October 9, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana makes "jazz en español" with The Crash Trio, her group with Chilean bassist Pablo Menares and Cuban drummer Francisco Mela. The group performed live for a WBGO broadcast from the Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 on Wednesday, October 9.
"Our way of relating with one another - our body language, and our jokes - are different," says Aldana, who won the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. "Latin Americans are very heartfelt, open, and tactile; that's what we're like, and it's a big part of what keeps the group together."
Aldana visited the WBGO studios ahead of this broadcast and spoke with Tim Wilkins - en español - about jazz in Chile, her early experiences in music and the group.
The daughter and grandaughter of jazz saxophonists, Aldana grew up in a house filled with music in Santiago, Chile, where she blew her first notes on an alto sax at age six.
She moved to Boston in 2006 to accept a Presidential Scholarship at Berklee. Mela was teaching there at the time, and Menares joined the group after she moved to New York in 2009.
While jazz legends like Wayne Shorter and Don Byas rank high on Aldana's list of influences, she also highlights Chilean folk musicians like Violeta Parra and Victor Jara, and even "chinchineros" - the musicians who play drums and dance for spare change on the streets of Chile.
"In downtown Santiago, it's very common to see chinchineros with drums on their back, as they play Andean rhythms while they spin around," says Aldana. "Pablo (Menares) wrote a song for The Crash Trio that incorporates these rhythms; that's one of the ways we're trying to bring these influences in to jazz."
For more of The Crash Trio, check back for archived audio from WBGO's broadcast of the group, and review the chat below from during the show. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO
October 3, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
George Wein, pianist and founder of the Newport Jazz Festival, talks with WBGO's Tim Wilkins about his career and the evolution of the jazz audience and music. Wein celebrates his 88th birthday with two nights of concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 3 and 4, where he will perform at 7 p.m. with Anat Cohen and Lew Tabackin on reeds, Randy Brecker on trumpet, Howard Alden on guitar, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums.
To hear more of George's thoughts on the future of the music he loves, tune in to our weekly new music magazine, The Checkout, on WBGO-FM on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. Happy Birthday, George from all of your friends at WBGO!
© 2013 WBGO
October 2, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Kathleen Hennessy and Steve Fulgoni talk with WBGO's Gary Walker about a benefit concert for the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, New York. The event, which will be held from 11:30 to 3 p.m. at EN Brasserie, 435 Hudson Street in Manhattan, will raise funds to preserve the house, where the saxophonist lived with his wife Alice and son Ravi, and composed A Love Supreme and other well-known works. The event will feature guitarist Carlos Santana, authors Dr. Cornel West and Ashley Kahn, and the Ravi Coltrane Quartet. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO