2018 Artists

Luciana Souza

Grammy winner Luciana Souza is one of Jazz’s leading singers and interpreters. Born in São Paulo, Brazil, in the late sixties, she grew up in a family of Bossa Nova innovators – her father, a singer and songwriter, her mother, a poet and lyricist. Luciana’s work as a performer transcends traditional boundaries around musical styles, offering solid roots in jazz, sophisticated lineage in world music, and an enlightened approach to new music.

As a leader, Luciana Souza has been releasing acclaimed recordings since 2002 – including her six Grammy-nominated records Brazilian Duos, North and South, Duos II, Tide, Duos III, and The Book of Chet. Her debut recording for Universal, The New Bossa Nova, was produced by her husband, Larry Klein, and was met with widespread critical acclaim. Luciana’s recordings also include two works based on poetry – The Poems of Elizabeth Bishop And Other Songs, and Neruda.

Speaking in Tongues, a collaboration with Lionel Loueke, Grégoire Maret, Massimo Biolcati and Kendrick Scott, also produced by Larry Klein. The recording is comprised of all original music and features Luciana’s musical setting of two poems by Leonard Cohen.

Ms. Souza has performed and recorded with greats including Herbie Hancock (on his Grammy winning record, River – The Joni Letters), Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Danilo Perez and many others. Her longstanding duo work with Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo has earned her accolades across the globe, and her complete discography contains more than 50 records as a side singer. Luciana Souza’s singing has been called “transcendental, “perfect, ” and of “unparalleled beauty. ” Entertainment Weekly writes, “Her voice traces a landscape of emotion that knows no boundaries. ”

Luciana Souza has been a prominent soloist in two important works by composer Osvaldo Golijov – La Pasion According to St. Mark, and Oceana. She has performed with the Bach Akademie Stuttgart, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Other orchestral appearances include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. Her work in chamber music includes a fruitful collaboration with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and with composers Derek Bermel and Patrick Zimmerli.

Ms. Souza began her recording career at age three with a radio commercial, and recorded more than 200 jingles and soundtracks, becoming a first-call studio veteran at age sixteen. She spent four years on faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she received a Bachelor’s in Jazz Composition. Ms. Souza earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory of Music and taught for four years at Manhattan School of Music, in New York City. From 2005 to 2010, Luciana was the Jazz Artist in Residence with the prestigious San Francisco Performances. In 2005 and 2013 Luciana was awarded Best Female Jazz Singer by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Billboard magazine has said of Luciana: “she continues her captivating journey as a uniquely talented vocalist who organically crosses genre borders. Her music soulfully reflects, wistfully regrets, romantically woos, joyfully celebrates…”

Omara Portuondo


Buena Vista Social Club™ Diva celebrates her music and life with a special tour.
“With our music we Cubans have exported more dreams and pleasures than with our tobacco, more sweetness and energy than with all our sugar. Afro-Cuban music is fire, savour and smoke; it is syrup, charm and relief. It is like sonorous rum, which brings people together and makes them treat each other as equals. It brings the senses to dynamic life.”–Fernando Ortiz

There was fresh spring rain in Havana when I strolled into Egrem Studios in the first weeks of the new millennium, a studio where decades of gorgeous music have seeped into the walls. Hearing the warm voice of Omara Portuondo live and close up is always a joy and there she was, singing her version of “He Perdido Contigo” (“I’m lost without you”) a typically swooning , romantic song. Omara was recording an album “a dark, smoky, two-in-the-morning record, full of yearning and lost love” as producer Nick Gold described it.

The album was her first solo album since the miraculous success of the Buena Vista Social Club. It was through that record and Wim Wenders’ film of the same name that many non-Cubans discovered Omara. For Wenders and so many others, the highlight of the film was the touching duet of her and Ibrahim Ferrer singing “Silencio” “And my soul, sad and sorrowful/wants to keep secret its bitter pain.” As they take the applause, a tear forms in Omara’s eye and Ibrahim removes his handkerchief from his pocket and gently wipes away the tear.
While other much loved Buena Vista stars like Ruben Gonzalez and Ibrahim Ferrer were lured out of retirement. Omara has been continually performing in public since the age 15, a legendary singer whose voice reflects a long, creative life of passion and music. She has been singing professionally for an incredible 70 years, and while revolutions and wars shook the globe, she has carried on, with indomitable elegance.

Omara was born in the barrio of Cayo Hueso, in Havana, known for its musicality. There was some scandal in the family. Her mother Esperanza Peláez came from a wealthy family of Spanish ancestry who assumed she would marry a rich, white man with a high social position. In fact, she ran away with a tall, handsome, black baseball player called Bartolo Portuondo. For years they could not walk down the street in public, but the marriage endured. Bartolo was a friend of the national poet Nicolás Guillén and a lover of music and the house, lacking a gramophone, was filled with singing.

