SPAIN arts & culture, the cultural program of the Spanish Embassy, will celebrate this coming Saturday, April 30, International Jazz Day, with a special concert at the Former Residence of the Ambassadors of Spain, 2801 16th Street NW.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. SPAIN arts & culture, DC Jazz Festival and Events DC will celebrate International Jazz Day with a special performance featuring Spanish and American musicians including Spanish musicians Sebastián Chames (piano), Javier Moreno (bass) along with Gregory Tardy (tenor sax) and Warren Wolf, Jr. (drums).
Chames is a pianist who belongs to the new generation of jazz musicians in Spain. He completed his musical training in New York with Barry Harris, Rodney Kendrick, Bruce Barth and Fred Hersch.
In 2008, he released Primera Toma, his first CD as band leader. In 2013, his second record Reconstrucción featured an outstanding line up: Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Justin Robinson (alto saxophone), Dwayne Burno (bass) and Willie Jones III (drum). Two years later, his third CD, Pick Up the Phone, featured Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Greg Tardy (tenor sax), Gerarld Cannon (bass) and Willie Jones III (drums).
His CDs were all recorded in New York and received rave reviews by the Spanish press such as ABC, which said that “Chames is confirmed as one of the pillars of New Jazz made in Spain.” El Mundo asserted that “tradition and innovation are joint in the music of Sebastián Chames” while La Habitación del Jazz called Reconstrucción “one of the best records of 2013.”
In Madrid, between 1999 and 2004, he ran the jam session of the legendary jazz club Clamores Jazz and from 2005 to 2011 he led the house trio of the well-known club la Fidula, which has become a meeting point of international jazz musicians who visit Madrid. He currently leads his quintet in Spain, which plays in clubs and festivals around Europe.
Born into a musical family, Gregory Tardy began his musical career studying classical clarinet. While studying with renowned clarinetists Russell Dagon and Jack Snavely, Tardy began preparing for a symphony career. Over time, he was asked to play saxophone and fill in missing gaps in various ensembles. His passion for the saxophone took over his studies and soon his clarinet was gathering dust. At that time, he moved to St. Louis and after a year of performing on the jazz and blues scene, he decided to move back to his birthplace, New Orleans, in order to focus on his jazz studies.
In 1992, Tardy recorded his first solo project, Crazy Love. That same year he was picked up by Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, a relationship that lasted several years. During the time with the legendary Elvin Jones, Tardy felt that it was finally time to move to the Big Apple. In New York, he went on to perform and record with a large array of prominent artists including Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis, Jay McShann, Steve Coleman, Betty Carter, James Moody, Bill Frisell, Rashied Ali, John Patitucci, among others.
He has also performed and/or recorded alongside other notable saxophonists such as Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dewey Redman, Ravi Coltrane and others. In more recent years, Tardy has gone full circle, bringing his clarinet out of retirement, using it on recordings by Tom Harrell, Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow, Stefan Harris and Andrew Hill.
Javier Moreno is a composer and double bassist originally from Madrid. During the past three years, in addition to his native city, he has resided in Paris, Buenos Aires, Rome and New York where he has been dedicated to an intensive agenda of professional dissemination and the enrichment of his musical sensibilities in contemporary creation, jazz and creative music in addition to other disciplines such as theater, dance and the visual arts.
Javier has studied in institutions such as New York University (master in jazz performance) and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in Holland (advanced degree in jazz) and has received scholarships from Tete Montoliú (Spain), Foundation Cajamadrid (Spain) and the Banff Centre of Creative Arts (Canada).
His professional career has been dedicated to various musical scenes within contemporary jazz, flamenco and other musical genres. He has collaborated with diverse artists such as Tim Berne, Dino Saluzzi, Tony Malaby, Gerald Cleaver, Jeremy Pelt, Mat Maneri, George Garzone, Craig Taborn, Badal Roy, Carmen Linares, Agustín Carbonell El Bola, Javier Ruibal, Arcángel, Rycardo Moreno and David Dorantes.
Warren Wolf, Jr. is a rising start, jazz multi-instrumentalist, drummer and vibraphonist from Baltimore, Maryland. From the young age of three years old, Warren has been trained on the vibraphone/marimba, drums and piano. His reputation as a gifted jazz lion is acknowledged by respected jazz critics like the New York Times.
Wolf has made several recordings as a leader and a sideman. Convergence with bassist Christian McBride, the all-world rhythm section is rounded out by master drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, esteemed pianist Brad Mehldau and John Scofield on guitar. Wolfgang (2013) features two different three-man rhythm sections (pianist Benny Green, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash; and pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Kris Funn and drummer Billy Williams).
The eponymous Warren Wolf (2011) features Christian McBridee on bass, Peter Martin on piano, Greg Hutchinson on drums, Tim Green on alto/soprano saxophones and Jeremy Pelt on trumpet. The New York Daily News Greg Thomas said of Warren Wolf: “To say that Warren Wolf’s Mack Avenue debut is auspicious would be an understatement. No doubt, this is one of the best of the year in jazz.”
His other notable recordings as a leader are Incredible Jazz Vibes (2005, featuring Mulgrew Miller on piano, Vicente Archer on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums) and Black Wolf (2009, featuring Mulgrew Miller on piano, Rodney Whitaker on bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums.)
Warren has been active in the international jazz scene, touring among others with Bobby Watson’s Live and Learn Sextet, Karriem Riggins’ Virtuoso Experience, Donal Fox’s Scarlatti Jazz Suite Project, Christian McBridee & Inside Straight.
For more info, please see the SPAIN arts & culture website.