Manuel Valera Trio
- $30 Assigned Rows 1-2
- $20 Assigned Rows 3-5
- $15 General Admission
- $5 Student
- Manuel Valera, piano
- Hans Glawischnig, bass
- EJ Strickland, drums
The music is a refreshing take on Cuban music as well as interpretations of jazz standards and previously-recorded original compositions by Valera. The trio fuses elements of straight-ahead, Latin Jazz and R&B to create a very personal sound with a broad appeal.
This concert is supported by the Don Chisholm Friends of Jazz at KCH.
Based in New York City, Grammy nominated artist, pianist and composer Manuel Valera was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. Since arriving in NYC, he has become well known in the NYC modern jazz scene, garnering national reviews and lending his talents as a pianist and composer to such notable artist as Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Brian Lynch, Dafnis Prieto, Jeff “Tain” Watts, John Benitez, Samuel Torres, Joel Frahm, Yosvany Terry among many others.
Valera is also the leader of his working band Manuel Valera and the New Cuban Express, a project deeply influenced by the experiments of Cuban artists from the 70s and 80s. While inspired by artists Irakere, Emiliano Salvador and AfroCuba, this touring band creates a unique and distinctive style that mixes elements of Jazz, R&B, fusion and funk with Cuban music styles. Expectativas (MAVO 2013) is the follow up and seventh recording as a leader to his 2013 Grammy nominated New Cuban Express (MAVO 2012) which was up for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. Read more.
His critically acclaimed debut cd in 2004 Forma Nueva (MAVO) features John Patitucci, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez Bill Stewart and Seamus Blake. Historia (Fresh Sounds New Talent 2005), a jazz quartet with Antonio Sanchez, Seamus Blake and Ben Street. His third release Melancolia (MAVO 2006)—employs a string quartet incorporating world rhythms and classical concepts in the jazz idiom. Vientos (Anzic 2007), representing a new working quartet, features bassist James Genus, drummer Ernesto Simpson, saxophonist Joel Frahm and a woodwind quartet. His fifth and trio recording Currents (MaxJazz 2009) features Ernesto Simpson and James Genus.
In addition, he has been awarded several grants for composition most notably Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. Manuel has travelled the world performing in over 30 countries at some of the biggest international venues and festivals. See less.
Hans Glawischnig was born in Graz, Austria on October 22,1970. His father, a respected pianist, big band leader and educator, instilled in Hans an early interest in music, enrolling him in 1976 as a violinist in the talented pupils class of the Academy of Music in Graz.
In 1983, Hans began playing the electric bass and by 1986 added the double bass which was to become his main musical voice. From 1986 to 1988 he studied part-time at the Jazz Department of the Academy with renowned American bassist Wayne Darling.
After high school Hans relocated to the United States to accept a scholarship at Berklee School of Music. During his years in Boston he honed the skills he is known for: mastery of varied musical genres, strong musicianship and an inquisitive musical nature. He studied with bassist Bruce Gertz, played and recorded with faculty members Hal Crook, Phil Wilson and Greg Hopkins and accompanied several visiting clinicians, including drummers Steve Smith and Casey Scheuerell. He also was presented with several Professional Music Awards and in 1992 he received his B.A. magna cum laude.
That same year Hans made his move to New York to join the M.A. program at Manhattan School of Music on scholarship. At MSM he met many of the musicians he now regularly works with while studying electric bass with Jeff Andrews. Throughout his studies he gave lessons privately and tutored students for their harmony and ear training exams as a means of additional income. Word got out of his talents long before his graduation in 1994, and he was already turning down gigs in order to complete his studies. Read more.
Hans’ first break came in 1995 when he was hired to fill the bass chair in Bobby Watson’s Urban Renewal band on the recommendation of fellow student Steffon Harris, playing alongside New York veterans Victor Lewis, Mark Soskin, Rachel Z, Sammy Figueroa and Steve Kroons. A stint with Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau was to follow later that year. 1996 was to be a pivotal year for Hans.
