Román Filiú & Assai Quartet
Friday, November 12th
VI Residencia Jazz Condeduque
20.30 pm – Centro de Cultura Contemporánea Condeduque
One of the great revolutions in Madrid’s jazz scene in the last two decades has been the arrival of a large and powerful group of Cuban jazz players, who came here to throw their own party that turned into an open house party. At the helm is alto saxophonist Román Filiú (Cuba, 1972), a self-made instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader with a huge cosmopolitan heart. He grew up amidst the music of the streets of Santiago de Cuba and soon made the leap to the capital where he trained at the prestigious Art Institute of Havana. It wasn’t long before he was immersed in his first adventures with the Isaac Delgado Orchestra and, above all, with Irakere and Chucho Valdés, which opened him up to the world and from there… to the skies of Madrid. Until he headed off to New York in 2011, alto saxophonist Román Filiú was one of the great agitators of the Madrid jazz scene in the mid-2000s, a scene that was somewhat set in its ways and rather battered. During his stay in New York he was in demand as a lead musician for master jazz legends such as David Murray and avant-garde icon Henry Threadgill, who ended up raising him to the peak of all the international jazz scenes. He returned to our city a few years ago and today he is once again a creative protagonist in its nightlife, leading various ensembles and new projects, such as the one he is now presenting together with the Assai Quartet.
In Román Filiu Suite Oriental feat. Assai Quartet, music takes inspiration from the vast musical repertoire of the Eastern region of Cuba (tumba francesa, trova, son, etc.), combining it with the avant-garde sound of New York. The quintet format has the flexibility to mutate from a jazz ensemble/accompaniment, with improvisation taking centre stage, to a small chamber ensemble, where he will explore composition and forms as a soloist. The music consists of 8 pieces and has been written exclusively for this Condeduque première.
The Assai Quartet is made up of four instrumentalists who have won awards at prestigious centres such as the P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, and the Higher Institute of Havana. The ensemble has performed all over Spain, including concerts at the National Music Auditorium in Madrid, the National Centre for the Dissemination of Contemporary Music, the Teatro Albéniz in Madrid, the 58th Quincena Musical Donostiarra, the Auditorium of the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao and the Teatro Principal in Valencia, among others. In April 2006 he made his debut in London with a concert at the historic Wigmore Hall, one of the world’s most prestigious music venues.
The free and libertarian intuition of Román Filiú, together with the rigour and interpretative elegance of the Assai Quartet, building bridges between different sensibilities such as those of Cuba and New York, apparently far removed from one another, yet organically so close.