It's a great honor to be featured as one of KUVO's 30 under 30 artists. I'm excited to share this feature with all of you! Check out the video below. Also go to KUVO's 30 under 30 webpage to see what talented young musicians are doing in Colorado. "Pianist and composer Walter Gorra melds the music of Cuba, Brazil and South America with American Jazz. See Walter's full musician feature here: http://bit.ly/WalterKUVO30.
KUVO's 30 Under 30 Artist
By NATASHA PEPPERL & TRAVIS WILSON & KEVIN HARTLEY • SEP 4, 2015
Delving into jazz pushed Walter to write his own music.
"I think it's really important as a developing musician to write your own music and come up with something new and fresh that's yours," Walter said. "[Composing] helps me play better, it helps me improvise better."
Born to a Cuban father and Honduran mother, Walter has been heavily influenced by Latin music.
"I'm always trying to figure out the next place we can go with blending Cuban music, Brazilian music, and the music of South America with American Jazz," Walter said. "Being true to both places and being true to both traditions is not an easy thing to do."
"But if you can do it well, it sounds absolutely beautiful."
No stranger to KUVO, Walter's sextet performed a live-on air performance with 15-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D'Rivera last year. The Walter Gorra Trio also provided live jazz at KUVO's 30th Birthday Open House.
To celebrate 30 years on the air and invest in the future of jazz, KUVO interviewed 30 local musicians under the age of 30.
DAMAS DE BLANCO BENEFIT
In February of 2015, Walter Gorra Jazz, LLC put together a benefit concert to raise funds and awareness for Cuba's Damas de Blanco, featuring 16-time GRAMMY award winner and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera with the Walter Gorra Sextet.
From Fox 31 News - Channel 2, Denver
DENVER -- For Paquito D'Rivera, a 15-time Grammy Award winner, music is a conversation. "It's an act of communication," says D'Rivera, who is considered a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment of the Arts. "That is the greatness of music." The world-renowned saxophonist is playing a special concert Friday in Golden to raise awareness for human rights in his home country, Cuba. "I think it's very important to open the eyes of the people to the reality of that country," D'Rivera said. "It is a very cruel and violent system."
D'Rivera, who fled the island in 1981, says that recent talks between the Castro regime and American delegates -- hoping to normalize relations with the communist nation -- have yet to address some basic human rights. "It's something very shameful and very painful, too," said D'Rivera, citing new reports that more than 150 anti-Castro activists were arrested Sunday. More than 50 of the arrests were women belonging to the "Ladies in White" -- a group formed by the wives, mothers, and sisters of political prisoners and dissidents, jailed for opposing Castro.
The Ladies in White Benefit Concert, set for Friday, February 27 at the Mount Vernon Country Club will not only help the group financially, but D'Rivera says it will also help the world hear their story. "I think it is our duty to keep telling it."
This concert was recorded live at Mount Vernon country Club, Denver, Colorado February 27, 2015. This benefit concert was put together by Walter Gorra Jazz to raise awareness and funds for the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), a humanitarian group in Cuba. A big thank you to Paquito D'Rivera for being part of this project and for his mentorship. For more information about the Damas de Blanco please visit Directorio.org
Featuring guest artist: Paquito D'Rivera | Alto Saxophone and Clarinet
Walter Gorra | Piano (Band leader), Mike Facey | Bass, BK Khan | Drums, Greg Wahl | Tenor Saxophone, Josh Reed | Trumpet, Greg Harris | Vibraphone, Manuel Lopez | Percussion
Featured songs (In the order performed) :
"Mambo Inn" - Mario Bauza
"Adentro y Afuera" - Walter Gorra
"Song for Maura"- Paquito D'Rivera
"Guataca City"- Paquito D'Rivera
"I Remember Diz - A Night in Enlewood" - Paquito D'Rivera
"To Brenda with Love" - Paquito D'Rivera
"Chucho" - Paquito D'Rivera
"Samba for Carmen" - Paquito D'Rivera
"Jazongo"- Walter Gorra
We thank all the sponsors and donors that made this event possible. A special thank you to Arturo Gomez, KUVO 89.3, Peter Clampitt from Mount Vernon Country Club, Frijoles Colorado, The University of Colorado Boulder Thompson Jazz Studies Program, and Babalu Blog.