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News

Following their 2013 double disc release which garnered the #1 NPR Latin Jazz Recording of the year award, "Hallowed" was recorded at Systems Two Studios in 2017-18 and presents another truly exciting chapter in the 35 -year evolution of this highly acclaimed ensemble. New Yor-Uba takes its next leap as it continues to pay homage to the dynamic musical journey of ancient Yoruba culture from Nigeria, through Cuba to present day New York while reflecting its contemporary manifestations.

To conceive a thoroughly uncompromised synthesis of spiritually based Cuban Folkloric music and contemporary jazz concept, Ms. Rosewoman has spent a lifetime immersed in the essence of these two profound musical traditions. In recent years, she delved more deeply into a distinct liturgical set of rhythms, which further augmented her already extensive knowledge and prepared her on multiple levels to manifest a new and challenging composition.

"Oru de Oro" roughly translates as "room of gold" or "sacred room" and is a body of music that Ms. Rosewoman built around a sacred and fixed sequence of rhythms with myseterious and baffling transitions, known as the 'oru seco' or 'oru igbodu'. An oral tradition of endless depth, the oru is played in sacred chambers with traditional bata drums. "Built from earth up and from sky out on the foundation of the form, contours and mastery of folkorist/percussionist Roman Diaz", compositionally, the work is anchored in the rhythmic patterns associated with various Orishas/deities that fall in a very specific order. Rosewoman endows them with her unique musical content, while fully integrating featured soloists and master drummers.

"Oru de Oro� is an extended work commissioned by Chamber Music America and is presented as multiple tracks (10) that can be heard as one uninterrupted rhythmic suite. It is considered adventurous and extremely pioneering by master tamboleros, who state that "nothing like this has ever been done before...." and it has been well-received by audiences at an array of venues including the D.C. Jazz Festival, Dizzy�s at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the 2018 Chamber Music America Conference.

Other repertoire includes "Alabanza�, meaning 'Praise' --for which Ms. Rosewoman received a Latin Grammy as pianist and composer as represented on Arturo O'Farrill's ALJO recording, � Cuba, The Conversation Continues�--and a unique arrangement of a sequence of traditional rezos (prayers) and cantos (songs) featuring Rosewoman on fender rhodes, Roman Diaz's poetic vocal insights, Nina Rodriguez on lead folkloric vocals--a voice of true beauty and traditional bata in all their glory.

Alex Norris--trumpet, flugel horn
Roman Fili�--alto/soprano saxophones, flute
Stacy Dillard--tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne--trombone, bass trombone, tuba
Andrew Gatauskus--baritone saxophone
Michele Rosewoman--piano, fender rhodes, vocals
Gregg August--bass
Robby Ameen--drums
Roman Diaz--bat�, congas, vocals
Mauricio Herrera--bat�, congas, vocals
Rafael Monteagudoe--bat�, congas
Nina Rodr�guez--lead vocals


2019

November 2 and 8
Zinc New Yor-Uba CD Release Events

December 21st
New Yor-Uba at the Philadelphia Clef Club

2016
Having received a 2016/17 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Commission, I am joyously working on a new piece that will be presented at the Vision Festival, the D.C. Jazz Festival and The Painted Birde in 2016. More dates to come.

This new work is the natural extension of my deepening studies of Cuban folkloric traditions and will be built around the Oru Seco, which is an important part of spiritual ceremonies. The bata drums will be the center, around which all written elements come and go.

Sunday November 15, 2015
New Yor-Uba at the Pangea Jazz Festival
New York Festival of World Jazz

New Yor-Uba Performs At One-Day Marathon World Jazz Festival
10pm at DROM, East Village NYC

Personnel:
Alex Norris, trumpet
Roman Filiu, alto/soprano saxophones
Stacy Dillard, tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne, trombone/tuba
Michele Rosewoman, piano/vocals
Yunior Terry, bass
Robby Ameen, drums
Abraham Rodriguez, bata/vocals
Gene Golden, bata
Xavier Rivera, bata
Nina Rodriguez, lead vocals

NEWS ALERT July 13, 2015
New Yor-Uba receives a Chamber Music America New Works Commission


Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals announced the recipients of its 2016 commissioning programs, supporting the creation of new works for small ensembles

--and I am excited to share that my New Yor-Uba ensemble is one of them!

NEW JAZZ WORKS
Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
A total of $277,000 was awarded to nine jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works program, which supports the creation of new works by professional U.S.-based jazz artists and helps assure that these compositions will be heard through live performances and recordings.


New Yor-Uba at the Kennedy Center May 15 2015
Celebrating the 20th Year of the Mary Lou Willaims Jazz Festival



News Alert! December 18. 2013
NPR Jazz Critics Poll chooses "Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba, 30 Years. A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America" as #1 Latin Jazz Album of 2013. Also voted #25 in Top 50 Best Releases of the Year category.



Greetings to All,
Can hardly keep up with the news for this ensemble. STILL!
Press keeps rolling in and all reviews have been movingly positive.

The latest and greatest news is that I have been nominated in 5 categories in the JazzTimes Readers Poll, for Best Artist of the Year, Best New Release, Best Big-Band/Large Ensemble, Best Composer and Best Arranger. This is an honor for sure!

Vote if you want to, December 2nd is the last day.
http://madavor.polldaddy.com/s/jazztimes-readers-poll-2013

COMING SOON
--4 & 1/2 star review in January issue of Downbeat.
--NPR Fresh Air feature
--Feature article in January issue of Jazz Times.

Here are some links to just a few of the recentt reviews and feature stories:

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW of Dizzy's Lincoln Center performancee

WALL STREET JOURNALCD REVIEW

JAZZIZ FEATURE ARTICLE

THE INDEPENDENT EAR Interview with Willard Jenkinse

All-star cast features Pedrito Martinez, Abraham Rodriguez, Roman Diaz, Oliver Lake, Freddie Hendrix, Mike Lee, Vincent Gardner, Howard Johnson, Yunior Terry, Adam Cruz, Daniel Carbonell & Nina Rodriguez.

