artist / artista

Leo Blanco - Africa Latina  


Featuring. Leo Blanco (p), Lionel Loueke (g), Donny McCaslin (ts), Peter Slavov (b), Antonio Sánchez (d), Bakithi Kumalo (fb), Didier Malherbe (duduk), Steve Shehan, Jackeline Rago, Diego Álvarez
Reference. AYVA 043

On this stunningly virtuosic release, pianist and composer Leo Blanco explores the fertile sounds of his homeland and otherrealms. Blanco boasts a wealth of educational background and practical experience in both popular and classical music styles. His early years in his home city were marked by successes as a conservatory student and involvement in Merida's youth symphony orchestra. By the age of just 17, he was Caracas-bound to further his growth as a musician, arranger and composer. Then it was off to Boston's Berklee College and The New England

Conservatory, where his reputation blossomed. From then on he's been playing with several of the most acclaimed musicians. This project features some notable playing by saxophonist Donny McCaslin, drummer Antonio Sánchez and up and coming guitarist Lionel Louke, a native of Benin who join Blanco on this 9-track excursion through the music hinterland of Venezuela, Colombia and Peru.

"Africa Latina" tells about time to open the door and show the rest of the world, how Africa is one of the most significant influences on today's popular music throughout the Americas.


En África Latina, el pianista y compositor Leo Blanco explora los fértiles sonidos de su tierra natal, Venezuela, y otros países con sorprendente virtuosismo. Blanco cuenta con una gran cantidad de antecedentes académicos y experiencia práctica en estilos musicales, tanto populares como clásicos. A los 17 años se trasladó a Caracas para desarrollar sus capacidades como músico, arreglista y compositor. Mas tarde, continua su formación en Boston's Berklee College y The New England Conservatory, donde floreció su reputación.

Varios de los músicos y amigos más aclamados - entre otros notables, el saxofonista Donny McCaslin, el baterista mexicano Antonio Sánchez y el guitarrista Lionel Louke, nativo de Benín, se unen a Blanco en esta travesía a través de la música del interior de Venezuela, Colombia y Perú.

Dice Leo Blanco: “creo que ya es hora de abrir la puerta y mostrar al resto del mundo como África es una de las influencias más significativas en la música popular de nuestros días, en toda América”.

1. Caraballeda
2. Serendepity
3. Gaita
4. Perú Landó
5. Afro East
6. Yemen
7. Africa Latina
8. Long Term
9. Venezuelan Rhapsody

Recorded in November 2006 at Systems II Studios, Brooklyn, N.Y. by Joe Marciano. Assistant engineer Max Ross.
Recorded in January 2007 in Paris, France at Studio Des Dahlias by Marie Knapp and Steve Shehan and at studio Guillaume Tell by Denis Caribaux.
Mixed in February 2008 by Alejandro Rodriguez at Studio Metronome, Brookline, N.H.
Mastered in April 2008 by Jonathan Wyner at M-Works Studios, Cambridge, MA.