Quotes and Information about Cultural Exchange, the Performers and the CD, Like A Bridge:
Since its inception in 2007, Hadar’s global jazz band TWIST has developed a reputation for twisting the style of international standards, performing original numbers and presenting songs in different languages. The upcoming recording will feature songs in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Malagasy, the language of Madagascar.
“This is the most ambitious project I’ve ever attempted,” says Hadar, “and I feel like an acrobat without a net. I’m just so grateful to have such an amazing team of artists to collaborate with to bring the vision to reality. I have been incubating this project for a year during which I have been influenced by cultural exchange experiences as well as by loss and by my view of the world. I see our planet as if from a spaceship: without borders. We are all One. If each human truly had equal rights to adequate food, shelter, healthcare, safety, liberty and self-expression, I believe there would be no need for war. The Bridge is our metaphor for the connections we can make to each other to foster world unity and harmony. Each song represents a part of that Bridge, either because of its language or because of its theme.”
Co-producer and composer Candace Forest says, “The Bridges Project is the perfect vehicle for Lua’s talents, not only as a singer but also as a cultural diplomat. Her flair for languages combined with her passion for her music always creates deeply satisfying excitement for both her audiences and fellow musicians. I’m thrilled that one of my compositions, Come Back To California, written for our friend from Lille, France, bassist Albin Suffys, received its USA debut at Yoshi’s and will appear on the DVD.”
The title Like A Bridge was inspired by French artist and writer Séverine Suffys, also of Lille, France, after the Suffys family hosted Forest and Hadar for a 2010 cultural exchange concert and master class. She wrote: A la rencontre des musiciens français qui inventent les rythmes et les mélodies des golden gates. Des ponts à danser sur toutes les musiques du monde. (To the meeting with French musicians who invent rhythms and melodies of golden gates. Bridges on which to dance to all the music of the world.)
During that collaboration in Lille, Hadar worked with members of Albin Suffys’ Musiconoclast’ Orchestra as well as the Agora Jazz Trio. Drummer Tohery Ravaloson later suggested a song from his native country, Madagascar. Raha Mbola Misy is performed on the new recording, featuring reed player Larry De La Cruz on flute, complementing Hadar’s Malagasy language vocal.
Another notable French connection came from Hadar’s June 2011 meeting with French pop star Maxime Le Forestier, on the 40th Anniversary of his song about a Blue House in San Francisco’s Castro district. The French language San Francisco appears on both the CD and DVD, and will be heard live in New York. Hadar was also drawn to another of Maxime Le Forestier’s compositions, Né Quelque Part (Born Somewhere), a world beat song about immigration rights featuring a Zulu language chorus. TWIST’s video performance of this song will feature not only global percussionist Ian Dogole, but also South African singer Gideon Bendile and members of his Kalahari Experience Zulu choir.
Educational collaborations with Japan have introduced Lua to koto player Fumiko Ozawa, who this past year made her koto orchestra debut at San Francisco’s Herbst Theater. She guests with TWIST on their interpretation of the Japanese 1963 pop classic Ue o muite aruko, honoring the dignity of the Japanese to “walk with their heads up’” after the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 2011.
Guest cellist Emil Miland made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2010 with Frederica von Stade in her farewell recital. In the same week he made his jazz debut with TWIST at New York’s Cornelia Street Café, and has contributed to Like A Bridge on the mystical Tom Jobim song, Imagina. A champion of new works for cello, he has given premieres of music written specifically for him by such composers as Ernst Bacon, David Carlson, Andrew Imbrie, Lou Harrison, Jake Heggie and Dwight Okamura. As a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1988, he has collaborated with many singers in recital including Zheng Cao, Joyce di Donato, Susan Graham, Marilyn Horne, Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, and Frederica von Stade.
Brazilian drummer Celso Alberti says, ” It was an awesome experience recording with Lua along with all the great musicians that where part of this project. From start to finish the energy was highly positive and it was translated in the beautiful music that we made together. The crew capturing the audio and the video was one of the best I ever worked with.”
