Tag Archives: Cuba

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GRAMMY NOMINATED RON KORB RELEASES 20th SOLO ALBUM “WORLD CAFE” WITH OCT. 17TH CONCERT IN TORONTO

Three years ago, internationally acclaimed flutist & composer Ron Korb‘s album “Asia Beauty” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. Ron has just released his latest album, “WORLD CAFE”, this time with a distinct Latin flavour, and it has been receiving a lot of attention from international music media as well as fans, and is rising quickly on various music charts. back cover World cafe  smallRon’s previous albums have garnered critical and popular acclaim from around the world; he’s shared many musical journeys, from the wonders and mysteries of Japan and China, to the infectious joy and tender melancholy of Celtic song and dance. For his World Café album, he takes us to sunny Spain, the island of Cuba and the alluring lands of South America. He explores how things sound when crossing a rhythm from one region with a melody inspired by another. All the music is played by living, breathing musicians (no computer generated tunes here!) including renowned award-winning jazz, world and Latin musicians Hilario Duran and Johannes Linstead, with an emphasis on using acoustic instruments.

Here’s a quick taste of World Café …..

I recently sat down and chatted with Ron (fittingly, in a cafe) and asked him a few questions about his music….

With a personal collection of 250 flutes, your reputation as the “king of flutes” is well earned – which instruments did you play on this latest album?  In World Café, the main instrument is my concert flute but I also used some Asian bamboo flutes and the ocarina on some tracks. I was also able to experiment with the Ellis-Korb flute mouthpieces that I’ve been developing with California flute maker Geoffrey Ellis. With the different cuts and various hardwoods we used, I could tailor the sound for each piece. It has been a long 6 year project creating the holy grail of embouchure designs and now Geoffrey and I are very excited about what we‘ve achieved together.DSC02624seasideYour previous album for which you received a Grammy nomination, Asia Beauty, explored Asian musical themes. What made you choose to record this latest album in the Latin style?  World Café has been very well received but it has taken everyone by surprise, especially listeners who have just discovered my music in recent years. Older fans know I’ve already written and performed tunes like Casco Viejo, La Sirena, Desert Night and Dark Eyes. Even back in my student days I often would write tunes that had a Spanish flavour. Latin music is the rhythm of the heart and I had been looking forward to making an upbeat album with a Latin theme for many years. Now when I look at the finished physical CD I can hardly believe it is finally manifested. It’s like a dream come true and I’m very happy with the production and the way it sounds.not for publicHow did you created the music for this album?  For the last decade I have been writing songs with pen and paper. I have books of manuscript paper full of hand written sketches and ideas. When I’m away from home and an idea pops into my head I will just sing the melody or beat box the rhythm on to my phone and transcribe it later. After the musical phrases have had time to ferment, I revisit them and discard the less than brilliant sketches and focus on the melodies that have real magic. Some songs come together very quickly and others take years to find the right contrasting section.  It’s always possible to finish off a song quickly but to write something really special takes a lot of time and effort.

It must be very rewarding to hear the completed album – what was the most enjoyable part of recording World Café?  I would say the most rewarding aspect about making World Café is collaborating with the musicians. It is amazing to hear the songs come alive when you workshop it with a band. In the past, I used midi and computer software quite a lot but since doing my Ron Korb Live album in Quebec in 2004, I gradually transitioned to being completely acoustic. It’s far more expensive to work that way but I prefer the result. Working with legendary Cuban pianist Hilario Duran and guitarist Johannes Linstead was a particular highlight. When I wrote the song Hilario, I didn’t really think that he would record it. Again, this is like another dream come true. After I contacted him, Hilario invited me to his place and I showed him the song. He immediately liked it and suggested some Cuban players to join us on the recording. It was really a thrill to work with such authentic players.

