Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirate Orchestra Performing Bomba a la Hermeto

by chipboaz on January 18, 2017

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Big band instrumentation brings the potential for a wide range of textures, emotions, and stylistic explorations. The combination of saxophones, trumpets, and trombones opens a broad palette of colors that can go in so many different directions. It can be subtle, exploring the most gentle emotions or it can be a storm of conflict and rage, playing with an inescapably harsh edge. Put an experienced rhythm section behind this combination of winds and you’ve got a steam train of rhythmic momentum that can run for the hills or sit in a lazy resting position. A charismatic soloist will deliver his or her best work in front of a big band, sometimes rising above the group’s groove or taking a curious stroll through the ensemble’s lush harmonies. When a big band is put in the hands of the right musician, it’s a ground shaking cannonball of power for musical expression.

There’s not many better hands for the vast strength and beauty of trombonist, composer, and bandleader Papo Vazquez. When still a young musician in Philadelphia, Vazquez found a love for jazz and a connection to dance music from the Caribbean and South America that sent him on a mission for musical growth. He found his way to New York, where he played with everyone making waves on the dance circuit, including folks like Héctor Lavoe, The Fania All-Stars, and Manny Oquendo’ Conjunto Libre, just to name a few. His drive to become a strong jazz musician also led him to play with the leaders of Latin Jazz, including Tito Puente, Hilton Ruiz, Jerry Gonzalez, Arturo O’Farill, and many more. It’s his work as a bandleader that has defined Vazquez though, showing him to the a fierce advocate for jazz that overflows with a connection to his heritage and challenging improvisational contexts. His band carries an appropraite name – Mighty Pirates Troubadours – for this is not music for the weak; it’s music that requires strength and fearlessness. The band has taken many shapes over the years, but the big band version in today’s video is a powerhouse ensemble. It’s guaranteed that Vazquez’s music is always going to push the boundaries of Latin Jazz as you’ll see in today’s awe inspiring performance of “Bomba a la Hermeto.”

Do you have a Latin Jazz video to share? E-mail a link to latinjazzcorner@gmail.com

Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Charlie Sepulveda, Perico Ortiz, And Eddie Feijoo Trading Trumpet Solos On The Brick Wall
The Essence Of The Song: Rosa Passos performing Jobim’s Você Vai Ver
Ralph Irizarry And Timbalaye Performing Piestos
Danilo Pérez Trio Plays Providencia
Music From Robby Ameen And The Days In The Night Band

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