Close" series at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston. For the last five years he has performed with Ben Street and Adam Cruz in his own trio.

Pérez recently signed with Mack Avenue Records. The signing was made official at the 2009 Detroit International Jazz Festival and he is planning to release his debut Mack Avenue album in 2010.

Additionally, in October, Pérez was one of five Panamanian individuals to receive the prestigious Legacy Award from The Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington D.C. The award recognizes Panamanian achievement in the arts, science and the humanities.

The Panama Jazz Festival is made possible with the support of ATP (Tourism Authority of Panama), INAC (National Institute of Culture) and ACP (Panama Canal Authority).

More Information

Contact: Maria Echeverria / DL Media / 610-667-0501 /




Tickets for the Panama Jazz Festival are available online at or by phone at +011-(507)-270-2418