opening night new season:  Jazz At The Progress

Friday 22nd October at 7.30 pm

We have been asked by our good friends at jazz In Reading to remind our readers that award-winning pianist Andrew McCormack promises to take Jazz at Progress by storm on its opening night of the 2021/22 Season with the skillfully blended sounds of Graviton, described by tenor sax giant Jean Toussaint  as ‘one of the most exciting bands in Europe today.’

Andrew McCormack (right) has built a diverse and hugely successful career with appearances at major festivals and concert halls all over the globe. He is a member of the Kyle Eastwood Band and composed  the film scores for Kyle’s father Clint, including ‘Flags of Our Fathers’, ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ and ‘The Changeling’. 

Graviton is his most ambitious project to date; a rich and compelling musical landscape and a platform for the virtuosic improvisations of band members vocalist Noemi Nuti, saxophonist Josh Arcoleos, Conor Chaplin on electric bass and drummer Joshua Blackmore.

ONE, TWO, – ONE, TWO, THREE FOUR

Anyelia & Yoriell

in concert at Convento de Santo Dimingo, Teguise

October 2021

by Norman Warwick

We have previously seen Yoriell perform as part of a trio, as a solo artist, and as the performing host of a musical compendium of live artists at this same venue This, however, was the first time we had seen Yoriell playing together with his new partner, Anyelia.

We know from past experience that Yoriell (right) is confortable with traditional Canarian folk lore music and we have also seen him kick up a storm presenting contemporary fusion music, at El Patio on that first occasion we saw him. In fact the blurb on the posters for tonight´s concert reflected his versatility, promising that the style of this new duo would incorporate Pop, Reggae, Bachata, Reggaeton, Salsa, Ballad, Bossa Nove, Calypso, and Flamenco Fusion. In other words, we might expect a wide range of fresh rhythms and world music. The aim of Anyelia and Yoriell, each a musician and composer, is to deliver a message of love, accompanied by exquisite melodies and the ´current´ rhythms which invariably see audience members dancing at their gigs.

It was surely their reputation for delivering with verve and enjoyment that had generated such a surge of ticket sales that, only a few days before the event, saw the gig moved five hundred yards from the Casa De Timple Teguise to the more spacious Convent of Santo Domingo.

The Convent, (left) which today stands as a reminder of former grandeur, was built in 1711, funded and managed by Captain Rodriguez Carrasco who, on completion of the work granted a founding document in favour of the Dominican Order The building included  vaults for burial, a choir tribune, bell tower, sacristy and a cloistered area. But, in addition, he gave the church several images, including one of San Juan de Dios and another of Our Lady of Grace, pieces of gold-smithing and let six new houses that he owned in the town pass into possession of the convent.

The entire convent complex underwent transformations throughout the second half of the eighteenth century with a view to constant expansions, such as the creation of a second nave and the main altarpiece that dates to the end of that century. At that time, the community used to have about fourteen friars, more than enough to meet the spiritual and religious needs of the island.

The convent disappeared with the confiscation processes of the first half of the nineteenth century so it barely had a century of life. The enclosure was put at the service of various activities, from commercial to military and education, etc., causing a deterioration that meant the loss of the second floor and important areas of the back. In 1956, the municipal authorities decided to carry out a series of works on part of the ruins of the building, mainly those that had occupied the cloister, for its re-modelling to serve alongside the Town Hall, space that is still maintained and that preserves some remains such as the arch of access to the archive room of the corporation.

The church has now been converted into an exhibition hall, still housing the main altarpiece of the original temple dedicated to Our Lady of Grace and preserving the only trasaltar with mural paintings of the entire island. To wander round exhibitions in the quiet of this sacred space is an awe-inspiring experience and to hear concerts such as this one is to hear new and old and secular music presenting heart stopping moments. It was here where we heard the incredible Nordic Voices that somehow took us back to the birth of the world where morning has broken like the first morning, and blackbird has spoken, like the first bird´.