As a shy 15 year old, she broke into the lush, sequined world of cabaret, following in the chorus line shoes of sister Haydee, and became a dancer at the Tropicana, the glamorous club that continues still in Havava, a frozen relic of the decadent pre-Revolutionary days. But singing was her forté, and she would spend weekends singing American jazz with the blind pianist Frank Emilio in his band Loquibambia Swing. The band was a mélange of pan-American sounds and they created a new sound called “fillin” –feeling – and Omara was dubbed “La novia de fillin”,“the girlfriend of feeling.

She sang in the in the all girl Orquesta Anacaona in 1952, before with Haydee, with another female group Cuarteto D’Aida, a 1950s Cuban Spice Girls, directed and named after pianist Aida Diestro. Things began to really move for Omara and the group were signed to RCA Victor, toured the U.S. and backed up some of the biggest stars of the moment like Benny Moré (“the Barbarian of Rhythm”), Edith Piaf, Bola de Nieve and Nat King Cole at the Tropicana. This was at the peak of the glamour, some say kitsch, of the famous nightclub.
As a soloist Omara accompanied some of the great innovators like Arsenio Rodriguez and Isolina Carillo. Her first solo album was not, as with other Buena Vista Social Club members, after the release of that ground breaking album but was way back in 1959, entitled Black Magic.

After the Revolution of the same year, Omara carried on touring the States until things reached a crisis point with the Missile Crisis and Cuban-American relations were broken off. Omara and the Cuarteto D’Aida were in Miami when her sister, along with many other Cuban performers, decided to stay. Omara returned to Cuba and in a way filled a gap left by the departure of so many musicians from Cuba and her career flourished – at first with a reformed Cuarteto D’Aida and then, from 1967 onwards as a solo artist. For a while she appeared in vocal events in the socialist world and sang revolutionary songs and songs about Che Guevara and, later, Salvador Allende.

The U.S. was off limits, but she toured with Orquesta Aragon in Europe and in Africa, where they still have a huge following. “Omara is a legend in Cuba, and it’s safe to say there’s no one of my age who didn’t grow up under her influence,” Cuban-born ballet dancer Carlos Acosta says “When I was a kid I’d see her all the time on television, singing the kinds of songs my parents liked.” Omara was a versatile performer, but her speciality was a heart-rending romantic bolero – she was often compared to the great exponents of melancholy jazz like Billie Holiday or Edith Piaf. She married and divorced and her son became her manager. Omara, a documentary film about her career won a prize at Cannes in 1986.
In 1997, just when she had hit normal retirement age and might be expecting to slow down, the Buena Vista Social Club project boosted her profile throughout the world. Ry Cooder had heard her in the mid-90s and she happened to be recording in Egrem when an aborted Afro-Cuban project opened up some studio time . She said she was due to tour Vietnam but immediately recognised the importance of reviving the old school music and became the only female member of the gang. (Another might have been Celina Gonzalez, perhaps the only other female Cuban singer with enough stature but she rolled the santeria cowrie shells and divined the deities were against her participation).

The album ricocheted round the world and novelist Salman Rushdie called 1998 “that Buena Vista summer” . Wim Wenders’ stylish film added rocket fuel to sales of the album. Omara as well as “Silencio” and had another gorgeous duet drenched in nostalgia “Veinte Anos”, sung with Compay Segundo, a song Omara had recorded before and had originally learned from her parents.

Her solo album of 2000 picked up a Grammy and was followed by the Brazilian tinged Flor De Amor in 2004 which featured a song with family resonance called “Tabu” about inter-racial love. Other recordings and tours followed – a 60th anniversary album Gracias and stellar collaborations with Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés. She was the first Cuban woman to be an International Ambassador for the Red Cross. In recent years, she’s sung everywhere from he Royal Opera House in London to the Latin Passion festival in Hong Kong.
The best way to celebrate Omara’s 70 years of performing professionally? A very special worldwide tour. The great Cuban diva and artistic ambassador of her country wants to celebrate with a grand fiesta which represents the impressive sweep of her career. The tour will reflect different aspects of her long career, taking it way back to her younger years and her continuing love of elegant cabaret, from the Buena Vista days right up to the present with different tastes and flavours, of what will be a musical feast, full of piquant sabrosura.

