duende libre


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About

duende libre is an inspired new power trio featuring longtime collaborators Alex Chadsey (piano/keyboards/compositions), Farko Dosumov (electric bass) and Jeff “Bongo” Busch (drums & percussion). duende libre utilizes the American jazz tradition as a point of departure for daring explorations of rhythm & influences from the Americas, Europe and Africa yielding catchy melodies, ...

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Contact

Publicist
Ron Kadish
812-339-1195 x 202

Current News

  • 10/03/201710/03/2017

Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of...

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News

10/03/2017, Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album
10/03/201710/03/2017, Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album
Announcement
10/03/2017
Announcement
10/03/2017
Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. MORE» More»

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”

duende libre will play a series of live shows this May around the Pacific Northwest.

{full story below}

Chadsey had always enjoyed Latin music, but it had never really clicked until he moved to Seattle. As a recent music school graduate, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the salsa scene in his newly adopted home.

“That started me on a steady diet of Latin music. I got to know and play with Joe Santiago, who’d worked with artists like Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz,” recalls Chadsey. “That’s when it grabbed me. That’s almost all I played for several years. I really fell in love with it.” He also met several musical kindred spirits, including duende libre members Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch, who share Chadsey’s affection for Afro-Caribbean music.

Then he got involved in a community music project, the Seattle Fandango Project, started by the founding members of LA-based Chicano music innovators, Quetzal. Chadsey began playing with the band and contributed to their Grammy-winning album, Imaginaries. “They opened my mind to the possibility that there’s so much more beyond the music itself. What a musician can do and say and the role they play. Reclaiming some of the power that the professionalization and commodification of music has taken away.”

The experience led Chadsey toward a new approach to musical mastery, one that relied less on formal instruction, more on tradition, community, and collective expression. “My mentors from Mexico, Cuba, and Los Angeles had a big impact on my music,” Chadsey reflects. “These mentors often had no formal training. That was not an impediment. They could express themselves in interesting and creative ways. There was a process of me, humbling myself to try to get past some of my training. I put myself in a position of learning from these folks, these keepers of strong and rich musical traditions.”

These traditions weave subtly into duende libre’s pieces, a process Chadsey wryly refers to as global jazz alchemy. “Michel” opens with a rhythm Chadsey and the band picked up from a mid 20th-century Cuban record by blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn. “Rio Pescadores” was inspired by a trip to Veracruz, Mexico and hints at Chadsey’s first encounter with the centuries-old musical love affair between Veracruz and Cuba.

 

As Chadsey decided to play more of his own original compositions and launch duende libre, he tapped his two close friends, Dosumov and Busch, to join him. They workshopped pieces for months, as Chadsey developed ideas using loops and recording software. It allowed him to demo arrangements and create structures, without through-composing every detail.

“I knew I didn’t want to come in with an 8-page score. In fact, I didn’t want the guys to have to read anything if possible. I wanted them to approach the music more intuitively,” Chadsey notes. “That came back to all the work I had done with folks like Quetzal and with Clinton [Fearon, the legendary Jamaican songwriter and roots reggae innovator Chadsey has played extensively with]. They don’t rely on notation. I eliminated the barrier. Reading music changes the way you play.”

Though animated by Chadsey’s experiences, duende’s music stretches into other spaces and takes inspiration from other places, as well. “Razzle Dazzle” sprang from an experiment in meter: “I was trying to see if I could write something in an odd meter that still grooves hard, that didn’t feel mathematical.” “Funkination” pays tribute to the 80s days of 808s and keyboard-driven riffs.

“Salif” shows how Chadsey can start with one influence--a beloved track by Salif Keita--and go somewhere utterly different. “It started there, but I ended up elsewhere,” Chadsey says. “This is a special tune for me, and it represents a newer direction in my writing that I’d like to explore further.”

Yet it’s the closer collaborations, Chadsey’s multifaceted home turf, that inspire the most. Fearon’s influence, for example, resounds on “Still.” “Clinton has been a very important influence on my life and music. Like many of my other mentors, he comes from a rich tradition, Jamaican roots,” explains Chadsey. “He calls himself a poet first, a musician second. Poetry is distilled; you make the most meaning with the fewest possible words. His music does the same thing. He says so much with a minimum of musical material, and I aspire to do the same.”

10/5/2017, North Bend, WA, Piccola Cellars, 7:30pm

10/8/2017, Tacoma, WA, Jazz LIVE at Marine View, 5:00pm

10/19/17, Anchorage, AK, Koot’s, 9:00pm

10/20/17, Talkeetna, AK, Faireview Inn, 9:00pm

10/21/17, Girdwood, AK, Chair 5, 9:00pm

10/22/17, Anchorage, AK, Studio 2200, 8:00pm

11/3/17, Seattle, WA, The Tasting Room, 7:00pm

11/8/17, Leavenworth, WA, Stein, 9:00pm

11/9/17, Moscow, ID, John’s Alley, 9:00pm

11/10/17, Richland, WA, Emerald of Siam, 9:00pm

11/11/17, Spokane, WA, The Red Room, 9:00pm

11/12/17, Missoula, WA, Lakebottom Sound Series, 8:00pm

11/18/17, Olympia, WA, Rhythm & Rye (w/Industrial Revelation), 9:00pm

12/14/17, Seattle, WA, Earshot Art of Jazz at SAM, 5:30pm

1/25/17, Seattle, WA, Tula’s, 7:00pm

1/27/17, Bainbridge Island, Spacecraft Presents (w/Sam Boshnack Quintet), 9:00pm

Announcement
10/03/2017

06/16/2017, Seattle, WA, The Tasting Room , 8:00 PM
04/12/201706/16/2017, duende libre @The Tasting Room Seattle, WA at 8:00 PM
Event
06/16/2017
Event
06/16/2017
Ticket Price(s)
https://winesofwashington.com/
Venue Zip
98101
Venue City, State
Seattle WA
Venue St. Address
1924 Post Alley
Venue
The Tasting Room
Concert Start Time
8:00 PM
Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community. MORE» More»

Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”

duende libre will play a series of live shows this May around the Pacific Northwest.

{full story below}

Chadsey had always enjoyed Latin music, but it had never really clicked until he moved to Seattle. As a recent music school graduate, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the salsa scene in his newly adopted home.

“That started me on a steady diet of Latin music. I got to know and play with Joe Santiago, who’d worked with artists like Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz,” recalls Chadsey. “That’s when it grabbed me. That’s almost all I played for several years. I really fell in love with it.” He also met several musical kindred spirits, including duende libre members Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch, who share Chadsey’s affection for Afro-Caribbean music.

Then he got involved in a community music project, the Seattle Fandango Project, started by the founding members of LA-based Chicano music innovators, Quetzal. Chadsey began playing with the band and contributed to their Grammy-winning album, Imaginaries. “They opened my mind to the possibility that there’s so much more beyond the music itself. What a musician can do and say and the role they play. Reclaiming some of the power that the professionalization and commodification of music has taken away.”

The experience led Chadsey toward a new approach to musical mastery, one that relied less on formal instruction, more on tradition, community, and collective expression. “My mentors from Mexico, Cuba, and Los Angeles had a big impact on my music,” Chadsey reflects. “These mentors often had no formal training. That was not an impediment. They could express themselves in interesting and creative ways. There was a process of me, humbling myself to try to get past some of my training. I put myself in a position of learning from these folks, these keepers of strong and rich musical traditions.”

These traditions weave subtly into duende libre’s pieces, a process Chadsey wryly refers to as global jazz alchemy. “Michel” opens with a rhythm Chadsey and the band picked up from a mid 20th-century Cuban record by blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn. “Rio Pescadores” was inspired by a trip to Veracruz, Mexico and hints at Chadsey’s first encounter with the centuries-old musical love affair between Veracruz and Cuba.

