- A piece of white cloth
- La madre
- Three trees & traces
- Blood & sugar
- After rain
- 2 leaders, 1 idea
- Grace notes
- Mis sueños mis ideas
- Roots
- Migrations
- Chanclenta
 
 
 
Grace Notes  
   
In Grace Notes two masters of improvisation—each a descendant of enslaved Africans, each a master of his own cultural genre—are brought together in a rare collaboration. Renowned jazz bassist Jeff Chambers and acclaimed Afro-Cuban modern dancer Ramón Ramos Alayo work together for the first time to intertwine bass with body.

In the Americas, African traditions spread in different directions. In Cuba, African language, religion, music, and rhythms retained a direct link to their antecedents across the ocean; in the United States, cultural strains survived, but flowed underground feeding American forms.
Though Ramos and Chambers draw from diverse cultural streams, their aesthetic languages share common African compositional principles— asymmetry, polyrhythmic layering, and improvisational breaks. A cultural current—that diverged hundreds of years ago during the forced migration across the Middle Passage—converges again in Grace Notes.

With impeccable skill, Chambers works the bass as a rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic instrument, lightly tracing the evolution of African rhythms to the Cuban clavé, and finally to American gospel, blues, and swing. His multi-faceted musicality lays a foundation for Ramos's expressive physicality and stellar improvisational abilities. Together, they bridge the artistic, historic, and spatial fracture between African lineages in Cuba and the United States.

Ramos and Chambers strike a path towards each other, taking unanticipated twists and turns and sudden bolts down the compositional pathway—first one leading the way, then the other. Both are masters of the unanticipated, where silence and the pause are as potent—or more potent—than the graceful gesture or the captivating note.

- Deborah Valoma

 
   

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Alayo Dance Company All Rights Reserved 2009