This CD recording represents the culmination of ‘Chapter 1’ in the on-going saga of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s relationship with the island of Cuba.
Brett Batterson, former executive director of the Auditorium Theatre introduced me to River North Dance Artistic Director, Frank Chavez in 2011 at the theatre’s Miles Davis Festival where we were both participants. As Frank and I discussed artistic aspirations, we were intrigued with the idea to collaborate on a Cuban inspired project. We began with an exploratory trip to Cuba in October 2012. For Frank it was journey to a home that he has not seen since infancy. For me it was a chance to discover African roots in a country where heritage remains prominent.
My goal for my research was to interact with Cuban musicians… to be inspired by their talents and personalities while making new friends. And believe me, I took advantage of every opportunity to do so!
The resulting collaboration, Havana Blue represents an innovative contemporary reflection on Cuban music and dance, exploring African and Cuban rhythm and melody reflected by a vibrant culture that celebrates its identity.
In a momentous collaboration, the Artistic Directors of River North Dance Chicago and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Frank Chaves and Orbert Davis, explore their shared Cuban experiences for a vibrant World Premiere of original live music and dance, bringing the culture's rich history to life in a contemporary way. Recorded "LIVE" at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, April 13, 2013.