For one night, the Greater Buffalo area will have the opportunity to listen to international Cuban and Latin Jazz stars as they celebrate the release of a new CD entitled “El Coco” at the JazzBuffalo and Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series. “El Coco” is Michel Ferrré and Vladimir Espinosa’s latest CD production of originals and Cuban classics in collaboration with Lázara Martínez, Armando Arce (Pututui), Jeff Hofmann, Edward Magdariaga, Hansel Herrera, among many others. “El Coco” translates to mean The Coconut.
On Wednesday, May 9th at 7:30 pm, JazzBuffalo will host principal performers on this CD at Buffalo’s newest cultural treasure, the Hotel Henry. Performers for this special concert will include Michel Ferre, Vladimir Espinosa, Lazara Martinez, Hansel Herrera, and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame bassist Jerry Livingston.
Cuban born Michel Ferré was born in Havana in 1972. His classical and jazz training as a pianist in Havana greatly influenced his musical formation and who he is today. His musical inspiration ranges from Bach, Chopin, Lecuona through the music of Jarrett, The Doors, the Beatles, Bjork, Emiliano Salvador, and Sun Ra as his work as a pianist, arranger, and composer continues to evolve.
For over 20 years, Michel has been a longtime friend and collaborator with Vladimir Espinosa with whom he recorded and produced their CD “Acoustic Latin Jazz”, a mix of original compositions by Ferré and Espinosa of Afro-Cuban and Latin music.
Currently, on tour with American singer, songwriter, producer, and actress Lauryn Hill, Michel Ferré collaborated as a pianist, arranger and sound engineer for the recently released album “Nina Revisited – A Tribute to Nina Simone”, featuring Lauryn Hill, Usher, Mary J Blige among others.
Cuban born Vladimir Espinosa is a musician, actor, and choreographer born in Havana, Cuba. He has worked as an instructor of Latin Percussion, Afro-Cuban Dance, and musician-accompanist in residence at Hollins University since 2005. His specialties include Latin and Afro-Cuban music, contemporary Latin and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance, and traditional African Diaspora rhythms. Espinosa graduated from the ENA (School National of Arts, Cuba) in 1985. He also studied with the National Folkloric de Cuba with Regino Jimenes and Pelladito.
Cuban born Lázara Martinez began her violin studies in Havana Cuba at the age of 8. After receiving her Honor Diploma from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory, she emigrated to the Dominican Republic where she was a member of the National Symphony in Santo Domingo. Three years later, she returned to Cuba to perform with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba in Havana, and as soloist with the Camerata Romeu. With the Camerata, she appeared at numerous festivals including the Cervantino in Mexico, International Water Festival in Sweden, International Festival of the Arts, Costa Rica, International Festival of Religious Music, Colombia and the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana, Cuba. She was also featured with the Camerata on National Radio of Spain, TV Madrid, Spain Radio Antena, Mexico Artes de Channel 22, and Cuba Vision / Radio Rebelde in Cuba. Before leaving Cuba to live in Mexico, Ms. Martínez recorded the debut CD “La Bella Cubana” with Camerata Romeu. While living in Mexico, she was a member of the Carlos Chavez Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the State of Hidalgo, Camerata de las Americas, and the Mineria Summer Festival Orchestra. Since moving back to Buffalo in 2006 Lázara has been a member of the Slee Sinfonietta, a substitute violinist with the BPO and has had numerous appearances with other local groups in the area.
Jerry Livingston is a much sought-after bassist from coast to coast. He has recorded with such artist as Miki Howard on Atlantic records, Stephanie Mills on MCA Records, Liberty Silvers on RCA Records/BMG and Billy Phillips on MCA Records, but is probably best known for recording five albums with Rick James on Motown Records, two of which became Gold albums. Livingston was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
The “El Coco” CD project included notable Cuban and Latin Jazz stars. Personnel for the CD included:
- Michel Ferré – piano, Rhodes, synthesizers, programming, bass, percussion, background vocals
- Vladimir Espinosa – congas, djembe, didgeridoo, chequeré, bombo leguero, minor percussion, lead vocals, background vocals.
- Lázara Martínez – violin, background vocals
- Jeff Hofmann – upright bass
- Edward Magdariaga – electric bass
- Armando Arce – cajón , paila, minor percussion
- Danilo Arroyo – minor percussion
- Gabriela Teran – background vocals
- Atiba Rorie – conga , background vocals
- Bradley Simmons – conga, background vocals
- Hansel Herrera Dechapelles – trumpet
Here is a tune from the El Coco release that exemplifies their unique musicality:
The second concert in the 2018 Hotel Henry Jazz Concert Series will provide jazz fans a thrilling time experiencing authentic Cuban, Afro-Cuban, and Latin jazz. And, to hear a live performance of this special CD production. The concerts get underway at 7:30 pm.
Tickets to this popular community-wide jazz series are available at the Hotel Henry website here: https://www.hotelhenry.com/jazz/