Since his arrival in New York in 1999, Yosvany Terry has been making a difference in contemporary music. His innovative work, a unique confluence of Cuban roots music and jazz, “has helped redefine Latin jazz as a complex new idiom" (The New York Times).
Yosvany Terry is an internationally acclaimed Cuban musician, American composer, saxophonist, percussionist, bandleader, educator and cultural bearer of the Afro-Cuban tradition. Born into a musical family in Camaguey, Cuba, Yosvany Terry went on to classical music training in Havana at the prestigious National School of Arts (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. After graduating, Terry worked with major figures in every realm of Cuban music including pianists Chucho Valdes, Frank Emilio, and the celebrated nueva trova singer/guitarist Silvio Rodriguez. From his earliest days in New York, Terry has been welcomed by the jazz and contemporary music community, playing with Branford Marsalis, Rufus Reid, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman, Roy Hargrove, Henry Threadgill, Avishai Cohen, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Taj Mahal and Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Sextet.
His latest release, the Grammy-nominated “New Throned King” (5Passion, 2014), features music based on Arará cantos and rhythms and has been called the “musical culmination of his spiritual exploration” (All About Jazz). His previous album, “Today’s Opinion” (Criss Cross, 2012), was selected as one of the Top 10 Albums of the Year by the New York Times’ Nate Chinen. In 2015, Terry was named a recipient of the prestigious Doris Duke Artist Award. He has received recent commissions by the Yerba Buena Garden Festival (“Noches de Parranda” for 12-piece ensemble with the support of The MAP Fund), the French-American Jazz Exchange with support from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (“Ancestral Memories” with pianist Baptiste Trotignon), and Harlem Stage (for his score for the opera “Makandal”, premiering in 2017). Terry received a grant from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and New York State Music Fund to create Afro-Cuban Roots: Yedégbé, a suite of Arará music. His latest project, The Bohemian Trio, is a genre-defying contemporary music ensemble based in New York that released its debut album, Okonkolo in the fall of 2016.
French pianist Baptiste Trotignon, born in 1974, studied classical music from the age of six and discovered jazz and improvisation as a teenager. His first two trio albums in the early 2000’s, followed by two solo piano albums, brought him public and critical attention as one of the most spectacular, complete, and charming members of a new generation of pianists, and led to performances at many major French and international venues.
He has won many awards, including Prix Django Reinhardt, Best French Newcomer at 2003 Victoires du Jazz, and the Grand Prix at the 2002 Martial Solal International Piano Competition.
Since then, he had performed alongside artists such as Tom Harrell, Stefano Di Battista, Aldo Romano, and Brad Mehldau, among many others. Baptiste’s first “American“ album, Share, recorded in New York in 2008, was a hit in France, soon followed by a highly charged live album recorded in London. After receiving Sacem’s 2011 Grand Prix for his work as a composer, he released a stunning solo album, “Song Song Song”, on which he celebrated his love of the vocalist’s art, featuring such prestigious guest artists like Melody Gardot and Argentinian percussionist Minino Garay. He was also named Composer of the Year at the 2014 Victoires de la Musique Classique for his first major orchestral piece Different Spaces (Piano Concerto commissioned by the Orchestre National de Bordeaux). After a ballad album with saxophonist Mark Turner, hailed by Le Monde as “a lesson, a model, perfection from A to Z” , Trotignon continues to play resolutely open minded and imaginative music, most recently documented on his 2014 trio album Hit with drummer Jeff Ballard.
Regarded as one of New York City's most sought after bass player, Yunior Terry is recognized for his big sound, versatility and contagious rhythm. As the youngest son of one of Cuba’s most gifted musical families “Los Terry’s”, Yunior followed the tradition and began his musical training at age seven, graduating in 1994 from the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) in Havana with a double major in violin and bass. Soon after graduation he joined the National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing works of Europeans and Cubans composers at the Havana’s National Theater. In 1998 Mr. Terry moved to California to attend The California Institute of Arts where he received his B.A. with honors in 2002. It was at CalArts where he continued to expand his musical horizon under Charlie Haden, Derek Oles (Poland), Rajeev Taranath (India) and Alfred Ladzekpo (Ghana) by exposing him to a wide variety of music and traditions from around the world. In 2009, Yunior Terry won the Van Lier Fellowships, awarded each year by Meet The Composer to active professionals, supporting the creation of new musical work and engagement in the community.
Yunior Terry has performed with Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, Lila Downs, Jeff Tain Watts, Eddie Palmieri, The late Hilton Ruiz, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Turre, Dave Valentin, Jane Bunnett and his brother Yosvany Terry, among many others. In addition to his occupied schedule as a sidemen, Terry leads his own band “Son de Altura” created to innovate as well as to preserve the legacy of Cuban music.
Enoch Jamal "E.J." Strickland is the world-class, world-traveled drummer, composer, educator, and artist you've heard on over 60 albums in the last 10-plus years. The Miami native grew up in a creative household, where his dad was a percussionist in the Ft. Lauderdale Orchestra; his twin brother Marcus played the saxophone. Like so many talented artists before him, E.J. chose the New School to further his jazz education, a course of study that would introduce him to greater technical ability, but really, to the meat of any jazz program: teachers and peers.
E.J. quickly graduated into New York's gigging jazz scene, playing early on with Russell Malone and Ravi Coltrane.
Since then, Strickland has built a successful career as a composer, bandleader, educator, and sideman. He's toured, performed, and recorded with some of the greatest names in contemporary music: Cassandra Wilson, Terence Blanchard, Lizz Wright, Wynton Marsalis, George Colligan, David Gilmore, Vincent Herring, and Nnenna Freelon, to name a few. As an instructor, he's taught alongside some of the world's best jazz educators: Dave Douglas and Vijay Iyer at the prestigious Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, Steve Kirby at University of Manitoba, and Earl MacDonald at University of Connecticut.
As a leader, he's released two albums: 2009's In This Day featuring Marcus Strickland, Jaleel Shaw, Luis Perdomo, and Hans Glawischnig in a blend of musical settings. His most recent release, The Undying Spirit "positively glows…its success comes largely from the leader's ability to inspire the best in his fellow musicians," says Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat Magazine.
In 2015, E.J. brought his eclecticism to a new group, Transient Beings. Founded in the spirit of the present moment, Transient Beings celebrates the one thing we all share: limited time on Earth. With insightful and uplifting lyrics, and a unique instrumentation he hopes to unite his listeners through funk, hip-hop, Afrobeat, and fusion, pairing the complexity of jazz solos with the textured guitar sounds of rock.