As Cuban writer Ivan Garcia put it “Her voice is still lush, as it was when she sang in her parents’ dressing room. In Cuba, some things are lacking. But we do have Omara Portuondo. She still lives in an apartment overlooking the sweep of the Malecon in Havana, and even if her dynamic career slows down it’s hard to imagine she won’t be lured out to some of her old haunts like the Café Cantante or the Tropicana. Producer Ry Cooder said about the Buena Vista Social Club musicians, that he was lucky, as we all are to “have caught the tail end of a comet” of a great music culture that was cut off for decades.

Omara Portuondo is a diva in the best sense, an ambassador of Cuba to the world. Now in her mid-eighties, there is a sense in which the curtains of an era are slowly, elegantly coming down. But she will forever, as the old showbusiness adage has it “Always leave them wanting more.”
Peter Culshaw

Xiomara Fortuna

Xiomara Fortuna is one of the most transcendental musical creators of the Caribbean and the most complete and prolific woman of the Dominican music. With four decades of artistic career she has spread her work across several continents. She is a pioneer of the Afro-Caribbean fusion, known in her country as “Queen of fusion”, her CDs are a sonorous document through the Afro-Dominican to fusion jazz, reggae, pop, contemporary rock, latin, merengue and bachata.
With a timeless stamp, the discography of Xiomara Fortuna is a national cultural heritage that represents the musical memory of contemporary history, constituting a legacy of humanism and great genius. Her musical productions are De la loma al llano (1984), Balbuceos (1994), Kumbajei (1999), Tonada para un querer (2004), Paseando (2010), Pa cantarte a ti (2010), Solo poemas (2014), Rosa y Azul ( 2018), Ay caramba (2018), Ella canta jazz live (2018).
Her two compilation albums Ella Ta ‘í (2002) and La calle sera la calle (2009), and a DVD of her concert Paseando, at the Palace of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo; she has shared stage with great artists of world music and made musical collaborations with different artists such as Rita Indiana, Pavel Núñez, El Prodigio, Janio Lora, Vakeró, Sarah Renelik, Diomedes Núñez, among others.

Her music is included in important national and international compilations, such as “Latinas: Women of Latin America” ??and “Movida” by Putumayo Music, “Root Music”, Vol.1 of Fundación Cultural Bayahonda, “Canto Paz” of the Mystery of Women , “Sí Gagá” with Roldán, and “Santo Domingo Respiro del Ritmo” by Stampa Alternativa / Eretica.

In her career, she has been at the forefront of the Kaliumbé and SinHora bands with which she has traveled throughout numerous countries and several continents participating in important music festivals around the world and in relevant events such as the Seville World Fair in Spain and the inauguration of the President Michel Bachelet in Chile. In her country she has performed in the most important concert halls, such as the National Theater and the Palace of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo.

She is recognized internationally for her ability to create and merge music, for her work with folklore and her interpretative sensitivity. Her compositions are trips in time, songs of memory, tunes of women, walks through the rhythms of the world and poems of conscience and coexistence. Her voice has sung to the struggles of her country, being present in different scenarios in pursuit of tolerance, education, the environment and peace.
She has been awarded with recognition and prizes throughout her career by UNESCO, “Medal Gandhi”, the presidency of the Dominican Republic and the Ministry of Women, “Medal of Merit of the Arts” the mayors of the National District, Santiago and Montecristi, where she was declared a Meritorious Daughter, Casandra Prize by the Association of Art Writers of the Dominican Republic, among others.

This unique singer-songwriter, author of her lyrics and music, recorded her first album 34 years ago and which currently has twelve independent production recordings with Ileakwa. She currently lives in her country Dominican Republic and combines musical creation with cultural, environmental and gender activism. She is a timeless artist, a classic and a constant novelty, who stands as the ultimate representative of alternative music and one of the essential women of Dominican popular music.

Edmar Castaneda

“I was born to play the harp. It is a gift from God and like every gift from God, it has a purpose. The purpose of my music is to worship Him and bring his presence and unconditional love to people.”
– Edmar Castaneda

Since arriving in the United States in 1994, Colombian-born harp virtuoso Edmar Castaneda has forged his own distinctive path in music. He brings not only an unfamiliar instrument but a wholly original voice to jazz, branching out into a world of different styles and genres. His wide-ranging career has been remarkable for discovering a brilliant role for the harp in jazz, then continuing to innovate and spark creativity from a wealth of formidable collaborations. His latest CD, Live in Montreal, features the latest in an ever- growing history of thrilling partnerships, an utterly unique duo with the electrifying Japanese pianist Hiromi.

