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Derek Smith Unites Steel Pan and Vibraphone in an Album That Captures the Musical Expression of Latin Jazz Masters

Published: 2009-08-19
Derek Smith In his second album, Derek Smith pays tribute to legendary musicians who developed the infectious rhythms and sounds that have come to define Latin jazz.

The spirit of this genre is innovation, and Smith exemplifies that spirit in Latin Expression by uniting the melodic brightness of the steel drum with the soulful resonance of the vibraphone. Smith uses the unique instrumentation to capture the musical expression of Latin jazz masters, such as Rafael Hernandez, Mario Bauza, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Mongo Santamaria.

In Latin Expression, Smith also debuts an original song called “Mi Cancion." The song's hypnotic sound elegantly marries Dave Brubeck-like melodies and rhythmic nuances influenced by Brazilian classics, such as “Mas Que Nada."

The album achieves additional heights through the contributions of some of the Bay Area's most talented musicians, including pianist Jason Moen, percussionist Colin Douglas, drummer Mike Shannon, cello pannist Mark Rosenthal, and bassist Aaron Germain.


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