As Chadsey decided to play more of his own original compositions and launch duende libre, he tapped his two close friends, Dosumov and Busch, to join him. They workshopped pieces for months, as Chadsey developed ideas using loops and recording software. It allowed him to demo arrangements and create structures, without through-composing every detail.

“I knew I didn’t want to come in with an 8-page score. In fact, I didn’t want the guys to have to read anything if possible. I wanted them to approach the music more intuitively,” Chadsey notes. “That came back to all the work I had done with folks like Quetzal and with Clinton [Fearon, the legendary Jamaican songwriter and roots reggae innovator Chadsey has played extensively with]. They don’t rely on notation. I eliminated the barrier. Reading music changes the way you play.”

Though animated by Chadsey’s experiences, duende’s music stretches into other spaces and takes inspiration from other places, as well. “Razzle Dazzle” sprang from an experiment in meter: “I was trying to see if I could write something in an odd meter that still grooves hard, that didn’t feel mathematical.” “Funkination” pays tribute to the 80s days of 808s and keyboard-driven riffs.

“Salif” shows how Chadsey can start with one influence--a beloved track by Salif Keita--and go somewhere utterly different. “It started there, but I ended up elsewhere,” Chadsey says. “This is a special tune for me, and it represents a newer direction in my writing that I’d like to explore further.”

Yet it’s the closer collaborations, Chadsey’s multifaceted home turf, that inspire the most. Fearon’s influence, for example, resounds on “Still.” “Clinton has been a very important influence on my life and music. Like many of my other mentors, he comes from a rich tradition, Jamaican roots,” explains Chadsey. “He calls himself a poet first, a musician second. Poetry is distilled; you make the most meaning with the fewest possible words. His music does the same thing. He says so much with a minimum of musical material, and I aspire to do the same.”

Event
06/16/2017

06/01/2017, Seattle, WA, The Royal Room, 7:30 PM
05/04/201706/01/2017, duende libre and Sam Boshnack Quintet Double CD Release Show at The Royal Room
Event
06/01/2017
Event
06/01/2017
Ticket URL
http://bit.ly/2pCI14L
Ticket Price(s)
7$ Advance 10$ Door
Venue Zip
98118
Venue City, State
Seattle, WA
Venue St. Address
5000 Rainier Ave S
Venue
The Royal Room
Concert Start Time
7:30 PM
Doors Open
6:00 PM
A celebration of two exciting new releases - duende libre’s self-titled debut album and Sam Boshnack Quintet’s Nelly Bly Project. MORE» More»
duende libre and Sam Boshnack Quintet Double CD Release Show

A celebration of two exciting new releases - duende libre’s self-titled debut album and Sam Boshnack Quintet’s Nelly Bly Project.  At this bold and engaging performance, expect to hear innovative compositions rooted in the jazz tradition with an ear to everything from contemporary chamber music to salsa to American rock, delivered with heartfelt conviction. Although each band possesses its own unique aesthetic, they find common ground in their shared passion for creating original music that melds eclectic sounds and styles with fiery improvisation. 

ABOUT THE RELEASES: 

The self-titled debut by duende libre (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes pianist/composer Alex Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

Sam Boshnack Quintet’s second album, Nelly Bly Project is an illustrative and evocative musical portrait of a hero that Boshnack has admired since a young age. Bly was a 19th-century daredevil feminist and journalist who worked within extreme confines to achieve great things for both the subjects she covered (including mental health and prison facilities), and for women in her field.  The album moves between the narrative and abstract, creating an imaginative world that channels Bly’s groundbreaking spirit.  The CD will be released nationally on Artists Recording Collective in August 2017, but Seattle audiences have the opportunity to purchase copies in advance at this celebration. 

