Alex Alvear & Mango Blue
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 - 7:00pm
New York, New York 10014
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Ecuadorian-born bassist, singer, composer and arranger Alex Alvear is an established artist in both Ecuador and the New England music scene. Before arriving to the US in 1986, Alvear co-founded and co-lead two ground-breaking musical projects, which left an imprint on the musical landscape of Ecuador; the “Urban Folklore” ensemblePromesas Temporales, considered to be a milestone in the development of new and original music in Ecuador and, Rumbasón, Ecuador’s first Cuban music ensemble, which in addition to performing in sold-out performances for thousands of people, it opened the doors for the creation of radio shows and clubs dedicated to Salsa in the city of Quito. Upon his arrival to study Jazz Composition and Arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Alvear began to work as an arranger, bassist and singer with numerous Latin music bands in the city, to later begin developing personal projects. He currently leads Alex Alvear & Mango Blue, an award-winning Afro-Latin music ensemble performing his original compositions and arrangements. Alex Alvear & Mango Bluehas performed extensively throughout the US and internationally for the past fifteen years and has been featured in 65 Public Television affiliate stations nationally. In 1997 Alvear released “Equatorial”, a critically-acclaimed CD of his original compositions and arrangements, inspired by and based on traditional Ecuadorian music. For over a decade, Alvear has worked with K-12 schools, community organizations and universities, offering educational programs with Mango Blue’s off-shoot,Manguito (little mango), as an independent agent and as member of the Young Audiences of Massachusetts roster. Alvear composed the music for “Blak Mama”, a feature film released in Ecuador in March 2009 which was selected to represent Ecuador in the 2013 Vienna Art Biennale. He has participated in numerous recordings and performed extensively in concert series, festivals and clubs throughout New York and the New England region, as well as nationally and internationally. He has worked in numerous and diverse musical projects, as well as performing with luminaries such as Celia Cruz, Orlando “Puntilla” Ríos, Israel “Cachao” López, Osvaldo Golijov, Francisco Aguabella, Isaac Delgado and Paquito D’Rivera, to name a few. A CD recording Alvear participated with the latter, “Paquito D’Rivera Presents: Las Hermanas Márquez” was nominated for the 2006 Latin Grammys. Lastly, Alvear participated in Gonzalo Grau’s “Frutero Moderno” CD which was nominated for the 2009 Grammy Awards. Currently Alex Alvear splits his time residing between Boston, MA and his native Quito Ecuador. He continues to compose and develop new projects. Wañukta Tonic, Alex Alvear’s most recent musical endeavor, fosters the concept of an indefinite, multi-cultural multi-current, or to put it in tastier words, a musical salad that mixes traditions, styles, influences and sounds with a strong Ecuadorean flavor, based in the exploration of genres that range from Rock to Funk, to Jazz, to Funk, to Blues, to Reggae and World Music. Alvear's insatiable curiosity and interests have taken him to create this band, next to his son Matías Alvear, with whom he shares a common passion for diversity, as well as th imperative need to find an original voice with which to offer a new dimension to Ecuadorean traditional music. Wañukta in Ecuador’s native Kichwa language means: a hard blow that sends you to “the other side”. The Tonic is what softens things a bit, so it doesn’t hurt that much. The use of a Kichwa word reflects a deep pride, love and respect for the Native roots in Ecuador’s music. In addition to these projects, Alvear has also actively participated in the collaboration, Ñawi, which means vision in the native Kichwa language of Ecuador. This is an alliance with the Ecuadorean group Yarina (a celebrated band of siblings from Otavalo, Ecuador who preserve and share the culture of the indigenous people of the Andes through their music). Together they are combining and sharing various styles of traditional Ecuadorean Music and keeping them alive for current and future generations.