• One by one, guests joined harpist Edmar Castañeda (right) at the Americas Society. In "Carrao Carrao," it's Dave Silliman and Andrea Tierra.
    Hide caption
    One by one, guests joined harpist Edmar Castañeda (right) at the Americas Society. In "Carrao Carrao," it's Dave Silliman and Andrea Tierra.
    Roey Yohai/Americas Society
  • Edmar Castañeda wears a bright red cap. His electric blue harp is his orchestra at the Americas Society.
    Hide caption
    Edmar Castañeda wears a bright red cap. His electric blue harp is his orchestra at the Americas Society.
    Roey Yohai/Americas Society
  • Jorge Glem, the four-string guitar player, has won first place in more than one cuatro festival and competition events in his home country of Venezuela.
    Hide caption
    Jorge Glem, the four-string guitar player, has won first place in more than one cuatro festival and competition events in his home country of Venezuela.
    Roey Yohai/Americas Society
  • Edmar Castañeda in his element.
    Hide caption
    Edmar Castañeda in his element.
    Roey Yohai/Americas Society
  • Saxophonist Shlomi Cohen, born in Tel Aviv, came to New York to study jazz.
    Hide caption
    Saxophonist Shlomi Cohen, born in Tel Aviv, came to New York to study jazz.
    Roey Yohai/Americas Society

1 of 5

View slideshow i

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater

Edmar Castañeda And Friends On JazzSetWBGO

Edmar Castañeda And Friends On JazzSet
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/184518578/184468228" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

As a child in Bogotá, Edmar Castañeda and his sister took folk dance classes. Their mother made sure of that. Castañeda liked the dancing, but he really liked the live harp accompaniment. In Spanish, the harp is called the llanero. It's Colombian, not a classical harp.

When the family moved to Queens, Castañeda studied trumpet and discovered jazz, especially improvisation. So he put his loves together, working as a solo harpist in a New York restaurant and teaching himself the music people wanted to hear on an instrument they did not expect to see.

Now in his mid-30s, Castañeda is a world-traveling, collaborative musical marvel. He's an extroverted, sweet-tempered virtuoso; The Wall Street Journal calls him the "hippest harpist." A soprano saxophonist from Israel and a drummer/percussionist originally from the Bay Area round out his trio.

In November 2012, this trio and special guests played three nights at the Americas Society in Manhattan. The series fit Americas Society's mission to a T; both are designed to foster understanding of issues confronting the hemisphere, and increase awareness and appreciation of a diverse cultural heritage.

Castañeda wears a bright red cap, and his electric-blue harp is his orchestra. He walks those fluid bass lines under percussive chords and fast-moving melodies. Saxophonist Shlomi Cohen, born in Tel Aviv, came to New York to study jazz. Cohen plays funk with the Bernie Worrell Orchestra. Castañeda calls Dave Silliman "the man with four hands." Silliman is ridiculously productive as he paints with brushes on the snare drum, slaps the cajon he sits on and rattles his gourds.

Guest bandoneonist Héctor del Curto from Argentina now lives in New York, where he directed Forever Tango on Broadway. Vibraphonist Joe Locke is made in the U.S.; he and Castañeda played a duo concert at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival that aired on JazzSet. Vocalist Andrea Tierra from Medellín met and married Edmar Castañeda in New York. And Jorge Glem, the four-string guitar player, has won first place in more than one cuatro festival and competition events in his home country of Venezuela. One by one, they join Castañeda.

This series of concerts received support from Chamber Music America's 2012 Presenting Jazz program, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (which also funds JazzSet) and the MetLife Foundation Music of the Americas Concert Series, with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Set List
  • "Double Portion" (Castañeda) featuring the trio
  • "Libertango" (Piazzolla) with guest Héctor del Curto, bandoneon
  • "Cuarto de Colores" (Castañeda) with guest Joe Locke, vibes
  • "Carrao Carrao" (traditional) with Andrea Tierra, vocals
  • "Entre Cuerdas" (Castañeda) with Jorge Glem, cuatro
Personnel
  • Edmar Castañeda, harp
  • Shlomi Cohen, soprano sax
  • Dave Silliman, drums and percussion
  • Héctor del Curto, bandoneón
  • Joe Locke, vibraphone
  • Andrea Tierra, vocal
  • Jorge Glem, cuatro
Credits

Host: Dee Dee Bridgewater. Recording engineer: Bill Siegmund with Don Fierro and Andrew T. Shire. Surround Sound remix engineer: Duke Markos. Studio engineer: Ginger Bruner, KUNV in Las Vegas. Thanks to Sebastian Zubieta, music director, Americas Society; Jeanette Vuocolo, jazz program director, Chamber Music America.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Rose Murphy. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Rose Murphy On Piano Jazz

Hear the singer and pianist perform "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" in a 1988 session.

Rose Murphy In The Studio
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476137289/476145176" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Carlos Henriquez in The Bronx. Lawrence Sumulong for Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Lawrence Sumulong for Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz Night In America

Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

The bassist spends a lot of time in Manhattan for Jazz at Lincoln Center, but his roots are uptown.

Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/476077535/476086613" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Ayako Shirasaki. Patrick Wamsganz/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Patrick Wamsganz/Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Ayako Shirasaki On Piano Jazz

Hear the Japanese pianist perform her compositions "Falling Leaves" and "Far Away."

Ayako Shirasaki In The Studio
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474388065/474390434" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Barbara Lea on the cover of A Woman In Love + Barbara Lea + Lea In Love. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Barbara Lea On Piano Jazz

The respected vocalist joins Marian McPartland for a tribute to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael.

Barbara Lea In The Studio
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/473497507/473504650" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Paul Bley. Hans Kumpf/Courtesy of ECM Records hide caption

toggle caption Hans Kumpf/Courtesy of ECM Records

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Paul Bley On Piano Jazz

The avant-garde pianist performed original motifs and a free duet with Marian McPartland in 2000.

Paul Bley In The Studio
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/472695170/472696689" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Marian McPartland. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

The Music Of Marian McPartland On Piano Jazz

Hear McPartland's compositions performed by Sarah Vaughan, Cleo Laine and more.

The Music Of Marian McPartland
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/471849097/471851264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Harold Mabern. Gabe Palacio/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Gabe Palacio/Getty Images

Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Harold Mabern On Piano Jazz

McPartland caught the Memphis-born pianist for a session just before he left for a 1991 Japan tour.

Harold Mabern In The Studio
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470957914/470960257" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top