Live in Montreal follows four acclaimed albums as a leader, as well as collaborations with the likes of guitarist John Scofield, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, bassists Marcus Miller and John Patitucci, bandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, Brazilian pop and jazz great Ivan Lins, and Castaneda’s mentor, Cuban-born saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera. He’s also shared stages with iconic artists including Sting, Ricki Lee Jones, The Yellowjackets and Paco De Lucia. In addition to his innovative approach to the jazz tradition, he’s written symphonic works for the Orquestra Classica de Espinho and the Sa?o Paulo Jazz Symphony Orchestra, and chamber pieces for the Israel Camerata Jerusalem and the Orquestra Sinfonica Nacional de Colombia.

Born in 1978 in the city of Bogota, Colombia, Castaneda took up the harp as a teenager to play the folkloric music of his homeland. He discovered jazz shortly after moving to New York City to join his father in 1994 and was immediately drawn to the freedom and sophistication of the music. With no real precedent for the harp in the jazz world, Castaneda studied trumpet by day while trying out his newfound knowledge on the harp at a restaurant gig by night.

He was ushered into the jazz community by Paquito D’Rivera, who recognized Castaneda’s passion and took the young harpist under his wing. D’Rivera has called him “an enormous talent… [Edmar] has the versatility and the enchanting charisma of a musician who has taken his harp out of the shadow to become one of the most original musicians from the Big Apple.”

Since then, Castaneda has taken New York and the world stage by storm with the sheer force of his virtuosic command of the harp, revolutionizing the way audiences and critics alike consider an instrument commonly relegated to the “unusual category”. He’s been acclaimed as a master at realizing beautiful complexities of time, while skillfully drawing out lush colors and dynamic spirit and crafting almost unbelievable feats of cross- rhythms, layered with chordal nuances rivaling the most celebrated flamenco guitarist’s efforts.

Castaneda made his debut as a leader in 2007 with Cuartos de Colores, which features the harpist in a variety of settings, including guest appearances by D’Rivera and the explosive percussionist Pedrito Martinez. He followed that with 2009’s Entre Cuerdas, a trio date with trombonist Marshall Gilkes and drummer Dave Silliman that also featured turns by Scofield, vibraphonist Joe Locke, percussionist Samuel Torres and Colombian vocalist Andrea Tierra.

Double Portion (2012) was divided into solo and duo pieces, with Castaneda engaging in scintillating musical conversations with Rubalcaba, de Holanda and saxophonist Miguel Zenon. Live at the Jazz Standard (2015) showcased Castaneda’s World Ensemble, uniting musicians from a variety of global traditions. The stellar band brought back Gilkes, Silliman and Tierra alongside Swiss harmonica master Gregroire Maret; flautist Itai Kriss and saxophonist Shlomi Cohen (both from Israel); Chilean pianist Pablo Vergara; Castaneda’s countryman, Colombian drummer Rodrigo Villalon; Turkish kanun player Tamer Pinarbasi; and Brazilian Sergio Krakowski on pandeiro.

“The Colombian plays the harp like hardly anyone else on earth. His hands, seemingly powered by two different people, produce a totally unique, symphonic fullness of sound, a rapid-fire of chords, balance of melodic figures and drive, served with euphoric Latin American rhythms, and the improvisatory freedom of a trained jazz musician…captivating virtuosity, but in no way only virtuosity for its own sake.” – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Sissy Castrogiovanni

“Sissy is the voice and the image of Sicily, her songs are starting a new era for Sicilian popular music. Thanks to her, we can discover a new universe within traditional Sicilian music, extremely rich and powerful melodies and soundscapes, that transport us immediately to this island’s streets and fields full of life and art, something very different, worthy of the utmost attention.”-7 times Grammy Award winning Javier Limon, El Pais (Spain)

Sissy Castrogiovanni mesmerized audience during the release celebration of her latest album, Intra Lu Munnu, at the world renowned venue RegattaBar in Boston.

She toured around Europe and USA, in festivals like Panama Jazz Festival, Jazz en Lima Festival, MIDEM Cannes Music Festival, 4th Annual Middle Eastern Festival, Sounds of Italy Festival, Umbria Jazz, Women Network Festival, etc. Also she performed in such venues as RegattaBar Jazz Club, Berklee Performance Center, Jordan Hall (Boston), Cotton Club (NYC), European Parliament (Brussels) etc.

Powerful and warm voice, Sissy has a unique and soulful sound. Jazz harmonies, Mediterranean and Sicilian roots, African rhythms and a touch of classical music, all combined together to support beautiful original melodies in Sicilian dialect.