Debut album release shows at Jazz at Lincoln Center September 30-October 1 and at the Lake George Jazz Festival on September 14, 2013.

"Dazzling tracks...startling for its balance of unfettered improvisation and undiluted Cuban folklore within a complex and often grand structure."- Larry Blumenfeld, The Wall Street Journal

On her landmark new album New Yor-Uba: 30 Years - A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America, pianist/composer/vocalist Michele Rosewoman pushes the envelope at the outer limits of jazz improvisation while keeping firmly rooted in both jazz and centuries-old Afro-Cuban folkloric tradition. Widely credited as being one of the first composers to synthesize sacred Cuban folkloric music with a thoroughly contemporary jazz concept, Rosewoman's magnum opus, double-cd set - the debut album released on her own Advance Dance Disques label - is the realization of a distinctive creative vision thirty years in the making. Through a successful Kickstarter campaign and the generous support of her backers and co-producers; Neyda Martinez and Onel Mulet of Habana Harlem, Rosewoman's dream has reached fruition.

A disciple of legendary Cuban percussionist Orlando "Puntilla" Rios, her career as a cross-pollinating innovator seamlessly bridges both the jazz and latin genres. As a composer, she's achieved recognition from Chamber Music America and support from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a performer, over the course of more than four decades, she's collaborated and recorded with greats from both fields: Jimmy Heath and Tootie Heath, Celia Cruz, Steve Coleman, Julius Hemphill, Paquito D'Rivera, John Stubblefield, Rufus Reid, Billy Bang, Chocolate, Greg Osby, Miguel Zenon, Freddie Waits, Billy Hart, Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake, James Spaulding, Gary Bartz, Howard Johnson and Carlos Ward, among others. Rosewoman and her New Yor-Uba ensemble celebrate the release of the album at Jazz at Lincoln Center, with performances at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola on September 30-October 1 and at the Lake George Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

A pianist since the tender age of six, Rosewoman first became directly involved in African folkways in her teens via Cuban music when she began playing congas and percussion. While pursuing a career in jazz, these early explorations profoundly impacted Rosewoman's musical direction as she continued to explore and practice the ancient African-based drum and vocal traditions that she would eventually come to synthesize in her music.

"One constantly expands tradition and the other strives to maintain an ancient tradition," Rosewoman explains. "They seemed to be opposite in some ways, and yet they always felt profoundly related. I saw parallels between the subtle and sophisticated rhythmic and harmonic aspects of jazz and the highly evolved rhythmic and vocal language of both rumba and bata traditions-the obscuring of the obvious, the ability to play time on a sophisticated level where the 'one' is not stated but implied by everything around it. As a composer and as a pianist, my approach is profoundly shaped by the rhythmic perspective of the bata drums and is evident in the way that I write and play. This enables me to integrate the forms without forcing any element to fit, and to retain the essence of each idiom."

Along with Rosewoman on piano, Rhodes and vocals, the album features a mighty three-piece bata (Yoruban talking drum) and conga section of Pedrito Martinez (who also contributes lead vocals), Abraham Rodriguez and Roman Diaz. The group also includes the all-star cast of Freddie Hendrix on trumpet and flugelhorn, Oliver Lake on soprano and alto saxophones and flute, Mike Lee on tenor saxophone and flute, Vincent Gardner on trombone, Howard Johnson on baritone saxophone and tuba, Yunior Terry on acoustic bass and Adam Cruz on drums, with additional contributions from percussionist Daniel Carbonell and singer Nina Rodriguez. Together they celebrate the Afro-Cuban orishas (the traditional Yoruban deities) throughout an eclectic, joyously kinetic mix of compositions united with and grounded in ancient African rhythms originating in Nigeria and Dahomey.

The first disc opens with Divine Passage, dedicated to the deity Eleggua: an energetically elegant, cinematic horn arrangement leads into duet improvisations and winds up to an animated outro afloat on a bed of hypnotic percussion. They follow with the celebratory track Dance for Agayu, where the rhythmic nature of the sequence of traditional (arara) melodies are so joyful it makes it hard to sit still. Natural Light (Obatala), piano and vocals setting the stage for a funk groove that reminds that funk is also an ancient African rhythm, in this case a springboard for animatedly expansive lead vocals by Pedrito Martinez and trumpet and piano solos. Por Ahora y Para Siempre, a shapeshifting composition with echoes of Monk and features a Lake solo that coalesces into warm lyricism and a suspense fully booming, extended bata interlude.

After the deep funk of Vamp for Ochun, a vocal feature for Martinez, there's the spaciously misterioso epic Old Calabar, setting Diaz' theatrical vocals against Rosewoman's coloristic Rhodes piano. The first disc concludes with Rezo a Ochun (Prayer for Ochun), Rosewoman's improvisation nimbly negotiating a thicket of trance-inducing vocal countermelodies as sung by Rosewoman and Rodriguez.

The second disc begins with In Praise of Spiritual Guides (for Eggun), firmly anchoring bright and balmy solos by Rosewoman, Hendrix and Lee in a warm, traditional folkloric groove. Pedro Flores' slinky rumba, Perdon, gets a new Rosewoman arrangement inspired by the Cuban ensemble Yoruba Andabo, setting up a dynamic vocal duet between Martinez and Rodriguez. The lyrical beauty of Obalube (Chango) is pushed to new heights with solos by Rosewoman and Lake.

