“Charlie” available on iTunes!

 

Finally live!  Gracias! Charlie, I will love you forever….

 

http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1063438261?ls=1&app=itunes

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Portrait of Charlie Haden by Kathy Sloane.

Jazz di Cuba a Sacile con il quartetto di Rubalcaba Stasera, allo “Zancanaro” di Sacile, il pianista si esibisce insieme a Gola, Hernandez e Hidalgo

Gianfranco Terzoli

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SACILE. Quattro leggende del latin jazz per la prima volta insieme sullo stesso palco. Quello del Teatro Zancanaro, dove stasera alle 21 per “Il Volo del Jazz” si esibirà un quartetto che promette un’eruzione di suoni latini. Non per niente si chiama Volcan il progetto dei cubani Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Armando Gola e Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez e del portoricano Giovanni Hidalgo, musicisti che singolarmente hanno suonato con gente come Santana, Paul Simon e Art Blakey e che messi insieme hanno pubblicato oltre 150 album.

Quattro personalità così possono coabitare perché – riferisce Rubalcaba – hanno capito la necessità e l’importanza della convivenza: ci guadagna la musica e quindi lo spirito. «La nostra – dice il pianista, quindici nomination e due vittorie ai Grammy – è una band formata da amici e compagni di una carriera lunga quasi 30 anni. Nell’84 ho chiamato Hernandez (batterista vincitore di cinque Grammy, uno per “Supernatural” di Santana) perché mi aiutasse a dar vita, insieme ad altri giovani talenti, all’idea di una band che aggiungesse qualcosa alla già ricca scena musicale cubana di allora. Io e Hidalgo (percussionista vincitore di due Grammy di cui uno con Arturo Sandoval e al fianco di Dizzy Gillespie e Art Blakey) ci siamo conosciuti al Festival di Varadero: avevamo solo 17 anni e da allora abbiamo collaborato a vari concerti e progetti discografici: tra questi mi sta particolarmente a cuore “Antiguo”. Gola (bassista chen vanta due Grammy e ha suonato pure con Jennifer Lopez) fa parte di una generazione giunta negli Stati Uniti a metà anni ’90 ed è stato nel mio secondo “Quartetto cubano”. Tre anni fa – prosegue – durante una registrazione a Miami con Stefan Glass, Hidalgo ci propose un progetto comune. Propose anche il nome, “Volcan”. Con esso cerchiamo di creare un repertorio che non serva solo per mostrare le nostre capacità individuali, ma tenti pure di riconoscere il lavoro di grandi artisti dell’emisfero americano».

Volcan esplora in veste inedita composizioni originali di Rubalcaba e rivisita classici di Dizzy Gillespie, Chuco Valdès e dei brasiliani João Bosco e Chico Buarque. «Il processo di evoluzione e crescita della musica brasiliana e cubana – rileva – è stato parallelo. Entrambe le culture hanno elementi simili (religiosi, ritmici, letterari) oltre a una reciproca ammirazione. Abbracciamo questa musica con profondo rispetto». «A Sacile – riprende – interpreteremo contenuti del primo cd, versioni di alcuni classici cubani e un pezzo risalente al mio primo periodo compositivo (1984) con il gruppo “Proyecto”. Il rapporto col nostro paese è ottimo. «Dall’89 ho avuto il privilegio di suonare in Italia praticamente in ogni tour europeo. Il pubblico italiano, oltre che estremamente sensibile e gentile, è molto vario».

 Rubalcaba ha suonato con Al Di Meola e Charlie Haden. «L’interesse per la musica, per sviluppare idee e mantenerle al più alto livello – spiega – rende possibile l’unione e l’apprendimento, l’amicizia, l’impegno emozionale e professionale»..

Gianfranco Terzoli

Barcelona Jazz Festival Pairs Wine With Music for a Fest That Doesn’t Cater to Tourists

12/1/2015 by 

Billboard

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On a recent night in Barcelona, Gonzalo Rubalcaba sits at the piano, sipping a glass of wine. Rubalcaba, the Cuban musician who played beside Dizzy Gillespie as a young man in Havana and is known for his Grammy-winning collaborations with the late Charlie Haden — in addition to his brilliant time-and-place-traveling solo catalogue — is no ordinary piano man.

Neither is the wine in Rubalcaba’s glass. It’s a 1989 Bordeaux that sells for almost $400 a bottle. It’s being shared by an audience of 125 sybarites at the Barcelona International Jazz Festival’s “Monvinic Experience.”

After a taste, Rubalcaba puts down his glass and runs his fingers silently back and forth over the piano keys while a comedic actor well-known from Spanish TV does a sketch inspired by the wine, and one of Spain’s leading wine experts tells the story of the selection. Then, Rubalcaba begins to play, uncorking an emotional mix of vintage melodies and furious rhythms.