Sissy’s stunning energy comes as much from her home as it does her unique spirit. Born in Sicily (Italy) into a musical family, Sissy is firmly planted between the Mediterranean Sea and Volcano Etna in an island with a long history of foreign domination, from the Greeks to the Romans, from the Arabs to the Spanish, from the African to the Normans. The result is a mixed culture where every single domination left something to see, to taste, to hear… And all of this shines trough Sissy’s latest record, Intra Lu Munnu. It means “Inside the World”. It’s a collection of 10 original Sissy’s compositions entirely sung in Sicilian dialect, with musicians coming from every part of the world and a special collaboration with the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir.

Sissy’s creativity starts flowing at the age of five. She started early on to delve into a wide variety of musical styles, from jazz to blues, to soul and funk, being at the same time exposed to Sicilian traditional folk music. Grown as a self-taught musician, in 2009 Sissy becomes Berklee College of Music scholarship recipient and she specializes in Jazz Composition and Mediterranean Studies. In 2011 she’s awarded as full scholarship and invited to join the Mediterranean Music Institute (Valencia, Spain). While living in Spain she lines out the first sketches of her compositions.

During her time at Berklee, Sissy had the opportunity to perform with world renowned artists such as jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette – 10 times Grammy Award winning, Bobby McFerrin – producer/composer Patrice Rushen – 7 times Latin Grammy Award winning, Javier Limon.

Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors

The Berklee Global Jazz Ambassadors are an ensemble band chosen from the most accomplished graduate and undergraduate-level players and composers enrolled in the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute, an honors program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where gifted musicians go to become student leaders of a world community, with a mission to effect positive social change. The individual musicians performing in the ensemble at the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival will be announced.

Marco Pignataro

Marco Pignataro is a talented saxophonist, composer, educator, and columnist of Jazz originally from Bologna, Italy. He has performed extensively in Europe and America at jazz festivals and international music venues sharing stages with artists such as Eddie Gomez, Joanne Brackeen, Danilo Pérez, George Garzone, John Patitucci, Rufus Reid, Billy Drummond, and Victor Lewis among others.

Marco Pignataro’s latest album “Sofia’s Heart” was produced by jazz legend Eddie Gomez and features Marco’s compositions and arrangements, with Eddie Gomez, Bill Drummond, Matt Marvuglio and Mark Kramer. The acclaimed album “Per Semper” Eddie Gomez Quintet with Marco Pignataro was released by BFM discs in 2012. Marco’s new CD “Almas Antiguas” with Eddie Gómez, Alan Pasqua, Adam Cruz and George Garzone will be released in the summer of 2017.

Until recently, Marco was director of the Department of Music of the Jazz and the Caribbean and the Chair of Jazz Saxophone at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. During his stay at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico, he developed the jazz saxophone curriculum, founded and directed the CMPR Jazz Faculty Ensemble and co-founded the bachelor’s degree in music in jazz and Caribbean music studios.

Marco Pignataro is the Managing Director of Berklee Global Jazz Institute and serves as Artistic Advisor to the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and FEDUJAZZ.

Terri Lyne Carrington

GRAMMY® award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader Terri Lyne Carrington was born in 1965 in Medford, Massachusetts. After an extensive touring career of over 20 years with luminaries like Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Al Jarreau, Stan Getz, David Sane_-_terri_lyne_carrington_photo_by_tracy_love-2born, Joe Sample, Cassandra Wilson, Clark Terry, Dianne Reeves and more, she returned to her hometown where she was appointed professor at her alma mater, Berklee College of Music. Terri Lyne also received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in 2003.

After studying under full scholarship at Berklee, with the encouragement of her mentor, Jack DeJohnette, Carrington moved to New York in 1983. For 5 years she was a much in-demand musician, working with James Moody, Lester Bowie, Pharoah Sanders, and others. In the late ‘80s she relocated to Los Angeles, where she gained recognition on late night TV as the house drummer for the Arsenio Hall Show, then again in the late ‘90s as the drummer on the Quincy Jones late night TV show, VIBE, hosted by Sinbad.

In 1989, Carrington released a GRAMMY®-nominated debut CD on Verve entitled Real Life Story, which featured Carlos Santana, Grover Washington Jr., Wayne Shorter, Patrice Rushen, Gerald Albright, John Scofield, Greg Osby, and Hiram Bullock. Other solo CDs include 2002’s Jazz is a Spirit, which features Herbie Hancock, Gary Thomas, Wallace Roney, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Eubanks, and Bob Hurst, and 2004’s Structure, a cooperative group which features Adam Rogers, Jimmy Haslip and Greg Osby. Both CDs were released on the Europe-based ACT Music label and enjoyed considerable media attention and critical acclaim in the European and Japanese markets.

