New Release August 5: Jazz Meets the Classics

Jazz Meet the Classics Cover

Jazz Meets the Classics. Release date: August 5, 2014, Paquito D’Rivera Sextet, Sunnyside Records/Paquito Records.

Hear Two Sample Tracks


The border between classical and jazz music has always been a fluid one, with composers from each camp finding inspiration on both sides of the divide.

The Grammy Award winning woodwind master Paquito D’Rivera has a long history with classical music. As a young boy, he was introduced to a wide variety of music, from Mozart to Ellington, by his classical saxophone playing father in Cuba. On his new recording – Jazz Meets the Classics, D’Rivera and his wonderful ensemble have recorded intriguing arrangements of the classical repertoire of legendary composers, including Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart, for a jazz sextet.

For the recording, D’Rivera assembled a sextet of his regular collaborators, all astonishing musicians in their own right: trumpeter/trombonist Diego Urcola, pianist Alex Brown, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, percussionist Arturo Stable, and drummer Mark Walker. Special guest pianist Pepe Rivero was also featured on two arrangements of Chopin and an original piece that he wrote for the ensemble.

An invigorating blend of influences that have made Paquito D’Rivera the musician he is today inform the music on Jazz Meets the Classics. The mixture of jazz, classical and Afro-Latin traditions into a cohesive whole is wonderfully executed by the leader and his phenomenal sextet.

The ensemble convened and recorded the album live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City on June 14, 2012. Produced by Paquito Records, distributed by Sunnyside Records.

Available from iTunes and other fine vendors. Read more information about the album.

Preview of Jazz Meets the Classics CD Tour

Jazz Meets the Classics CD Cover

Lucky audiences in New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, Washington’s DC Jazz Festival, Madrid’s Teatro del Canal, and Boston’s Regatta Bar, were the fortunate few to hear the upcoming new album “Jazz Meets the Classics” being released August 5, 2014.

The new recording features Paquito’s Sextet and promises to wow the audiences. Here are a few reactions from the fans and the latest reviews.

Blog Reviews

On his new recording – Jazz Meets the Classics, D’Rivera and his wonderful ensemble have recorded intriguing arrangements of the classical repertoire of legendary composers, including Chopin, Beethoven and Mozart, for a jazz sextet.
Latin Jazz Network

Who would have thought that classical music could sound so explosive arranged in the key of jazz, blues and dixieland.
Bourbon Street Online Review

The realm of classical music and jazz is not something separate for Paquito, since childhood he was familiar with both.
Warta Jazz Review

Blog review of Regatta performance in Boston “Jazz Multiplied By Classical Equals A Great Show”
Suze Reviews the Blues

Paquito would weave in the straight, full sound of a “classical style” with the loose, be-bopping energy of a “New Orleans style” seamlessly.
Kind of Pink and Purple

New Release – Song for Maura with Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente

Paquito D'Rivera with Trio Corrente

The heralded Cuban born clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera has never been shy to trumpet his Brazilian infatuation. Since his arrival in the United States, he has made it a point to collaborate with Brazilian musicians of all stripes, including figures in Brazilian jazz, folkloric and popular music. On D’Rivera’s latest recording, Song for Maura, he was accompanied by a fabulous contemporary jazz trio from Sao Paulo, Trio Corrente.

As a child in Cuba, D’Rivera was astounded by the sights and sounds of Brazil, having witnessed rainforests, Carnival parades and samba schools at the local movie theater. His musical career has found him playing alongside luminaries from the country’s rich musical fraternity, including trumpeter Claudio Roditi and vocalists Rosa Pasos and Leny Andrade.

Paquito’s Collaboration with Trio Corrente

D’Rivera met Trio Corrente through their manager Jacques Figueras and with an additional recommendation from his young pianist friend Alex Brown. The exemplary trio from Sao Paulo has been presenting an enticing amalgam of contemporary jazz and Brazilian song for nearly 7 years. Made up of pianist Fabio Torres, bassist Paulo Paulelli and drummer Edu Ribeiro, the ensemble has worked with many luminaries of jazz, including guitarists Mike Stern and Anthony Wilson.

