New Jazz from Cuba

Lorenzo Spoleti (Unsplash.com)

Jazz Sketches with Robert Vale (Wednesday 1 July at midday)

One of 2019’s most acclaimed contemporary jazz releases, “This Land Abounds With Life” comes from an ensemble headed by the Cuban pianist Fabian Almazan.

Almazan, now in his mid-thirties, was raised in Havana with an enduring respect for his homeland, it’s culture & environment. These values have had an on-going influence on his musical compositions.

After a stint in Miami Almazan arrived in New York in 2003 with the mission of furthering his musical studies & with a special emphasis on orchestral composition. Early success came when in his early twenties he became pianist in the bands of renowned trumpet player, Terence Blanchard.

By 2011 he was leading his own trio and made his debut recording. The album was launched with a series of seven concerts at the mecca of New York jazz, the Village Vanguard.

Further recordings followed in 2014 and 2017 when the Almazan Trio was augmented by the addition of voice and a string quartet.

The recording from 2019 followed a return visit to his native Cuba. It included field trips & the recording of bird songs & poetry readings which fuelled new compositions speaking of the environment, Afro-cubanism and rural Cuba.

Listen to Jazz Sketches on Wednesday 1st July at midday and hear selections from Fabian Almazan’s four of his releases to date.


About Robert

Robert’s introduction to jazz came in his late teens with visits to the El Rocco Club, Sydney’s premier jazz venue of that era. One of the main attractions was Mike Nock’s Three Out Trio, often playing original works and setting a new direction for Australian jazz. It was a thrilling scene & defined Robert’s life long interest in contemporary jazz.

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