At the Flamboyan Theater in the Clemente
107 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002
November 11-13, 2021
Tickets: $15/set, $25/night
“The Band DANZAS’ focus connects the danceable aspect of our music and keeps it moving through our bodies touching our heads at the same time working on improvisation as the main force.” - Juan Pablo Carletti
Thanks to support from South Art’s Jazz Road initiative, pianist/composer Michele Rosewoman has curated the opening night, “Una Función en el Cruce: Puente Ancestral, Corrientes Musicales,” an evening of music that explores junctions of contemporary jazz and Cuban cultural traditions. These performances will be filmed for subsequent broadcast through the HotHouseGlobal platforms and via National Cuban TV. Cuban educator Frank Bell will emcee and moderate a post-concert Q&A with ensemble leaders and audience.
All Jazz Libre performances feature music at the intersection of Caribbean, Latin American, and African American traditions. As drummer Willy Rodriguez describes it, "this project will explore what it means to be a free Caribbean native. Expression without chains or colonialism. A free improvisation from the Puerto Rican perspective."
Jazz Libre takes place as part of Borimix Puerto Rico Fest, a month-long celebration of Puerto Rican and Latin American art in a range of mediums and disciplines taking place at the Clemente.
Schedule & Lineups
“Una Función en el Cruce: Puente Ancestral, Corrientes Musicales”
7pm Francisco Mora Catlett’s Afro-Horn
Francisco Mora Catlett - drums / Sam Newsome - soprano saxophone / Román Díaz - percussion / James Weidman - piano / Rashaan Carter - bass / Alex Harding - baritone saxophone
8pm Roman Diaz’s Rumba Ensemble
Román Díaz - percussion, vocals / Clemente Medina - percussion / Rafael Monteagudo - percussion / Barry Cox - percussion, vocals / Abraham Rodriguez - lead vocals / Máximo Gustavo - vocals / Onel Mulet - saxophone, vocals
9pm Michele Rosewoman’s New Yor-Uba
Michele Rosewoman - piano, vocals / Alex Norris - trumpet / Mike Thomas - alto & soprano saxophone / Isaiah Collier - tenor saxophone / Chris Washburne - trombone, bass trombone, tuba / Gregg August - bass / Robby Ameen - drums / Román Díaz - percussion, vocals / Rafael Monteagudo - percussion / Mauricio Herrera - percussion, vocals / Abraham Rodriguez - lead vocals
Frank Bell will emcee & moderate a post-concert Q&A with ensemble leaders & audience.
These performances are made possible with the support of Jazz Road, a national initiative of South Arts, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Presented in partnership with HotHouse: The Center for International Performance & Exhibition.
Friday, November 12
Arts for Art’s Jazz Libre! Celebration
8pm Willy Rodriguez's Exploraciones Ponceñas'
Willy Rodriguez - drums / Dezron Douglas - bass / Santiago Leibson - piano / Yoni Kretzmer - tenor sax
9pm William Parker’s Southern Satellites
Isaiah Barr - sax / Dario Gomez - voice, percussion / Oscar Pena - tambura / Isaiah Parker - piano / William Parker - bass / Francisco Mela - drum set
Saturday, November 13
Arts for Art’s Jazz Libre! Celebration
8pm Juan Pablo Carletti’s Danzas Band
James Brandon Lewis - sax / Ben Stapp - tuba / Juan Pablo Carletti - drums
9pm Brandon Lopez's Die Dreaming (morir soñando)
Matt Nelson - tenor sax / James Brandon Lewis - tenor sax / Brandon Lopez - bass / Buz Donald - drums
New Yor-Uba's distinctive repertoire features Ms. Rosewoman’s original compositions and visionary arrangements that Incorporate a large spectrum of Cuban spiritually-based music, including Yoruba (Nigeria), Arará (Dahomey), Abakuá (Calabar) and rumba/guaguanco, a uniquely Cuban musical form.
An NEA performance grant facilitated the 1983 debut of “New Yor-Uba: A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America” featuring master foklorist Orlando “Puntilla” Rios at NYC’s Public Theater. For 38 years, New Yor-Uba has been a forum for collaboration between masters from the worlds of contemporary jazz & Cuban folkloric music. The concept and sound remain uniquely vital as pianist and composer Rosewoman continues to enhance the ensemble’s repertoire with new music and personnel, further inspiring her to reflect upon and explore the organic links between these deep musical traditions. Of her New Yor-Uba ensemble, Ms. Rosewoman says “We pay homage to the journey of centuries-old Yoruba traditions from Nigeria through Cuba to present-day New York, reflecting its contemporary manifestations”
Román Díaz is a scholar of religious and folkloric music, composer & performer of folklore and contemporary jazz. Considered both a pillar of the New York City jazz avant-garde and one of Afro Cuban music’s great innovators, his Rumba Ensemble displays his vision of the confluence of New York City’s tradition of music of the African diaspora. He has performed and recorded with Merceditas Valdes, Raices Profundas, Paquito D’Rivera, Michele Rosewoman, Henry Threadgill, David Virelles, Jane Bunnett, Juan Carlos Formell, Orlando “Puntilla” Rios, Oriente Lopez, Afro Horn & Danilo Perez among many others.
Afro-Horn is an avant-garde ensemble that highlights the African presence in the Americas through an assemblage of prime musicians and a repertoire of written and improvised jazz expressions and Cuban folkloric influences. Mr. Mora is especially known for his work with Motown, Sun Ra and Max Roach and as co-founder of the Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Company (2000) with his wife Danys Perez Prades, performing dance and music from the African Diaspora.