The album's most epic track, Where Water Meets Sky (Yemaya) further explores the African origins of funk with a fabric of intricate horn parts woven into and emphasizing the groove building to a mighty crescendo propelled by the bata drums and Rosewoman's Rhodes. Agua Dulce Del Bosque (Ochun), a vivid tropical pastorale, works its way to a sultry slow groove spiced by solos by Lake on alto and Johnson on tuba. Warrior(Ochosi) is a purposeful, forceful horn-driven funk groove that winds up with a colorful vocal feature. The album ends up on with a rousing, soaring choir of voices on Earth Secrets (Babaluaye) a sequence of Afro-Cuban songs from the Orlando "Puntilla" Rios repertoire. Rosewoman's vision and arrangement here sheds light on the African roots of gospel, with a dynamic tuba feature by Johnson. Almost thirty years after the initial incarnation of this ensemble was conducted live by the late, great Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, this album is the long-awaited summation of a unique creative vision began in Rosewoman's early years, uniting the best of two worlds: ancient African forms of song and rhythm that made their way to the US via Cuba, and Rosewoman's highly individualistic, evocatively expressive compositions and pianistic approach.

About Michele Rosewoman
One of the most distinctively individualistic artists in both jazz and latin music, Michele Rosewoman's three main influences remain her mentor - the late great Ed Kelly, an Oakland- based jazz, blues and gospel pianist/organist - the permeating Oakland sounds of funk and R&B, and her early studies in Cuban folkloric percussion traditions. Cutting her teeth in the San Francisco Bay area scene, playing with such artists as Julian Priester, Julius Hemphill, Oliver Lake and others, Rosewoman moved to New York City in 1978. Support from the NEA facilitated the 1983 premiere of the pioneering 14--piece New Yor-Uba ensemble, featuring her mentor and associate Orlando 'Puntilla' Rios at the Public Theatre in New York City. Her recording debut in 1984 was as pianist and musical director of a popular Cuban Songo combo, Los Kimy. That year she was also commissioned by ASCAP/Meet the Composer to compose an orchestral work that was debuted by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra with improvisational ensemble. As a bandleader, her contemporary jazz recordings for trio, quartet and larger ensemble have been released on the Blue Note and Enja labels, including four with her acclaimed group Quintessence. She has also recorded with Oliver Lake, Greg Osby, Billy Bang and Ralph Peterson, among others. She has toured internationally, and performed at major jazz festivals, concert halls and clubs throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. A dedicated educator, Rosewoman continues to conduct workshops at colleges and universities throughout the US and has served as a faculty member and resident artist at New York University and Berklee College of Music. For the past 18 years Rosewoman has been teaching in jazz programs at The New School for Social Research and at Jazz House Kids in Montclair, New Jersey.

Events

2021
Thursday November 11

Michele Rosewoman curates a live event:
“A Function at the Junction: Ancestral Bridge, Musical Streams” “Una Función en el Cruce: Puente Ancestral, Corrientes Musicales”,
a collaborative multimedia event

Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba
Francisco Mora Catlett's Afro Horn
Román Díaz's Rumba Ensemble .


Live performance with video documentation at the Clemente Soto Velez Center, Flamboyan Theater in New York City 107 Suffolk St, NYC

December 18th.
The event will be broadcast on Cuban national television (and beyond) as part of a 2-night event (Dec 18/19) through the HotHouseGlobal streaming platforms on Twitch, YouTube , HotHouse's website, and Facebook Live.

“A Function at the Junction: Ancestral Bridge, Musical Streams” is made possible with the support of Jazz Road, a national initiative of South Arts, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

2020
May 27/28 CANCELED DUE TO COVID
New Yor-Uba Dizzy's Lincoln Center , NYC
New Yor-Uba

March 28 CANCELED DUE TO COVID
New Yor-Uba at HOSTOS College, Bronx NY


2019
November 2 and 8
Zinc New Yor-Uba CD Release Events
For More Info

December 21st
New Yor-Uba at the Philadelphia Clef Club
For More Info
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2018
January 7 2018
Michele Rosewoman and New Yor-Uba To Perform Latest Commssioned Work at Culmination of Chamber Music America Conference

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

Alex Norris Trumpet
Roman Filiu Alto & soprano saxophones
Maria Grand Tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne Trombone & tuba
Michele Rosewoman Piano
Gregg August Acoustic bass
Robby Ameen Drums
Roman Diaz Bata drums
Mauricio Herrera Bata drums
Rafael Monteagudo Bata drums

For More Information

2017
March 17/18/19
Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba
Dizzy's Lincoln center

February 16
Yale University
Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba

2016
Tuesday November 15, 2016 7:00 pm
National Jazz Museum in Harlem 58 West 129th Street Harlem

Larry Blumenfeld interviews Ms. Rosewoman as a part of the Jazz Museum of Harlem series, Afro-Cuban Beat:

New Yor-Uba, Then and Now with Michele Rosewoman
Afro-Cuban Beat


More than 30 years ago, pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman's parallel paths�jazz and Afro-Cuban folklore�merged into a compelling whole in New York through her New Yor-Uba ensemble. Rosewoman will describe the awakening that led to that group, reflect on her studies with the late Orlando �Puntilla� R�os, and explain the cross-generational way in which she has rekindled that group�s flame.


$10.00 Suggested Donation

For More Information


RECENT PAST

Saturday August 13th
New Yor-Uba performs at the 7th Annual Montclair Jazz Festival.


An off-shoot of the Jazz House Kids Program that has grown into a major festival, this day offers nine hours of world-class jazz in Nishuane Park (Montclair NJ) and a great line-up for what is always a beautiful day in the park, including performances by the Jazz House Kids big bands (truly something to behold / behear), Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Coleman, Christian McBride and others.