Trio Corrente’s first meeting with D’Rivera was in 2010 in Fortaleza. In 2011, there were three subsequent performances in Punta del Este, Curitiba and Spain. The group finally recorded this album in October 2012 in Sao Paulo.

Song for Maura Album

Song for MauraThe recording begins with Severino Araujo’s "Chorinho Pra Voce," a feisty tune featuring D’Rivera’s lithe clarinet. D’Rivera’s beautiful "Song for Maura" is a heart felt dedication to his mother. "Di Menor" by Brazilian guitarist Guinga and vocalist Celso Viafora is rendered to dynamic and rhythmic heights. K-Ximbinho’s "Sonoroso" is a haunting ballad written specifically for clarinet and also highlights the emotional range of the ensemble.

Drummer Ribeiro’s own "Cebola No Frevo" is a sprightly composition with D’Rivera playing an expressive alto sax. Daniel Frieberg’s homage to vocalist Leny Andrade, "For Leny," is a dreamy and lush ballad performed expertly. "Murmurando" is an ebullient, prancing number featuring tremendous group interplay. Johnny Alf’s "Ceu e Mar" is exciting and swinging while pianist Torres’s "Paquito," written in the clarinetist’s honor, is deep and tuneful.

The group’s take on Pixinguinha’s "1 X 0" provides a dexterous display of skill from all. Brazilian songwriting legend Baden Powell’s "Tem Do" sizzles in the bossa nova tradition. The intense version Claudio Roditi’s "Recife Blues" is upbeat and joyful. The recording concludes with the lovely "Saldera" by Torres.

Paquito D’Rivera has already had a tremendously rich and varied musical career. His work with Brazilian music and musicians has been particularly inspiring. So it has been no surprise that his most recent collaboration with the fantastically talented Trio Corrente, documented on Song for Maura, has be especially meaningful and wonderful to hear.

Song for Maura was released July 30 and is available at iTunes and other fine vendors. Read Paquito’s note and tracks information.

Review of the New CD – Dia y Medio at JazzTimes

Travis Rogers, Jr., posted a wonderful review on JazzTimes.com of Dia y Medio, a joint venture of Paquito D’Rivera and Paraguayan guitarist Berta Rojas.

"To have a musician of D’Rivera’s performing and composing skills alongside Rojas’ dedication to her homeland makes for a moving and enlightening journey into Paraguay. Hers is the old love of home and his is the new love of a captivated traveler."

Full review from JazzTimes.com.

Read further about Dia y Medio on paquitodrivera.com including track information.

Dia Y Medio  a Day and a Half - Paquito D'Rivera & Berta RojasPaquito D'Rivera and Berta Rojas in Dia y Medio a Day and a half

Paquito D’Rivera Teams Up With Berta Rojas in “Dia y Medio”

Dia y Medio a Day and a Half11-time GRAMMY winner Paquito D’Rivera teams up with world-renowned Paraguayan classical guitarist, Berta Rojas, in this beautiful tribute to Paraguay "Dia y Medio" or "A Day and a Half".

"Día y medio," or "A Day and a Half," is the product of a musical union between these two masters who performed throughout Latin America in 2011. The tour included a day and a half stop — hence the title of the project — in Rojas’ homeland of Paraguay. D’Rivera felt that was not enough time to appreciate fully all the beauty this small South American nation had to offer the world: its panoramic views, cultural richness, the warmth of its people — and its music.

The album consists of 12 tracks featuring a unique combination of Folk music from Paraguay, Jazz and the sounds of classical guitar. The CD is dedicated to Paraguay and highlights music written by Paraguayan composers.

"For many years I wanted to collaborate with D’Rivera. The opportunity to partner with him has been a privilege, as it has offered me a chance to pay tribute to the rich music of my homeland. The CD allows us to showcase our recreations of Paraguayan compositions, many of which are considered hidden jewels of Latin American music."  Berta Rojas

Read more…