Being so musical, you must play other instruments – which ones?  Concert flute, bass flute, penny whistle, low whistle, shinobue, dizi, xun, bawu, Cambodian pie pook, ocarina. I play piano just enough for composing and songwriting. I also have sung backing and some lead vocals professionally.VIL0_XIw

On October 17th, Ron will be presenting World Café to a live audience for the first time. Performing at Jazz Cafe in Toronto, Ron will be joined on stage by an exciting group of musicians including Bill Evans (L) and Hilario Duran (C) pictured below with Ron.Bill Evans and Hilario DuranWorld Café represents a meeting place where people from many cultures can intermingle, laugh and make friends in a relaxed space – much like Ron’s own multicultural Toronto where this album was recorded.  The album is available thru Ron’s website or via Amazon.ca, iTunes, Spotify & Tidal. Listen online or purchase the gorgeous full-colour hardcover 24pg CD package designed by Ron’s talented wife and photographer, Jade. These will be available at the event, too. Perfect as gifts, as well as for yourself. .

Tickets to the concert as well as Ron’s complete discography are available at: www.ronkorb.com  dRIXZvJw

RON KORB presents WORLD CAFÉ

Wednesday Oct. 17th at 8pm (doors open 7pm)

JAZZ BISTRO, 251 Victoria St, Toronto

Cover: $15 advance from www.ronkorb.com   or $20 at the door

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TORONTO’S AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ TRUMPETER/COMPOSER ALEXIS BARO TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM SEPT.7

The week after Labour Day is always a very busy period – it marks the opening of the annual Toronto International Film Festival and this year, Wednesday September 7th it also marks the date for the release of “Sugar Rush”, the new album from Toronto-based composer & trumpeter ALEXIS BARO, who celebrates the occasion with a concert at Lula Lounge (1585 Dundas St West, Toronto).  Released on the G-THREE label,“Sugar Rush” showcases Baro’s vibrant Cuban roots in every original track. “The entire idea…” Baro explains, “is to pay tribute to my ‘hood and the music around me that I grew up with, influenced by my environment and perspective.”posterThe award-winning Afro-Cuban artist has performed and recorded with a variety of artists David Foster, Paquito d’Rivera, Paul Shaffer, Andrea Bocelli, Omara Portuondo, Joey DeFrancesco, Gino Vannelli, Wayne Newton and Tom Jones.  He has been the opening act for Herbie Hancock and has led his own groups on tour across Canada, Europe and the West Indies._MG_1130“Sugar Rush was partly inspired by my last few trips back home visiting old friends and having the opportunity to perform again with some of my old schoolmates who are now touring around the world with some of the biggest names in Cuban music. It made me realize that the musical spirit is still alive in my home city of Centro Habana, and that my neighbourhood, Pueblo Nuevo, is still an inspiration to many writers and home to many musicians. By going back to my roots with this album, I’m able to pay tribute to the music I grew up listening to every afternoon, and salute those who spread the Cuban sound all around the world.  

The neighbourhood of Pueblo Nuevo is in the centre of Havana and home to many of the most popular and accomplished Cuban musicians. “It’s surrounded by some of the most dangerous ‘hoods in the city and it’s this mix of social characteristics that makes Pueblo Nuevo a very interesting place to grew up and appreciate music from many perspectives.”  Alexis Baro   www.alexisbaro.comcd insideAll tracks on Sugar Rush were written by Alexis Baro (Sigueme was written with Yoser Rodroguez) and the album was recorded at Phase One & GMP Studios, Toronto and engineered by John “Beetle” Bailey & Josh Bowman. Alexis surrounded himself with some of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians who made up the Pueblo Nuevo Project including Jeremy Ledbetter (Keys), Roberto Riveron (Bass), Ahmed Mitchel (Drums) Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco” (Bata Drums), Jeff King (Tenor Sax), Adrean Farrugia, Yoser Rodriguez (Bass)…and others.20160812_202816Baro’s passion for his home and music makes for some very exciting listening – the music transports you to the streets of Havana, filled with hot Afro-Cuban jazz riffs and melodies.  14040029_10157485285130651_8990524417047283623_nTickets are $15 per person, available in advance from Lula Lounge: www.lula.ca/events/2016/sep/alexisbaro.html
Guarantee your seat and table with dinner reservations, too.lula-lounge-logo lmac logo crop 2014