Home Reviews NEA Latino Master Papo Vazquez and Picaro Records present J.S. Bach, Goldberg...

NEA Latino Master Papo Vazquez and Picaro Records present J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations: 12 Variations for Jazz Quartet



The latest recording from trombonist, composer Papo Vazquez, his ninth as a bandleader, is a startling departure from his previous critically acclaimed efforts.

After two years of conversations with Curator Alvan Colon-Lespier of the Bronx-based arts organization Teatro Pregones, who commissioned the project, the NEA Latino Master undertook the challenge of arranging Bach’s seminal work for a jazz quartet.

In the past, Vazquez’s musical compositions have orbited around the hybrid concepts of Bomba Jazz, Plena Jazz, Jibaro Jazz, Afro-Caribbean and Latin Jazz. On this surprising outing, he proves himself to be a most versatile artist, exhibiting a masterful command of both mainstream jazz and European classical idioms.

Of the 32 Goldberg Variations, Vazquez and pianist Rick Germanson each selected a half dozen that they felt were best suited to be orchestrated for this groundbreaking venture.

Along with Germanson, the much sought-after jazz pianist and longstanding member of Vazquez’s Mighty Pirates Troubadours septet, the quartet features their fellow Mighty Pirates Troubadours members, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummers Jerome Jennings and Alvester Garnett, who share the group’s percussion duties.

The resulting music is an impressive entry into the jazz discography, with Vazquez’s bold golden toned trombone featured in a variety of contexts, ranging from swinging straight ahead jazz and fiery Latin-tinged pieces to beautiful ballads and easy grooving waltzes.

Papo Vazquez is an NEA Latino Master and Grammy-nominated recording artist. He was most recently awarded the Clef Club Jazz Award for Best Trombone of 2015 in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Vazquez’s long list of credits includes performances and, or recordings with Ray Barretto, Ruben Blades, Ray Charles, Willie Colon, Celia Cruz, The Fania AllStars, Dizzy Gillespie and United Nations Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Orchestra, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Hector Lavoe, Chico O’Farrill, Tito Puente, Wayne Shorter, Dave Valentin and many

Papo Vazquez music is available on iTunes, CD Baby, Spotify and Amazon.com.
Artist Website: http://www.papovazquez.com

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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