Percussionist/Composer Samuel Torres Celebrates “Yaounde” at Drom on April 28!

Samuel Torress---Yaounde


“at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive.” – JazzTimes

“inventive, lyrical, and important.  He is a special artist” – Jeff “Tain” Watts

“[Samuel Torres’] playing is full of joy and that’s what music is all about” – Richard Bona


” . . . a ferocious conga solo by Samuel Torres that seemed not humanly possible.” – The Boston Globe

Percussionist/Composer SAMUEL TORRES
CD Release Celebration – This Wednesday
April 28 @ DROM!
w/special guests – The Curtis Brothers

April 28th @ DROM –

6pm to 7 pm : doors

Curtis Brothers : 7 to 8 PM

Samuel Torres Group : 8:30 to 10 PM

Drom is @ 85 Avenue A | New York, NY, 10009 | Tel (212) 777-1157
Tickets: $10 ADV – $15 Door



The music on Yaoundé, the second recording from percussionist/composer Samuel Torres, is the product of one of today’s most versatile and formidable Latin jazz artists absorbing the richness of some of the world’s greatest cultural melting pots.  The release of Yaoundé, available now, confirms that this multifaceted musician’s prowess as a composer has come to rival his international acclaim as one of the best percussionists of his generation

A 2005 trip to Africa with guitarist Richard Bona sparked an interest in African music and its connection to many of his homeland’s rhythms.  It unleashed a flood of creative energy that led directly to the creation of Yaoundé.  “My trip to Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon, was very emotional,” he recalls.  “At that moment, I began a new period in my life.  The song ‘Yaoundé’ was the first tune that I wrote after the experience, and out of that compositional process the rest of the songs flowed.”

Yaoundé is the follow up recording to Skin Tones (2006), his debut recording as a leader and an album that quickly solidified his reputation as one of the most creative percussionists in Latin jazz today.  The effort was trumpeted by JazzTimes magazine as “at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive.”  Now with Yaoundé Mr. Torres shows an even more stylistically adventurous side, with 13 invigorating tracks that draw from the seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of Colombian folkloric traditions, as well as African sonorities and shadings of funk and jazz.

Although now a seasoned artist in his mid 30s, Torres still boasts the same inquisitive personality that prompted his early interest in music as a young boy in Bogotá.  His exposure to African music at its source provided Torres with a new appreciation of how some of the styles of his native Colombia had evolved.  He discovered, for instance, the striking similarity between the currulao, a style from Colombia’s Pacific coast region, and the balafon music of Cameroon.  “Initially, I didn’t have the intention to do a Colombian jazz album, but as time went on, I felt the need to do it in certain styles.  Maybe I was in search of my own identity, or perhaps it was a desire to explore the African influence in Colombian music.  It also came from my own perspective of living in New York, of traveling all around, and of loving Latin jazz, salsa, and Cuban and African music and realizing how all of these styles can interact.”

As he did on Skin Tones, Torres surrounds himself with a large cast of musicians who bring their strongly individualistic perspectives to the group sound.  Among the headliners whose talents make Yaoundé so memorable are woodwind artists Anat Cohen and Joel Frahm, trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, pianist Manuel Valera, bassist John Benitez, timbalero Ralph Irizarry, drummer Ernesto Simpson, vocalist Sofía Rei Koutsovitis, and tiple (12-string Colombian guitar) player Andrés Gar

“The combinations of these diverse musicians, I strongly believe, give the flavor of what I was trying to get on Yaoundé,” Torres explains. “The album features a lot of Colombian music, but it comes with a vision from New York and the spirit of West Africa.  The group includes Puerto Rican, Cuban, Jewish, Colombian and other South American musicians, but they are players who are really well versed in both jazz and Latin music.”

Press Enquiries on Samuel Torres:  Contact Jason Paul Harman Byrne @ Red Cat Publicity

Email Redcatjazz@mac.com, Tel 347 578 7601

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Published in: on April 27, 2010 at 12:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

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