W.E.S. Group Echoes of ancestral and native sounds can be heard in this
collective of talented musicians, whose folk jazz and acoustic approach create
a distinctive sound of peace and beauty. Exceptional musicians in their own
right, the collaboration of these seasoned musicians exhibits the passion and
spirit of a "great camp meeting in the promised land" of jazz.
W. E. S. (William E. Smith, Ph.D.) - Through studying,
composing, teaching and living music, saxophonist/composer W.E.S. has sought to
enrich the lives of others through sound. His family roots go deep into the
history of jazz and the African-American experience. W.E.S.'s grandfather and
great-uncle, owned a music publishing company in the 1920s and published music
that was performed by the great King Oliver as well as Noble Sissle. Many
musicians used to come by the family home on the south side of Chicago
including Art Tatum. W.E.S.'s cousin Warren Smith Jr. played percussion with
the Miles Davis, Gil Evans orchestra and many other notable performers. In the
spirit of this legacy, W.E.S. himself has performed nationally and
internationally with his group and with jazz greats such as James Moody, Donald
Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Wynton Marsalis, and Jon Hendricks.
After leading a quartet under his own name (The Will Smith
Quartet) for several years, W.E.S. decided to form a group with a different
focus. He wanted the group to transcend the traditional classification of jazz
from strictly art music, to music that has a world sensibility and is not only
enjoyed but inspires the best in people. W.E.S. is currently an Assistant
Professor of music and the Jazz Ensemble director at American University. He
also gives lectures on jazz, hip hop and spirituality at the University of
Maryland, University of Delaware, and Howard University.
I had been wanting to meet Mongo Santamaria personally for years
and one night in 1993, I had the oportunity to see him play at a Jazz festival
in Vitoria, Spain. On top of that, he was Tito Puente's guest of honour. I had
my friend Mario Covela with me that day. After the concert finished we decided,
like proper fans with camera in hand, to go and find Mongo. I was speechless
when I saw him. He was quietly sitting behind the stage with a sympathetic
smile on his face. I introduced myself to him and told him that I was so
greatful for all he had taught me through his records. With the same smile he
responded: "Gracias,muchacho! " ("Thanks,my friend!") That's when Mario said
"Whiskeeeeeey!" and took the picture you see here.
It is a great honour for me to pay tribute
to Mongo Santamaria, master of the 'tambor' whom I have admired since I was a
little boy. Through his recordings he taught me love for music and percussion.
It is because of his work that the conga drum has such an essential place in
the music of today. I must admit to you that it hasn't been an easy task
recording this much deserved tribute to Mongo Santamaria. Performing his music
with the necesary understanding and respect is what matters most to me. So you
are now holding in your hands this CD entitled "Mongomania" with which we want
to pay homage to a man who has left us a musical legacy for all eternity. Mongo
deserves to always be remembered. Thank you Mongo, wherever you are.
Affectionately yours, your admiror Gerardo Rosales
Jansen Quartet : The Ivan Jansen Quartet is a contemporary jazz
quartet under the experienced leadership of the renown jazz/classical guitarist
Ivan Jansen. The quartet consists of seasoned jazz musicians: on trumpet Frank
Granadillo; on bass Franky Janga; on drums Richard Holmond; on guitars, Ivan
Jansen. The Quartet has been performing together for the past three years at
the Divi Links Club House and in various jazz concerts.
All the members of the quartet have vast experience in
jazz performance. Ivan Jansen is a graduate of Berklee College of Music
and has four CD's to his name. He is a versatile multi-faceted guitar player,
mastering a wide spectrum of guitar styles using the jazz guitar, rock guitar,
acoustic guitar and guitar synthesizer. Ivan's broad classical guitar
background has enriched his musical concept and expression.
