Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio – tonight at the Playhouse

Who: Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio
Where: Arcata Playhouse ~ Arcata, CA
When: Tuesday, February 3, 8pm
Tix: $15/$10 for RJA and Playhouse members

The latest concert in the Redwood Jazz Alliance‘s stellar series features Chilean sax player Melissa Aldana, a rising star, winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, who happens to be the first woman to win the award. Raised in Santiago, she learned sax on her jazz teacher daddy’s knee. By the time she was a teen, she was playing at local jazz clubs. With help from Panamanian pianist Danilo Pérez, she was accepted at Berklee College of Music. When she graduated, it was on to jazz central, New York City. Then came an album, Free Fall, and another Second Cycle, both on Greg Osby’s Inner Circle Music label. Her latest is Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio on Concord Records.

Somewhere along the way the Redwood Jazz Alliance crew heard her. They were floored.

When we first set eyes and ears on Aldana with her Crash Trio at Le Poisson Rouge in New York at last year’s WinterJazzFest, she stopped us in our tracks. The first thing we noticed was her sound: big, warm, inviting. Then we heard the inventiveness of her soloing, which pairs harmonic depth with rhythmic sophistication. Finally, we took in the close connection and the sterling interplay she shares with her band mates. In fact, we not only heard it, we saw it, in her stance and her body language: Aldana leans in toward her fellow musicians, watching, smiling, moving with the sometimes strong, sometimes subtle pulse coming from the bass and drums. It’s a winning stage presence.

Melissa Aldana will also present an open public workshop at 11 am on Wednesday, February 4th in HSU’s Studio Theater (Theatre Arts 115, to the left and down the hall from the Van Duzer lobby). Music lovers of all levels of experience are welcome to attend, and admission is FREE.


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