New York trombonist Ryan Keberle explores his affinity for the folkloric music of South America | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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New York trombonist Ryan Keberle explores his affinity for the folkloric music of South America


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In the liner notes to his most recent album, Azul Infinito (Greenleaf), trombonist, bandleader, and composer Ryan Keberle tells the unlikely story of how, as a 19-year-old Portland native, he became absorbed in the folk music of South America upon arriving in New York to study at the Manhattan School of Music, when he quickly fell in with a slew of musicians and composers from Argentina and Colombia. He’s since explored exquisite, unusual harmonies both as a member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra and with his own nimble quartet Catharsis, so his having fallen for Brazilian music comes as no surprise. On the new album he tackles songs by some of his heroes and collaborators, like Sebastian Cruz, Ivan Lins, and Pedro Giraudo, but his other tracks show similar inspirations. Keberle usually shares the front line with trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, and together they create a contrapuntal splendor rich in low-brass sensuality, while his sharp rhythm section of drummer Eric Doob and bassist Jorge Roeder—a native of Peru—gracefully navigates the same elaborate time signatures he played in folkloric groups during his years in New York. For this album he enlisted Chilean singer Camila Meza to add a layer of breezy lyricism, whether she’s singing words or producing abstract shapes as the front line’s agile third member. For tonight’s performance reedist Scott Robinson subs for Rodriguez.   v

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