After producing two magnificent classical solo guitar
CD's (Con Alma I and Con Alma II), he produced "Versatility" a
Caribbean jazz repertoire consisting of original compositions. Ivan's fourth CD
("Jazz at the Divi"), just in time for the Bonaire Jazz Festival 2007,
is an acoustic jazz production consisting of timeless jazz standards, boleros,
brazilian music, even pop jazz, all arranged tastefully by him and performed in
an original and refreshing style by the Ivan Jansen Jazz Quartet.
Ivan has performed in international jazz festivals in
Aruba, Curacao, Venezuela and as opening act for world renown groups such as
Spyro Gyra, Tania Maria, Dave Sanborn, Carlos Santana. He has performed in
Aruba with world famous jazz trumpetist Randy Brecker and has played with
international jazz musicians such as Randal Corsen (piano), Reno Steba (bass),
Lucas van Meerwijk (drums), Casper Blom (sax), Marten Verdonk (percussion),
Maria Rivas (jazz singer), Victor Mestas (piano), Giovani Ramirez (bass).
As a classical musician, Ivan has performed various
solo guitar concerts in Aruba, Curacao, Holland, and as a soloist with the
Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, and the Symphony of the Americas Orchestra. Visit
his website www.ivanjansen.com.
Franklin Granadillo, the quartet's trumpetist,
also a Berklee graduate, has performed in international jazz festivals in
Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. He played alongside Luis Perico Ortiz trading
challenging solos on stage. He is an excellent improviser with a wonderful tone
quality and one of the top arrangers in any style.
Franky Janga attended the Musicians Institute
in California and has sat in with Scott Henderson and Joe Diorio. He played
with different international jazz musicians in the Caribbean and toured in
Europe. He performed in international jazz festivals in Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire
and St. Lucia. He conducts workshops in the Caribbean.
Richard Holmond attended a drum clinic at the
collective Drum school in Manhattan. He took private lessons in Havana with
Enrique Pla, band member of IRAKERE, studying afro Cuban rhythms. He also
participated in a drum clinic in Vancouver, Canada, with Greg Bissonnette. He
has performed in international jazz festivals in Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire,
Medellin, with different jazz groups.
Jean-Jacques Rojer was
born in Groningen, Holland in 1976 and grew up in Curacao, off the coast of
Venezuela. Jean-Jacques began playing guitar at age 9, and has been playing
jazz and latin music since his mid-teens. After receiving his bachelor's degree
in electronics, he moved to Holland to study at the prestigious Royal
Conservatory in The Hague, graduating cum laude in 2003. He is currently living
in Curacao, writing original music and performing with his own jazz trio.
Michael Kanan, Izaline Calister, Fra Fra sound Gerardo Rosales and Pernell
Saturnino are among the musicians he has worked with.
From a very early age he developed an interest in music
and started taking lessons with various guitar teachers. In his late teens,
after having played mostly rock music, he started studying jazz and Caribbean
music which are still the main musical genres he explores today. After
finishing his electrical engineering studies at the University of the
Netherlands Antilles he attended the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, Holland,
where he concluded his studies in 2003 with a 9, the highest mark given for
Besides the guitar he has also studied classical piano with
his father and Cuban tres guitar with Israel Gonzalez, former member of Septeto
Nacional Ignacio Pineiro. In Holland he studied jazz with a.o. Eef Albers and
He has had the privilege of working with a.o. Phillip
Harper, Maruja, Izaline Callister, Michael Kanan, the Simon brothers, Roy
Louis, Juchi Cordoba, Pernell Saturnino Gerardo Rosales and most local singers
and popular bands. He has performed mostly on Curacao and Holland and a week
tour in Guatemala with "Fra Fra Sound", a jazz group from Amsterdam
He currently resides in Curacao where he teaches at the
local music academy and composes and performs with his own jazz trio.
In March 2007 Jean-Jacques performed in Carnegie Hall as
part of Paquito d'Rivera' young artists concert
Performing for more than 20 years, Paoli
Mejías has already distinguished himself as a young master percussionist
and is ranked among the best in both salsa and Latin jazz. Paoli is now at the
vanguard of Latin jazz as leader of his own Quintet, with two CDs as band
leader: Transcend (2006) and Mi Tambor (2004) which
received a Grammy Award nomination in 2005 for Best Latin Jazz Album. The
excellent reviews of Paolis second release Transcend confirm
Paolis innovative vision, global style and unique sound is capturing the
attention of a diverse and growing fan base.
Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto
Rico on March 7, 1970, Paoli is a self-taught musician whose musicial education
started by listening to LPs of "Patato" Valdés, Batacumbele and Irakere.
The music of these masters inspired Paoli to purchase his first conga at the
age of twelve, and from there he began imitating the rhythms he had been
studying, playing along with the records. As an early teen he began
participating in jam sessions in the streets and beaches of San Juan, and
eventually performing along side many of his mentors. The talented José
Ramírez, one of the best Batá players in Puerto Rico, is among
Paoli's teachers with whom he studied Afro-Cuban percussion. Over time Paoli
has developed a unique style combining technique, melodic rhythmic patterns and
his physical strength.
As Sideman Paoli's professional career
began in his teens, playing with Rafu Warner followed by freelancing with
José Nogueras, Glenn Monroig and Charlie Sepúlveda. Paoli's
resumé includes top jazz and salsa artists: Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente,
Seis del Solar, Dave Samuels, Dave Valentín, David Sánchez,
Danilo Pérez, Chick Corea, Kip Hanrahan, Paquito D'Rivera, Hilton Ruiz,
Marc Anthony, Luis Enrique, La India and many others. Paoli's discography
includes more than 20 commercial recordings, among them Grammy nominated
"Acuarela de Tambores" by Alex Acuña, and Grammy Award winner
"Masterpiece" by Eddie Palmieri and Tito Puente. Paoli gained international
recognition touring around the world as percussionist for the legendary Eddie
Palmieri for more than a decade performing in the largest jazz festivals.
As Band Leader In 2004 Paoli launched his solo
career with phenomenal success; his self-produced CD "Mi Tambor" was nominated
for a Latin Grammy Award for BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM in 2005.
From the very start saxophonist Yuri Honing
entered the jazz scene in the early nineties, he found new ways to move people
with his slightly melancholic sound and crystal clear constructions he uses for
his improvisations. He started playing a/o with his famous Yuri Honing Trio -
which celebrates its 15 th anniversary in 2005 - but also with highly acclaimed
Dutch artists such as pianist Michiel Borstlap, trumpet player Eric Vloeimans
and saxophonist Benjamin Herman.
The year 1996 is a turning point in
Honing's career when he and his trio recorded 'Star Tracks', consisting of jazz
arrangements of pop songs. This release caused a momentum: national and
international press praised him not only for his capabilities as a saxophone
player, but he was also considered one of the new leading voices in jazz. And
Honing's interests went beyond jazz and pop, while improvising freely with
legendary pianist Misha Mengelberg (their duo CD 'Playing' was nominated for an
Edison Jazz Award, the Dutch version of the Grammy) or even exploring new
grounds with virtuoso musicians from the Middle East. With this last
experiment, Honing made the music of the Arab world accessible and recorded it.
The CD 'Orient Express' received favourable
reviews, reached unconventional sales figures and also was nominated for an
Edison. American pianist Paul Bley was so impressed by what he heard, that he
suggested Honing to do a quartet recording with bass player Gary Peacock and
drummer Paul Motian. 'Seven' was released in 2001 at the North Sea Jazz
Festival in The Hague, where Honing performed with Paul Bley and bassist
Charlie Haden. Later that year the album was awarded with the Edison. In the
same year, Honing recorded 'Memory Lane', a ballad album that shows Honing's
lyrical side. For this project he invited some of the finest musicians from the
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to create a large ensemble with strings, wood and
rhythm. In 2003 world famous guitarist Pat Metheny, Artist in Residence at the
North Sea Jazz Festival, chose Honing to play with him and bassist Scott
Colley, playing originals by Honing and Metheny. In 2005 Yuri Honing and
guitarist Vince Mendoza joined hands for an exciting new project with the
Metropole Orchestra. The CD release thereof is planned for Spring 2006. Next to
that Honing focuses all his attention on his new electric quartet, called Yuri
Honing Wired Paradise, consisting of his trio and featuring the famous German
avant-garde guitarist Frank Möbus.