Anyelia (left) is obviously proud that she and Yoriell were able to release a debut after forming the duo little more than a year earlier.

´We can already announce the release of our first album,´ she told the audience. ´If someone wishes to have a copy, they communicate it to us privately and we will send it to them signed. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart for the love and support´.

The duo actually released the debut album (right) earlier this year.  This was made possible, they say, by all their friends and fans and the Department of Culture of the City of Las Palmas who helped with the production of this fantastic album. Anyelia & Yoriell´s album is availabe in both CD and USB formats so you can enjoy their sounds anywhere. The couple are delighted to share all the music they have composed for Vivo Canto Amo Sueño as their first album. and the duo do so simply by allowing ´free rein to the muses who expressed themselves so freely´.

Yoriell had bounded on stage from the wings, a beaming smile head-lighting his long limbs and illuminating his striking pink tousers. Even as he ran on, pulling his guitar strap over his shoulder he looked languid and easy and he was immediately followed by Anyelia who, with her blond hair flowing. appeared in impossibly tight, white trousers and a black crop-top affair. She shimmied and swayed to the centre of the stage and the two of them stood together, seemingly gazing adoringly at one another, and there we had the two players we had been expecting,…..but the twosome of Anyelia and Yorriell immediately became three as a guest player joined them from the wings. He came on quietly, almost unnoticed until the duo pointed to him and asked for our applause.

Althay Paez, we learned, is a timplista (left) from the island of Fuerteventura with a devilish interpretation technique. Among his contemporaries he is recognized as a virtuoso of the Canarian instrument, both for his technical abilities and for the mood to which he leads his instrument in his live performances. It brings together very powerful accents related to tradition and, however, with a spirit of contemporaneity that makes it unique and extraordinary in the panorama of instrumental music in the Canary Islands.

Tonight, he and Anyelia & Yoriell also reminded us of how much the timple can add to contemporary, guitar-led pop music. The two that, for tonight, had become three gave us ninety minutes of catchy songs full of chorus and hooks, with brilliant guitar by Yoriell and some fantastic lead lines from the timple on the far opposite side of the large, and beautifully lit stage. The acoustics and the sound systems are always good here, and this was a high energy delivery of European acoustic pop that would have sounded as good at Glastonbury as it did here on home turf.

Yoriell was in perpetual motion all night, toes tapping, arms waving and pointing, whilst Althay was stock-still other than his fingers picking and plucking those beautiful sounds from his tiny instrument. The sound they created was particularly instructive to me, as Colin Liver, my song-writing partner, is currently working in a studio in the The Channel Islands recording our new song, Para Lara, inspired by a young woman here on Lanzarote. The recording will be released via www.lendanearmusic-com and we will make further announcements on these pages.

Colin is working on two versions, Spanish influenced and Brazilian flavoured, and I realised half way through this concert that this was a balance of sound that would work for the song. I have already sent him some of their music to listen to.

Another vital ingredient of tonight´s sounds, though, was Anyelia´s sweet, but powerful, voice that captured the emotion of every song. She was as easy on the eye as on the ear as with a salsa, a sway, and a swagger, she sashayed and shimmied around the stage, gliding between the two men on either side of her.

My dad used to sing a song called I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate, often reduced simply to Sister Kate. It is an up-tempo jazz dance song, written by Armand J. Piron and published in 1922. Early recordings listed at Discogs include 1922 sides by Mary Straine And Joseph Smith’s Jazz Band on Black Swan Records; The Virginians on Victor; and The Original Memphis Five, as an instrumental, on Pathé Actuelle. Vocalist Anna Jones recorded it accompanied by Fats Waller on piano in 1923. Arrangements ranged from big band jazz to the Alabama Jug Band in the 1930s, a precursor to jug band revival versions during the 1960s’ by Dave Van Ronk and Jim Kweskin. The lyrics of the song are narrated first person by Kate’s sister, who sings about Kate’s impressive dancing skill and her wish to be able to emulate it. She laments that she’s not quite ´up to date´, but believes that dancing the Shimmy like Sister Kate will rectify this, and she will be able to impress ´all the boys in the neighbourhood´ like her sister.