ABOUT THE BANDS:

duende libre is an inspired new power trio featuring longtime collaborators Alex Chadsey (piano/keyboards/compositions), Farko Dosumov (electric bass) and Jeff “Bongo” Busch (drums & percussion). The trio made its debut at The Royal Room in February of last year in a double-bill with the Sam Boshnack Quintet and has since quickly earned a reputation for being innovative, uplifting and accessible to a wide-range of listeners. Latin Jazz Network had this to say about duende libre’s debut album (available May 5): “These sonic creations (Chadsey’s) and others on this very interesting debut disc stimulate mental pictures of mysterious narratives evoking a kind of futuristic aesthetic that while always distinctively part the world of Alex Chadsey draws on the beautiful aesthetic of Afro-Cuban music in the first place.”

Sam Boshnack Quintet, composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack's primary small ensemble as a leader, thrashes and bounds through tightly-woven twists, tunnels and cliffs with the deftness and precision of a chamber ensemble and the weight of a rock band. Boshnack synthesizes a dazzling array of musical influences in her sophisticated yet fun, highly original compositions—from intricate chamber writing to lush jazz panoramas and funky brass band-inspired grooves.  The band features some of Seattle’s most accomplished improvisers and has been hailed as "delightful, surprising....explorative and intriguing… phenomenally innovative musicians with a unique signature sound that owes as much to their, on the spot, ingenuity as to Boshnack’s original writing” (All About Jazz).  The Sam Boshnack Quintet is: Samantha Boshnack (trumpets, voice & compositions), Beth Fleenor (clarinets & voice), Alex Chadsey (piano, keyboards & voice), Isaac Castillo (bass) and Max Wood (drums). 
 
ABOUT THE COMPOSERS:
 
Pianist & Composer Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.
 
Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.
 
“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”
 
Earshot has called duende libre’s debut album  “deeply striking and original” and Derek’s Music Blog in Scotland described it as “an album of groundbreaking and genre-melting music...a heady and irresistible musical brew.”
 
In addition to leading duende libre, Alex has performed as a sideman throughout the U.S. as well as in Mexico, Europe and South America. In 2012 Alex played on the Grammy-award winning album imaginaries (Smithsonian Folkways) by the LA-based band Quetzal. Current projects include reggae legend Clinton Fearon & the Boogie Brown Band and the Sam Boshnack Quintet.
 
Alex has also been the recipient of multiple grants and awards from the City of Seattle to support collaborations with local, national & international artists, including Sounds Beyond Barriers, a collective songwriting project with youth in 2015 at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle. In 2011 several of Alex’s compositions were featured on the Origin release ...Yet What Is Any Ocean by Q.E.D. (Origin 82583), a project which also featured the music of Chris Stover and Ben Thomas.
 
Whether creating sonic explorations with her 14-piece B’shnorkestra or fronting her own Quintet, composer/trumpeter Samantha Boshnack walks her own path. As the leader of these ensembles and an active member/contributing composer to various others, she is never far from inspiration. Boshnack’s talents have brought her into the company of such diverse artists as Butch Morris, Eyvind Kang, Oliver Lake, Los Campesinos, Bobby Previte, Terry Riley, Stuart Dempster, Skerik, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Jherek Bischoff, Tom Varner, Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Dead Science, Joshua Kohl, Paul Kikuchi, Evan Flory Barnes, Paul Rucker, and Orkestar Zirkonium.
 
Boshnack grew up surrounded by many genres, but in her household jazz was king. After ingesting a prototypical diet of Miles, Dizzy, and Morgan, a love of spice eventually led her to contemporary innovators such as Lewis Barnes, Steven Bernstein, and Dave Douglas, along with a slew of Cuban soloists. The latter’s sense of rhythm and penchant for “letting loose” have been her greatest influences, emboldening her as an artist who plays comfortably outside the box of standard jazz.
 