Carrington’s production and songwriting collaborations with artists such as Gino Vannelli, Peabo Bryson, Dianne Reeves, Siedah Garrett, Marilyn Scott have produced notable works as well, including her production of the Dianne Reeves GRAMMY®-nominated CD, That Day, as well as Dianne Reeves GRAMMY® Award-winning CD, Beautiful Life, in 2014.

Carrington has performed on many recordings throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s thru today. Notable examples of her work include Herbie Hancock’s GRAMMY® Award-winning CD Gershwin’s World, where she played alongside Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder. She has toured in many of Hancock’s musical configurations (from electric to acoustic) and is featured on his Future2Future DVD.

After a hiatus from the U.S. recording scene as a solo recording artist, Carrington returned in 2008 with More To Say… (Real Life Story: NextGen). Joining her was an impressive all-star cast of jazz and contemporary jazz instrumentalists, including George Duke, Everette Harp, Kirk Whalum, Jimmy Haslip, Greg Phillinganes, Gregoire Maret, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez, Patrice Rushen, Robert Irving III (who also serves as co-producer), Chuck Loeb, Dwight Sills, and legendary vocalists Les McCann and Nancy Wilson.

Carrington released The Mosaic Project in 2011, her fifth recording overall and first on Concord Jazz. The critically acclaimed CD, which won a GRAMMY® Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, gathered a myriad of voices and crystallized them into a multi-faceted whole that far outweighed the sum of its parts. She produced the 14-song set which included some of the most prominent female jazz artists of the last few decades: Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sheila E., Nona Hendryx, Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen and several others. Carrington said the emergence of so many great female jazz instrumentalists over the last couple of decades is what made an album like The Mosaic Project possible.

In 2013, Carrington released Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue, her much anticipated homage to Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of their iconic 1963 Money Jungle album. The recording featured Gerald Clayton and Christian McBride, with guests Clark Terry, Lizz Wright, Herbie Hancock and others. Carrington made history when she became the first woman to win a GRAMMY® Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album.

 On August 7, 2015, Carrington releases The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL. Like its predecessor, the album presents Carrington leading a rotating cast of superb female instrumentalists and vocalists that includes Oleta Adams, Natalie Cole, Paula Cole, Lalah Hathaway, Chaka Khan, Chanté Moore, Valerie Simpson, Nancy Wilson, Jaguar Wright and Lizz Wright, as well as saxophonist Tia Fuller, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen; bassists Meshell Ndegoecello and Linda Oh; and keyboardists Geri Allen, Patrice Rushen and Rachel Z.

On The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL, Carrington juxtaposes her salute to female artists by paying homage to various male artists who have either influenced her professionally and/or informed her musicality, such as Nick Ashford, George Duke, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Luther Vandross and Bill Withers. “Whenever I do something that celebrates women, I never want it to feel like it’s something that excludes men,” she explains. “On this record, I consciously wanted to celebrate the various relationships women have with men either through original songs of mine or cover songs by male composers and song writers.” The male presence and perspective on The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL is even more realized by Billy Dee Williams, who contributes insightful spoken-word interludes through the disc.

El Prodigio

Krency Garcia was born in 1976 in the Dominican Republic. Son of the accordionist Luis Garcia, Krency began playing harmonic melodies on his father’s accordion at the age of five. At ten years of age, he won an accordionist festival. It was at this time that Professor Samuel Garcia recognized the talent and versatility of young Krency and gave him the nickname The Prodigy, and became his artistic promoter. Krency Garcia recorded his first single “No te vayas en yola” under his father’s direction at eleven years of age.

Krency went to New York at age fifteen to study musical theory and high saxophone at the Martin Luther King School. He studied singing at the Harlem School of the Arts, as well as online studies of theory and harmony at the famous Berklee College of Music. This formal musical training enabled the young talent to reach his potential as an original and authentic artist getting rid of certain limitating traditional musical codes. Krency participated in the Omega Arts Festival with the Psi Phi Fraternity Inc, representing New York, and won first place for two consecutive years.

In 1998, Krency returned to the Dominican Republic and formed “El Prodigio and La Banda Tipica” with the support of his artistic manager Aureliano Guzman. The musical innovations of Krency Garcia were not initially embraced by the genre traditionalists, but it was an achievement for the young aspiring artist to present a rhythmically diverse and progressive music to his native culture. Among his revolutionary songs are “Interplanetario, Se Aloco, Ven Dame Un Abrazo, Mi País, Traicionera, Pa’ Fuera, Jazz Ripiao como Periblues, Las Hojas Muertas, Mountain Dance and Manteca”.

