David Sánchez Photo Courtesy of Artist
David Sánchez Carib
Saturday, February 17, 8pm
Seattle Art Museum
1300 First Ave
When the renowned saxophonist David Sánchez first started playing music at the age of eight in his native Puerto Rico, his instrument of choice was percussion. Having switched to tenor saxophone at the age of 12, and burst onto the New York scene while still in his teens, Sánchez has established a Grammy Award-winning career that combines Afro-Caribbean and Latin dialects with the language of jazz, while holding the spirit of the drum at its core. Carib, Sánchez’s newest project, unifies the disparate and complex human conditions of Puerto Rico and Haiti through the language of drum. Featuring Edward Simon (piano), Ricky Rodriguez (bass), E. J. Strickland (drums), and Jhan Lee Aponte (percussion, dance) alongside Sánchez on tenor sax, Carib is a stunning personal reflection.
Before he heard the call of jazz giants such as Dizzy Gillespie, the bop giant and early advocate for Afro-Caribbean jazz fusion with whom Sánchez would later tour and record, the young percussionist was inspired by the percussion styles around him, some originating in the folklore of Haiti, others from the West African rhythms of Yoruba, Calinda, and Sika, and still more from the Grenadine island of Carriacou.
“I always knew there was a connection between their musical traditions and the music I grew up listening to in Puerto Rico,” Sánchez has said, “but the commonalities still amaze me.”
Carib takes listeners back on his personal journey, revealing the multilayered cultural and geographic roots of jazz itself. After moving to New York, Sánchez finished his degree at Rutgers University, studying with greats such as Kenny Barron, later joining the likes of Roy Hargrove, Charlie Haden, and Danilo Pérez. Now a teacher himself at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and a member of SFJAZZ Collective, Sánchez commands an impressive recorded and composed output, including his Grammy-winning 2004 album Coral.
Considered one of the greatest tenor saxophonists for the “brilliance of his technique, depth of his ideas, and poetry of his tone” (Chicago Tribune), Sánchez is sure to astonish listeners with Carib’s celebration of unity through rhythm.
Thursday, February 22, 8pm
PONCHO Concert Hall
710 E Roy St
On February 22, the Norwegian-Swedish post-bop sextet Atomic comes to Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall for an epic review of the modern sounds coming from Scandinavia today.
Established in 2000, Atomic has proved both powerful and prolific in the international scene. Their 11th release, 2017’s Six Easy Pieces, garnered praise for their intricate compositional unity and combining of intercontinental influences with “a virtuosic enthusiasm that hasn’t diminished over the past seventeen years” (All About Jazz).
Atomic’s longevity is partly in thanks to the continuity of its lineup. Only the young but incredibly productive Norwegian percussionist Hans Hulbœkmo, son of traditional folk musicians Tone Hulbœkmo and Hans Fredrik Jacobsen, has replaced an original member, drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.
Hulbœkmo’s shown himself as an astute co-conspirator to the compositional frames of the consummate reedman Fredrik Ljungkvist, and fearless pianist Håvard Wiik, sons of Stockholm and Oslo, respectively. Atomic’s other veteran leaders include the Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo, known for his work in the Fredrik Nördstrom quintet, and adroit Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, in whose musical cohort counts the likes of Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee.
Not surprisingly, Atomic generates incredible energy. With the stern contrapuntal rigor of a Wilhelm Stenhammar, but the memorable melodic inventiveness of an Edvard Grieg, Atomic’s work is smart as it is rich in mood. And while this complexity might be difficult for any other group, writes DownBeat Magazine, “for Atomic it never feels less than charged, with fresh concepts speeding by breathless moment after breathless moment.”
For tickets and more information, as well as more upcoming events, visit earshot.org.