After studying jazz composition at Bard College, Boshnack proved that not all roads lead to New York for the aspiring improviser. In search of something different, she ended up in Seattle, where fate dropped her into the free jazz collective known as Monktail Creative Music Concern.  After an ad hoc performance with MCMC, she knew she’d found her niche. Encouragement from local musicians and the welcoming temperament of the scene made it a perfect fit, and Boshnack hasn’t looked back since. The subsequent decade has found her active in a variety of musical and theatrical settings and has, more importantly, put her in contact with some phenomenal musicians in their own right. She toured nationally and internationally with the modern jazz group Reptet for seven years, releasing four albums comprised mostly of her compositions. She also formed the B’shnorkestra in 2011 and released Go To Orange in 2013 to critical acclaim. Her eponymous Quintet brought together players who had never worked before as a unit, and the results have been nothing short of incendiary—hence the title of their 2014 debut album, Exploding Syndrome.
 
In 2014 she also helped form the Alchemy Sound Project, a composer-led ensemble featuring the works of Sumi Tonooka, Erica Lindsay, Salim Washington, David Arendt, and Boshnack herself.   In May of 2016, ASP released their debut recording on Artists Recording Collective, entitled Further Explorations, which Travis Rogers, Jr. of JazzTimes called “a musical pilgrimage that searches the horizons and moves beyond them. The compositions are inspiring and intelligent and the performance artistry is exemplary.”  In 2016 Boshnack also released Global Concertos with her B’shnorkestra, for which she wrote five interlocking concertos, each featuring a prominent soloist from a different continent.  This album was nominated for an Earshot Golden Ear award for best recording of the year.  Paul Rauch from All About Jazz wrote about Global Concertos -“Under the direction of Joshua Kohl, B’shnorkestra provides both compositional brilliance, and improvisational latitude… notions of freedom and spiritual unity are beautifully expressed by Boshnack’s modal transitions providing a musical landscape not “fragmented” by cultural bias.”
 
In 2015, Boshnack premiered “Coelacanth: In Its Own Time” with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in honor of a 400 million-year-old species of fish threatened by extinction.  All of these and more have served to elevate and support the value of individual expression in larger collectives, and to turn a new corner in the ever-growing map of Boshnack’s sonic journey.
 
Event
06/01/2017

05/15/2017, Olympia, WA, Rhythm & Rye , 8:00 PM
03/01/201705/15/2017, 5/15/17 duende libre at Rhythm & Rye in Olympia!
Event
05/15/2017
Event
05/15/2017
Event Notes
21+
Ticket URL
http://alexchadsey.com/event/duende-libre-rhythm-rye-olympia-wa/
Ticket Price(s)
$5 Suggested Donation
Venue Zip
98501
Venue City, State
Olympia, WA
Venue St. Address
311 Capitol Way N
Venue
Rhythm & Rye
Concert Start Time
8:00 PM
Doors Open
4:00 PM
Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community. MORE» More»

 

 

Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”

duende libre will play a series of live shows this May around the Pacific Northwest.

{full story below}

Chadsey had always enjoyed Latin music, but it had never really clicked until he moved to Seattle. As a recent music school graduate, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the salsa scene in his newly adopted home.

“That started me on a steady diet of Latin music. I got to know and play with Joe Santiago, who’d worked with artists like Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz,” recalls Chadsey. “That’s when it grabbed me. That’s almost all I played for several years. I really fell in love with it.” He also met several musical kindred spirits, including duende libre members Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch, who share Chadsey’s affection for Afro-Caribbean music.

Then he got involved in a community music project, the Seattle Fandango Project, started by the founding members of LA-based Chicano music innovators, Quetzal. Chadsey began playing with the band and contributed to their Grammy-winning album, Imaginaries. “They opened my mind to the possibility that there’s so much more beyond the music itself. What a musician can do and say and the role they play. Reclaiming some of the power that the professionalization and commodification of music has taken away.”