Click here for Montclair Jazz Festival information

Alex Norris, trumpet
Bruce Williams, alto and soprano saxophones
Stacy Dillard, tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne, trombone / bass trombone / tuba
Nina Rodriguez, lead vocals
Michele Rosewoman, piano, vocals
Yunior Terry, bass
Robby Ameen, drums
Roman Diaz, bata / congas/ vocals
Mauricio Herrera, bata / congas/ vocals
Rafael Monteagudo, bata / congas/ vocals
______________________________________________________
2016 Past

Thursday February 25th, 2016
New Yor-Uba: Conversation and Listening Party
"Jazz from an African Perspective"
at The National Jazz Museum of Harlem
For More Informatione

COMING UP
Debuting a Newly Commissioned CMA- work, 'Oru de Oro"

June 10
VISION FESTIVAL, NYC
New Yor-Uba

June 17
D.C. JAZZ FESTIVAL/CAPITAL BOP
New Yor-Uba

June 18
PAINTED BRIDE ART CENTER, PHILADELPHIA
New Yor-Uba


Michele Rosewoman piano, vocals
Alex Norris trumpet
Roman Filiu alto, soprano saxophones
Stacy Dillard tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne trombone, tuba
Yunior Terry bass
Robby Ameen drums
Roman Diaz bata, congas, vocals
Mauricio Herrera bata, congas, vocals
Rafael Monteagudo bata, congas
Amma McKen vocals
______________________________________

Sunday November 15, 2015
New Yor-Uba at the Pangea Jazz Festival
New York Festival of World Jazz

New Yor-Uba Performs At One-Day Marathon World Jazz Festival
10pm at DROM, East Village NYC

Personnel:
Alex Norris, trumpet
Roman Filiu, alto/soprano saxophones
Stacy Dillard, tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne, trombone/tuba
Michele Rosewoman, piano/vocals
Yunior Terry, bass
Robby Ameen, drums
Abraham Rodriguez, bata/vocals
Gene Golden, bata
Xavier Rivera, bata
Nina Rodriguez, lead vocals
Click here for more info

NEWS ALERT July 13, 2015
New Yor-Uba receives a Chamber Music America New Works Commission


Chamber Music America (CMA), the national network for ensemble music professionals announced the recipients of its 2016 commissioning programs, supporting the creation of new works for small ensembles

--and I am excited to share that my New Yor-Uba ensemble is one of them!

NEW JAZZ WORKS
Supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
A total of $277,000 was awarded to nine jazz ensembles through the New Jazz Works program, which supports the creation of new works by professional U.S.-based jazz artists and helps assure that these compositions will be heard through live performances and recordings.



2015
New Yor-Uba dates for the spring include:
March 21st The Egg, Albany NY

March 27,28,29 Dizzy's Lincoln Center, NYC

May 8 9 Joe's Pub, NYC

May 15 The Kennedy Center, Washington D.C. 20th Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival




2014
Dec 14-22 2014
Trip to Cuba with Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
As one in a special array of American and Cuban guest composers and musicians invited to write for and/or perform with the ALJO, I will be accompanying the orchestra in mid-December on a trip to Cuba where we will perform (Havana Jazz Festival) and record new music. Guests include myself, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dafnis Prieto, Cot�, Adel Gonzalez, Michel Herrera, Yassek Monzano Alexis Bosch and Bobby Carcasses. Am honored to be a part of this wonderful project and looking forward to hearing the manifestation of "Alabanza", espsecially written for this context and destined to be a part of the New Yor-Uba repertoire as well.

Links to video clips from our Dizzy's Lincoln Center performances:

"Where Water Meets Sky"

"Guerreros"


"Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba, 30 Years.
A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America"

#1 LATIN JAZZ ALBUM OF 2013 on NPR JAZZ CRITICS POLL!
#25 on NPR CRITICS POLL Top 50 Best Releases of the Year
#14 on JAZZTIMES CRITICS POLL Best Releases of the Year

Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba concert at Dizzy'sCoca Cola:
NEW YORK TIMES Best Concerts of the Year


DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE **** 1/2 STAR REVIEW in January 2014 Issue
JAZZTIMES MAGAZINE feature in January 2014 Issue



January 11, 2014
NYC Winter Jazzfest10
Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba will perform at the
Bitter End at 6pm

Alex Norris-. Trumpet
Immanuel Wilkins - alto, sop saxophones
Stacy Dillard -Tenor saxophone
Vincent Gardner. Trombone
Joe Exley-Tuba
Michele Rosewoman - Piano
Gregg August - Bass
Tyshawbpn Sorey. - Drums
Roman Diaz.- Bata, congas, vocals
Nicky Laboy. - Bata, congas, vocals
Gene Golden. Bata, congas
Nina Rodriguez - vocals

2013
Vision Festival presents a "Latin Free Jazz " mini fest.
Friday 11/22. 10:00pm
Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba Small Ensemble
Michele Rosewoman - piano, vocals
Gregg August - bass
Adam Cruz - drums
Roman Diaz - bata, congas, vocals
Abraham Rodriguez - bata, congas, vocals
Nicky Laboy - bata, congas, vocals

WHERE: Teatro LaTea Theater - Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center
107 Suffolk St - between Delancey & Rivington
TICKETS: Available online and at the door
$22 per night - $17 students & seniors - $40 for 2-day pass


2-Hour Broadcast on WBAI FM 99.5 - Suga' In My Bowl
Sunday, September 8 - 11:00 p.m. Eastern
Details

1-Hour Live Interview on Cool Jazz Conversations
Monday, September 9 - 8:00 p.m. Eastern

Live Phone-In Interview on WBTN AM 1370
Monday, September 9 - 10:20 p.m. Eastern (Vermont)
A 10 to 15 minute live phone interview with Ida Faiella

CD Release Celebration: Lake George Jazz Festival, NY
Saturday, September 14th 4pm

