Mojácar’s Valparaíso Foundation recently held the first full assembly of the Valparaíso Big Band, following a five year collaboration project between Clasijazz and the two Foundations: Indaliana para la Música y las Artes and Valparaíso.
This new jazz band, made up exclusively of women, has 17 of today’s the top leading lights in Spanish jazz, including Rita Payés on trombone, Berlin’s Lucía Martinez, one of Europe’s best drummers and, Blanca Barranco on double bass. However, every single member of this first ever female Spanish Big Band is regarded as a genius in their own line of expertise.
The five days staying at the Valparaíso Residence were filled with intense creative rehearsal sessions, where they bonded together as a single band, recording a new album and video to add a valuable record of new Spanish jazz music to the collections held by both Foundations.
Pablo Mazuecos, the Director of Clasijazz and Beatrice Beckett, Valparaíso Founder, expressed the importance of this initiative in opening the way for other young jazz players, whilst encouraging them to forge their way in the professional world of music. The Band’s residential stay took place despite all the current difficulties and, as Mazueco said, “may the music never stop and let it continue in a safe way.”
Their first concert and debut to the public was scheduled for last Sunday at Almería’s Maestro Padilla Auditorium, but this was not possible due to the latest sanitary measures due to Covid -19. However, they were able to stream it from the Valparaíso Foundation, giving jazz lovers the chance to see and hear their great sounds.
The repertoire included the absolute best compositions by top female jazz composers such as Toshico Akiyoshi and Miho Hazama (who are scheduled to come to Valparaíso when health measures permit), as well as other great names including Mary Lou Williams and Christine Jensen.