During the event at Monvinic, a place that Food & Wine magazine put at the top of a list of “The Best Wine Bars in the World,” Rubalcaba’s task is to perform a piece inspired by each taste of eight wines. The encore is for a red from 1946, after which the guests, who paid about $185 to attend, are served a sandwich the chef named for Rubalcaba.

“One thing that makes Barcelona so special is our culture of food and wine,” says Joan Anton Cararach, the artistic director of the Jazz Festival, a two-month long series of concerts at venues around the city that opened at the end of September with Diana Krall, and wraps up on Dec. 22 with a gospel concert. “I want to feel that everything is related. “Food, wine and music is beauty.”

Cararach, a tall, kinetic figure who wears a stubbly beard, likes to describe his work booking the festival as “a search for beauty.”

“I program the music I like,” adds Cararach, who seems to somehow be present at all of the 100-plus festival activities. “I am really free. I can do what I want. And I can do that because I have the financial support of a private enterprise.”

He is referring to The Project, a major Barcelona promoter that puts on some 400 concerts a year. In addition to pop and rock concerts, The Project produces the Jazz Festival and others, including the Guitar BCN festival (whose 2016 line up includes Noel Gallagher).

The 2015 edition of the Barcelona Jazz Festival is its 47th. Cararach started directing the festival in 2003, when its scope was much smaller. But he’s adamant about keeping the format as a series of events, not a jazz marathon.

“One venue, one artist,” he stresses. That may make it more difficult for travelers to Barcelona to take in all the shows during a short visit to the city, but Caracach makes it clear he is not interested in creating a destination festival.

“Barcelona doesn’t need more tourists,” he declares. (His opinion is shared by Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, who has supported measures to stem the flow of visitors to Barcelona. A record 7.5 million came to the city in 2014.)

No more than 12 percent of the festival’s 1.3 million Euro budget comes from government subsidies, which Cararach proudly notes is lower than most other festivals in a country whose many music festivals are often credited with stimulating urban economies. Support from the Jazz Festival’s title sponsor, Voll-Damm beer, and other brands account for 38 percent of the budget. Ticket sales cover 50 percent of production costs of the festival, which Cararach says turns a profit.

The Barcelona Jazz Festival concerts often have a clubby feel, like a reunion of old friends. And it is. Cararach likes to refer to participating artists as “friends of the festival,” and repeat performances are frequent. Cuban jazz innovator Chucho Valdés, who Cararach now calls the godfather of the festival, has become a fixture since appearing with his father, the iconic Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés, whom the festival showcased during his spectacular comeback years before his death in 2013.

This year, Valdés performed with three of his own children at one concert, then joined Barcelona band Txarango onstage for a club show that attracted a crowd of 5000. Valdés, like other festival artists, gave a master class to local conservatory students, and made a surprise appearance at one of the four Sunday Family Jazz concerts given by an impressive local school big band at a downtown hotel.

“Chucho is like Messi for those kids,” Cararach says.

This year’s festival also included concerts by Chick Corea, Neneh Cherry, Iron & Wine, Marc Ribot and Paquito de Rivera.

And there was the free “Food & Jazz,” the festival’s only day-into-night event, held in a public park, where people who could not afford Monvinic had a chance to experience the beauty of food, wine (and beer) and music in Barcelona.

“Charlie” available this next at the iTunes Store – Gracias!

 

 

Wonderful portrait of Charlie by Kathy Sloane.

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Esperanza Fernandez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Malagueña

Volcan Live!

Europe!

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Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, lecturer in the Department of Studio Music and Jazz, is a multi- Grammy Award and Latin Grammy Award-winning Cuban jazz pianist and composer who began studying classical piano, and drums, at age eight. He earned a degree in music composition from Havana’s Institute of Fine Arts in l983 and played in clubs and music halls in Havana. One of the most important and virtuosic Afro-Cuban jazz pianists on the scene today, he first garnered international jazz attention when Dizzy Gillespie discovered him in 1985. Soon after he began appearing regularly at major jazz festivals like Montreux and Montreal. He emigrated to the USA in 1993, and settled in South Florida in 1996. Today he enjoys a balance of touring, recording and teaching. His illustrious career has included recording with his own groups for several major labels including 11 albums for Blue Note, and also with jazz luminaries Ignacio Berroa, Ron Carter, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Charlie Haden, David Sanchez, and many more. He has been nominated twice for Billboard’s Latin Jazz Album of the Year.

Photo by Mario Garcia Joya

Playing Lecuona

Chick Corea and Gonzalo Rubalcaba Sound Check – SF Jazz!

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