Thursday, May 14, 2009

The NY debut of the Acuna-Hoff-Matthisen TRio

In celebration of "Jungle City" (Alessa Records, to be released June 17 in the USA), the Acuna-Hoff-Mathisen Trio makes it’s US debut in New York on June 17th at the Iridium Jazz Club at 7pm, followed by a 10pm set at the 55 Bar and onto the Rochester Jazz Festival the next day, on June 18th. Founded in the Spring of 2008, the trio was formed when legendary drummer/percussionist Alex Acuna met two of Norway's greatest musicians, pianist Jan Gunnar Hoff and bassist Per Mathisen. Touring extensively throughout Norway in 2008 with club dates, festivals and clinics, the trio will mark it’s US debut with these three New York dates to celebrate their first recording as a trio.

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB, June 17th at 7pm (EARLY SET!)

55 BAR, June 17th at 10pm (LATE SET!)


"Jungle City’s" music stretches out in many directions ranging from acoustic modern jazz into floating electric landscapes over to high voltage electric music. Superior musicianship, interplay with a great deal of humor and love for the music, makes for dynamic solos where you can trace lines of jazz history from all eras of the music. This trio is searching in their own specific sphere into the future. This coming August 2009, Acuna/Hoff/Mathisen will also participate in Hoff's commission for Nordland Music Festival, due for premiére in Bodoe, Northern Norway. In addition, this Fall 2009 the trio embarks on an extensive European tour of Scandinavia, England, Germany and Austria, including a performance at London’s Cadogan Hall.
Alejandro Acuña was born in Pativilca, Peru, into a musical family. Alex taught himself how to play the drums from the age of four and by ten; he was already playing in local bands. As a teenager, he moved to Lima and became one of Peru's most accomplished session drummers. At the age of eighteen, Alex was chosen by the great Latin band leader, Perez Prado, to join his big band. It was with the Prado band that Alex first traveled to the United States. Alex moved to Las Vegas in 1974, where he played with such greats as Elvis Presley and Diana Ross. Between 1975 and 1977, he made part of jazz history when he became a member of one of the most innovative and pioneering jazz groups of our time, Weather Report. He first performed as percussionist, and later as a drummer. He recorded two albums with the group: "Black Market" (1976) and the highly successful "Heavy Weather" (1977). Alex next moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1978 where he quickly earned the position of a valued session drummer and percussionist for recordings, television and motion pictures. His countless album credits include such diverse artist, U2, Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Whitney Houston, Julio Iglesias and Placido Domingo and many more. Alex has also performed live with the likes of Al Jarreau, Arturo Sandoval, Paco de Lucia, Carlos Santana, Celia Cruz, Tania Maria, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Herbie Hancock, Christina Aguilera the London Simphony Orchestra and Tito Puente, to name a few. Additionally, Alex has recorded film scores under the direction of John Dabney, Dave Grusin, Alan Silvestri, Bill Conti, Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Lalo Schifrin, James Newton Howard, Michael Giacchino, John Powell and others. He became the recipient of many awards and honors including the Emeritus MVP award from NARAS and winner of the "Best Latin/Brazilian Percussionist" of Modern Drummer's Readers Poll for more than five consecutive years. In 2000, Alex Acuña y Su Acuarelas De Tambores received a Grammy nomination for "Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album" for "Rhythms for a New Millennium". The nomination confirmed Alex's vast knowledge and expertise of percussion rhythms. Recently, Alex received two Latin Grammy nominations in 2003. One, for Los Hijos Del Sol "To My Country", which was released by his independent record label – NIDO Entertainment. The second Latin Grammy nomination came for Tolu's "Bongo de Van Gogh". In 2004, Alex released his follow up album to "Thinking of You" by Alex Acuña and the Unknowns titled "No Accent". In addition, Alex has composed music for various artists and co-produced "Rumberos Poetry" by Tolu.

Jan Gunnar Hoff, Norwegian piano player and composer educated at the Jazz Department, Trondheim Conservatory and at NMH, composition. Hoff has played and collaborated with Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Kenwood Dennard, Maria Joao, Lars Danielsson, Cæcilie Norby, Fathy Salama, Martin France, Arild Andersen, Nils Petter Molvær a.o. In 1982 he was part of a national all star band performing Jan Garbareks composition for the FNJ, Norwegian Jazz Forum. In 1995 Hoff did a much heralded, impromptu duo performance with Chick Corea at the Harstad Festival in Northern Norway. Hoff has released five CDs with his own Jan Gunnar Hoff Group that consists of leading Norwegian jazz performers including; Audun Kleive, Bjørn Kjellemyr. This band has toured all over Scandinavia and played major festivals in London, Molde,Bergen, etc. In 2005 Hoff received the prestigious Edvard Grieg prize as a composer for his jazz mass Meditatus. He wrote the commission work "Free flow songs" for Vossajazz in 2005. Recently he has become a professor at the Tromsø University College and the University ofKristiansand. His last CD MAGMA (2008) has an international line up with Mike Stern, Maria João, Eivind Aarset a.o.

Per Mathisen graduated from Trondheim Jazz Conservatory and Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has been a freelance bass player based out of Oslo, Norway since 1994. Per M. is one of Norway's most sought after bassplayers, heard on countless TV/radio/CD recordings and has released two solo CD's to great reviews, entitled, "Northern Crossings" on Candid Records, London and "Unbound" on Alessa Records,Austria. Per Mathisen has toured and performed in as many as 26 different countries and has played with, among others: Hiram Bullock, Bill Bruford, Mike Stern, Gary Husband, Marilyn Mazur, Geri Allen, Adam Nussbaum, Gary Thomas, Tery Lynne Carrington, Maria Joao, Jojo Mayer, Jerry Donohue, Nguyen Le, Ralph Peterson, George Garzone, Benjamin Schmid, Ole Mathisen, Tony Moreno, Paolo Vinaccia, Olga Konkova, Stian Carstensen, Jon Christensen, Terje Rypdal, Gerald Preinfalk, Martin Koller to name a few. Per is a member of the bands NYNDK, Olga Konkova Quartet, Ensemble Denada, Gerald Preinfalk's Guiffre Zone & Tango go, Sernet å fyre, Hans Mathisen Quartet, Stringzone, The New Memphis Orchestra.

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