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Pablo Menendez and Mezcla direct from Havana, Cuba
May 27, 2010
8pm show $18
10pm show $12
Mezcla, Cuban jazz ensemble direct from Havana, Cuba directed by guitarist Pablo Menéndez will be in the US touring in support of their "hot off the presses" 2010 Zoho Music release entitled "I'll See You in Cuba".
Mezcla has been a part of the sound-track of the Cuban music scene for the past twenty-five years. They perform frequently at Havana's premier jazz club La Zorra y el Cuervo and the Havana Jazz Festival (Jazz Plaza). The ensemble has constantly reinvented itself, highligting it's members' musical strengths and interests. A multigenerational ensemble, Mezcla brings together several veteran masters with some the best of young jazz players on the scene today.
Recent international jazz festival dates have included Barranquijazz, Manizales Jazz Festival and the Bogota Jazz Festival (Colombia) as well as the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival and Gourmet Jazz in St. Martin.
This will be Mezcla's 4th US tour and their 1st since the Obama administration relaxed visa policies for Cuban artists coming to play in the US.
Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla have a number of recordings under their belt including ¡Akimba! (2003 Khaeon), Havana Blues Mambo(Menéndez, Zoho Music 2005) and their latest just released in January 2010 on the Zoho label entitled See You in C-U-B-A.
Mezcla's music is "the cleanest, freshest water I have ever tasted". (Carlos Santana)
Menéndez and Mezcla create a fluid statement on I'll See You in Cuba that cleverly mixes elements of fusion with an unwavering dedication to jazz.
(Chip Boaz, The Latin Jazz Corner)
"I've heard better Latin jazz albums lately but none of them were released in this century. And this modernizes the old stuff in just the right way."
(Dave Marsh, The Loft, Sirius Radio)
"...a fierce group of musical entities that must be acknowledged. [Their] sole desire is to play great music, mindful of their roots, ever looking forward and always joyful: a real "mezcla." (Arturo O'Farrill)
Pablo "Mezcla" Menéndez
PABLO "Mezcla" MENÉNDEZ: musical director, guitar, vocals
Born in Oakland, California, he is the son of blues and jazz singer Barbara Dane. Living in Cuba since 1966, he has been an indelible part of many Cuban music scenes over the past decades: the Nueva Trova movement (GES with Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés), the jazz world (Sonido Contemporáneo at the old Club Rio with Gonzalo Rubalcaba and others), Afro-rock group Síntesis (with Carlos and Ele Alfonso) and more. On the basis of this rich experience, Pablo founded Mezcla in 1985 and has led Mezcla to the present day on countless gigs in Cuba, many international tours to Europe, Latin America and the U.S., and on several critically acclaimed recordings.
Pablo has also released a solo project on Zoho Music entitledHavana Blues Mambo and has led a US-based Cuban All Star ensemble for performances at venues such as Regatta Bar in Boston and Yoshi's in Oakland, California. In January of 2009 he was invited to share the bill and perform with Larry Coryell and John Stowell at the Jazz Guitar Summit in Olympia, Washington.
"Pablo Menendez is not your average everyday Afro-Caribbean or Latin jazz musician. His vision of this music stretches back to traditional jazz and show tunes and up to electric urban blues, modern post-bop, Cuban or Puerto Rican music, and contemporary neo-bop spawned in the 1970s. As a guitarist he is strong individually in these varied styles or disciplines, but as a bandleader he stretches out even further, taking his Mezcla ensemble into these disciplines of jazz and music both beyond and including Latin sensibilities." Michael G. Nastos (Allmusic.com)
Latin Jazz Corner's Album of the Week!
The Latin Jazz Corner
Album of the Week:
Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla
"I'll See You in CUBA"
by Chip Boaz, Jan. 15, 2010
Menéndez and Mezcla create a fluid statement on I'll See You in Cubathat cleverly mixes elements of fusion with an unwavering dedication to jazz. Their repertoire mixes a compositional complexity with plenty of room for improvisatory statements, making their music both challenging and interesting. Stylistically, the group travels through many worlds, constantly finding ways to connect Afro-Cuban rhythms to funk, rock, and swing. [...] [Tenor saxophonist Orlando] Sánchez, [Trumpet player Máyquel] González, and [Flautist Magela] Herrera all emerge as outstanding soloists, placing equal doses of fire, style, and individual expression into their work. Menéndez and Mezcla display high level musicianship throughout I'll See You in Cuba, producing a compelling collection of music that makes a serious argument for the continued exploration of Latin Jazz fusion. (more)
Photo Credit: Roxana Gonzalez