JAZZ LATINO

 

MICHEL CAMILO

MÁS ALLÁ DEL JAZZ LATINO

FERNANDO UREÑA RIB

  

 

 

 

 

MICHEL CAMILO EN EL BLUE NOTE

NEW YORK

 

 

La calidad y pureza de sonido en Michel Camilo van unidas a un virtuosismo rítmico que impregna la audiencia de una energía y vitalidad inusitadas. Además el asombro. Porque durante el instante de sus formidables ejecuciones, se nos hace difícil aprehender en toda su extensión y hondura la versatilidad musical de este gran pianista dominicano. Más que versatilidad, riqueza, duende, ese algo intangible que no está escrito en la partitura, ese espíritu genial, único, osado que aflora y traspasa las fronteras de lo posible y se adentra en el reino de lo maravilloso o sorprendente.

Pero, además, la alegría. Es como si la felicidad que Michel Camilo le infunde al piano le fuera devuelta, multiplicándose, en la audiencia, que a su vez la retorna al músico, creándose una dinámica plena de euforia y entusiasmo. Michael Camilo maneja hábilmente toda esa avalancha de energía y no deja que haya desperdicio alguno. No hay escapes. No hay manera en que la audiencia pueda sentirse distraída o abrumada. En vilo, estamos atentos a cada movimiento, a cada ráfaga de innovación o de evocación y allí se nos calienta el alma y sin saber cómo empezamos a danzar en sus rituales. Rituales cuya lejana memoria parte de África y cubre toda la amplia geografía norteamericana.

En las composiciones musicales de Michel Camilo se manifiestan antiguas tradiciones rítmicas caribeñas, nostálgicas tonadas flamencas y latinas; y toda una gama de innovaciones técnicas y musicales que provienen de una formación clásica, rigurosa, actualizada, muy bien informada. 

FERNANDO UREÑA RIB


MICHEL CAMILO LOGRA TODO LO QUE SE PROPONE EN ASPECTOS MUSICALES


POR REYES GUZMÁN


Michel Camilo, antes de pautar cualquier reto, se pregunta ¿por qué no?, encontrando la respuesta en los logros dentro del jazz y la música clásica. Las barreras las vence con esfuerzo, trabajo, disciplina y calidad. Por eso su carrera asciende cada día mereciendo críticas positivas.

Camilo estrenó en Londres el disco que hizo con la Sinfónica de la BBC, dirigida por Leonard Slatkin, en el que incluye su aplaudida obra Concierto para piano y orquesta y la Suite para piano, con "Tropical Jam", "Tango for Ten", "In Love", "Journey" y "Caribe".

Dijo que la música clásica se graba muy diferente a la popular,
porque con toda la orquesta se interpretan las piezas sin parar.
Estuvo al lado de las estrellas pertenecientes a la Sinfónica de la BBC de Londres, a quienes elogia por su estilo de compartir responsabilidades para hacer posible el estreno del disco.

"Lo clásico hay que interpretarlo completo y se hacen cinco
grabaciones, de las que se selecciona una. La experiencia fue
maravillosa, porque todo aquello me arropaba de música y me hacía tocar mejor. Los miembros de la Sinfónica me aplaudían al concluir cada grabación".

Precisamente, de la producción musical, Camilo hará una presentación para el público dominicano la próxima semana a beneficio del Teatro Nacional, bajo la dirección de Carlos Piantini. Ese mismo día, en horas de la mañana, será condecorado con la Orden de Duarte, Sánchez y Mella, por parte del Presidente Hipólito Mejía.

Es todo alegría en Camilo, por poder volver a tocar en su tierra y
entre su gente, al tiempo de ser homenajeado. De su nueva inspiración refirió a HOY que, por suerte, la pudo tocar varias veces y grabarla para ponerla en las manos y plasmarla en la historia de República Dominicana.

La obra ha sido recibida internacionalmente con agrado y buenas críticas, lo que le agrada al autor, quien ve cómo es promocionado en Inglaterra. En España, el compacto será puesto a la venta en octubre y a principios del 2002 en Estados Unidos, a raíz de una presentación que hará en el Kennedy Center, con la Sinfónica. Es la segunda invitación que recibe para tocar con la máxima orquesta, en esta oportunidad en el Salón de las Naciones. "Es algo bien interesante, porque es una serie que retrata la música de los emigrantes e incluye piezas de los grandes músicos que han llegado a los Estados Unidos y han podido escribir música".

Michael Camilo y el jazz están abrazados y aún logrando éxitos en la línea clásica, aprovecha las páginas de HOY para recordarles a los admiradores que es un género que nunca dejará. Su capacidad le permite incursionar en diferentes expresiones y un ejemplo lo reafirma lo que ha conquistado en el jazz, en lo clásico y en labores importantes con Ana Belén, grupo Ketama y Danny Rivera.