The Prodigy has achieved the support of millions of fans and the recognition of such important artists as Juan Luis Guerra, Aventura, Chichí Peralta and the Cuban pianist Chucho Valdez. In 2012, Krency Garcia recorded for the second time with Juan Luis Guerra for “El Quita Pena”. He has been awarded five times with the International Casandra prize, granted annually by the Dominican Association of Art Journalist (Acroarte), performed at the Pan-American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and has been invited to perform at numerous prestigious arts and music festivals, among them the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival.

Currently, Alianza Musical manages the artistic projection of Krency Garcia, El Prodigio.

Pavel Núñez

Please note, this biography has been automatically translated from Spanish. 

The Dominican singer-songwriter Pavel Elías Núñez Ramírez, better known as Pavel Núñez, was born on March 2, 1979 in the city of Santo Domingo. In 1995, together with Homero Guerrero, he formed the Genetic Code group, with much influence from the Cuban trova, as well as Anglo elements such as blues, funk, folk, among other rhythms that were linked to the Caribbean. This hybrid of rhythms significantly marked Pavel’s musical style.

In 1996, after the ending of the Genetic Code, Pavel and Homero decided to create a new musical project under the name of Los Fulanos, with a more original and autochthonous touch. In this stage, Pavel composed various songs that said group made their own. In 1997 the group made a local tour in different bars of the country that ended at the end of the year and that motivated Pavel to prepare better at musical level in the city of New York.

Upon his return, with new knowledge acquired, the group formed the Corredor de la 27, with an urban touch. In June 2000, Pavel began a series of performances at Casa de Teatro on Saturdays, allowing them to become a point of reference among the regular visitors of the colonial zone. In this same year, José Antonio Rodríguez and Víctor Víctor invited him to accompany them at a recital. That is why he is baptized in the artistic world as the “Good son of the colonial zone”.

In the course of the year 2001, Pavel was hired as an exclusive artist of RCC Records. That same year he began to work with the first musical production of the young artist which he called “Paso a Paso”. His great aspirations did not let him rest, at the same time that he worked on the recording of his first long-playing album, he performed alongside diverse artists, including Danny Rivera, whom he accompanied in a series of presentations in the country and NY. This impulse allowed him to accompany Alejandro Filio, Carlos Varela and Fito Paez on stage at the beginning of 2002. For the realization of his musical production, he was joined by the talent of Rafa Payan, Guy Frometa, Aquion Guarionex, Pen Biang Sang, Peter Nova, Chichi Peralta, among others. In this way Pavel remains positioned as one of the most active young soloists Dominicans, which has built a career to pulse that has earned him the leadership he has experienced for more than 16 years in a sustained manner.

Awards and honours

In 2011 Pavel Núñez was chosen by the United Nations (UN) “Youth Representative of the Dominican Republic”; in 2010 he was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards in the Best Songwriter Album category; in 2013 he won the Emmy Award for his show “Big Gand Núñez”.

He has been the winner of multiple Casandra premise (currently known as Sovereign Awards) in categories such as Revelation of the Year, Soloist of the Year, Concert of the Year and his most recent Sovereign Recognition obtained in the category as Best Male Singer at the 2014 awards.

Family

Pavel Núñez, nephew of the deceased communicator Yaquis Núñez del Risco, is the son of Pedrito Núñez del Risco and Rafaela Ramírez. She has two children: Ariel David and Avril Lucía, the latter procreated with her current partner Laura Raquel Pichardo. For Pavel, family is an essential part of his career, and in each project he shows this by dedicating some songs to his grandmothers and his son.

Discography
Paso a Paso – 2002
De Vuelta a Casa – 2003
El Tiempo del Viento – 2010
ATLANTIS 2012
Big Band Núñez – 2012
Cantor Urbano (Homenaje a Luis “Terror” Dias) – 2013
De Mis Insomnios – 2015

Sandy Gabriel 

Saxophonist, Music Producer, Composer and Arranger, Sandy Gabriel is the winner of numerous awards in his native Dominican Republic.

He began his musical studies at age 14 with his father, Dominican Socrates Gabriel, himself a saxophonist and director of the famous merengue band The Combo Candela. He attended numerous jazz workshops with leading players including Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Paquito D’Rivera and many more.

Sandy Gabriel plays Alto, Tenor & Soprano Saxes, the Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI), Flute and synthesizer. He is considered today among the most talented saxophonists of his generation in the fields of Jazz, Pop and World Music.

