Monday, November 14, 2016

November 20, 2016 7:00-10:00PM Exuberance: Elio Villafranca/Abdou Mboup Duo

20 years ago he was a young Cuban emigre percussionist/pianist. Today, he teaches at Julliard and regularly conceives and headlines programs for Jazz at Lincoln Center and venues around the world. Much of that in-between time Elio Villafranca spent in Philly and we love him here.

Striking to me is that in every encounter with Elio I have heard entirely different concepts and tonal palletes. It’s both the depth and the breadth of his mastery of classical, jazz, national and folkloric musics which permit him to curate programs of original compositions or arrangements of extant work that have a particular synthesis and stunning coherence.

Last year Elio debuted his spellbinding "Cinqué-Suite of the Caribbean" at the Appel Room, connecting melodies and rhythms of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba to their Congolese roots with a powerful band of collaborators. Last month JALC presented the brilliant "Letters to Mother Africa," Elio’s curation of jazz works contemplating the lodestar of African identity—his own and those of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Max Roach, Eric Dolphy, Randy Weston, Charles Mingus, and Wayne Shorter. It was a profoundly persuasive program with a powerful band including Billy Harper, David Murray, Dezron Douglas and Lewis Nash.

But the highlight of the evening belonged to Senegalese percussionist Abdou Mboup, who sang and played a variety of instruments including the kora. His original composition “Nomad Land” drew a striking connection between jazz and Africa. Downbeat covered the show and Mboup’s role concluding:

Together, these musicians made it clear that the music of Africa, America and Cuba—though separated by miles of ocean—could be explored with penetrating closeness under the same moon.

As the review notes, the connection between Villafranca and Mboup is undeniable. But don’t take our word for it. Check out Elio Villafranca & Abdou Mboup Duet - From Havana to Senegal on YouTube. I think you’ll want to join us.

@exuberance presents:
"From Havana to Senegal"
Elio Villafranca | Abdou Mboup Duet 7-10 pm
Sunday, November 20
1220 N. Mascher St. (steps away from the Girard Ave. El stop

We contemplate a $25 donation for the evening to support the musicians and provide appropriate refreshments.

Click RSVP to get on the guest list. Invitation expires when we reach 50 attendees. Looking forward to seeing you.

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