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Elio Villafranca and The Jass Syncopators at The Painted Bride Arts Center on October 29th


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Elio Villafranca
Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators featuring Victor Lewis and special guest, members of Los Pleneros de la 21

Sat. October 29 | 8pm

$25 in advance, $30 day of show
20% off for patrons in our Ticket Discount Program.

About Elio Villafranca

Cuban-born Latin/modern jazz pianist-composer Elio Villafranca, internationally acclaimed for his genre-bending approach to modern Latin jazz, returns to the Bride to deliver a brand new project. Backed by his quintet and members of Los Pleneros de la 21, the fiery instrumentalist challenges the boundaries of jazz by fusing it with the syncopated nature of Afro-Caribbean music forms including 'Bomba' of Puerto Rico. Using an interpretive musical approach echoing Duke Ellington's Colored Syncopators, Villafranca continues to produce unique compositional works. Featuring a folkloric dancer and a diverse group of musicians, Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators strive to create a multi-layered musical/cultural dialogue enabling dancer and each musician to assert their unique artistic voice while maintaining the syncopation of the ensemble's collective conversation.

Personnel and instrumentation: Victor Lewis- drums, Bruce Harris—trumpet, Greg Tardy—tenor sax, Sean Conly —Bass, Elio Villafranca—piano / compositions. Los Pleneros de la 21: Loisa Gutierrez-Rivera—dancer, Juango Gutierrez—barril-buleador, Nelson Mateo Gonzalez—barril-primo. Elio Villafranca played the Bride in February 2011 as accompaniment to the Philly debut of Cuban-born drummer-leader Francisco Mela.

His last performance at the Bride back in February as accompaniment to the Philly debut of Cuban-born drummer-leader Francisco Mela, Villafranca raised the roof with his tantalizing Afro-Cuban infused improvisational solos. Audiences anticipating Villafranca's spiritually sublime passage through Cuba as leader need wait no longer. Fans of progressive jazz and world music will all want to grab a seat for this trip!

The fiery instrumentalist-composer is internationally acclaimed for his genre-bending approach to modern Latin jazz. He effortlessly combines the rhythmic vitality of his native Cuba with a straight ahead sensibility steeped in the bop tradition, and the result is a music that is stunning and fresh, but that resonates powerfully with the influence of his beloved forebears. Full of highly complex rhythms yet sophisticated and refined and emotionally expressive, his work has earned respect from Cuba's performing-recording piano forefathers including Chucho Valdes, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, as well as the great pioneers of other traditions including Paquito d'Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Dafnis Prieto. Villafranca often collaborates with Jass Syncopaters, a variable-lineup group that has included Philly's own Terrell Stafford (Temple University, Jazz Studies Dept.), legendary drummer Billy Hart, as well as Sean Jones, and Greg Tardy. The evening's personnel and instrument configuration will be announced soon!

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