Buyu Ambroise and the Blues in Red Band at 2013 Jazzmobile Summerfest

buyuhCAYJ11D6Buyu Ambroise and the Blues in Red Band will perform at the 2013 Jazzmobile Summerfest tomorrow evening, July 5, from 7:00-8:30pm, at the Marcus Garvey Park’s Richard Rodgers Amphitheater. The amphitheater is located at West 122nd Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. This is a free concert.

The band will feature Val Jeanty on electronic table percussion, Willie Martinez on drums, Lou Rainone on piano, Bobby Raymond on contrabass, Waldron M. Ricks on trumpet, and Buyu Ambroise on saxophone.

Buyu Ambroise was born in Haiti. After a brief stay in the Republic of Congo as a child, Buyu has been residing in the United States for over 35 years. Buyu was drawn to the saxophone at a young age, experimenting with the instrument as a high school student in Brooklyn, New York during the 1970s, a fertile period for both Haitian music and American Jazz. His passion for Jazz music led him to study with Jazz legends such as Frank Foster, Jimmy Owens, and John Lewis.

Buyu then performed in New York City with various small groups for more than 20 years, playing usually Haitian Konpa music or Jazz. Buyu has worked with many notable Haitian groups in the New York metropolitan area. He recorded with Ayizan, a landmark avant-garde Rara ensemble. He also led the band Freefall which included world renowned Latin percussionist Bobby Sanabria (currently leader of the group Asuncion and the former drummer in Mario Bauza’s big band). Freefall also featured the talents of eclectic jazz percussionist Mino Cinelu (formerly with Miles Davis, Sting, and Weather Report). Buyu has also worked in the Project Liberty Jazz Ensemble with drummer Ben Dixon.

Despite a long absence from his homeland, Buyu’s roots in Haitian culture remain strong. In his debut & sophomore albums Blues in Red (released in June 2004) & Marasa (released in December 2006), Buyu draws from the folkloric repertoire of Haitian music. Buyu could not resist the calling of infusing the similar African roots of both Haitian music and American Jazz into these story-telling melodies. Buyu has created a fruitful combination of traditional Afro-Haitian beats with the smooth improvisational grooves of enticing bass lines, melodic brass solos & piano explorations in styles that take after those of American Jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter.

Coming from a Jazz perspective, Buyu has revealed a natural relationship between the complex polyrhythmic structures in both the North American form and the Afro-Caribbean sound of traditional Haitian music. This fusion is the birth of a new musical style that encompasses the two and sustains the mix effortlessly. Although this subgenre of World Jazz is considered cutting edge, Buyu’s recordings and live performances are executed with a spirit and level of mastery that invoke a gentle blend of harmonies that have matured on Haitian and American stages for generations.

Specifically Marasa, filled with unexpected twists in compositions such as “Plezi Mize” (Pleasure in Misery) and “Wangol” attracts listeners and relentlessly captivates their attention. Buyu’s melodies are inspired from the rich repertoire of Afro-Haitian music sustained with modern jazz harmonies.

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