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Argentine maestro brings jazz fusion to Flushing

Emilio Solla and his ensemble fill Flushing Town Hall with the sweet sounds of their music. Photo by Norm Harris.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Flushing Town Hall Jazz Fusion presented works by the Argentinian pianist, composer and band leader Emilio Solla and his ensemble earlier this month.

Although Solla earned his degree and was classically trained at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires, in the mid-’80s he developed his own style of composition and presentation, reflecting his Argentinian roots with an emphasis on the “fusion of modern Argentine tango and folklore with jazz and other contemporary styles.” Since his 2006 arrival in New York Solla has composed, arranged and performed in the jazz idiom with such renowned artists as Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill’s Big Band and Edmar Castaneda. Like his cadre of talented jazzmen, Solla has also graced the stages of clubs such as the New York Jazz Standard and Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.

Band leader Solla on the Town Hall Steinway grand with his ensemble was comprised of Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz, double bassist Edward Perez, and saxophonist Chris Cheek both from New York and the accordion master hailing originally from Spain, Victor Prieto. This uniquely talented and vibrant jazz quintet, each member possessing a Who’s Who of accomplishments and accolades in and outside of the jazz world, gave the audience at Flushing Town Hall a healthy taste of their creative and dynamic energy Feb. 15 in two very well received sets.

“Llegara, Llegara, Llegara,” the opening original composition translated loosely by Sola as “It Will Come,” featured Cheek on sax and was followed in the remaining evening with a series of memorable and spirited tunes such as “Heart Beat,” written by Solla for the contemporary great drummer Billy Hart, featuring Ravitz on the skins, and the rousing ensemble focal piece, “Buenas Aries Blues.” Solla at the conclusion of the second set expressed his gratitude to the members of the audience and to Ellen Kodadeck, the executive and artistic director of the venue, for being so receptive to his group’s performance and for “allowing him to be able to play on such a beautiful Ferrari of an instrument,” the Steinway Grand.

Coming to Flushing Town Hall on Sunday, March 9, is an event not to be missed: “Homage to Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke” at 8 p.m. Call 718-463-7700, ext. 222, for ticket information or go to www.flushingtownhall.org

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