During the 1st week of March, Ken Watters' new Haitian jazz octet RIYEL will give several performances at various venues throughout Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
RIYEL (meaning backstreet" or alleyway" in Haitian Kreyol) is made up of several of the country's foremost musicians, including Yves Abel (bass), Ralph Conde (guitar), Robenson Jean-Baptiste (drums) & several others. Sharing the front line alongside trumpeter Ken Watters is trombonist & trilingual vocalist Andre Atkins. Atkins' performance/recording credits include Aretha Franklin, Tabou Combo, Soulive, Spoon, David Murray & most of the Marsalis family, to name just a few.
Ken Watters is a Summit recording artist, SESAC-affiliated jazz composer & Conn-Selmer (Bach) trumpet artist. RIYEL is his newest musical venture & is a musical collaboration with bassist Yves Abel & trombonist Andre Atkins. Their debut CD will be released internationally on Summit Records late this spring. The band is 75% Haitian & 25% American, resulting in a heavily roots / voodoo" oriented group sound, while remaining well-grounded in the jazz tradition at the same time...