Personnel as follows!
Michele Rosewoman's "New Yor-Uba"
Alex Norris (trumpet, flugel horn)
Antonio Hart (soprano/alto saxophones)
Billy Harper (tenor saxophone)
Stafford Hunter (trombone)
Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone, tuba)
Michele Rosewoman (piano, vocals)
Yunior Terry (bass)
Adam Cruz (drums)
Abraham Rodriguez, Abi Holliday + Nicky Laboy (bata/congas/vocals)

CD Release Celebration: Dizzy Club Coca Cola Lincoln Center, NYC.
Monday, September 30 (WBGO live broadcast at 7:30) and Tuesday, October 1
Sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm both nights

Personnel as follows:
Michele Rosewoman's "New Yor-Uba"
Freddie Hendrix (trumpet)
Antonio Hart (soprano/alto saxophones)
Billy Harper (tenor saxophone)
Vincent Gardner (trombone)
Howard Johnson (baritone saxophone, tuba)
Michele Rosewoman (piano, vocals)
Gregg August (bass)
Adam Cruz (drums)
Roman Diaz / Abraham Rodriguez / Abi Holliday (bata/congas/vocals)

 

Video

  • Michele Rosewoman and Members of New Yor-Uba perform "The Egun and The Harvest", An original composition utilizing Abakwa drum and vocal traditions. Featuring Roman Diaz.
  • Michele Rosewoman and Members of New Yor-Uba perform "For Agayu" Traditional Cuban folklore in a contemporary latin jazz setting.



Extended Video Credits

Michele Rosewoman - piano, vocals
Pedrito Martinez, Roman Diaz, Abraham Rodriguez - bata, congas, vocals, clave
Ricky Rodriguez - bass
Javier Raez - audio engineer
Martin Cohen - producer, video and edit
All Music ©Michele Rosewoman for Contrast High Music/ASCAP

New Yor-uba

A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America

“Two big cultural streams flowing simultaneously ...ancient and experimental at the same time, and capacious enough to include more and more."
Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

Renowned pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman presents New Yor-Uba: A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America, featuring fellow masters from the worlds of contemporary jazz and Cuban folkloric music. The name "New Yor-Uba” pays homage to the dynamic musical journey of ancient Yoruba culture from Nigeria, through Cuba to present day New York, reflecting its contemporary manifestations.

Brass, saxophones, and a rhythm section complement key Cuban elements including three bata and conga drummers, traditional vocals and dance. New Yor-Uba salutes the Orishas (Yoruban deities) in a contemporary jazz setting with a distinctive repertoire featuring Ms. Rosewoman’s original compositions and visionary arrangements that Incorporate a large spectrum of Cuban spiritually-based music, including, Yoruba (Nigeria), Arará (Dahomey), Abakuá (Calabar) and rumba/guaguanco, a uniquely Cuban musical form.

"New Yor-Uba, A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America" debuted in 1983 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City. The ensemble has performed at major festivals and venues throughout Europe and the United States and Ms. Rosewoman was among the first to bring an undiluted form of Cuban folklore into New York City jazz clubs. Celebrating 30 years, the ensemble's double disc release garnered the 2013 #1 NPR Latin Jazz Recording of the year award.

Now with a 35-year progression, New Yor-Uba's concept and sound remain uniquely vital as Rosewoman continues to enhance the ensemble's repertoire with new music and personnel, further inspiring her to reflect upon and explore the links between these deep musical traditions.

NEW WORK - NEW RELEASE

"The deepening of my approach, knowledge, and relationship to this profound tradition that I am so completely bound to, prepared me on multiple levels to manifest this extended and most challenging composition. I am very grateful to Chamber Music America for supporting my evolution," explains Ms. Rosewoman.

Ms. Rosewoman is a recipient of the 2015-16 Chamber Music America New jazz Works Commission. The resulting new work, "Oru de Oro", is a rhythmic suite anchored to a sacred sequence of rhythms known as the Oru Igbodu, where 23 Orishas are endowed with Rosewoman's distinctive musical content while displaying and integrating the mastery of featured soloists and master drummers. Rosewoman built this piece on the foundation of the form, contours, and mastery of folkorist/percussionist Roman Diaz, who has been a foundational member of the ensemble since 2008. "Oru de Oro'" was recorded in the studio in late 2017/18 along with other new repertoire and New Yor-Uba's new recording, "Hallowed", will be released on November 1st, 2019.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

1983 Debut Performance
“Ms. Rosewoman's music – dissonant melodies, brass chorales, chromatic ballads and orchestrated vamps for brasses, saxophones, and a jazz rhythm section, as the groove shifted from the flow of the Santeria chants to the swing of a jazz band – was jazz that didn't simply use Afro-Cuban rhythms as decoration, but layered melodies and rhythms with equal force and weight.” The New York Times

“New Yor-uba is soulful evidence that Rosewoman is on to something significant. The music was energetic, propulsive and especially noteworthy largely because it...fully integrated orchestrated brasses, saxophones, and a jazz back line, with traditional Yoruban chants sung to the heavy rhythmic accompaniment of congas and bata drums, ceremoniously arriving at sumptuous Ellington-like orchestrations...” Downbeat Magazine

2013 Critics Polls, Performance and CD Reviews
The September 2013 release of New Yor-Uba's debut CD marked the ensemble's 30-year anniversary and brought great acclaim and extensive press. The National Public Radio (NPR) Critics Poll elected the 2-CD as the #1 Latin Jazz Release of 2013 and #25 of Best Recordings of the Year. Other accolades include the Downbeat Critics Poll, #14 Best Release of the Year and the Jazz Times Critics Poll, #14 Best Releases of the Year and one of the best large ensembles of the year. The CD received a 4 1/2 star review in Downbeat among many other rave reviews and the New York Times lists the New Yor-Uba Dizzy's Lincoln Center CD release performance as one of the Best Concerts of the Year. Numerous featured stories included NPR Fresh Air, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Jazz Iz, Jazz Times and many others.

"Two big cultural streams flowing simultaneously ...cultural multiplicity in sound taken to a reasonable extreme, where a song can still be allowed to sound logical and beautiful...ancient and experimental at the same time, and capacious enough to include more and more.." Ben Ratliff, The New York Times

"Dazzling tracks...startling for its balance of unfettered improvisation and undiluted Cuban folklore within a complex and often grand structure...stylistic swagger and spiritual heft..." Larry Blumenfeld, The Wall Street Journal

"Absolutely one of the most exceptional records of 2013 is pianist-composer Michele Rosewoman's 30th Anniversary New Yor-Uba release.” Willard Jenkins, The Independent Ear

Pianist Michele Rosewoman has created the masterpiece she's envisioned for 30 years, an extended loving and fully informed evocation....Two discs... and doubly rewarding." Howard Mandel, Jazz Journalists Association News

BACKGROUND

Ms. Rosewoman’s life-long immersion in both traditions led to the formation of New Yor-Uba. Her interest in Cuban music was born in a home full of music and art. Exposed in her early years to a spectrum of great jazz traditions and to spiritually-based music from around the world, she began playing piano at age 6. In her late teens she began playing congas and percussion, studying African-based drum and vocal traditions, specifically Cuban and Haitian forms, with an emphasis on the ritualized, spiritual aspects of the music. These early explorations would profoundly impact Rosewoman’s musical direction with a pervasive influence on the formation of her sound as a pianist and composer. She is credited as one of the first in bringing together Cuban Folkloric music with a thoroughly contemporary jazz concept for an uncompromised synthesis of these two profound musical idioms.

Upon coming to New York in 1978, Rosewoman continued to nurture her collaborative work with various jazz luminaries and also began playing with Cuban dance bands. She soon formed a most important association with the late Cuban master drummer/vocalist Orlando “Puntilla” Rios. A repository of tradition, he was both a mentor and a member of her New Yor-Uba ensemble for 25 years, until his passing in 2008.

Early support from the National Endowment for the Arts facilitated the premiere of Rosewoman's pioneering concept and ¬14-piece ensemble featuring Orlando 'Puntilla' Rios, at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater in New York City. The ensemble’s sold -out debut in 1983 signaled the emergence of an important new voice and received rave reviews in the New York Times and The Village Voice.

Ms. Rosewoman has performed with many Jazz and Latin greats including, in the Latin music genre, the late Celia Cruz, Paquito D'Rivera, Andy Gonzales, Roberto Borrell, Daniel Ponce, Chocolate, Nicky Marrero, Dave Valentin, Arturo O"Farrill and Puntilla's Nueva Generación, among many others.


NEW YOR-UBA PERFORMANCES

The Kennedy Center, Joseph Papp's Public Theater, Museum of Natural History NYC, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture NYC, The Painted Bride Arts Center/Phily, Roulette/Brooklyn, The Egg Center for Performing Arts/Albany NY, Tishman Auditorium NYC, Kuumbwa Jazz/Santa Cruz, Jazz Track/Greenwhich House, NYC, INTAR Hispanic Cultural Center/NYC, DIzzy's Lincoln Center,Yoshi's/Oakland, The Montmarte, Copenhagen, Nickelsdorf/Austria, NOS Radio Festival'Holland, the Atlanta, Washington D.C., Lake George, Vision NYC, Montclair NJ, Berlin, Paris, Warsaw, Zurich, Tampere Finland and Salzburg Austria Jazz Festivals, S.O.B's NYC, Sweet Basil and Sweet Rhythm NYC, Yale University, Harvard University, Cal Sate University Fresno, University of Massachusetts Amherst MA, Hostos College, Bronx NY.

Many of the finest musicians from the jazz and Cuban traditions have performed with New Yor-Uba, including:
  • Billy Harper
  • Antonio Hart
  • Greg Osby
  • Gary Thomas
  • Mark Shim
  • John Stubblefield
  • Oliver Lake
  • Steve Wilson
  • Gary Bartz
  • Don Byron
  • Joe Ford
  • Roman Filiu
  • Ingrid Jensen
  • Stacy Dillard
  • Freddie Hendrix
  • Michael Mossman
  • Baikida Carroll
  • Vincent Gardner
  • Bob Stewart
  • Howard Johnson
  • Andy Gonzales
  • Rufus Reid
  • Kenny Davis
  • Anthony Cox
  • Gene Jackson
  • Adam Cruz
  • Chris Washburne
  • Alex Norris
  • Roman Diaz
  • Pedrito Martinez
  • Orlando “Puntilla” Rios
  • Eddie Bobè
  • Gene Golden
  • Eddie Rodriguez
  • Alberto Morgan
  • Ernesto 'Gato' Gatell
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Steve Berrios
  • Mauricio Herrera
  • Yunior Terry
  • Robby Ameen
  • Rafael Monteagudo

New Yor-Uba forever pays homage to the contributions and legacy of master folklorist Orlando “Puntilla” Rios.

