New York Bojaira Project Bio

Photo by Gil Lavi.

From left to right: Peter Brainin (saxophones/flute), Mark Holen (drums), Jesús Hernández (piano), María de los Angeles (flamenco dancer), Alfonso Cid (flamenco vocals/flute) and Tim Ferguson (double bass).

 

Band Bio:

The fusion between Jazz and Flamenco is one of the most exciting musical and artistic expressions emerging in the world today. In the case of The New York Bojaira Project, the music flows like the water in the Bojaira, the irrigation channel built by the Arabs in Granada, whose name this band has taken as its own. An original and versatile fusion, blending the depth and intensity of both jazz and flamenco.

The core quartet is a combination of two Spanish musicians from the home of flamenco, Andalusia, pianist Jesús Hernández and singer/flute player Alfonso Cid; and two long time veterans of the New York jazz scene, bassist Tim Ferguson and drummer Mark Holen

The group also performs in expanded quintet or sextet form with flamenco dancers who have included María De Los Angeles, Auxi Fernández and Marina Elana and horn players such as Peter Brainin, Joel Frahm and Jorge Pardo.

The repertoire of The New York Bojaira Project is rooted in the styles and rhythms of flamenco. A jazz approach allows the musicians of the band to open improvisational doors. In addition to original compositions by Hernández and the band, the group draws on a varied repertoire, including flamenco arrangements of jazz standards such as “Laura” and Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight”.

Since its inception in December of 2013 The New York Bojaira Project has appeared in many important venues in New York City and the surrounding area including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Drom, and the legendary Deer Head Inn, as well as performing extensively at festivals, theatres and clubs in Europe including Festival del Lago (Atarfe, Granada), Festival Jazz Chinchilla (Albacete), Festival Jazz Xábia (Alicante), Auditorio Box Sevilla (Seville), Sala Clamores (Madrid), Colegio de España at le Cité Universitaire (Paris), Club Bab-ilo (Paris), etc…

Notable Performances:

USA: Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Flamenco Festival at Joe’s Pub, The Cell Theater,

Drom and various other venues in New York City, as well as The Deer Head Inn in Delaware

Water Gap, PA.

SPAIN: Festival del Lago (Atarfe) 2017, Festival Jazz Chinchilla 2017 (Albacete), Festival Jazz

Xábia 2017 (Alicante), Auditorio Box Sevilla, Festival Jazz Tardorde (Lérida), Festival de Jazz

de Granada, Festival de El Ejido, Sala Clamores (Madrid), Café El Despertar (Madrid), Café

Babel (San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid), Festival Flamenco en la Frontera (Sevilla), etc...

FRANCE : Colegio de España at le Cité Universitaire (Paris), Château d’Áubiac, La Peniche

l’Improviste Jazz, Club Bab-Ilo, Café A (Paris and Toulouse).

PORTUGAL: Teatro Malaposta and Cascais Jazz Club (Lisbon).

 

The New York Bojaira Project Trio at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Flamenco Dancer Auxi Fernández.


Reviews:

"This is excellent contemporary flamenco…

A must for music lovers of all kinds. ”

Patrick Dalmace

JazzHot Magazine, Paris. November, 2014

 

“Bojaira is an interesting fusion of jazz and

flamenco ... a complete, honest and respectful

work that does not betray jazz or flamenco

lovers. ”

Jazz Zone

 

“Hernández joins this tradition by offering a

work of great stature and personality. It is an

intense sound project with various musical

aesthetics that flow together, intertwined,

resulting in music of extreme beauty and

quality”

Josep Ramon Jové

 

“A great album, with really great moments, …,

this work will necessarily be among the best

of this year. ”

Districto Jazz

Jesús Hernández - Piano/composer/arranger

Jesús Hernández, a native of Granada, Spain. He began his career as a classical musician, although soon after he approached the rock, jazz, Brazilian and flamenco realms.

His work "Bojaira" (Quadrant 2013) has been successfully presented in important venues in the USA, France, Spain or Portugal and recognized as "excellent contemporary flamenco" by the magazine "Jazzhot". He was also the composer of "Cabaret Líquido", MAX award for the best musical of 2008 in Spain.

Together with David Defries, he founded "No Fear Music", group with which he recorded and performed numerous concerts in Spain and also in clubs and venues in London, Brigthon, Baltimore and San Diego, some with guest musicians such as Steve Willianson or Michelle Godart.

He has also worked with leading Spanish avant-garde flamenco artists such as Enrique Morente, Jorge Pardo, Rubem Dantas and Miguel Chastang. He recorded and performed with the saxophonist of Persian origin, Hafez Modir, with Brazilian guitarist Guga Murray and South African musician Paul Stocker. Also with Emilio Maya, Jesus Méndez, Raquel Heredia “La Repompa” or Sergio “el Colorao”, with whom he has premiered the show "Cervantes Flamenco" in the Music Festival of Granada and the Musiqat of Tunis.

