Pablo Menares (bass), Yago Vazquez (piano) and Rodrigo Recabarren (percussion) performing together
Pablo Menares, Yago Vazquez, and Rodrigo Recabarren performing music from their new album, Familia. Photo by Eduardo Pavez Goye

This month's update finds me in New York City, where last night I had the pleasure of taking in a show at The Jazz Gallery for the first time in almost eight years. A lot has changed—they added a beautiful gallery room and have clearly put a lot of attention into the stage acoustics—and yet the community essence of the space is just as palpable as before.

I was there to hear the long-standing piano trio of Rodrigo Recabarren, Pablo Menares, and Yago Vazquez launch their second album, Familia. You might recognize some of those names—Pablo and Rodrigo are two of the three Chileans with whom I'm collaborating on Somewhere Else!!!! In fact, when I had first reached out to them about the possibility of working together, they had just recorded the music for Familia and were looking for labels to release it. I helped polish their pitch letter and was thrilled to learn a few months later that the album had been picked up by Greenleaf Music, a boutique jazz label stewarded by trumpeter Dave Douglas.

The trio's music is a beautiful distillation of the sounds and scenes that animated my dissertation research---after playing together for nearly 15 years, the three have developed a sound of being themselves through the music they make together. The album title, Familia, evokes both the deep influence of their families of origin in Chile and Spain as well as the chosen family that they've made together as Spanish-speaking, jazz-loving immigrants in Brooklyn. It was also a delight to witness Rodrigo's partner and their 6-year-old kid in the crowd taking in the first set!

I've found myself in orbit around Chilean jazz lovers like Pablo and Rodrigo for almost 20 years now; every time a new project like Familia emanates from these networks, my heart smiles as I am reminded of the love that I have felt through those relationships. This listening also keeps my flame lit to do the work of staying attuned to these frequencies in far-away Massachusetts. Thank you, Pablo, Reca, and Yago for the ongoing inspiration!

In the meantime, it's back to the "woodshed" at home with the trombone ... stay tuned as I make preparations for our next round of activities for Somewhere Else!!!! and please do check out Familia wherever you do your music listening. Right here on this webpage, even: