Thursday, April 7th
212 East 52nd Street
New York, NY 10022-6201
Subway: Lexington Av/53 St
Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger, Manuel Valera is in the forefront of contemporary modern jazz. He represents the next generation of great performers and composers. His sound is fresh, inviting and evocative, and his goal is to forge innovative sounds that bring a vitality and newness to the idioms of jazz and Latin jazz. He is constantly workshopping musical ideas to develop new composition and arranging techniques that bring together Cuban, Puerto Rican, Brazilian and various jazz styles and forms.
His musical training started at an early age at Havana's Manuel Saumell Conservatory where he originally studied classical saxophone. It wasn't until emigrating to the United States in December 1994 when Valera switched to the piano. He began composing in 2000 while enrolled in the jazz program at the New School in New York where he studied, among others, with Reggie Workman, George Garzone, Jane Ira Bloom, Gerard D'Angelo and Richie Bierach.
In late October 2003, just two days after his 23rd birthday, Valera recorded his debut and critically acclaimed CD, Forma Nuevaa modern jazz CD of contemporary originals featuring bassist John Patitucci, drummers Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Bill Stewart and Seamus Blake on saxophones. Forma Nueva received nationwide radio airplay and garnered strong reviews in the jazz and music press Billboard, Jazztimes, Jazziz, All Music Guide and Latin Beat among others. The following year, he recorded a second project entitled Historia for Fresh Sounds New Talent featuring Ben Street (bass) and Antonio Sanchez (drums) as well as Seamus Blake (saxophone) on two tracks.
His latest recording Melancolia, released in March 2006 featuring Antonio Sanchez (drums), Ben Street (bass), Seamus Blake (saxophone), Luisito Quintero (percussion) and a string quartet, is a special project that fuses classical concepts with world and Latin rhythms in the jazz idiom.
Tom Tallitsch is a New York-based tenor and soprano saxophonist with two of his three albums on Origin/OA2 Records. He plays regularly in New York and Philadelphia, and tours throughout the east coast and U.S, and hosts a weekly Jazz Radio Show out of Trenton, NJ. Tallitsch has had feature articles in All About Jazz, Downbeat Magazine, JazzTimes, JazzReview.com, The Village Voice, and other regional and national print media. In 2010 his album Perspective rose to #27 on The Jazzweek US radio charts. Some of the musicians that he has performed with in New York and Philadelphia are Jared Gold, David Ashkenazy, Mark Ferber, Manuel Valera, Mark Mollica, John Swana, Tony Miceli, Jarrett Cherner, Duane Eubanks, Peter Brendler, Matt Jorgensen, Thomas Marriott, Joe Martin, Daisuke Abe, Ziv Ravitz, etc.