Gabriel started his own group in the early 90s, the “Puerto Plata Jazz Ensemble”. As musical director of the group Gabriel composes most of the music and over the time the group has developed its own unique style including elements of Fusion, Funk and Latin jazz. The current line-up of the band includes Jairo Milanes-Keyboards, Daniel Alvarez-Bass, Alvarez Hisdras -Drums and Joel Guzman-Percussions

Gabriel has performed with many major international Jazz artists including Arturo Sandoval, Giovanni Hidalgo, Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Camilo, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentine, Ivan Lins, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin. He has also represented the Dominican Republic and participated in numerous International Jazz Festivals.

Sandy Gabriel’s latest recordings include the new album by Juan Luis Guerra “A Son De Guerra” on which he recorded all saxophones.

He just released his first musical production entitled “JAZZEANDO” which has already been nominated for several awards.

Tutti Druyan 

Tutti Druyan began her career at the early age of 3. The singer and actress started out by dubbing some of the most successful cartoons in Israel. Dragon Tales, Rolie Polie Olie, the Barbie Movie Series, and The Smurfs, which Druyan also directed, are just a few of Tutti’s credits. By the age of 12, Druyan was the lead character in the Israeli touring musical, Festigal, performing in stadiums all over Israel. She also took part in a play of one of the nation’s most respected theaters, Tzavta, and co-hosted a Children’s News TV show. In 2012, Druyan dubbed and directed the film, Miffy the Movie, which was released in theaters around the world. During that same time four holiday albums Tutti sang in as a child were certified Platinum. In 2014, Druyan was selected alongside a small group of musicians, to debut a composition by legendary Riverdance Composer, Bill Whelan. In that same year, Tutti performed as part of a choir of Spanish superstar, Alejandro Sanz, in the Latin Grammy Awards. In addition, Tutti sang the Israeli and American National Anthems in different events and locations such as the Annual Dinner of the Friends of the IDF in New England, The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston City Hall Plaza, and The Massachusetts State House. In the summer of 2017, Tutti performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as the main character in the musical “Ami and Tami,” which has been touring nationally for several years. A year prior, Tutti released her first EP, Possibilities, which includes four original tracks written by her. The debut single off the album, Call Me Baby, has been playing on radio in the United States, reaching the Mediabase Activator Chart and the Billboard Top 40 Indicator Chart.

Grupo Bonyé

Un grupo de amigos, integrados por Félix Báez, Franklyn Soto, Nelson Sánchez, Ernesto Rivas, Michael Suriel, Francisco-Chino-Méndez y Roberto Bobadilla, se juntaban cada domingo en la zona colonial a “descargar energía encima de la música”.

Así nace el Grupo Bonye.

En la actualidad la agrupación estáconformada por 16 integrantes, todos músicos profesionales, entre ellos, los tres vocalistas: Soto, Bobadilla y Sánchez, además de Chino Méndez y Báez en el coro. “Este proyecto le ha dado vida y ha hecho un ritual con los dominicanos y los turistas. Se ha convertido una marca,” asegura Bobadilla. Cada domingo el grupo, que fue declarado por la Sala Capitular de la Alcaldia del Distrito Nacional como “Bien de la Comunidad”, brinda un espectáculo gratuito cargado de ritmos tropicales que pone a mover el esqueleto tanto a dominicanos como a extranjeros.

 

Edmar Colón

Edmar Colo?n is a saxophonist, pianist and composer from Coamo, Puerto Rico, currently living in Boston. Edmar Colo?n was awarded the prestigious Presidential Scholarship and graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a dual major in Performance and Classical Composition. As part of his undergraduate studies, Edmar was a student at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute directed by Danilo Pe?rez and Marco Pignataro. He went on to complete his Master’s degree in Global Studies at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. Edmar has toured and played in venues and events such as the Detroit Jazz Festival, Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Panama Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, and Monterey Jazz Festival, among others. He recently played in the Kennedy Center for the Arts Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Abbey Lincoln tribute tour with Grammy-award recipients Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Colo?n has performed with artists such as Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Danilo Pe?rez, Danny Rivera, Hal Crook, Kenny Werner, Lionel Louke, John Michel Pilc, Patti Austin, Ledisi, Judith Hill, David Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, George Garzone, Luis Enrique and Ivan Lins, among other notable artists of various musical genres. He has written and arranged music for Terri Lyne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, Danny Rivera and The Harvard University Orchestra, among others. In 2016, Colo?n was awarded the Latino 30 Under 30 Award New England from the El Mundo newspaper. In 2017, he was honored in the annual Patron Saint festivities of his hometown of Coamo, Puerto Rico. Most recently, Colo?n was given the prestigious commission to compose a 30 minute orchestral suite and conduct the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of the great late pianist, Geri Allen. Saxophonist, pianist and composer Edmar Noe? Colo?n Gierbolini, is an upcoming bright voice of his generation.