Kaiso Street Collective, led by Jesse Ryan In the spirit of honouring calypso’s The Mighty Bomber, will debut new arrangements to celebrate the connections between jazz and Afro-Caribbean traditions on February 17 at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto. Tickets are available in advance here and also at the door.
The Collective’s line up for this concert will feature the rhythm-section of guitarist Andrew Marzotto, pianist Ewen Farncombe, vibraphonist Michael Davidson, Juno award-winning bassist Roberto Ochipinti and Cuban Canadian drummer Anthony Daniel. Fronting the ensemble is Cuban-Canadian trumpeter Alexander Brown, trombonist Kelsey Grant, tenor saxophonist Jeff La Rochelle. Jesse Ryan will function as music director and play alto & soprano saxophones.
“Around the world the month of February commemorates two significant cultural events for the African diaspora: Black History Month and Trinidad & Tobago’s Carnival festival. Though the cultural contributions of Caribbean icons to black history have been seen and celebrated in part, their stories are often left out of the global narrative. With this project I want to echo an idea that I believe can be found within the collective consciousness of all people, but that is often unspoken – CALYPSO HISTORY IS BLACK HISTORY!” says Ryan.
The ensemble will premiere new arrangements of some of his late grandfather, Clifton Ryan’s (aka The Mighty Bomber) calypsos as well as calypsos from The Mighty Spoiler, who was one of Bomber’s mentors and biggest influences.
Trinidadian-born Jesse Ryan is a saxophonist and composer with a keen interest in the connections between jazz and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions and communicating transcendent ideas through his music. His compositions are ambitious, and his enchanting sound tells that he is set to take Caribbean jazz out of its niche of ethnic fusion, and into the mainstream. Ryan’s JUNO-nominated debut album Bridges is “…an aural explosion of stellar musicianship, that incorporates his explorations of his own cultural roots, expertise in the modern jazz idiom and elements of the sacred, embellished with joyful Trini flourishes,” says Medium Magazine.
He is the 2020 recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Jazz Artist Award – an award that puts a spotlight on emerging jazz musicians with a keen sense of the grand tradition behind jazz music, while putting their own stamp on the genre and the Toronto music scene with their unique style and approach.