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Rubalcaba/Sanchez Quartet inaugurates Jazz Up series


One of the world's leading Latin jazz ensembles, the Rubalcaba/Sanchez Quartet, will present the opening concert of this year's Jazz Up series on July 23 at 8pm at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall.

Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, saxophonist David Sanchez, bassist Armando Gola and drummer Ignacio Berroa are top young exponents of the Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz styles.

The other artists on this year's Jazz Up roster are Vanessa Rubin (September 9), Tiempo Libre (September 23), Bill Frisell & The Intercontinentals (October 24), Charles Lloyd (November 30), and Tamaya Honda, Steve Hunter, Kristian Jorgensen and Ted Lo (December 17).

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, born in Havana, began his classical piano training at the age of nine and earned a degree in composition at the Cuban capital's Institute of Fine Arts in 1983. His recording career took off after a meeting in Havana with the noted American bassist Charlie Haden in 1986. Since then, Rubalcaba has released 11 discs with record companies in Japan and the United States. Last year, his Supernova won a Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album, while Nocturne, which he co-produced with Haden, received a Grammy. All told, he has eight Grammy nominations to this credit, including four for Jazz Album of the Year. The Jazz Times said Rubalcaba "is blessed with impeccable technique and soulful ideas that draw from the Cuban traditions and the contemporary harmonies of jazz and classical music."

David Sanchez was born in Puerto Rico and began playing the tenor saxophone at age 12. While a student at the prestigious La Escuela Libre de Musica in San Juan, he also took up the soprano and alto saxophones. After studying at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, he won a music scholarship to Rutgers University in New Jersey. On the recommendation of pianist Paquito D'Rivera and trumpeter Claudio Roditi, Dizzy Gillespie invited him to join his United Nations Orchestra in 1991. Sanchez garnered his first Grammy nomination for Obsesion, and his next album, Melaza, was nominated for both a Grammy and a Latin Grammy. The Chicago Tribune has called Sanchez "the most profound young tenor saxophonist working today."

Armando Gola was born in Havana and began playing the bass at age 13. He attended the Conservatory of Music Amadeo Roldan. Gola has tailored his playing to accommodate many different styles of music both on upright and electric bass. He has been the bassist for the Gonzalo Rubalcaba Trio since the fall of 2002.

The other Havana-born member of the group, Ignacio Berroa, started on the classical violin but switched to drums at age 11. Within a few years he was Cuba's most sought-after drummer. He came to the US in 1980 and has worked with the best in the jazz world ever since. Berroa has been called "the only Latin drummer in the history of American music who intimately knows his native Afro-Cuban music as well as jazz".

"Jazz Up: Rubalcaba/Sanchez Quartet" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets priced at $350, $250 and $120 are now available at all URBTIX outlets.

This is an Arts Care programme. A 20% discount applies to each purchase of four to seven tickets, while each purchase of eight or more tickets earns a 40% discount.

Arts Care discounts also apply to patrons who enjoy existing ticketing concessions: half-price for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients, and the 10% reduction for Friends of LCSD performing venues (up to two full-price tickets for any one performance).

Box seats and Lounge Packages are available for private gatherings. For information, please call 2268 7236.

For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings can be made at Visit for more information on the programme.

End/Wednesday, June 11, 2003

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