Frank Bell is an educator and seasoned oriate in the Cuban Lukumi tradition for over 26 years, Mr. Bell brings a wealth of knowledge of song tradition from the Afro-Cuban belief system and the divination systems integral to the tradition. Mr. Bell is also a Batá drummer and a performer of the dance traditions of the varied African based belief systems of Cuba.
Willy Rodriguez was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and began playing drums at age thirteen. He received his musical start playing throughout Puerto Rico in rock and pop bands. When Willy was twenty-one he started working as the Musical Director and drummer for Latin American Idol’s touring group. Willy has studied with a host of famed teachers such as Terri-Lyne Carrington, Yoron Israel, Ralph Peterson, Greg Osby, Miguel Zenon, Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, Billy Hart and Cecil McBee, among others. He has performed alongside some of the premier musicians in jazz including Randy Weston, Dave Holland and Dave Liebman, with whom he has recorded and played extensively.
William Parker’s Southern Satellites uses rhythms, melodies, and harmonies from all over the world, incorporating a concept called universal tonality to blend the Olmec music concepts with modern day Afro-American improvisational music. The musicians in this version come from Argentina, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and New York. The group will be premiering a new dance cycle called “Dance Dance.”
Juan Pablo Carletti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He grew up in a musical environment in which his father played percussion, and was instantly drawn to the drums. As he performed with a variety of bands, he focused mainly on improvised music and playing mainstream jazz. He began working with his own projects, and created a small label dedicated to new music. In 2005, Juan traveled to New York City and played with the David Haney Group at Cornelia Street Cafe. This trip was a pivotal turning point in his life, as he met influential musicians such as Mat Maneri, Tony Malaby, Mark Helias, Nasheet Waits and Tom Rainey. One year later, he officially moved to America to continue his musical journey. Juan approaches playing in unique ways, influenced by different styles of music, especially the music created in the avant-garde scene in New York City in the last decades. Juan has played with Tony Malaby, Andrew Cyrille, Daniel Levin, Mat Maneri, Chris Hoffman, Angelica Sanchez, Kris Davis, Michael Attias ,Rob Brown, Roman Filiu, Roman Diaz, Aruan Ortiz and William Parker.
Brandon Lopez is a New York-based composer and bassist working at the fringes of jazz, free improvisation, noise and new music. His music has been praised as “brutal” (Chicago Reader) and “relentless” (The New York Times). From the New York Philharmonic's David Geffen Hall to the DIY basements of Brooklyn, Lopez has worked beside many luminaries of jazz, classical, poetry, and experimental music, including Fred Moten, John Zorn, Okkyung Lee, Ingrid Laubrock, Tony Malaby, Tyshawn Sorey, Bill Nace, Chris Potter, Edwin Torres, Tom Rainey, Cecilia Lopez, Sun Ra Arkestra, Susan Alcorn, Mette Rasmussen, and many others.
BORIMIX Puerto Rico Fest makes Puerto Rican arts accessible to a multi-ethnic and multi-generational audience, promoting creative collaboration between Latinx artists. This November long festival showcases Puerto Rican and Latin American art in a range of mediums and disciplines.
Thanks to its partnership with The Clemente, Borimix has transformed Puerto Rican Heritage Month into a gathering of Puerto Rico’s diaspora artists with Latin Americans from all over New York. The Festival now takes place citywide and highlights the impact of the Puerto Rican/LatinX community on the arts and cultural life of the City, the Nation, and the Hemisphere.
The 16th annual BORIMIX: Puerto Rico Fest – NYC’s Latinx cultural landmark event – features an array of events that include panels, films, theatre, music and the visual arts. These events highlight the impact of Puerto Rican identity and arts & culture within the City, Nation, and Hemisphere, as it intersects with other Latinx identities. This year’s edition is dedicated to the 500 years of San Juan.
About the Clemente
The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center Inc. is a Puerto Rican/Latinx multi-arts cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and inclusive philosophy rooted in NYC’s Lower East Side/Loisaida. While focused on the cultivation, presentation, and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latinx culture, we are equally committed to a multi-ethnic / international latitude, determined to operate in a polyphonic manner that provides affordable working space and venues to artists, small arts organizations, emergent and independent community producers that reflect the cultural diversity of the LES and our City.
As a downtown Latinx cultural staple for close to three decades, The Clemente is the pulpit where countless New York based Latinx, BIPOC, local LES, and international partners create multi-disciplinary contemporary work and co-productions in a collaborative environment. We are guided by our namesake's legacy of building culturally grounded multigenerational leadership, local power, and mutuality in times of crisis.
About Arts for Art
Founded in 1996, Arts For Art (AFA) is a New York City based tax exempt organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of FreeJazz -- an African American indigenous art form in which improvisation is principle.
FreeJazz embodies music, dance, poetry and visual arts. It is recognized for its variety of highly developed and personalized improvisational languages. AFA works not only to preserve the legacy of FreeJazz as African American multi-cultural art form, but to ensure a vital future through its re-imagination by new generations of artists.
AFA presents performances throughout the year that are designed to deepen engagement with a growing community of diverse artists and audiences.
To further AFA’s goals of diversity and accessibility, we foster education initiatives that are free to all of our students while focusing on those in need.