Anyelia certainly impressed all the boys in the theatre, reminding this particular old boy of Lulu, performing I´m A Tiger.

The musicians had been introduced by the island´s favourite master of ceremonies, and he politely interrupted proceedings after half a dozen songs to call The Councillor For Culture and Celebrations, Nori Machín to the stage to present the artists with a framed poster of tonight´s gig. Anyelia and Yoriell seemed genuinely delighted to accept such a souvenir.

The music resumed and the audience were invited to sing and clap along with several of the numbers until, ,,,, surprise,… the two that had become three became four ! Anyelia called up a young lady from deep in the audience, but I´m afraid I didn´t catch her name.

The audience member was obviously delighted, though, as she gambolled, Yoriell-like,  down the aisle and up the steps to the stage. She accompanied the other three players on the flute and on a solo excursion added yet another element to this great music, sending notes high into the air in what seemed a beautiful, brave and reaching passage of play. Dee reminded me we had seen and heard the young lady before, in the La Ermita Church in Tias three or four years ago.

After we had risen to our feet a couple of times with the rest of the audience in requests for encores, we heard two more great songs before filing out to buy a copy of the ten-track cd, Vivo Canto Amo Sueno. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to Anyelia (left) as being a writer for Lanzarote Information and for my own Sidetracks & Detours daily blog. Explaining what the two outlets are all about I said we would love to conduct an interview with them in the future. She explained that they are just starting a fairly major tour, but she took my card and promised to get in touch on their return.

Watch this space.

This article was collated by Norman Warwick (right) , a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours. He is also a founder member of the Joined Up Jazz Journalists (JUJJ) with Steve Bewick, writer, poet and radio presenter of Hot Biscuits weekly jazz programme, Gary Heywood-Everett, jazz writer and local historian and Susana Fondon, contributor and reporter at Lanzarote Information. The purpose of forming JUJJ is to share a love of jazz music at the same time as growing our knowledge of the genre.

Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve, and his own show on Sherwood Community Tadio. He has been a regular guest on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 4. He is also a published author and poet and was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (where he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.

Remember that you can also find articles from Norman and Susana by subscribing to the newsletter produced by Lanzarote Information. Of course, you will a daily post as well as plenty of good reading from all four journalists in the music section of our massive but easy to navigate archives of here at Sidetracks And Detours.

The purpose of this daily not-for-profit blog is to deliver news, previews, interviews and reviews from all across the arts to die-hard fans and non- traditional audiences around the world. We are therefore always delighted to receive your own articles here at Sidetracks And Detours. So if you have a favourite artist, event, or venue that you would like to tell us more about just drop a Word document attachment to me at normanwarwick55@gmail.com with a couple of appropriate photographs in a zip folder if you wish. Beiung a not-for-profit organisation we unfortunately cannot pay you but we will always fully attribute any pieces we publish. You therefore  might also. like to include a brief autobiography and photograph of yourself

in your submission. We look forward to hearing from you.

Meanwhile we are grateful to our regular correspondent Michael Higgins and occasional reporter Steve Bewick and the sharing of information by very reliable sources such as

Hot Biscuits Jazz Radio                 www.fc-radio.co.uk

Jazz In Reading                               https://www.jazzinreading.com

Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues           https://rvjazzandblues.co.uk

Rob Adams                                     Music That´s Going Places

Lanzarote Information           https://lanzaroteinformation.co.uk

all across the arts                         www.allacrossthearts.co.uk

Rochdale Music Society             rochdalemusicsociety.org

Lendanear                                      www.lendanearmusic

Larry Yaskiel – various writngs

Cabildo de Lanzarote (Gov.) https://www.culturalanzarote.com

Additional  sources for this article were on line and facebook posts about these artists and the venue

In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.

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