REVIEWS

"Hallowed" Advance Dance Disques 2019

" This suite... is by turns, tender and driving, simply stated and complex. It frames ancient rituals in a new context. It places the sound of large ensemble modern jazz in a fresh light. "Oru de Oro" treats these bata rhythms as precious gems, presenting them in
luminous and original settings that accentuate their multi-faceted allure and power. (Rosewoman) has created a complete original musical structure that breathes as one with the bata, negotiating its rhythmic transitions, and that is studded with harmonic innovation, well-placed improvisations, drama and even humor. Her music honors the legacies of jazz masters like Duke Ellington,
Charles Mingus and Cecil Taylor as clearly as the bata serves Yoruba deities. Throughout, her distict brand of pianism- highly refined and yet, in spots, often quite daring--shines through.
New Yor-Uba doesn't so much bridge traditions; rather, it reveals
deep and mysterious connections that have always existed."
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
JAZZIZ / Larry Blumenfeld


"Thirty-five years ago, pianist and composer Michele Rosewoman broke ground on what would become a signature achievement, the Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble New Yor-Uba...
Its mission has been steadfast. On some level it’s never been
clearer than it is on the new album, Hallowed."
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
NPR / Nate Chinen

"The evolution of New Yor-Uba, pianist Michele Rosewoman’s painstaking synthesis of modern jazz and ancient Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions, has been a journey of slow-motion magnificence... Rosewoman’s abiding faith in these centuries-old rhythms, covertly passed down by word of mouth to safeguard their potency, provides New Yor-Uba with an
idiosyncratic discipline similar to Henry Threadgill’s Zooid or Steve Coleman’s Five Elements. As with those ensembles, listeners are richly rewarded by marinating in the music."
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
JazzTimes

" This isn’t “Latin jazz”; it’s an often stunning synthesis of old and new, assembled by someone who’s spent her life studying this material and making it her own... Atop that constantly fluctuating bed of percussion, a five-piece horn section lays down complex, almost big-band melodiesand stinging, adventurous solos"
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Stereogum


"For pianist, composer, educator and arranger Michele Rosewoman, music serves two purposes: to swing as always while engaging listeners in a multicultural experience that stimulates an impassioned connection... The pollinating rhythms of the constant drumming, brass section and Rosewoman’s distinct piano makes “Hallowed” the year’s finest spirited representation of Cuban folklorist music and jazz infused with energetic notes of the African diaspora. “Hallowed” anoints Rosewoman as a griot of Cuban folklore, who carries on the tradition of pianist and composer Randy Weston, who encompassed his music into the spiritual enlightenment of the African diaspora."
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Amsterdam News / Ron Scott

"With her epic, wordless, yet worshipful suite “Oru de Oro” she has cracked the code of that ancient text. So it follows that I can think of almost no other musician in recent (or, indeed, past) times who has been able to – in an original contemporary composition – make such masterful use of the sacred bàtá drums.... Miss Rosewoman anchors herself in the ancient tradition with a view to always look forward and what a spectacular way in which to do it indeed... With this album, Hallowed, Miss Rosewoman’s music, quite simply, ascends to the rarefied realm. And yet it has all of the elements that make it earthy and accessible despite being rooted in something as spiritually and philosophically “ancient”.... if we listen to the repertoire on Hallowed we will also be awestruck at the diabolical complexity of its harmonic inventions – the “changes” – which are absolutely breathtaking and come at us fast and furious, sometimes as myriad and rapidly as the works of Charles Mingus and John Coltrane.... the music of “Oru de Oro” is particularly alluring and – with its web of harmonic and rhythmic changes – is especially evocative of the musical canvas of Charles Mingus. Miss Rosewoman, of course, has an acutely singular voice and it shines with its own diaphanous musical canvas illuminated as if by glinting lights rippling with the stunning melodies and – more especially so – with a harmonic patina enriched by the shimmer of her pianism, rippling over the tone-textures of brass and woodwinds... . The constant push and pull between percussion, piano and blown instruments creates a dynamic tension that stretches and relaxes throughout this exquisite repertoire, drawing us in and mesmerising our senses at will... . The recorded sound balances depth and detail with a sense of “live” warmth. Truly an album to die for. "
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Latin Jazz Network /Raul deGama

Best Latin Jazz Releases of 2019
"..music that is emotionally compelling and spiritually uplifting.
("Oru de Oro) traverses variations in time, tempo and tonalities as the different
soloists episodically interact with the modulating cadences of the batá drums. The resulting music is sonically unique, conjuring an array of moods, from solemn to joyous, ominous to optimistic...The breadth of Rosewoman’s talent is further evidenced on the two shorter, but no less compelling compositions filling out the album... On the final track, “Alabanza (Praise)”,the jazz ensemble comes into sharper focus demonstrating Rosewoman’s adventurous melodic and harmonic acuity."
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
New York Jazz Report / Russ Musto

Best Jazz Releases of 2019
"Pianist Michele Rosewoman has been delving into Afro-Cuban music for more than 30 years, and her latest venture is her deepest dive yet: a 14-piece big band, heavy on horns and percussion but not so heavy they overwhelm the sparkling melodies,
blooming horn harmonies, or undulating rhythms".
structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Slate Magazine

" New Yor-Uba sprung from Rosewoman’s imagination, her immersion in Afro-Cuban tradition and her impressive technique as a pianist... Rosewoman has scripted an exciting new chapter of this story... If there is a more satisfying group around—one with as compelling a blend of ancient and new, of earthiness and urbanity, of ritual music and jazz-based improvisation—please tell me about them." structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Larry Blumenfeld Blu Notes


"New Yor-Uba, 30 Years!" Advance Dance Disques 2013

"...two big cultural streams flowing simultaneously... cultural multiplicity in sound taken to a reasonable extreme, where a song can still be allowed to sound logical and beautiful...It all felt ancient and experimental at the same time, and capacious enough to include more and more."
Ben Ratliff, The New York TImes

"Dazzling tracks, startling for its balance of unfettered improvisation and undiluted Cuban folklore within a complex and often grand structure... ---stylistic swagger and spiritual heft."
Larry Blumenfeld, The Wall Street Journal

"The best Latin jazz project in recent memory is this double-disc celebrating the 30th anniversary of
pianist-vocalist Rosewoman's esoteric yet quintessentially NYC ensemble. Delightful melody, spine-tingling abstractions and a sagae sense of groove argue for Rosewoman's place among the music's brightest composer-arrangers".
Jazz Times

