Tickets on Eventbrite ~ $20-$25
Photo and CD artwork by Jeff Hofmann
Michel Ferré – piano, vocals, minor percussion
Vladimir Espinosa – Afro-Cuban percussion, vocals
Lázara Martínez – violin, vocals, minor percussion
Armando Arce “Pututi” – Latin Percussion, vocals
RiShon Odel – bass, vocals
Cuban born Michel Ferré was born in Havana in 1972. His classical and jazz training as a pianist in Havana greatly influenced his musical formation and who he is today. His musical inspiration ranges from Bach, Chopin, Lecuona through the music of Jarrett, The Doors, the Beatles, Bjork, Emiliano Salvador, and Sun Ra as his work as a pianist, arranger, and composer continues to evolve.
For over 20 years, Michel has been a long time friend and collaborator with Vladimir Espinosa with whom he recorded and produced their CD “ Acoustic Latin Jazz”, a mix of original compositions by Ferré and Espinosa of Afro-Cuban and Latin music.
Currently, on tour with American singer, songwriter, producer and actress Lauryn Hill, Michel Ferré collaborated as a pianist, arranger and sound engineer for the recently released album “Nina Revisited – A Tribute to Nina Simone”, featuring Lauryn Hill, Usher, Mary J Blige among others.
“El Coco” is Ferrré and Vladimir Espinosa’s latest CD production of originals and Cuban classics in collaboration with Lázara Martínez, Armando Arce (Pututui), Jeff Hofmann, Edward Magdariaga, Hansel Herrera, among many others. Michel currently lives in Miami with his wife and two children.
Cuban born Vladimir Espinosa is a musician, actor, and choreographer born in Havana, Cuba. He has worked as an instructor of Latin Percussion, Afro-Cuban Dance, and musician-accompanist in residence at Hollins since 2005. His specialties include Latin and Afro-Cuban music, contemporary Latin and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance, and traditional African Diaspora rhythms. Espinosa graduated from the ENA (School National of Arts, Cuba) in 1985. He also studied with the National Folkloric de Cuba with Regino Jimenes and Pelladito.
After graduating, he began teaching at the Arts School in Jiguani, Granma, Cuba and at the Casa De Cultural in Havana, Cuba. Espinosa performed, taught, and choreographed for many companies in Cuba and Ecuador. He has also performed Afro-Cuban traditional rhythms and dance with Las Manos Del Sol (U.S.) and the Roanoke Ballet Theatre (U.S). In 1996, Espinosa was the artistic director and choreographer for the election ceremonies for the Queen of Ecuador. From 1996-1999 he toured with Havana Express and played in many venues across the U.S.He has been a teacher and instructor for the American Dance Festival (Durham, NC) since 2005.
Cuban born Lázara Martinez began her violin studies in Havana Cuba at the age of 8. After receiving her Honor Diploma from the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory, she emigrated to the Dominican Republic where she was a member of the National Symphony in Santo Domingo. Three years later, she returned to Cuba to perform with the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba in Havana, and as soloist with the Camerata Romeu. With the Camerata, she appeared at numerous festivals including the Cervantino in Mexico, International Water Festival in Sweden, International Festival of the Arts, Costa Rica, International Festival of Religious Music, Colombia and the International Festival of Contemporary Music in Havana, Cuba. She was also featured with the Camerata on National Radio of Spain, TV Madrid, Spain Radio Antena, Mexico Artes de Channel 22, and Cuba Vision / Radio Rebelde in Cuba. Before leaving Cuba to live in Mexico, Ms. Martínez recorded the debut CD “La Bella Cubana” with Camerata Romeu. While living in Mexico, she was a member of the Carlos Chavez Symphonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the State of Hidalgo, Camerata de las Americas, and the Mineria Summer Festival Orchestra. Since moving back to Buffalo in 2006 Lázara has been a member of the Slee Sinfonietta, a substitute violinist with the BPO and has had numerous appearances with other local groups in the area.
Cuban born Armando Arce “Pututi” – Latin Percussion – bio coming soon
RiShon Odel is perhaps one of the most creative talents in this era; he is currently touring with 3x-time Grammy-Nominated Saxophonist NAJEE whose last 3 singles have ridden the Billboard Top 10 in two categories, Smooth Jazz and R&B. As part of NAJEE’S 2-year 5-Star band (Ticketmaster), Odel is a member of the International Society of Bassists and endorses DR “Black Beauties” Strings; along with other bassists like Marcus Miller, Thaddeus Tribbett, Sting, Mike Harrington and more. In addition, Odel has traveled and recorded with a pastiche of great artists throughout his career, such as: Marvin Winans, Phil Perry, Me’Lisa Morgan, Donnie McClurkin, Special Gift and (Love & Hip-Hop star) “Stevie J” Jordan… (see bottom for extended list)
While still pursuing a Sociology degree at a SUNY College, Odel burst onto the music scene in 2006 with an arco bass piece performed at the opening of the JoAnn Faletta International Guitar Competition alongside the Buffalo Select Chorus. Having authored his first instructional Book of Bass Volume 1(Dorrance Publishing), and conducted his first orchestra in 2009 and in the same year was nominated “Best Classical Musician” by Artvoice magazine. Odel has composed music for the Eastman String Quartet, Buffalo State College Symphonic Band and The Ieda String Ensemble; which he used to score the film “Less Than Perfect,” produced by film legend Reuben Santiago. In 2010, Odel released a DVD documentary on Jazz History which is available in the SUNY Interlibrary loan system under both History and Criticism. The DVD features band members of the late Charles Mingus’ tour band. Having such a vast love of music, Odel started his musical career with just a few trips to the music store which expanded into drum workshops and videos with drumming legends Liberty DeVito, Dom Famularo and LaDell Abrams. Within his first year of playing Odel got his first professional gig with Malaco recording artist “Georgia Mass Choir,” filling in for Alex Evans (Patti Labelle, Whitney Houston).
When he is not playing or composing, he conducts workshops and clinics throughout the U. S., Canada, and other territories. His teaching record consists of vocal and instrumental students that have gone on to Howard University, Berklee College of Music, Buffalo State College, Michigan State, and more…