He has collaborated in recordings and has composed and/or arranged music for operetta with the Amati Orchestra and for different theatrical performances.

He has recently toured in North America and Europe with the New York Bojaira Project along with Mark Holen, Alfonso Cid and Tim Ferguson and has performed in prestigious venues such as the Jazz at Linlcon Center, Flamenco Festival in NY, Colegio de España in Paris and others.

Mark Holen - Drums

Mark Holen, originally from Flint, Michigan, has had many years of experience in the professional music scene.

While living in Detroit and Chicago, he had the opportunity to play with some of the best jazz musicians of those times including Shem Mitchell, Dave Catherwood, Wendell Harrison and others.

In 1975, Holen moved to New York City. He got the job of house drummer at the famous Chateau Madrid nightclub and there he played with many Latin and Flamenco musicians, singers and dancers.

Holen has recorded four albums of original music with his band "Zambomba" and recorded on Blue Note records with Bob Dorough, Phil Woods, Billy Hart, Ray Drummond and Bill Goodwin. He also has played in clubs or concerts with: Chet Baker, Hubert Laws, David Liebman, Danilo Perez, Cameron Brown, Jorge Pardo, Miguel Chastang and many others.

Holen was a professor of music theory, piano and percussion at the Hot Club jazz school in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2014 he was a guest professor, performer and lecturer at the 12th International Percussion Festival of Patagonia in General Roca, Argentina.

He has performed in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, the Azores, Morocco and was a member of the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. He is also writing big band arrangements for the People's Jazz Band in Flint, Michigan.  You can see and hear his recordings at Mark Holen Zambomba on the internet. Holen is currently working with Jesus Hernandez and the Bojaira Flamenco/Jazz Project.

Tim Ferguson - Double Bass

Tim Ferguson has been providing the foundation for Jazz groups in the New York City area for many years and has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe with a wide variety of well-known jazz artists including: Don Friedman, Cecil Bridgewater, Vanessa Rubin, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Valery Ponomarev among others. He is also active with his own projects and can be heard regularly, performing live, on tour and at New York City's many jazz venues. His current projects include: The Tim Ferguson Quartet, The Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Group, his trio Inside/Out with pianist Diane Moser and Trumpeter Rob Henke, and the cooperatively led piano trio Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson.

Ferguson can be heard on numerous recordings, most recently: the 2012 Grammy nominated "Beautiful Friendship"(Planet Arts Records) by The Tom Dempsey/Tim Ferguson Quartet" and "Six", the 2010 CD from Stevens, Siegel and Ferguson on Konnex records, his 2007 duo release "What's Going On" with guitarist Tom Dempsey, on City tone Records, “My Foolish Heart” with the Don Friedman Quartet, which he produced for the Steeplechase label and "Sensory Perception" with the Gary Fogel Trio, among many others.

Tim has also been involved with productions on Broadway, television and major motion pictures, acting as musical consultant for the feature film "Ray" starring Jamie Fox, appearing in two episodes of the television series "Spin City" starring Michael J. Fox and playing in the pit orchestras for various Broadway shows including "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "The Little Mermaid" and Martin Short's one man show "Fame Becomes Me".

An active writer and educator, Ferguson is author of "The Bass Line Encyclopedia" and co-author of "The Total Jazz Bassist", both published by Alfred. He is a jazz ensemble director at The Trinity School in New York, in addition to teaching privately. Ferguson has also been an adjunct instructor at New York University, The State University of New York at New Paltz, and Western Michigan University.

Alfonso Cid - Flamenco Singer/Flute

Alfonso Cid is a native of Seville, Spain. He enrolled at the Seville Conservatory in 1990 to study flute and music theory.  He also was awarded two scholarships to attend the classes at the Cristina Heeren Foundation for Flamenco Art in July of 2007 and 2008 in Seville, Spain.  There he studied with maestro Paco Taranto and the new and upcoming talents of Rocío Márquez and Elena Morales.

In 1997 Alfonso moved to the United States, since then he is based in New York City.

He has performed with Flamenco dancers such as Belén Maya, Siudy Garrido, Pilar Rioja, María Elena Anaya, Rafaela Reyes “La Repompa de Málaga”, Nélida Tirado, Auxi Fernández, Antonio Hidalgo, José Maldonado, Almudena Serrano, La Conja, La Meira, Oscar Valero and José Moreno; and guitarists Pedro Cortes, Chuscales, José Luis de la Paz, among others. 

He recorded backing vocals in the song titled “Mi Santa” on the album “Formula Vol. 1” by popular Latin artist Romeo Santos with the great flamenco guitarist Tomatito. He has traveled around the world alongside Romeo Santos in venues such as Madison Square Garden, New York Yankee Stadium, River Plate Stadium (Buenos Aires, Argentina), International Music Festival of Viña del Mar 2013 and 2015 (Chile), Foro Sol (México City), Plaza de Toros de las Ventas (Madrid, Spain) Palau Sant Jordi (Barcelona, Spain), to name a few.