The development of these far-reaching arrangements could not occur without the artistic contribution of TWIST’s Music Director, Dr. Jason Martineau. Martineau says, “The song list for Like A Bridge honors the differences among us, celebrating their beauty, while seeing that we are, underneath, the same.“
Bios of the Core Band members on the CD:
Music Director, Dr. Jason Martineau is an award-winning composer, pianist, arranger, instructor and author. He works in multiple capacities with many different idioms and styles, from world fusion and jazz, to avant-garde, industrial, rock, pop, and classical. As such, he is the cornerstone of TWIST, as music director, principal arranger, pianist and bandleader. He has been playing the piano for 36 years and has worked with Lua Hadar since 2005, recording three albums and performing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, and at the 10th International Festival of Dance and Music in Bangkok, Thailand. Holding graduate degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Martineau has composed numerous works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo piano, and chorus, as well as a full-length musical, multiple film scores, and over 200 songs, both instrumental and vocal, recording more than ten CDs in various genres. He has also been featured on numerous other artists’ recordings, as pianist, music director, and producer, including Vanessa Carlton’s “Heroes and Thieves,” for which he orchestrated string arrangements. His book “The Elements of Music,” is distributed both nationally and internationally. His film scores have been featured in documentaries broadcast on PBS stations around the US since 1998, and his music enhances a large variety of multimedia projects. In 2011 he joined the faculty at the Academy of Art University, teaching music notation, theory, and counterpoint. www.jasonmartineau.com
Drummer Celso Alberti was born in Curitiba, Southern Brazil. The driving rhythms of his country’s music led him to develop an early interest in the drums and by the age of 17, he was performing regularly as a professional. In 1982 he decided to expand his musical horizons and moved to the U.S., where he has been living since. His dynamic drumming style, blending traditional Brazilian music with World and Rock influences, was quickly recognized and he soon started to work with musicians like Herbie Mann, John Lucien, Michael Manring, Joyce Cooling, Craig Chaquico, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Jose Neto, Andrei Kondakov and most recently the legendary Steve Winwood. Celso is also a respected audio engineer and holds credits on Steve Winwood, Airto Moreira, Kundalini Boombox and Mary Fettig’s latest albums to name a few. Both his driving style and his versatility provide TWIST with exciting flair and a rock solid base. www.celsoalberti.com
Experienced on both upright and electric basses, in styles of music ranging from jazz and latin to pop and rock, Dan Feiszli anchors TWIST with versatility and panache. He has performed in concert with such notable artists as James Moody, Raul Midon, and Mickey Hart, and toured nationally and internationally with artists including Julio Iglesias, Nicole Yarling and Raul DiBlasio. In addition to his career as a performer, Dan is featured on hundreds of recordings as both a bassist and recording engineer, and has recorded and mixed albums reaching as high as #4 on the US Top 40 Jazz Radio Charts. In between performances and recording sessions, Dan can be found working as a freelance recording engineer and producer at his studio in El Cerrito, California. www.studiorhythm.com
Recording artist, composer, teacher and reed man extraordinaire, Larry De La Cruz is a tried and true staple of the local jazz community. Having worked with likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Dave Liebman, Mike Zilber & Donald Harrison, De La Cruz also makes up 1/3 of the group Mo’Fone, one of the funkiest jazz projects ever to come out of the Bay Area. Larry’s dynamic soloing can range from Coltrane-esque runs on up-tempo tunes to soulful wails on slower ballads. Whatever the genre, Larry’s energetic style and musical sensitivity provide TWIST with color and variety whether he solos on tenor, alto, soprano or flute. www.larrydelacruz.com
As a major in Ethnomusicology (and Classics) at Brown University, Global Percussionist Ian Dogole delved deeply into the indigenous music cultures of the planet, while maintaining his fascination with the evolution of Jazz. Ian began to crystallize his vision of Global Fusion Music, blending the forms and instruments of Jazz with those of the non-Western world. Ian has released six audio recordings as a leader and has recorded and performed with artists such as Hamza El Din, Tito La Rosa, Paul McCandless, David Friesen and Alex Degrassi, to name a few. In addition to his own releases, Ian’s compositions can be found on recordings by the world/fusion group Ancient Future, and have been used by the San Francisco Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies, Brown University and the Indonesian Park Service. He brings an authentic world beat to TWIST with a variety of percussion instruments including udu, cajon and dumbek. www.iandogole.com