The experience led Chadsey toward a new approach to musical mastery, one that relied less on formal instruction, more on tradition, community, and collective expression. “My mentors from Mexico, Cuba, and Los Angeles had a big impact on my music,” Chadsey reflects. “These mentors often had no formal training. That was not an impediment. They could express themselves in interesting and creative ways. There was a process of me, humbling myself to try to get past some of my training. I put myself in a position of learning from these folks, these keepers of strong and rich musical traditions.”

These traditions weave subtly into duende libre’s pieces, a process Chadsey wryly refers to as global jazz alchemy. “Michel” opens with a rhythm Chadsey and the band picked up from a mid 20th-century Cuban record by blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn. “Rio Pescadores” was inspired by a trip to Veracruz, Mexico and hints at Chadsey’s first encounter with the centuries-old musical love affair between Veracruz and Cuba.

As Chadsey decided to play more of his own original compositions and launch duende libre, he tapped his two close friends, Dosumov and Busch, to join him. They workshopped pieces for months, as Chadsey developed ideas using loops and recording software. It allowed him to demo arrangements and create structures, without through-composing every detail.

“I knew I didn’t want to come in with an 8-page score. In fact, I didn’t want the guys to have to read anything if possible. I wanted them to approach the music more intuitively,” Chadsey notes. “That came back to all the work I had done with folks like Quetzal and with Clinton [Fearon, the legendary Jamaican songwriter and roots reggae innovator Chadsey has played extensively with]. They don’t rely on notation. I eliminated the barrier. Reading music changes the way you play.”

Though animated by Chadsey’s experiences, duende’s music stretches into other spaces and takes inspiration from other places, as well. “Razzle Dazzle” sprang from an experiment in meter: “I was trying to see if I could write something in an odd meter that still grooves hard, that didn’t feel mathematical.” “Funkination” pays tribute to the 80s days of 808s and keyboard-driven riffs.

“Salif” shows how Chadsey can start with one influence--a beloved track by Salif Keita--and go somewhere utterly different. “It started there, but I ended up elsewhere,” Chadsey says. “This is a special tune for me, and it represents a newer direction in my writing that I’d like to explore further.”

Yet it’s the closer collaborations, Chadsey’s multifaceted home turf, that inspire the most. Fearon’s influence, for example, resounds on “Still.” “Clinton has been a very important influence on my life and music. Like many of my other mentors, he comes from a rich tradition, Jamaican roots,” explains Chadsey. “He calls himself a poet first, a musician second. Poetry is distilled; you make the most meaning with the fewest possible words. His music does the same thing. He says so much with a minimum of musical material, and I aspire to do the same.”

Event
05/15/2017

05/13/2017, Vancouver, BC, Cafe Deux Soleils, 9:00 PM
03/01/201705/13/2017, duende libre at Cafe Deux Soleils!
Event
05/13/2017
Event
05/13/2017
Venue Zip
BC V5N 4B2
Venue City, State
Vancouver, Canada
Venue St. Address
2096 Commercial Dr
Venue
Cafe Deux Soleils
Concert Start Time
9:00 PM
duende libre is an inspired new power trio featuring longtime collaborators Alex Chadsey (piano/keyboards/compositions), Farko Dosumov (electric bass) and Jeff “Bongo” Busch (drums & percussion). MORE» More»

Distilling Tradition: duende libre Bridges Latin Folk Sounds and Jazz Approaches on Debut Album

Keyboard player Alex Chadsey was fluent in jazz and classical forms. He’d walked the usual, rigorous path of a conservatory-style music education. Then he wound up in Seattle, music degree in hand, not sure of what to do. The answer: Play in salsa bands, perfect his montuno, and learn how music creates community.

Chadsey’s creative output changed dramatically, coming together as a trio project duende libre. Their self-titled debut album (release: May 5, 2017) distills years of performing, apprenticing with master musicians, and crafting originals that explore Latin elements in new contexts. The results are savvy and grooving, reflecting the Seattle scenes Chadsey inhabits and loves, where Uzbek bassists and Jamaican poets and border-crossing fandangos power musical visions.