On November 2011, he was invited by conductor and mandolin player Tom Cohen to join the Montreal Andalusian Orchestra as part of the Festival Sepharad alongside the legendary Rabbi Haim Louk at the Olympia Theater. He was also invited by Cohen to perform in a seven cities tour of Israel on November 2016 with The Jerusalem Andalusian Orchestra.

In 2011 he performed with singer songwriter David Broza in his annual December 24th performance at the 92Y in New York City. 

Along with Professor Taoufik Ben-Amor, Columbia University’s Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies, plus four musicians and dancers, Alfonso has created the project called “New Andalusia” to recreate the music of Al-Andalus through their Flamenco and Arabic music traditions as immigrants in New York City.

He released his first CD titled “Flamenco de vuelta e ida” on 2006 with his own Flamenco fusion project “Gazpacho Andalú” with flamenco guitarist Arturo Martínez.

He has also released the debut album of his Spanish Indie Rock project “Dientes de Caramelo” titled “Pulpo” (Octopus) in March of 2012 as well as three new singles throughout the summer of 2015.   

Peter Brainin - Saxophones/Flute

Peter Brainin, born in the Bronx, saxophonist Peter Brainin has distinguished himself over the past 15 years as a member of many important bands,and also as a composer and leader of his own adventurous projects.

He began studying music while in middle school in Hastings-on-Hudson, playing drums/percussion in the Hastings concert band, orchestra and marching band. Later, in high school, he studied saxophone with Peter DeLuke and played in the Hastings Jazz Band and Octet under Mr. DeLuke's outstanding leadership. He went on to earn a B.A. in performance at the New England Conservatory of Music.

His work as a sideman includes 10 years (1989-1999) with legendary pianist Hilton Ruiz with whom he performed at the Blue Note,Village Gate, and Carnegie Hall, recorded two albums, and appeared at major jazz festivals and concert venues in Europe and the Caribbean. He toured the States and Europe in 1992 with Mongo Santamaria and since 1995 has been a member of the Chico O'farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. Peter is featured on 2 of O'farrill's grammy nominated albums and appeared with the band in the movies"Calle 54" and "Thomas Crown Affair" as well as performing in Europe, Japan, Mexico, and Havana, Cuba. He is also a featured member of Arturo O'farrill's grammy winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and can be heard on their newest release "40 Acres and a Burro".

Other bands and artists Peter has performed and/or recorded with include: Paquito D'Rivera, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis, Bebo Valdez All Star Latin-Jazz Big Band, Bobby SanabriaJoey Calderazzo Quartet, Randy Weston, Bryan Lynch, Eddie Henderson, Larry Willis, Danny Moore Quintet, Charles McPherson, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Steve Berrios y Son Bacheche, The TemptationsIsrael "Cachao" Lopez, Ray Barretto, Michel Camilo and Giovanni Hidalgo.

Many of Peter's compositions and arrangements can be heard on his 2 original albums ("Ceremony"on Cats Paw and "No Saints No Sinners"on Playscape) recorded with drummer/co-leader Steve Johns and which also feature the work of George Cables, Conrad Herwig, Eddie Henderson, and Ben Monder. He was twice awarded the BRIO Fellowship Award for musical composition by the Bronx Council on the Arts.

María de los Angeles - Flamenco Dancer

María de los Angeles, a native of New York City, began studying Ballet and Spanish dance at the Ballet Hispanico School in 1992.  In 2002, she was selected to participate in the inaugural apprentice program with the American Bolero Dance Company where she studied with founder Gabriela Granados, as well as José Molina, Mariano Parra, and Escuela Bolera with Jeraine Michel.  During the summers of 2004 and 2005, she studied flamenco in the advanced level of the Summer Program at the Fundación Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco in Seville, Spain with Milagros Menjíbar, Carmen Ledesma and Rafael Campallo.

In 2008, Ms. de los Angeles received a scholarship to attend the Jacob’s Pillow Cultural Traditions workshop for Flamenco Dance where she studied under Noche Flamenca’s Soledad Barrio and Martín Santangelo.  In the same year, Ms. de los Angeles attended the International Flamenco Festival in Albuquerque, NM, where she had the opportunity to study with Rocio Molina and Antonio Canales

She spent two years living and working abroad in Madrid, Spain from 2010-2012, where she studied Classical Spanish Dance and Escuela Bolera with one of the founding members of the Ballet Nacional de España, Lupe Gomez, as well as Flamenco technique with Concha Jareño, Marco Flores, Alfonso Losa, Inmaculada Ortega, and Pepa Molina.

Ms. de los Angeles has had the privilege to perform as a featured soloist with the Melinda Marquez Flamenco Dance Center in Flamenco Made in the USA in 2012 and in Tablao de la Luna Nueva in 2014. She can be seen performing weekly in the tri-state area and has produced her own show with dancer Ryan Rockmore.