Cuban pianist/composer Fabian Almazan’s ambition and fearless approach to complexity, makes him one of the rising stars on piano today. On his multi-layered 9-piece suite album Rhizome, released in 2018 with his group Alcanza, he seamlessly blends Shostakovich-like compositions with modern and contemporary Latin music and post-bop jazz. This has resulted in a startling and path-breaking album, which has been received as an absolute triumph. In keeping up with Almazan’s huge vision, it is a concept album consisting of an hour-long, nine-movement suite that explores questions of self-discovery, identity and the place of human beings in a complex and sometimes forbidding universe.
Meza’s pristine vocals give life to Almazan’s thought-provoking lyrics, and although she sings exclusively in Spanish, the beauty and grandeur of the music are more than enough to transcend linguistic boundaries — a feature that characterises Almazan’s entire body of work, as his music so thoroughly defies categorisation and classification. The two most striking qualities of the suite are its energy and its emotional potency. Almazan brings the striking bassist Linda May Han Oh (Pat Metheny) and drummer Eric Doob. Alcanza is joined by the String in Residence to bring you this suite, this journey, exclusively for MJAZZ19.
Strings in Residence
For this concert the Mara Tieles StringLAB will join in as Strings in Residence. The string quartet, led by alt violin player Mara Tieles (Cuba), mostly works with classical and contemporary classical musicians but also loves to collaborate with groups such as Snarky Puppy and The Cinematic Orchestra. For Mondriaan Jazz, Tieles formed a string quartet that will collaborate with Camila Meza & The Nectar Orchestra as well as with Fabian Almazan & Alcanza.
”Alcanza is a triumphant accomplishment, and, more important, gorgeous music.”
Jazztimes – 2017