Latin Jazz Corner 004: Little Johnny Rivero Interview (Part 2), Curtis Brothers, 2017 Latin Jazz Grammy Award

by chipboaz on December 21, 2016

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Welcome to Episode #4 of the Latin Jazz Corner Podcast! It’s been a couple of weeks since our last show, as I’ve had a busy time with my teaching job. We had a great musical run at the school and I’m moving full steam ahead back into LJC! Suggestions, feedback, and commentary are also welcomed; if you’ve got ideas about the Latin Jazz Corner Podcast, send me a message.

Since it has been a couple of weeks, a lot has happened in the Latin Jazz world! We start things out by digging into the news. I’ve included some links below that I reference in the news section of the show.

Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive performance on NPR’s Jazz Night In America
Fundraiser For Dafnis Prieto’s upcoming album Tribute
Indiegogo Campain for Rebeca Mauleón & Chucho Valdés book

If you’re a musician, promoter, or anyone involved with Latin Jazz, make sure you send me your news so that I can discuss it on the show.

Our featured track this week comes from some young musicians that I think have been doing some of the most interesting things in modern Latin Jazz – The Curtis Brothers Quartet. Led by pianist Zaccai Curtis and bassist Luques Curtis, this group has recently released a new album entitled Syzygy. It’s a wonderful collection of smartly arranged jazz standards, well-known Latin Jazz songs, and even some recontextualized pop songs. I love this album on so many levels – the clever arrangements, the inspiring performances, the subtle interplay, and more – there’s just so much good stuff on this album. I spend some time talking about The Curtis Brothers and we listen to some music – the group’s energetic take on Dizzy Gillepie’s “Bebop.”

Make sure that you check out more about The Curtis Brothers Quartet:
You can pick up Syzygy HERE.
Here’s The Curtis Brothers Website
Here’s The Curtis Brothers Facebook Page
Here’s The Curtis Brothers On Twitter

In the spotlight segment of the show, I give you an overview of the five albums nominated for the 2017 Latin Jazz Grammy Award. I’m really excited about the nominees for the 2017 Latin Jazz Grammy Award, something that I haven’t always been able to say in the past. In the past, I’ve felt like that Grammys really didn’t dig deep enough, giving the award to albums that didn’t reflect the depth of the style. This year, I’m so thrilled to see that the Grammy Award will be recognizing excellence with five outstanding examples of top notch Latin Jazz. I talk through the five nominees, giving you some background on the album as well as some of my opinions about them.

I really recommend check out any of the nominees for 2017 Latin Jazz Grammy Award – you can find them below!

Entre Colegas, Andy Gonzalez

Madera Latino: A Latin Jazz Perspective On The Music Of Woody Shaw, Brian Lynch

Canto América, Michael Spiro/Wayne Wallace La Orquesta Sinfonietta

30, Trio Da Paz

Tribute to Irakere: Live in Marciac, Chucho Valdés

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the 2017 Latin Jazz Grammy Award. Who do you think is going to win? Did someone get passed over that you thought deserved the award? Give me the full scoop by – sending me an e-mail and I’ll share it on the show!

Our artist spotlight features part two of my interview with conguero and bandleader Little Johnny Rivero, who released the wonderful Latin Jazz album Music in Me. In part one of the interview, I talked with Johnny about his early introductions into Latin music, his move to Puerto Rico, and his work with the legendary salsa band Sonora Ponceña. Today, we’re continuing our conversation into his work with Eddie Palmieri and his emergence as a bandleader. We’ll talk about his first album as a leader, the salsa album Pasos Gigantes, and then we’ll dig into his recent release, Music in Me. We’re going to start things out with a track from Johnny’s album Music in Me – we listen to “Mr LP” and then we get right into the interview.

You can get more information about Little Johnny Rivero at:
Little Johnny Rivero’s Website

Check out all of the albums from Little Johnny Rivero:

Music in Me

Vengo Echando Candela


I hope that you enjoyed the fourth episode of the podcast as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

If your have a minute, it would be great if you could write a review of the podcast on iTunes. It makes a big difference in the visibility of the show, and ultimately, how much I can support Latin Jazz! You can write a review HERE.

I’m going to be putting together a year end list of my favorite Latin Jazz releases from 2016, which I’ll be sharing on a special year end show. I’d love to hear about your favorite Latin Jazz from 2016 – if you want to share your thoughts about your favorite 2016 album, send me a message!

As always, the most important thing to me is to create a resource that will support the musicians and fans around the world that keep Latin Jazz alive – if you’ve ideas, suggestions, or even compliments, send them my way!

Thanks so much for listening! Keep it in clave – see you in episode #5!

Check Out Recent LJC Podcasts:
Latin Jazz Corner 003: Little Johnny Rivero Interview (Part 1), Rachel Therrien, Greg Diamond
Latin Jazz Corner Podcast 002: Brian Andres (Part 2), Will Jarvis, Mario Bauza
Latin Jazz Corner Podcast 001: Brian Andres (Part 1), Bill O’Connell, Chocolate

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