The Canarias Jazz & Más Heineken Festival is starting this weekend with a double-bill open air concert at Plaza de los Alisios (back of Auditorio de Tenerife). On Friday, 6 July the programme includes the local band Atlantic Jazz Ensemble, pianist Christian Sands in a trio and trumpetist Keyon Harrold. Concerts start at 9:00 pm and admission is free. Santa Cruz de Tenerife welcomes open-air concerts again with a double bill, as on Saturday, 7th (same place, same time) good music lovers and the loyal followers of the festival can enjoy a second event with the performance of the Alexis Alonso Quartet (Canaries), British Myles Sanko and Californian Jungle Fire. Two eclectic evenings that show different ways of understanding jazz, from classic and pure sounds to the fusion of related rhythms like hip hop, soul or afrobeat.

There will be more than 50 concerts from 28 musical projects in different venues on five islands–La Palma, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Tenerife-. The number of gigs gives an idea of the scope of the event thanks to the contribution of the municipalities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Adeje, Puerto de la Cruz, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Lucía de Tirajana, Santa Brígida, Puerto del Rosario, Tías, Haría and Los Llanos de Aridane, and the sporsonship of the Government of the Canary Islands and the Cabildos of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, Casa África,  Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, Fundación Auditorio y Teatro de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Teatro Leal, Teatro Guiniguada and Binter. Organized by Colorado Producciones, it is once again sponsored by Heineken.


Christian Sands, has been nominated five times to a Grammy award and is an emergent jazz power. His piano technique matches his conception of music, offering a new outlook on the language of jazz. Whether swing, bebop, progressive, fusion, Brazilian or Afro-Cuban, Sands deals with the past of music while providing stimulating unusual vehicles for the present and the future. He talks through a wide range of patterns, textures and structures while keeping a strong sense of good taste and swing. His career took a huge leap when Grammy-winner bass player, Christian McBride asked Sands, who was 20 at the time, to join him at the Village Vanguard and his big band. This led to his becoming a member of the bass player’s trio shortly after and touring the world with them.


Christian Sands: Piano.

Yasushi Nakamura: Bass.

Jonathan Barber: Drums.

Keyon Harrold was born and brought up in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb. His city has a prominent place in his album The Mugician as he goes through the difficult times its humblest residents have to experience. His music is based on elements from jazz, classical music, rock, blues and hip hop, to create something unique and unmistakably American. Guests like Pharoahe Monch, Gary Clark Jr., Big KRIT, Guy Torry, Georgia, Anne Muldrow and Robert Glasper add to the eclectic nature of the record which comes through as a unified cohesive whole, thanks to Harrold’s virtuoso skills as a trumpeter and composer and his optimistic view on life: “the best days are yet to come”. In Mugician, a combination of "musician" and "magician", Harrold goes beyond the traditional boundaries of the Jazz trumpet. In fact, the album does not even start with the trumpet. The record opens with the song Voicemail which has an inspiring message from Harrold’s mother, set in an exciting orchestral sound. Her words provide the foundation for an album that celebrates family (ten of Keyon’s siblings appear in the record) and the absolute need of optimism against darkness and doubt. Identity and equality issues are also part of the record, at times subtly present under the surface, at times more obviously.


Keyon Harrold: Trumpet and voices.

Shedrick Mitchell: Piano

Nir Felder: Guitar.

Burniss Travis: Bass.

Charles Haynes: Drums.

Featuring Andrea Pizziconi: Voice.

The Atlantic Jazz Ensemble is a creation of Atlantic Jazz Lab (Atlantic Jazz & New Music Laboratory), whose aim is to provide regular training to help spread, keep and encourage jazz creation in, for and from the Canary Islands. It is all done under the artistic supervision of Natanael Ramos, founder of the lab and one of the most prominent Canarian musicians in the European jazz scene. Since 2016 the group has attracted island audiences with different itinerant projects like the album Round Midnight by Miles Davis and since late 2017, with the project they are presenting now: The Music Of Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.


Natanael Ramos: Trumpet and artistic direction.

Claudio Marrero: Tenor sax.

Francis Hernández: Piano.

Jose Carlos Machado: Double bass.

Nasim López-Palacios: Drums.

England-resident Soul singer and composer, Myles Sanko, made his debut with his EP Born in Black & White, which was acclaimed by both audience and critics in 2013. The album includes seven original funk and soul tracks inspired by great figures of soul like Bill Withers, Otis Redding, Al Green and James Brown, thus proudly acknowledging them as his main music influences. The record is a perfect combination of deep grooves and jazz. Labelled “the Lovechild of Soul Music”, Myles started his career singing and rapping with djs at clubs. He has been a member of popular groups like Bijoumiyo and Speedometer. Sanko is presenting his third album where he adds a new chapter to his particular intense journey. Just Being Me “is about love, hope and politics and has a piece of me in every part”, he says.


Myles Sanko: Voice. 

Rick Hudson: Drums. 

Tom O'grady: Keyboard. 

Phil Stevenson: Guitar. 

Jon Mapp: Bass.

Alex Hitchcock: Sax. 

James Copus: Trumpet. 

The sound of Jungle Fire is a deep exploration into Afro-Latin Funk with a genuine and explosive approach. This LA TropiFunk group draws on music legends like Irakere, Ray Barreto, James Brown, Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango (among many others) while creating a mixture of Afro-Caribbean and African-West sound that includes breaks of classical funk. Since its beginnings in 2011, Jungle Fire quickly stood out in the LA funk scene in underground clubs and parties across the city. The different musical and cultural origin of the Jungle Fire members are a direct reflection of the musical and cultural scene in Los Angeles. The international and multicultural mixture of sounds is a basic feature of the band’s sound. Both individually and collectively, the members of Jungle Fire have recorded, performed or toured with such different artists as Stevie Wonder, Ozomatli, De La Soul, Celia Cruz, LCD Soundsystem, U2, Greyboy Allstars, Kelis, and many more.


Alberto López: Percussion.

Steve Haney: Percussion.

Michael Duffy: Percussion. 

Sam Halterman: Drums.

Patrick Bailey: Bass. 

Aquiles Magaña: Electric guitar. 

Sean Billings: Trumpet. 

Sam Robles: Baritone Sax. 

One of the peculiarities of Alexis Alonso Quartet is their originality in the jazz scene as a cello is an important feature of their sound. The sensitivity of the great cello player Ciro Hernández, the versatility and talent of double bass player Agustín Buenafuente along with one of the best drum players in current jazz, Roberto Amor, blend in to create this wonderful cocktail that has sailed across Alexis Alonso’s compositions and his magic piano, giving as a result truly powerful pieces.


Alexis Alonso: Piano.

Ciro Hernández: Cello.

Agustín P. Buenafuente: Double bass.

Roberto Amor: Drums.

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