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Jeff Ballard Trio

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Jeff Ballard : drums

Miguel Zenon : saxophone

Lionel Loueke : guitar

Each one of the musicians come from a completely different place geographically and culturally speaking : Lionel is from Benin, Miguel from Puerto Rico and Jeff from North America. The band and its music come together in the love, respect, and open mindedness they have for all kinds of music from all over the globe and from all epochs. There are no borders which dictate their sound except their own desires and taste. Each musician brings his own cultural roots to the music they play whether it be a song from the American song book or an Iranian folk melody.

What they play is defined and flavored with the distinction imparted by each of their countries’ heritage, but what is played is contemporary and relevant because the music is within the currents of these times we now live in. The repertoire is extremely varied : Thelonius Monk, Iranian folk melodies. Music from Silvio Rodriguez, Bartok, Duke Ellington. They play bird songs transcribed and improvised on. Music from their contemporaries such as Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Guillermo Klein. They cover songs from pop artists like the Queens Of The Stone Age and Stevie Wonder as well as playing their own many compositions. The music is full of complex rhythms, unusual harmonies, and soulful melodies. It is rhythmically very precise because each musician is a drummer in a sense. This element combined with the fact that each of them enjoys the risks in playing openly and freely, in deliberately pushing and breaking down any limits that harmony and rhythm might present, brings a result musically filled with dynamic tensions, suspense, and reward. There is a wonderful unknown waiting to become realized and found out in their improvisation.

Their music reaches high achievements and provides excitement to everyone involved : listener and player alike. Band, Bobby Hutcherson, Steve Coleman and The SFJAZZ Collective.

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