Santa Ana is host to a new night of “D’Canarios” featuring Polo Ortí, Powafunk and Xerach Peñate

  • The concerts commence at 21.00 hours (free entrance)

The second night of concerts in the Santa Ana Square (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) will feature a complete session of Canarian artists who will stage their performances for the fans & followers of the Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz & Más Heineken, starting at 21:00 hours. The show D’Canarios features acts by the pianist from Tenerife, now settled in Valencia, Polo Ortí and his group; saxophonist from Gran Canaria, now resident in Barcelona Charlie Moreno, leading his band Powafunk; and the young drummer Xerach Peñate presenting her debut album, titled Tizziri.

Pianist & composer Polo Ortí studied at the Music Conservatories of the Canary Islands, Madrid & Valencia. He also graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and received private tuition by his idol, musician Lyle Mays (Pat Metheny Group). In addition to being a brilliant pianist, he was a teacher at the ‘Conservatorio de Música’ (Music Conservatory) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife for a period of seven years. Prior to that he taught at the ‘Escuela Creativa’ (Creative School) in Madrid and the ‘Taller de Musics’ (Music Workshop) in Barcelona, and has instructed & partaken in a number of courses, jazz seminars & master classes, both in Spain and abroad.

In the year 1990, Gary Burton included three musical compositions by Orti in his album Reunion, a disc which also featured musicians Pat Metheny, Mitchel Forman & Peter Erskine. These numbers attained top rating in the US Billboard Jazz chart. His solo discography starts off with Improvisaciones (1993), followed by Polo (1997), produced by actor Gabino Diego and then Polo Ortí Group Live (2009). In his CD & DVD Suite de la Amistad (2007), he masterfully combined jazz and classical music with the participation of Gary Burton, Jorge Pardo and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Joan Albert Amargós. In November 2009, he went on a tour with a show called Estrejazz, featuring a luxury quintet that included as guest star, vibraphonist Gary Burton, as well as international musicians, such as drummer Antonio Sánchez, Scott Colley on contrabass and guitarrist Julian Lage.

In 2011, he launched his latest album, titled Boiling Earth with his band Polo Ortí Group. That same year he recorded another album together with Japanese singer & pianist Satomi Morimoto, titled Fuga Dos, which led to staging various concerts in the Canaries and a tour in Japan. In recent years Polo has performed numerous concerts nationally & internationally, leading his own band or collaborating with other musicians. He has been living in Valencia for the past eight years, where he teaches piano in the Master of Contemporary Performance department at the Berklee College Of Music.

The highly trained musicians with their individual extensive experience, forming the Polo Orti Group, will present a repertoire of their own compositions, which undoubtedly will be interpreted with personal vision & great dedication, fruit of many years immersed in the world of music. The band’s members are Polo Ortí (keyboards), Israel Sandoval (electric guitar), Víctor Merlo (electric bass) & Juanjo Ortí (drums).

Five years after the release of Subway to Venus, a disc that won an award in Spain as the Best Bassist Album of 2011 at the Festival Todobajos Bassday, Charlie Moreno presents Powafunk. During this time, the bassist has acutely balanced his work, touring with some leading artists on the Spanish scene whilst creating & establishing his own recording studio, ‘Blackbird Studios’. It was here where he developed the idea to offer a conceptual tour, which has to date accounted for his discography.

A change of direction or flow, to enjoy the different beats & branches of funk, a style that Moreno carries in his blood. Overflowing with energy & positivity, where the voices of singers Alex Delgado and Alba Pérez feature prominently. This work is influenced by the music of classic funk, but with traits of modernity & trendiness with a boldness & nerve that the artist has now got us accustomed to. As added value, the disc has been mastered by Alex Psadourakis at the Sterling Sound Studios of New York.

Without doubt, Powafunk is the most ambitious project undertaken by Charlie Moreno to date, with a band of six exceptional musicians playing a repertoire consisting mainly of original numbers plus a review of some hits typical of the style where Moreno had wanted to add his personal touch.

Funk, disco, soul, rock & jazz all feature in this work led by Canarian bassist, composer & producer of the band, Charlie Moreno. Powafunk is reminiscencent of Stevie Wonder, Prince, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bootsy Collins, Parliament-Funkadelic and other great artists of this genre. Jeff Otto on drums, Roberto Albrecia (from Tenerife) on saxophone, Marc Quintillá on guitar and Leo Torres on trumpet are the other members of the band.

At an early age, Xerach Peñate Santana took professional courses studying classical percussion at the Music Conservatory of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and concurrently participated in a number of different musical groups & ensembles, the most notable being the ‘Joven Orquesta de Gran Canaria’ (Youth Orchestra), the ‘Orquesta Universitaria Maestro Valle de la ULPGC’ (University Orchestra) and the ‘Banda Municipal de Música de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Municipal Band).

When she was nineteen years old, she concentrated her training on modern music & jazz, with tuition by musicians like Enrique Fernández-Villamil & José Alberto Medina; and later continued her studies in Barcelona, at the ‘Escuela Superior de Música de Cataluña’ (Higher School of Music)(ESMUC) where she obtained her diploma in jazz drumming.

Currently, following a period of playing in different groups, she finds herself totally immersed in her own first disc, titled Tizziri, an original composition that flows between jazz, rock and hip-hop, but in which one can note & appreciate the composer’s roots, with hidden inclinations towards traditional Canarian songs.

Tizziri is an artistic show that combines music, poetry & electronics (using selective audio-visual means), featuring Xerach Peñate together with eight musicians. Tizziri searches for new sounds; the vocal & wind sections combine (clarinet, bass clarinet, contralto saxophone & flugelhorn) creating dialogues with a dynamic rhythmic base which demonstrates its traditional aspect as well as its highly intense electric sound. Various ‘textures’ intertwine keeping jazz as its musical base, yet delving into other styles, like rock, hip-hop & Latin music. Nuria Balaguer (vocal), Albert Abad (clarinet, contralto saxophone & chorus), Jairo Cabrera (bass clarinet, flugelhorn, vocal & chorus), Guillem Torà (electric guitar & chorus), Artashes Aslayan (piano & keyboards), Marta Bautista (contrabass, electric bass & chorus), Iñaki de la Linde (percussion & chorus) and Xerach Peñate (drums, percussion & chorus) form the musical line-up.

The work features poems by Leandro Santana, a rap number by Tanausú Santana, the visual aspect & design by photographer Daniel Gutiérrez and electronics by Belén Álvarez.

Parallel Activity

This same night, there will be another session of Jazzindance Sessions, an event that slots into the jazz panorama, focussing on the jazz-club aspect of things, where different DJs will offer their points of view & versions of this genre, oriented on dancing. In addition to this, there will also feature various soloists’ improvisations assembling unique one-off renditions of numbers, in response to the spontaneity of the jazzy rhythmic base provided by the DJs.

This fifth edition will be held in the music hall The Paper Club in LPGC, on 21 & 22 July, starting at midnight, with free entrance. Eight artists will present their respective performances over the two sessions. This year, it will start off with the participation of DJs Dr. FeelGood (GC) & ZOC (LP) and musicians Juan Antonio Marín (tenor sax, GC) & César Martel (trumpet, GC). The second session will feature DJs mr.Kangrejo (GC) & Full Fx (TF) and soloists Aridane Martín (vibraphone, GC) & Alba Gil (alto sax, GC).

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