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
July 31, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Bassist Derrick Hodge performs live at WBGO for a special edition of Josh Jackson's weekly new music show,The Checkout, which broadcasts on Tuesday, August 6 at 6:30 p.m.
That same day, Hodge's Blue Note CD, Live Today, hits stores: click to hear Jackson's sneak preview of the album for NPR's First Listen series.
A member of the Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment, this Philadelphia native knows no boundaries. Hodge performs with hip-hop and soul artists such as Jill Scott and Maxwell, and with classical composer Osvaldo Golijov. Hodge also works with trumpeter Terence Blanchard on film scores which include Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke and Miracle At St. Anna.
Hodge will also perform on August 6 at 8:30 p.m. at The Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd Street in New York, with Travis Sayles on keyboards, Mark Colenburg on drums and Ambrose Akinmusire on trumpet.
Can't wait? Check out this video of Hodge's live broadcast for our Checkout Live series from the 92Y Tribeca in New York with Kris Bowers on piano, Dontae Winslow on trumpet, Jamire Williams on drums and Alan Hampton on guitar and vocals. There's more of Derrick and other cutting-edge performers in our video archive. Enjoy!
© 2013 WBGO
June 12, 2013. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
You can watch video from this event and review the conversation with hosts from WBGO and NPRMusic.org on this page.
Every month, The Checkout Live brings critically acclaimed performers, many of whom have been featured on host Josh Jackson's weekly music magazine, The Checkout, to live stages in New York and Boston.
If you like what you hear, tune in to WBGO-FM's online stream for new music, The Jazz Bee, to hear more from Byron, The Bridge Trio and other artists at the cutting edge of jazz. Enjoy!
Click here to watch the Bridge Trio, with Conun Pappas on piano, Max Moran on bass and Joe Dyson on drums The trio met while students at New Orleans' performing arts high school, NOCCA, and their talents have blossomed as members of saxophonist Donald Harrison's touring ensemble.
Click below to watch Don Byron's New Gospel Quintet with Carla Cook on vocals, Brad Jones on bass and backing vocals, Nat Adderley Jr. on piano and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. Byron plays clarinets and tenor saxophone.
© 2013 WBGO