 

 

 

MICHEL CAMILO BIOGRAPHY
 

Pianist and composer Michel Camilo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1954. Fascinated with music since childhood, he composed his first song at the age of five, then studied for 13 years at the National Conservatory. At 16, he became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Seeking to expand his musical horizons, Camilo moved in 1979 to New York, where he continued his studies at Mannes and Juilliard School of Music. “Why Not?” was recorded by Paquito D'Rivera as the title tune for one of his albums, and The Manhattan Transfer won a Grammy Award for their vocal version in 1983. Camilo’s first two albums were titled Why Not? and Suntan/In Trio.

Camilo made his Carnegie Hall debut with his trio in 1985. Since then, he has become a prominent figure performing regularly in the United States, the Caribbean, Japan and Europe. December 1987 marked his debut as a classical conductor when the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic invited him to conduct a recital featuring the works of Rimsky-Korsakoff, Beethoven, Dvorak and Camilo’s own composition, The Goodwill Games Theme, which won an Emmy Award. That year, he became the musical director of the Heineken Jazz Festival in his native Dominican Republic, a post he held through 1992.

November of 1988 marked his debut on a major record label with the release of his self- titled album, Michel Camilo (Sony). The album became an instant success and held the top jazz album spot for eight consecutive weeks. His next recording, On Fire, was voted one of the top three Jazz Albums of the Year by Billboard, and 1990’s On the Other Hand was a top-ten jazz album. All three releases reached the number-one position in radio airplay.

Camilo’s list of compositions, recordings and other achievements throughout the ‘90s is vast. His composition Caribe was recorded by pianists Katia and Marielle Lebeque, and by the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, in 1991. His Rhapsody for Two Pianos and Orchestra, commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, premiered a year later at the Royal Festival Hall. In 1993, Gavin and Billboard magazines picked his Rendezvous as one of the top jazz albums of the year.

Camilo performed a series of piano recitals in 1996 as part of Copenhagen’s Cultural Capital of Europe celebration, and also debuted at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and Carnegie Hall in New York. That same year, he performed in Israel, Spain, México, Dominican Republic and Switzerland, where he debuted at Zurich’s prestigious Tonhalle concert hall as part of the Jazz Piano Masters series.

He served as co-artistic director in 1998 for the first Latin-Caribbean Music Festival at the Kennedy Center, which featured performances by his trio and big band, as well as the world premiere of his Piano Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin. The following year, he toured with Cuban jazz pianist Chucho Valdés, and debuted with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to compiling an extensive discography and maintaining a rigorous performance schedule, Camilo has composed and recorded a number of Spanish film scores over the years, and holds honorary degrees from his alma mater, Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, and UTESA University of Santiago, Dominican Republic (he’s the youngest person to ever receive the distinction from the latter school), and from Berklee College of Music. In 1992, he was named a Knight of the Heraldic Order of Christopher Columbus by the Dominican Government.

At the turn of the millennium, his 2000 Verve release, Spain, with guitarist Tomatito, won Best Latin Jazz Album in the first-ever Latin Grammy Awards. Camilo also performed in a trio concert in 2000 presented by the New Jersey Chamber Society with special guest Paquito D’Rivera.

In 2001, Camilo appeared on the soundtrack CD for the acclaimed Latin jazz film Calle 54, directed by the Oscar-winning Spaniard Fernando Trueba. In addition to his activities as a composer and pianist, Camilo lectured and performed at many festivals, universities and colleges throughout Europe and the United States – including New York University, Berklee School of Music, MIT, William Paterson College (in New Jersey) and Puerto Rico Conservatory.

In August 2001, Decca released in the UK his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, Suite for Piano, Strings and Harp & Caribe, recorded in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, to celebrate his debut at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.

In November 2001, he was awarded the highest honor from the President of the Dominican Republic: the Silver Cross of the Order of Duarte, Sanchez & Mella.

2002 marks a special year for Camilo with two albums: Classical and Jazz. In February, Decca released his Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, Suite for Piano, Strings and Harp & Caribe, to celebrate his guest appearance with the NSO conducted by Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

In March, Telarc released Triangulo, Camilo’s latest trio recording, which features contrabass guitarist Anthony Jackson and drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez. Produced by Camilo, Triangulo includes a mix of original tunes (“Piece of Cake,” “Afterthought,” “Anthony’s Blues,” “Just Like You,” “Descarga for Tito” and “dotcom-bustion”) along with four compositions by other artists (Ernesto Lecuona’s “La Comparsa,” Chano Dominguez’s “Mr. C.I.,” Dizzy Gillespie’s “Con Alma” and Mike Manieri’s “Las Dos Lorettas”).

 

 

 

 

Ureña Rib has seen his work exhibited around the World and holds a prominent position on the Art scene in his own country, but he admits to be particularly drawn to Montreal, which he visits annually. Renting a studio in the downtown Belgo Building, he immerses himself enthusiastically in the creative and diverse atmosphere of Montreal producing here his works.

FERNANDO URENA RIB

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Revisado: May 23, 2013
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