LIVE: Edmar Castaneda Trio @ Proctor’s GE Theatre, 11/30/18
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
The final 2018 concert of the Music Haven’s Passport Series at Proctors’ GE Theatre in Schenectady featured Columbian harp player Edmar Castaneda. He first played the harp in the folkloric tradition of his country, but when he emigrated to the United States in 1994, he discovered jazz and began adapting his playing to the genre. Lacking a roadmap to adapt the instrument, he formally studied trumpet during the day and adapted what he learned to the harp.
His style of harp playing covers the whole range of musical tones and roles. With the aid of stomp boxes, he can easily play bass tones to cover the lower end of the spectrum as well as the more delicate flourishes normally associated with the harp.
With this range, he was not accompanied by the standard bass and drums associated with most jazz trios. Instead soprano saxophonist Shlomi Cohen and drummer Henry Cole filled out Castaneda’s sound. Cohen played sparingly at times, in accordance with Miles Davis’ remarks about “the notes you don’t play.” Cole did not overplay, either, providing tasty and appropriate accompaniment to the music.
Tunes played ranged from Columbian cowboy music that was the original Columbian harp music, to a tribute to late legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius “For Jaco” to a mind-blowing interpretation of jazz standard “Autumn Leaves” with a wide range of dynamics and rhythms.
GO HERE to see more of Rudy Lu’s photographs of this concert…
UPCOMING: The Music Haven Passport Series at Proctors continues next year with the world music ensemble Banda Magda on Friday, February 15.