Emerging Artist Series: Carlos Averhoff, Jr. Quartet

The Vermont Jazz Center will present Cuban Saxophonist Carlos Averhoff, Jr. and his quartet iRESI on Friday, October 2nd at 8:00 PM. This is a rare opportunity for the VJC's audience to hear a masterful and authentic conflation of North American jazz with Cuban clave. Averhoff's concept superimposes cutting edge post bop jazz language over the complex polyrhythms of his tierra nativa. The group, which he performs and records with, includes Aruan Ortiz on piano, Francisco Mela on drums and John Lockwood on bass. Each of these musicians brings a vast knowledge of both jazz and Latin idioms - they can improvise with relaxed nuance over sophisticated rhythms.

Cuban music often uses a repetitive two-measure phrase called "clave" which is inseparably woven into the fabric of the groove. This is closely related to the way in which the repeated pattern of the drummer's ride cymbal is a defining characteristic in swing and bebop music. Carlos, Aruan and Mela, who grew up in Cuba, have an internalized comprehension of the clave pattern. Like speaking in one's native tongue, no thought is needed for them to imbue their music with clave - it is inserted instinctively into the natural cadence of the music and is reflected in many of Carlos' compositions. The compositions often begin with an overt melody whose shape fits seamlessly over a clave rhythm played by the rhythm section. Listening closely, you can hear the slow but intentional rhythmical de-construction which stylistically occurs during the improvisational portion of his music. The clave rhythm dissolves while continuing to serve as an invisible thread that unifies the composition. The clave is embedded into the music and is felt and heard internally by the musicians; it serves as a reference without being explicit. In fact, at this point in its historical development, the evolution of clave-based music is more about the subtlety of dancing off of the clave then explicitly stating it.

EPK about recording his recent album

Guest with Paquito D'Rivera

Guest with Afro-Cuban All-starts at the Blue Note

Performance at New England Conservatory:

Performance at Cambridge Jazz Fest:

Carlos Averhoff Jr. is a Latin Grammy nominated Cuban tenor saxophonist recognized by All About Jazz as "a dynamic fresh new voice on the saxophone." Born in Havana, Cuba, he is the son of legendary saxophonist and member of Chucho Valdes's Irakere, Carlos Averhoff. Classically trained in Cuba's top music schools, he continued his education in the United States earning Suma cum Laude Honors at Berklee College of Music and a Master's Degree with Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music. Carlos received numerous scholarly awards including The Charlie Parker Scholarship Award, the Woodwind Faculty Achievement Award, the North American Scholarship, and several NEC Merit Awards. His mentors include Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Ed Tomassi, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano, Jason Moran, Cecil McBee, John McNeil and Donny McCaslin. 

In 2014, Carlos recorded and released his debut album iRESI which received four stars from All About Jazz and called it "a remarkable recording...striking...bewitching." Latin Jazz Network called his debut "masterful and driven by genius." The album was released through Greg Osby's boutique record label Inner Circle Music and Osby appears as guest artist. Chip Boaz in Latin Jazz Corner states: "The significant impact of Averhoff's musical background and the artistic decisions that drive his current performances are clearly audible in the richly conceived and passionately executed iRESI. As a composer, Averhoff creates unique contexts that show connections to Cuban culture and contemporary jazz without being overly obvious. His performance resonates with equal parts fire and smart intellect showing a player that has done his homework, one who is ready to explore new musical territories. Working in front of a band that includes respected artists like drummer Francisco Mela, pianist Aruan Ortiz, guest saxophonist Greg Osby, and bassist John Lockwood it's obvious that Averhoff strives for challenge and inspiration. In so many ways, iRESI is an impressive debut that previews a promising future."

Carlos' band is top tier: Pianist Aruán Ortiz has received a number of awards such as the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, Artist-in-Residence at Pocantico Center, Latin Jazz Corner's Arranger of the Year, Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition (semi-finalist), Montreux, Switzerland (2001); and Best Jazz Interpretation, Festival de Jazz in Vic, Spain (2000).  Since arriving in New York in 2008 to play with the Wallace Roney Quintet, Aruán has made five critically acclaimed recordings. His latest, Banned in London was selected one of the best albums of the year by Downbeat. Ortiz has played, toured or recorded with Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid, Henry Grimes, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Don Byron, Lenny White, Greg Osby and, among others, Wallace Roney.

Bassist John Lockwood has appeared on dozens of recordings and is best known for his thirty years of participation in the collaborative trio "The Fringe" with George Garzone and Bob Gullotti. He can be heard on recordings with Greg Abate, Mel Lewis, Nick Brignola, Mike Metheny, Bill Pierce, George Schuller, Dominique Eade, Maggi Scott, Joe Maneri, Hal Croook, Carol Sloane, Tim Ray, Luciana Souza, Laszlo Gardony, Bob Moses, George Garzone, John Medeski, Leo Genovese and many others. He has toured the U.S. and Europe with Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Gary Burton, the Mel Lewis Big Band, and The Fringe. He has also performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, MIT Symphony, Pat Metheny, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw, Toots Thielemans, Stan Getz, and Art Farmer.

Born in Bayamo, Cuba Francisco Mela enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he quickly moved from student to teacher. In 2001, he toured as a member of Jane Bunnett's Spirit of Havana ensemble and later joined saxophonist Joe Lovano's group along with bassist Esperanza Spalding. Mela has also worked with such legendary artists as pianists Kenny Barron and McCoy Tyner. In 2006, Mela released his debut solo album, Melao, which featured Lovano along with guitarist Lionel Loueke, saxophonists Anat Cohen and George Garzone, and others. He returned in 2008 with the live album Cirio: Live at the Blue Note with saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Jason Moran. His latest project is an octet called Cuban Safari inspired by such longtime influences Miles Davis, Weather Report, and Irakere. Francisco Mela was the VJC's drum instructor during the summer of 2015 and has appeared in Vermont with Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio.

In the liner notes to his recording about the meaning behind the band's name and concept, Averhoff states: "The Yoruba of Western Nigeria, Africa brought to Cuba their language, religious traditions, music, dance and divination system, all of which prevails in Cuban daily life. iResi means the light of your soul, lucky star on your shoulder, the innate energy within. May this music bring us all iResi." The Vermont Jazz Center looks forward to hosting this forward-thinking quartet. Purchase tickets now for this energetic and mind-spinning show.

Carlos Averhoff's iRESI Quartet will perform at the Vermont Jazz Center in Brattleboro, Vermont on Friday, October 2nd. This concert is made possible due to the generous financial support of Roger Wilken of Clear Solutions. The VJC is grateful for ongoing support from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  Hospitality for our artists is provided by the Hampton Inn of Brattleboro. VJC publicity is underwritten by the Brattleboro Reformer, WVPR, WVEW and WFCR.

Tickets for Carlos Averhoff and iRESI at the VJC, October 2nd are $20+ general admission, $15 for students with I.D. (contact VJC about educational discounts); available at In the Moment in Brattleboro, or online at www.vtjazz.org. Tickets can also be reserved by calling the Vermont Jazz Center ticket line, 802-254-9088, ext. 1.

Friday, October 2nd
8:00 PM
Vermont Jazz Center
Sliding Scale ticket fee: $20.00 - $40.00
Buy tickets on-line (secure server)

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Other ticket payment/reservation options:
In the Moment, 143 Main St, Brattleboro, VT
Call the Jazz Center at 802-254-9088 to reserve tickets.

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