Jazz Caliente: Meet The Grammy Nominees

Feb 10, 2017

The Grammy Awards show will be televised this Sunday, Feb. 12, at 5 p.m. PST.  This week on Jazz Caliente, we're featuring music from all five Grammy nominees for Best Latin Jazz Album, and believe me, I'd be hard-pressed to pick a "winner" this year.  They're all outstanding recordings.

'Tribute to Irakere: Live in Marciac' — Chucho Valdes  

Of his many musical accomplishments, Chucho Valdes is probably best known for founding the progressive Cuban jazz group Irakere in the 1970s.  To celebrate the 40th anniversary of that group, Valdes re-worked the band's charts for his latest ensemble, the Afro-Cuban Messengers.  All of these younger musicians grew up listening to Irakere's music, and now they take it to a different level under the maestro's direction.

'Entre Colegas' — Andy Gonzalez  

Bassist Andy Gonzalez says this recording is like "Django Reinhardt goes to Cuba and Puerto Rico."  His nearly 50-year career includes time with the Fort Apache Band, led by his brother, conguero and trumpeter Jerry Gonzalez, and performances and recordings with hundreds of jazz and Latin jazz artists.  This is Andy's first album under his own name as bandleader, and it sounds like a group of good friends (and excellent musicians) coming together for a jam session.

'Canto America' — Wayne Wallace and Michael Spiro with La Orquesta Sinfonietta  

Combining the San Francisco Bay area's premier Latin musicians and singers with award-winning classical music performers from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, the "Canto America" suite is a heady mix of Latin jazz,  Afro-Cuban folkloric music and classical orchestration.  Get an in-depth look at this project in the interview below.

'3o' — Trio da Paz  

Guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka da Fonseca are all Brazilian-born, New York-based top-tier jazz musicians.  This trio allows them to explore Brazilian musical forms along with be-bop, soul jazz, Romany (Gypsy) music and whatever else catches their ears.  They've been at it for 30 years and haven't run out of inspiration yet.  This new album celebrates the musical connections they've made with each other over three decades.

'Madera Latino' — Brian Lynch  

This ambitious project from Brian Lynch was four years in the making.  It's a tribute to his musical hero, trumpeter Woody Shaw, and it brings together today's top trumpeters and the hottest of the young Latin jazz rhythm section players.  Lynch's arrangements are complex and compelling.  He's learned well from his former bosses, Art Blakey and Eddie Palmieri.  More details in the EPK (electronic press kit) below.

Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. The program is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.