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Paul Van Ross cd launch Mi Alma Cubana @ Bennetts Lane Jazz Club

September 28.

I guess you could say it was a year in the making. In September 2013 I was in Havana at EGREM studios recording with many legendary Cuban Musicians. The result
was a dancable Latin Jazz album that had no name, full of original compositions and recorded with Cuban legends.

Over the last 12 months there has been a lot leading up to this cd launch: editing, mixing, mastering, amcos fees, crowdfunding, photoshoot, album cover design, radio interviews, live gigs with local group ClaveMania and many rehearsals.

Many people have helped along the way. Sometimes the smallest bit of advice has had a huge impact.

I’m extremely proud of the album, the music and artwork make a wonderful package together. I wanted to do
justice to these Cuban legends that are featured on the album.

To everyone who helped in anyway, a sincere thank you, whether it was advice, pre purchasing the album, performing, attending the launch, selling CDs……..or just sharing my music with others.

LAUNCH…..

A lot of work went into promoting the album launch at famed Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. My expectations were surpassed by the many familiar and new faces that made up the packed house at Bennetts. An electric atmosphere and good vibes were added to with occasional dancing.

The band line up was complimented with timbales so as to have identical instrumentation to the recording. Music was scheduled to start at 8:45. We had to wait another 15 minutes for the queue of people to fill the room. Apparently the queue extended almost all the way down the street itself….WOW!

It was a pleasure being able to reproduce the music with marvellous Melbourne based talent.

One highlight of the night was when the audience participated in a rhythm lesson with the great Rodolfo ‘El Panga’ Hachaverria.

Paul Van Ross – saxes / flute
Jonathan Cohen – piano
Elizabeth Cohen – bass
Toby Bender – timbales
Damien Ellis – drum kit
Rodolfo ‘el panga’ Hachaverria – conga, bata

What a career highlight.

CDs available here. Postage worldwide included.

http://paulvanross.com/release/mi-alma-cubana-my-cuban-soul/

Xo
Paul

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Paul Van Ross cd launch Mi Alma Cubana @ Bennetts Lane Jazz Club

September 28.

I guess you could say it was a year in the making. In September 2013 I was in Havana at EGREM studios recording with many legendary Cuban Musicians. The result
was a dancable Latin Jazz album that had no name, full of original compositions and recorded with Cuban legends.

Over the last 12 months there has been a lot leading up to this cd launch: editing, mixing, mastering, amcos fees, crowdfunding, photoshoot, album cover design, radio interviews, live gigs with local group ClaveMania and many rehearsals.

Many people have helped along the way. Sometimes the smallest bit of advice has had a huge impact.

I’m extremely proud of the album, the music and artwork make a wonderful package together. I wanted to do
justice to these Cuban legends that are featured on the album.

To everyone who helped in anyway, a sincere thank you, whether it was advice, pre purchasing the album, performing, attending the launch, selling CDs……..or just sharing my music with others.

LAUNCH…..

A lot of work went into promoting the album launch at famed Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. My expectations were surpassed by the many familiar and new faces that made up the packed house at Bennetts. An electric atmosphere and good vibes were added to with occasional dancing.

The band line up was complimented with timbales so as to have identical instrumentation to the recording. Music was scheduled to start at 8:45. We had to wait another 15 minutes for the queue of people to fill the room. Apparently the queue extended almost all the way down the street itself….WOW!

It was a pleasure being able to reproduce the music with marvellous Melbourne based talent.

One highlight of the night was when the audience participated in a rhythm lesson with the great Rodolfo ‘El Panga’ Hachaverria.

Paul Van Ross – saxes / flute
Jonathan Cohen – piano
Elizabeth Cohen – bass
Toby Bender – timbales
Damien Ellis – drum kit
Rodolfo ‘el panga’ Hachaverria – conga, bata

What a career highlight.

CDs available here. Postage worldwide included.

http://paulvanross.com/release/mi-alma-cubana-my-cuban-soul/

Xo
Paul

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Paul Van Ross cd launch Mi Alma Cubana @ Bennetts Lane Jazz Club

September 28.

I guess you could say it was a year in the making. In September 2013 I was in Havana at EGREM studios recording with many legendary Cuban Musicians. The result
was a dancable Latin Jazz album that had no name, full of original compositions and recorded with Cuban legends.

Over the last 12 months there has been a lot leading up to this cd launch: editing, mixing, mastering, amcos fees, crowdfunding, photoshoot, album cover design, radio interviews, live gigs with local group ClaveMania and many rehearsals.

Many people have helped along the way. Sometimes the smallest bit of advice has had a huge impact.

I’m extremely proud of the album, the music and artwork make a wonderful package together. I wanted to do
justice to these Cuban legends that are featured on the album.

To everyone who helped in anyway, a sincere thank you, whether it was advice, pre purchasing the album, performing, attending the launch, selling CDs……..or just sharing my music with others.

LAUNCH…..

A lot of work went into promoting the album launch at famed Bennetts Lane Jazz Club. My expectations were surpassed by the many familiar and new faces that made up the packed house at Bennetts. An electric atmosphere and good vibes were added to with occasional dancing.

