Program

Thursday, June 8 2017

John Benitez Jazz Trio

Thursday, June 08
8PM to 10PM

Grammy award-winning bassist John Benitez, born in Rio Piedras Puerto Rico, started playing gospel music in church at the age of thirteen.  John is the first-call bassist in the New York Jazz and Latin music scene. He performed with, among others, such well-known artists as Chick Corea, Lucecita Benitez, Batacumbele, Lalo Rodriguez, Cuco Peña, Roberto Roena, and Justo Betancourt, Wynton Marsalis, Tito Puente, Michele Camilo, Dave Valentin, Eddie Palmieri, Bobby Watson, David Sanchez, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Roy Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Danilo Perez, Kenny Kirkland, Will Calhoun, Vinny Valentino, Chucho Valdez, Don Pullen, Dave Samuels, and Mongo Santamaria, to name just few.

Although Benitez is extremely fluid in the jazz idiom, he excels at interpreting the rhythms and styles of his native Afro-Caribbean region and the entire Pan American music book. As he puts it himself, “For me it's all the same, one great dance music, all the Caribbean, South America and New Orleans are but an extension of African music, music with that special bounce. That's what I like the most.” John Benitez, an excellent example of a true musician, an educator, artist, gentleman and a spiritual human being.

    “Benitez demonstrates a 'nuevo generacion' pan-Latin Jazz vibe on his solo debut.The Puerto Rican-born leader's playing is precise, reliably hard-driving and inventive throughout, and the grooves lock together seamlessly” DOWN BEAT

    “Mr. Benitez , with his rock-solid groove, it the best new Latin jazz bassist in the city, great at using the fewest possible notes to maximum swing potential.” Ben Ratliff, New York Times

Román Díaz & Rumba Habanera

Jazz at the Crossroads presents AfroCuban master drummer Román Díaz & his nine piece percussion & vocal ensemble performing the living magic of the AfroCaribbean experience.
Thursday, June 08
10PM Start!
 
 
".... Román Díaz is.... playing bata and conga drums, chanting and singing, sometimes rising to dance. He’s making music and enacting rituals with old friends and new partners, inviting in ancient spirits as he lends new edge to New York’s scene.

"The rumba is on.

"Like the best Cuban percussionists and folkloric masters, and as with jazz’s greatest players, Díaz knows that tradition is never a static thing. As a member of the seminal Cuban rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo, he continued the work of the legendary percussionist Pancho Quinto in creating new and fundamental wrinkles with traditional Cuban rumba.

"The Thursday night 'Midnight Rumbas' began in June [of 2013 ], as organized by Dita Sullivan, who has produced a fine and ongoing New Dimensions in Latin Jazz series, primarily at the Jazz Standard.

'I thought it would be a good summer event—the authentic Cuban rumba that most people, even those who visit Cuba, never get to see,” Sullivan wrote in a recent email.  'What Román is doing is bringing the rumba with all its heady, intense atmosphere; it's really like being at a rumba in the barrios Luyano or El Cerro in Havana—thrilling, full of surprises, and even a little bit scary. It's utterly fluid, constantly changing, with the percussionists swapping instruments, musicians coming in and others stepping down, vocalists changing to play percussion, the percussionists getting up to sing. Yet it is not chaotic; it's running on a different sense of time and logic, and if you just let go, you can tune into it.'

"The best story in New York jazz right now (and among the music’s longest-running tales) is the deepening and broadening of Afro-Latin influence and expression within jazz’s ranks. These connections are not only with Cuba—they also flow from and back to Puerto Rico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, South America, and beyond—but they owe especially to Cuba, and with an ever-finer integration of the various strands of tradition from regions within Cuba itself.

"Since his arrival in New York City from his native Cuba in 1999, Díaz has not only deepened the presence of Afro-Cuban traditions in and around New York, he has infused the city’s jazz scene with a rare blend of expertise, energy, wit, and humor drawn from both Afro-Cuban culture and his own imagination." - Larry Blumenfeld, BLOUIN ARTINFO  

 

 

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82 West 3rd Street (btw Thompson & Sullivan) Greenwich Village New York NY 10012 tel. 212-477-ZINC (9462) Open 7 days: 6pm-2:30am weeknights 6pm-3am weekends

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