SUNDAY 14th January
BRISTOL SALSA ORCHESTRA
Bristol Salsa Orchestra is a fusion of Latin musicians from Bristol and other UK cities. WILLIAN VELASQUEZ, who is the producer and manager of this project, links his ideas and creations to different high-level artists to create a show where dancers enjoy to dance. This year's director is the Cuban Michel Padrón and great artists such as: Ricardo Fernandez, Jim Blomfield, Magnus Deatness and Yoan Sanchez.
He is with no doubt one of the most complete musicians of his generation. Trumpeter, Educator, Composer, Arranger and Music Producer.
Michel Padrón was born into an artistic family in Havana (Cuba) in 1976. At the tender age of 8, he began to learn how to play the piano. Two years later the trumpet became his main instrument. Thanks to the awards he collected as a young trumpet player, he qualified to enter the prestigious Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. He graduated in 1995; that combined with his high achievement at the Conservatory lead him to be selected to join the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba (finishing in 2004) Not only has Michel been well recognised throughout his career for his work as a trumpeter in the classical music scene, but also for his tours and presentations around the world collaborating with various artists from different nationalities playing a wide range of music genres.
He has worked with Billy Cobham, Cesarea Évora, Toto la Momposina, Jaques Morelenbaun, Seckou Keita, Chucho Valdés, Leo Brower, Claudio Abbado, Sir George Martin, Omara Portuondo, Nayaband, Gran Big Band del Cabaret Tropicana, Mariano Cívico, Alexis Lefevre, Germán López, Roots Harmonies, ASERE, AMJ Collective and many more.
He has performed at various Jazz and World Music festivals in over 20 countries in Europe, America, Asia and Africa. Michel has recorded with several artists from all the Continents on independent and recognized labels such as Putumayo, BMG & Warner.
His work as a composer has featured in films, TV shows, teleplays, documentaries, commercials, short films and theatres in Cuba, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany amongst others.
He has been living between Spain and the UK since 2010, where he is performing continuously. Currently he is working on several music projects and recently has released the first single of his first Solo album, where his unique trumpet sound will merge with different grooves & styles.
You can listen & buy the first track MOON STREET by clicking onto MUSIC section. Now he is going on a 3 months tour in USA leading the Cuban band ASERE - THE HAVANA ALL STARS. A 12 piece band that brings to Traditional Cuban music a contemporary edge. You can listen & buy the first track MOON STREET on MUSIC tab.
Since moving to Bristol in 1991 to establish a career as a performer and composer, Jim has become recognised as an exciting, versatile and engaging piano player.
Jim started classical piano lessons from a young age, although as time progressed and having always had an ability to improvise and compose his own tunes and a burgeoning interest in rock music, he found it difficult to adhere to the classical piano ethos. It was only around the age of 18, that Jim decided he wanted to study music more seriously and devoted a lot more time to formal studying of the classics, immersing himself in the music of composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Bartok.
The partnership of improvisation allied to classical technique came to fruition when Jim enrolled on a music degree at Dartington College of Arts and was offered the chance to study jazz piano. As well as jazz performance, Jim also studied, amongst many diverse subjects, composition, twentieth century classical music and the Balinese Gamelan.
Since moving to Bristol in 1991 to establish a career as a performer and composer, Jim has become recognised as an exciting, versatile and engaging piano player. He has often been the pianist of choice to accompany some of the UK’s biggest jazz names at numerous venues and festivals up and down the country as well as long standing engagements in the bands of two stalwarts of the Bristol scene, Andy Hague and Kevin Figes with whom he has extensively toured and recorded. More recently he has joined a band formed by up and coming bassist Greg Cordez, a contemporary quintet that assembles a unique combination of brilliant players including trumpeter Nick Malcolm and Get The Blessing’s Jake McMurchie on saxophone.
As a bandleader and composer past work has included ‘Latin Perspective’, a sextet reflecting Jim’s affinity with Latin jazz/Salsa music (a music that frequently imbues his playing and compositions) and Septimbre, a septet showcasing his intricate compositions and featured on his ASC records release ‘Peaks and Troughs‘ (together with original quartet pieces featuring special guest Andy Sheppard). Jim’s arranging skills and diverse influences were also in evidence with commissions for the contemporary/crossover “Elektrostatic” concerts at Bristol’s Colston Hall collaborating with the Emerald Ensemble and producing works that contained both classical and jazz elements. He also co-led and composed for acclaimed contemporary big band ‘Resonation’ alongside saxophonist Kevin Figes and bassist Jeff Spencer.
For some years Jim put his own creative projects on the back burner, fundraising and undertaking a home education program for his two severely autistic sons. A firm believer that ‘life stories’ enrich the narrative behind the creative process, the sound worlds within Jim’s playing and compositions have to some extent become infiltrated with the richness of the challenges thrown up by the beauty and chaos inherent in this perplexing condition. He hopes to write a book about his experiences in the near future.
More recently Blomfield has concentrated on the trio format, enlisting the versatile talents of Roshan ‘Tosh’ Wijetunge on bass and Mark Whitlam on drums. The aim of the trio was to take the intricacies and complexities inherent in the compositions of Blomfield’s larger scale ensembles and realise them in the more intimate setting of the trio whilst also maintaining a level of freedom and organic interplay facilitated by the smaller group format. Regular rehearsing refined the group’s sound and acclaimed live performances gradually saw them play and develop original material culminating in the release of the trio’s debut album ‘Wave Forms and Sea Changes’ which has already been met with considerable critical acclaim and was released nationally on Pig records on July 29th 2013.