Get ready for the Alegria, Urban Latin Jazz Portrait Concert ~ new, original compositions by Samuel Torres from his forthcoming album, Alegria, presented by City College Center for the Arts on Friday, May 18th.
The new compositions were inspired by the vibrant urban and Latin dance music scenes of Bogotá and beyond by Columbian-born, New York-based percussionist-arranger-composer, Samuel Torres, who will perform with The Samuel Torres Super Band, the Dream-Team includes such well-known musicians as Will Vinson on alto saxophone; Joel Frahm, Tenor and soprano saxophone; Ivan Renta, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and flute; Michael Rodriguez, trumpet, Alex Norris, trumpet; Marshall Gilkes, trombone; Luis Perdomo, piano; Rubén Rodriguez, bass, and Pablo Bencid on drums.
The upcoming album, Alegria (or Happiness in English) will merge classic American jazz with the sound of contemporary Latin urban sounds like cambia, boogaloo and Afro-Cuban jazz, and he has decided to make its debut in Harlem ~ “I’ve always been interested in the amazing music that has come out of New York City, especially the city’s history of welcoming Latin artists and giving them a base to push through new innovations in Latin music like salsa and Latin jazz,” said Torres. “This is one of the reasons I am so happy to bring these new songs to the people of Harlem.”
“It’s going to be a fun night. We are always excited when Aaron Davis Hall can host artists who reflect the cultures of our communities in Harlem,” added City College Center for the Arts Managing Director Gregory Shanck. “With an artist of Samuel’s caliber, our audience is sure to get an evening of music they won’t forget.”
Torres has played with musical giants including Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Chick Corea, Candido Camero, Angélique Kidjo, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Shakira and Alejandro Sanz ~ to name a few. His most recent album, Forced Displacement (2015) was influenced by the violence and unrest affecting his homeland. Alegria opens a new door, with a focus on “happiness” and a tribute to the people of Colombia and other Latin American nations, with a nod to their resilient spirit and ability to find joy in even the darkest times ~ songs that inspire dance and find joy in the music.
Alegria, Urban Latin Jazz Portrait by the Samuel Torres Super Bank will play one-night, Friday, May 18th at 7:30 pm at City College Center for the Arts, Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th Street and Convent Avenue (129 Convent Avenue).
Funding for Alegria and the Alegria, Urban Latin Jazz Portrait concert was made possible by support from Chamber Music America 2017 New Jazz Works Commissioning program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. A two-time recipient of the prestigious award (in 2012 and 2017), Torres has the distinction of being the first hand percussionist to receive the grant, which also includes the Boston premiere of the work in concert at Scullers Jazz Club on May 24 and the upcoming Algeria album slated to be recorded later this spring.