While he kept busy performing as a freelancer around the New York area, he was invited to play with Ray Barretto’s renowned New World Spirit ensemble. Though he had played Latin music throughout his days in New York, his exposure to this legendary artist helped Hans refine his interpretation of rhythm, improvisation and musical interaction. The group toured extensively and recorded two albums, Contact! for Blue Note records and Live in Europe (presently unavailable in the United States). Further engagements with Paquito D’Riviera, Dave Samuels and Bobby Sanabria followed swiftly, as did performances with Rick Margitza, Garry Dial, Billy Harper, Richie Beirach, Billy Hart, Joe Locke, Dave Binney, Adam Rogers, Steffon Harris, Claudio Roditi, Billy Drewes, Jamey Haddad, Brian Lynch, Phil Woods and Claudia Acuna, to name a few.
Another great opportunity presented itself when Hans was invited to join David Sanchez’ Melaza Sextet in 1998. The group toured the globe and recorded two albums for Columbia – Melaza (for which Hans penned Orbitando) and Travesia – which pushed the envelope of Latin Jazz to its limits and brought the group great critical acclaim as well as two Grammy Award nominations.
In 2001, Hans recorded a number of his own compositions, which were released as Common Ground on the Spanish label Fresh Sounds/New Talent in the summer of 2003. Several of his originals and arrangements were recorded by David Sanchez and Ken Hatfield (The Traveler for Music for Guitar and Bass on Arthur Circle records). For a reunion with Ray Barretto on Tribute to Art Blakey (on Sunnyside Records) Hans contributed an arrangment of Buh’s Bossa, and a recent session for Brian Lynch features the original composition Beholding.
In the following years Hans continued to perform and record with many of his colleagues. Miguel Zenon was signed to Marsalis Music in 2002, and Hans participated in the making of four critically acclaimed recordings Ceremonial, Hibaro, Awake and the Grammy-nominated Esta Plena, which draws inspiration from the now endangered Puerto Rican folkloric music form Plena.
2006 was to be another pivotal year. Chick Corea hired Hans on a recommendation from Bob Belden (who produced the James Moody recording Homage for Savoy records, on which Hans participated) to participate in a project commemorating the 250th anniversary of famed composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For this occasion, Mr. Corea composed The Continents, a six-movement work for Jazz quartet and chamber orchestra. The ensemble performed across Europe for the summer of 2006 to enthusiastic audiences.
The rapport in the rhythm section was so unique that Hans invited Chick and drummer Marcus Gilmore to play on Hans most recent recording project, Panorama, which was licensed to Sunnyside records in 2008. Like Common Ground, this CD features Hans’ compositions exclusively and highlights his longtime colleagues, Miguel Zenon and Luis Perdomo, as well as appearances by Johnathan Blake, Antonio Sanchez, Dave Binney, Ben Monder and Rich Perry.
To date Hans has participated in over 50 recordings and continues to perform throughout the world, as well as giving master classes and teaching privately. See less.
Drummer E.J. Strickland was born in 1979, the identical twin of brother to saxophonist Marcus Strickland. He is one of the most frequently recorded drummers of the 21st century, appearing on over 30 albums, including In His Day (Strick Muzik), his long-awaited debut as a leader. He attended The New World School of the Arts (Miami) for high school, studying classical music as well as jazz, where he came under the influence of luminous jazz drummers like Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Tony Williams, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Brian Blade, and others. In 1997, Strickland attended The New School for Social Research, where he studied piano, polished his skills as a composer, and studied with some of the world's greatest drummers: Joe Chambers, Michael Carvin, Carl Allen, Ralph Peterson, Lewis Nash, and Jimmy Cobb. His first recordings were on brother Marcus' At Last and Brotherhood in the early 2000s. Downbeat Magazine described his drumming as emitting "fields of cumulative energy, clouds of feather-touch and heavy-handed syncopations, latent with power like an oncoming storm." Strickland has toured and performed with Ravi Coltrane, his brother Marcus' electric/acoustic quartets and trio, Cassandra Wilson, George Colligan quartet and trio and the David Gilmore Trio. He also leads his own bands, the E.J. Strickland Quintet and the E.J. Strickland Project.