“It’s a fundamental part of our humanity to make music,” Chadsey says. “There’s a lot of power in experiencing music live, or participating in a group that makes music together. It’s empowering to see beyond narrow goals and agendas, to create in a deep way as part of a community.”

duende libre will play a series of live shows this May around the Pacific Northwest.

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Chadsey had always enjoyed Latin music, but it had never really clicked until he moved to Seattle. As a recent music school graduate, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the salsa scene in his newly adopted home.

“That started me on a steady diet of Latin music. I got to know and play with Joe Santiago, who’d worked with artists like Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, and Celia Cruz,” recalls Chadsey. “That’s when it grabbed me. That’s almost all I played for several years. I really fell in love with it.” He also met several musical kindred spirits, including duende libre members Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch, who share Chadsey’s affection for Afro-Caribbean music.

Then he got involved in a community music project, the Seattle Fandango Project, started by the founding members of LA-based Chicano music innovators, Quetzal. Chadsey began playing with the band and contributed to their Grammy-winning album, Imaginaries. “They opened my mind to the possibility that there’s so much more beyond the music itself. What a musician can do and say and the role they play. Reclaiming some of the power that the professionalization and commodification of music has taken away.”

The experience led Chadsey toward a new approach to musical mastery, one that relied less on formal instruction, more on tradition, community, and collective expression. “My mentors from Mexico, Cuba, and Los Angeles had a big impact on my music,” Chadsey reflects. “These mentors often had no formal training. That was not an impediment. They could express themselves in interesting and creative ways. There was a process of me, humbling myself to try to get past some of my training. I put myself in a position of learning from these folks, these keepers of strong and rich musical traditions.”

These traditions weave subtly into duende libre’s pieces, a process Chadsey wryly refers to as global jazz alchemy. “Michel” opens with a rhythm Chadsey and the band picked up from a mid 20th-century Cuban record by blind pianist Frank Emilio Flynn. “Rio Pescadores” was inspired by a trip to Veracruz, Mexico and hints at Chadsey’s first encounter with the centuries-old musical love affair between Veracruz and Cuba.

As Chadsey decided to play more of his own original compositions and launch duende libre, he tapped his two close friends, Dosumov and Busch, to join him. They workshopped pieces for months, as Chadsey developed ideas using loops and recording software. It allowed him to demo arrangements and create structures, without through-composing every detail.

“I knew I didn’t want to come in with an 8-page score. In fact, I didn’t want the guys to have to read anything if possible. I wanted them to approach the music more intuitively,” Chadsey notes. “That came back to all the work I had done with folks like Quetzal and with Clinton [Fearon, the legendary Jamaican songwriter and roots reggae innovator Chadsey has played extensively with]. They don’t rely on notation. I eliminated the barrier. Reading music changes the way you play.”

Though animated by Chadsey’s experiences, duende’s music stretches into other spaces and takes inspiration from other places, as well. “Razzle Dazzle” sprang from an experiment in meter: “I was trying to see if I could write something in an odd meter that still grooves hard, that didn’t feel mathematical.” “Funkination” pays tribute to the 80s days of 808s and keyboard-driven riffs.

“Salif” shows how Chadsey can start with one influence--a beloved track by Salif Keita--and go somewhere utterly different. “It started there, but I ended up elsewhere,” Chadsey says. “This is a special tune for me, and it represents a newer direction in my writing that I’d like to explore further.”

Yet it’s the closer collaborations, Chadsey’s multifaceted home turf, that inspire the most. Fearon’s influence, for example, resounds on “Still.” “Clinton has been a very important influence on my life and music. Like many of my other mentors, he comes from a rich tradition, Jamaican roots,” explains Chadsey. “He calls himself a poet first, a musician second. Poetry is distilled; you make the most meaning with the fewest possible words. His music does the same thing. He says so much with a minimum of musical material, and I aspire to do the same.”

Event
05/13/2017