Home New York Report Master Harpist and Cuatro Player Convene at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola

Master Harpist and Cuatro Player Convene at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola


What happens when two highly imaginative virtuosos; one an unparalleled Colombian harpist; the other a highly decorated Venezuelan cuatro player convene at the “home” of John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie?

The answer will reveal itself when Jorge Glem joins Edmar Castaneda’s quartet at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola on February 27-28.

Born in 1978 in the city of Bogota, Edmar took up the harp as a teenager to play the folkloric music of his homeland. Shortly after moving to New York in 1994 he discovered the freedom and sophistication of jazz. With no precedent for the harp in the jazz world, Edmar studied the trumpet by day and experimented with his newfound knowledge on the harp at a restaurant gig by night. It was mentor Paquito D’ Rivera who took the young harpist under his wing and introduced him to the jazz community.

To date, Edmar has released four highly acclaimed albums as a leader and more recently, a duo with the Japanese pianist Hiromi titled, Live in Montreal (Concord Music Group). Also, he has collaborated with guitarist John Scofield, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, bassists Marcus Miller and John Patitucci, Brazilian pop and jazz great Ivan Lins and shared the stage with countless others.

Jorge Glem is lesser known (in the U.S.) but no less formidable. The Latin Grammy award winner’s universal approach to the four-stringed instrument fuses jazz, salsa, bluegrass, rock, pop and beyond. Also, he has recorded three highly acclaimed musical productions of his own, toured the world and collaborated with Paquito D’ Rivera, Etienne Charles, Ruben Blades, Calle 13, Guaco and Carlos Vives among others.

Personally and professionally the two have a lot in common. Both were mentored and ushered into to the jazz community by Paquito D’ Rivera. On a larger scale, Colombia and Venezuela share many of the same rhythms, instruments, and folkloric traditions. So much so that according to Edmar, “the harp and the cuatro go together like brother and sister.”

The duo met in New York about three years, and the connection was instant. Also, both “speak” the language of jazz and their unique approach has taken their instruments out of the shadows and into the light.

At Dizzy’s, Edmar will be joined by the drummer David Silliman, the trombonist Marshall Gilkes, and vocalist Andrea Tierra. Repertoire-wise, audiences can expect music that spans the depth and breadth of Latin America and original compositions such as For Jaco, which explores Jaco Pastorious’s use of harmonics. Also, the gig is about “exploring the possibilities and sharing the vibe.” Says Edmar, “Jorge and I are passionate. Onstage, we give 100 percent. Expect a musical explosion!”

Edmar Castaneda Quartet featuring Jorge Glem
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
February 27-28/7:30 & 9:30 PM
Tickets: www.jazz.org

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject.


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