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February 2012

January 2012

EMEFE to Play 92Y Tribeca on Feb. 17

by Brian Weidy

EMEFE Poster

EMEFE - which means "Music Frees All" - play 92Y Tribeca's Mainstage on Feb. 17, along with Mokaad and Ms. Lady. Created by drummer Miles Arntzen in 2009, EMEFE combines Afrobeat with funk, jazz and hip-hop by way of guitars, percussionists, and a 4-piece horn section, creating a larger-than-life sound that dares you not to dance. Tickets are $10 and available here.


Guateke Cubano featuring David Oquendo y Habana Tres, Delexilio & Alex Fernandez-Fox

by Michael Ouchakof

Alex Fernandez FoxOn Friday night, 92YTribeca and trovador Roberto Poveda hosted a celebration in honor of the birth of Cuban writer and patriot José Martí. Dubbed Guateke Cubano­ - which translates roughly as "Cuban Celebration" - the showcase featured singer/songwriter Alex Fernandez-Fox, the modern funk/rock/son group Delexilio, and Latin jazz greats David Oquendo y Habana Tres.

The musical journey began with Fernandez-Fox’s Cuban-inspired folk music, with harmonized vocals and tres over subtle Latin beats. Noting that “great poetry and great art is universal,” Fernandez-Fox filled the room with a warmth that lasted throughout the night. The lively “El Niño Tiene Clave,” based on the notion that Cuban children "are born with a Rumba heartbeat," left the crowd energized and asking for more. 

DelexilioWith Delexilio, more is exactly what we received. The rock-inspired group burst onstage with their eclectic, funk-inspired Latin rhythms over bi-lingual, oft-rapped lyrics, demonstrating their diverse influences. The group also has a keen sense of their Cuban-American heritage as demonstrated in “Fiesta En Las Calles De Miami,” which included a Miami Sound Machine tease as the outro.

Rounding out the night was David Oquendo y Habana Tres, substituting the traditional Cuban horn section with saxophone and flute, bringing a different dimension to the music. Bright tunes backed by Bossa rhythms brought smiles to everyone’s faces and, at times, even had us dancing in the aisles. The journey complete, we had made our way from Havana back to the streets of New York.

David Oquendo y Habana Tres

The Billy Childs Quartet at the Jazz Standard

by Linda Hutchinson

The Jazz Standard is a classy establishment, but the Billy Childs Quartet raised the bar Thursday night.  Led by two–time Grammy winner Childs on piano, the band also featured Eric Harland on drums, Steve Wilson on sax, and Hans Glawischnig on bass. According to Childs, the first time these four fine musicians had ever played together was about one hour before show time. 

It was impossible to tell. First up was a tune Childs had written long ago for his son, “Aaron’s Song”: a melodic, captivating epic of riveting crescendos and mellow valleys.  “Backwards Bop” had a world- class drum solo, while “Stay” showcased Child’s enchanting piano skills. “Quiet Girl” possessed a whimsical feel, while “A Starry Night” began gently before exploding into a stellar tempest.  It was truly impressive to witness the speed and precision with which Child’s hands flew over those Steinway keys. 

Childs, who composed all of the works on the program, marries jazz and chamber music in his latest CD, "Autumn: In Moving Pictures, Vol.2." “I have CDs available this evening," Childs told us, charmingly. "If you liked the performance please buy one.  If you didn’t like it, then please buy two.”  This writer would like one, please.