The band line up was complimented with timbales so as to have identical instrumentation to the recording. Music was scheduled to start at 8:45. We had to wait another 15 minutes for the queue of people to fill the room. Apparently the queue extended almost all the way down the street itself….WOW!

It was a pleasure being able to reproduce the music with marvellous Melbourne based talent.

One highlight of the night was when the audience participated in a rhythm lesson with the great Rodolfo ‘El Panga’ Hachaverria.

Paul Van Ross – saxes / flute
Jonathan Cohen – piano
Elizabeth Cohen – bass
Toby Bender – timbales
Damien Ellis – drum kit
Rodolfo ‘el panga’ Hachaverria – conga, bata

What a career highlight.

Xo
Paul

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How Salsa & Cuba changed my life

August 2014.

I fell in love with Cuban dance and culture in Melbourne while attending classes at the Cuban Dance Academy. The director, Christina Monneron, shed the light on this wonderful culture. I was particularly interested in the communal aspects of Rueda dancing, which is like a complicated Salsa version of the barn dance. It resonated with me. I felt the need to connect with people; I was missing being involved with the community on other levels than music.

When the dance school closed, I continued to lead a group of rueda lovers to practise every weekend. I’ve been dancing Rueda de Casino for over 8 years. Fundamentals in music training and improvisation enabled me to explore salsa dancing in a creative way and provided the discipline to improve quickly. Rueda can be as simple or as complicated as you desire, offers an enormous amount of creativity and improvisation, and requires the caller to react to the changes in the music. It’s dynamic. In many ways it’s very similar to playing jazz; constantly creative and interactive. My rueda friends and I have created many original moves over recent years. The dancing puts me in the “zone” and always puts a smile on face.

Paul Van Ross_Rueda Dancing

My interest in Cuban culture extends to Afro-Cuban elements of the music and dance, polyrhythmic elements and its earthly roots. I found the development of the music and dance particularly interesting. I travelled to Cuba in 2009 as part of a dance school, studying salsa, son, and Afro-Cuban dances. I even managed to get a few flute lessons in too.

I really enjoyed Cuba, on so many levels. While I was there, my camera was stolen, and as part of filing the police report in Havana, I had to ride in the standard issue police car (a Russian Lada – imagine 1950’s). I thought it was so ironic, because I needed the camera more than ever to take a photo of this slice of Cuba.

I felt particularly privileged to be able to see what ‘real’ Cubans are like, and not be influenced by what the media reports. After that first trip, I knew I would be back someday with a more musical focus.

Being a musician has helped build a stronger connection between the dancers and the musicians on stage at Latin gigs. People overseas are often surprised when I jump off stage at a Latin gig and bust out a few moves on the dance floor. I managed to convince a few dancers to visit jazz clubs and have new musical experiences.

Melbourne musicians have had a strong affiliation with Cuban musicians over the last few decades. My recent recording in Cuba is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my music career and I hope that it inspires other musicians to discover and experiment with Cuban music.

Pre Purchase the Cuban Album@

www.Pozible.com/paulvanross


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Let the Cubans Loose…

July 2014.

Let the Cubans loose…….

Well that’s what it felt like I’d done when I let some of the greatest Cuban musicians loose in the studio in Havana, Cuba in late 2013.

And, I’m truly thankful too. A fascinating recording is on it’s way.
By not constricting these wonderful musicians too much I had hoped to allow them more creativity and expression in the music making.

Anyway,

You can get an idea of their playful energy and general craziness on this video…..especially at the end.

Let the Cubans loose…

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Final day in Cuba

September 17. Cuba.

Last day in CUBA.

Catching an 8am bus from Havana to Veradero which is where my flight leaves from. It’s a 2 hour trip for $10 (the same cost as a taxi from my apartment to the bus station). My flight departs at 4pm. I guess I’ll have to imaginative with my spare time. Maybe hit the beach?

Mixed feelings. Has been amazing working and recording with arguably the best musicians in Cuba. Have enjoyed learning flute with Evelyn, she was also great to hang out with (I think she wanted the English practice). Didn’t improve my dancing.

Glad to escape the diesel fumes and shifty ways the locals make extra money.

Enjoyed the hospitality and friendly nature of the Real Cubans. Made some great new friends.

So, the customs officer’s name was “Inspector Die”, really. I had reservations about standing at hus cubicle. They had a problem with my passport. Had to wait 15mins, then got probed with questions. Where you are you from? Are you from germany? You came to Cuba in 2009. What is your job? Eventually they let me out.

Transiting in Cancun, Mexico. Immigration wouldn’t let 8 passengers into the country from our plane. Had a huge delay whilst the authorities gave them written reasons why (as insisted by passengers). Delays for all!

Observations:
– guy trimming the grass edging on the footpath with elbow grease using a huge machete. 7am.
– it’s necessary to drive use all lanes of the road in order to dodge potholes.
– man practising trombone on the Malecon 8.30am.
– Cubans love to paint walls. There’s no preparation necessary, just paint straight over the top of the layers of dirt that exists.
– signals at railways crossings don’t work….

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