‘Mauricio Velasierra Jazz Quintet’ this Thursday Nov 11 @ Utrophia project space. 8pm Andean acoustic jazz. 136 tanners hill,london se8 8qd Nearest tube New Cross, or DLR Deptford Bridge. Come along!
“Velasierra’s music is a facsinating mixture of latin-American melodies, contemporary harmony and Afro-Andean rhythms, underlined by clear
concepts of Jazz imrovisation”.
-Joey Julian BBC-
“Now That’s a great Riff!”
–Verity Sharp, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3-
Strong personal narratives give his compositions a vibrancy and a strange familiarity.
Velasierra is a pioneering player of traditional Andean flutes. Able to play the kena as a fully chromatic instrument, this has allowed him to develop a truly original musical language. With influences ranging from African music to jazz, his compositions are a rich mixture of largely unexplored Andean rhythms combined with contemporary melodies and harmonies.
From the first pvc plastic kena that he bought as a seven year-old in the San Alejo market in Medellín, Colombia, Mauricio was fascinated by the melody-led beauty of traditional Andean music. Entirely self-taught on the kena and sikus, his childhood and teen years living in Medellín were spent immersed in that music. He has studied instrument making at the London Guildhall University and has carried out extensive research in both construction and technique allowing him to explore other musical styles and ideas. Most of the flutes he plays he has made himself.
In 1991, aged 17, Mauricio left Medellín for London, where he has lived intermittently during the last seventeen years. It was in London that he first became interested in other musical genres and started to explore Jazz and the music of Zimbabwe and West Africa. This disciplined exploration has allowed him to truly understand the African element of Afro-Andean rhythms and perfect his natural talent for improvisation.
Over the last decade he has worked for and collaborated with a range of jazz and world musicians including Chartwell Dutiro, Zoe Rahman and John Williams as well as working on his own collaborative projects such as Truba and Klektivo. ‘Stories of I’ is Mauricio’s debut project as a band leader and drawn entirely from original compositions.