While touring in more than 40 countries around
the world and making numerous records, Honing built a unique personal style
which is based on jazz, pop music and non-western musical traditions. "Jazz is
not a style but a language", is how Yuri Honing once described his music.
Oswin Chin Behilia belongs to that select
group of singer/songwriters whose music combines memorable tunes with lyrics
that reflect social and personal concerns. Mention his name to a fellow native
of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles and his face lights up with fond
recognition. Both young and old consider his song Plegaria, for instance, as
the folk alternative to the national anthem, while Sun is universally regarded
as one of the classic love songs in Papiamentu, the creole language spoken on
the islands of Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire located off the coast of Venezuela.
Born on 15 December 1938, this man of many
talents has led an eventful life both in and out of the world of music and was
he knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands for contributions in several fields
to his native island as musician, broadcaster, politician, impresario and
mentor to young talent.
Oswin Chin Behilia's first band Los Tiarucos
was founded in 1963. It included Yeyo Calderon who can be heard here on backing
vocals and percussion. Los Tiarucos performed in the sixties and seventies at
hotel and festival engagements at home and in St. Martin, Miami, New York, the
Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Brazil, the musical influences of which can
be discerned in his compositions.
Oswin Chin Behilia's songs have been
covered by a host of his native island's finest musicians, some of whom include
the group Serenada, Konhunto San Jose now known as Arnell i su orkest as well
as the rising young star Izaline Calister who has interpreted Sun? Bai and
Plegaria in jazz settings with her compatriot, the pianist Randall Corsen.
The songs selected here were taken from three
studio albums which Oswin Chin Behilia released independently on his native
island, Troubadours of the World Singing Chin's Compositions, 1997,
Afrikatumba, 1999 and Bunita/Mahos, 2000. Guesting on three tracks on lead
acoustic guitar is Julian B. Coco, a musical giant of Curacao in his own right.
Born in 1924 this composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist, has
performed regularly on European radio and television.
The Freewinds Band
The Freewinds Band is a very special band. The experienced
houseband of the ms "Freewinds" which visits every week the harbour of Bonaire
is a historical jazz home for local musicians and top quality guests like Chick
Corea and John Novello. The international guests they will present at our
Festival are still a surprise but by experience we know it will be worthwhile
listening Patrick Zagury, guitar and leader of the band will surprise us, we
It has become a good tradition to have a students band
on our Festival. Coordinated by two professionals, Robbie Swinkels and Boy
Janga, students of the local highschool SGB an the local Music School will show
their early interpretations of jazz mixed with their musical influences from
the island Bonaire.The band will be enforced by two professional brassmen:
Franklin Granadillo on trumpet and Scott Katzev on saxophone.
The Happy Band
This band is already 10 years one of the most exciting bands on
the island. Leader Elmar Nicholas will present his band with Scott Katzev from
the USA and play local music with strong Latin Jazz influences. A swinging
affair of Krioyo music mixed with jazzy elements
The Stingrays, originally a local hard metal rock band will show
his alter ego on our Festival: rhytm and blues! Together with guest tenorsax
player Scott Katzev. The Stingrays: Douwe, Dick, Steve and Orlando will let
know you what this almost forgotten corner of jazz means today.
Our special musical guests
Scott Katzev from the USA on tenorsaxophone
Boy Janga from
Franklin Granadillo from Aruba on trumpet
Anthony from Bonaire, vocals
Sound en Light: Loud and Clear
Tickets for sale at Plaza Resort,
Kontiki, City Café, Bongos Beach, TCB , Bonaire Boekhandel and at the
gates of the main concer.