January 30, 2009

Javier Zalba

Javier Zalba (bs,fl): [Afro-Cuban All Stars: A toda Cuba lo gusta]

"Javier Zalba Suarez (1955): Graduated from the Cuban National School of Arts (ENA) as a clarinetist in 1976 and in 1984 as a flautist from the Professional Studies School 'Ignacio Cervantes', Javier enjoys of an active performing career that reaches different styles of music, going from Classical, Jazz, and Latin Jazz to Cuban popular music. He began his professional career as a clarinet teacher at the ENA, 1978. In the same year, takes part of the “Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna” and in 1980 shares his musical activities with the group of the well-recognized pianist Felipe Dulzaides. In 1984, he becomes a member of the ensemble of the pianist and composer Jose Maria Vitier and later on is invited to take part in the “Irakere”, directed by “Chucho” Valdes. Enjoying of a successful career as a flute, clarinet and saxophone player, he joints Bobby Carcasses’s ensemble 'Afrojazz' in 1991 as well as the orchestra of the Tropicana Cabaret and the group 'Oru' directed by the guitarist Sergio Vitier. In 1997, he is a member of the group 'Cubanismo' directed by trumpet player Jesus Alemany and creates with pianist Roberto Fonseca his own Latin jazz ensemble called 'Temperamento'. Already in 2000, he joints the Buena Vista Social Club orchestra with the singer Ibrahim Ferrer, performing in the most prestigious venues around the world. He takes much inspiration from solo and chamber music as well. He has been invited several times as a member and soloist by the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and many others chamber ensembles. He has participated in diverse international tours including the most important Jazz Festivals around the world. He also enjoys teaching and giving master classes in Jazz and Cuban popular music. He is professor of saxophone at the Amadeo Roldan Conservatoire. As a result, he has been invited to carry out several Cuban Music workshops in Barranquilla, Colombia (2000); Copenhagen Rhythmic Conservatoire, Denmark (2003); Liceo de Barcelona (El Aula), Spain 2004; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, England (2004 & 2006) and Montreaux as part of the Jazz Festival, Switzerland (2005). His books, 'Technique for the Saxophone' is being published by 'Abdala', in Havana Cuba and 'Sax Soneando' The saxophone in the Cuban popular music and 'Flute Soneando' The flute in the Cuban popular music (is coming soon) as well by 'Advance Music' from Germany."

January's over now - and it seems, this month and the letter Z were a good combination for saxophonists: John Zorn, Miguel Zenón, Annelis Zamula, Wigbert Zelfel and Javier Zalba. How long would we have to wait for the next sax players? Not even I can tell, when Lester Young, York and Jason Yarde will appear here. We'll wait and see.

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