"...One word for you-genius! That CD is amazing! I don't know when was the last time I heard a cd that moved me and touched me in this way. The writing is so personal, imaginative, and cliche' free as you're playing always is. The musicians seem to dig the music and interpret the music so well. The arranging is brilliant and the engineer did a great job of recording and mixing it. I've been a big fan and promoter of your writing and playing and this is the total package, not to mention the lyrics and vocal arrangements. I will continue to sing your praises...Love you, Donald."
Legendary pianist Donald Brown

"Absolutely one of the most exceptional records of 2013 is pianist-composer Michele Rosewoman's 30th Anniversary New Yor-Uba release."
Willard Jenkins, The Independent Ear

"Pianist Rosewoman has created the masterpiece she's envisioned for 30 years, an extended, loving and fully informed evocation of the Santeria orishas, bata drums prominent with her committed jazz octet and a couple of guests. Two discs is a lot of music to absorb, and doubly rewarding"
Howard Mandel, Jazz Journalists Association Publication

"Rosewoman's presence on piano continues to shine as she blends the rhythmic angularites of Thelonious Monk with the jolting harmonic suspense of Jaki Byard and Don Pullen...from gentle melodyand hypnotic bata rhythms to...intriguing, loping blues figure and sumptuous harmonies, the music transports as well as transcends in ways, opening various gateways for pleasurable listening without the need to be fully immersed in Afro-Cuban folklore...mesmerizing choral work and serrated funk...the compositions have the potential of becoming new modern jazz standards.
One hopes that a follow-up to this transfixing set will come sooner than later.".
John Murph, Downbeat Magazine ****1/2

"Rosewoman places vocal simplicity on par with instrumental complexity without sacrificing either... These two traditions, however, are only the starting point for Rosewoman, whose fresh compositions send them hurtling into the future. With New Yor-Uba, Rosewoman moves AfroCuban music another step forward"
New York City Jazz Report

"On most pieces, Rosewoman wraps her compositions around Yoruban or Dahomeyan devotional chants and drum patterns. They give the music a spiritual resonance across centuries and continents. Rosewoman treats those materials with care � the sung prayers appear in the prescribed order, and have their own integrity within the band's performance. Michele Rosewoman is mindful of the fact that the traditions she bridges have different goals... Rosewoman and her very aware musicians layer jazz phrasing and harmony over those ancient rhythms, and do justice to both traditions. It's like inventing Afro-Cuban jazz and sacred concerts all over again.
Kevin Whitehead, NPR Fresh Air

"Though it took her 30 years to document her groundbreaking New Yor-Uba band on record, it was worth the wait. Released in September, the exuberant �30 Years: A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America� is one of the standout albums of 2013...� the album stands as a true Latin jazz milestone � a special gift from an artist determined to bring two great cultures together. Feliz Navidad, indeed.." -Washington Post

"Rosewoman plays lush piano; congas often serve as counterpoints to the horns and there are many memorable interactions between the vocalists and other musicians. What is remarkable about the set is the lush, voluptuous layering of sounds, as if one were interred in a gilded mansion of sound. " Allaboutjazz

"The clarity of the devotional intent, well-crafted arrangements, and the superior musicianship all around make A Musical Celebration of Cuba in America a very special recording. Particularly bright moments include Rosewoman�s energetic and imaginative piano solo on Dance For Agayu, her eccentrically flowing piano solo and the ensuing percussion workout on Por Ahora y Para Siempre, the vocal harmonies that open Old Calabar, another gorgeous Rosewoman solo on In Praise of Spiritual Guides, Freddie Hendrix�s tasty trumpet solo on Perdon, and the fractured horn charts on Where Water Meets Sky. I�m sure you�ll find many more of your own over the course of two discs of heart-stirringly beautiful music. Fantastico! "Stewart Kremsky

"Ouch, it�s time once again to discover one of those records that so good it hurts... this is about killer playing that goes down so smoothly and well interwoven that you just have to gasp for air. This double cd, stocked with playing by some of New York�s finest jazzbos, qualifies as a landmark recording that will continue to tower no matter how much passes behind it. A must for Afro-Cuban jazz fans, this is a set they will not want to be without. Get on board."
Midwest Records

"...the first recording in 30 years from this astonishing Latin-Jazz �big band� of sorts, a fantastic collective that shuffles together with masterful ingenuity Rosewoman�s expertise in both modern jazz and Cuban folkloric music... With a band this versatile, the options are myriad, and Rosewoman doesn�t ignore any of them in 14 tracks spread across two generous and kaleidoscopic compact discs. Almost all the material was composed and arranged by the leader (with traditional materials throughout), and many tracks weave the traditional and the modern brilliantly.. Michele Rosewoman refuses to see any boundaries that can contain Afro-Cuban music and its rich fusion with jazz.Pop Matters

"...a joyous, supremely listenable two-disc set. It�s a large band but the feeling is very friendly and almost intimate, like a family, perhaps because Rosewoman�s lyrical piano is front and center throughout...Really fine performances from all." Stanford Radio

"Ms. Rosewoman's music-dissonant melodies, brass chorales, chromatic ballads and orchestrated vamps...as the groove shifted from the flow of the Santeria chants to the swing of a jazz band-was jazz that didn't simply use Afro-Cuban rhythms as decoration, but layered melodies and rhythms with equal force and weight."
The New York Times

"New Yor-Uba is soulful evidence that Rosewoman is on to something significant. The music was energetic, propulsive and especially noteworthy largely because it did not use either jazz melodies or Cuban rhythms as mere embellishments. Rosewoman's concept fully integrated orchestrated brasses, saxophones, and a jazz back line, with traditional Yoruban chants sung to the heavy rhythmic accompaniment of congas and bata drums, ceremoniously arriving at sumptuous Ellington-like orchestrations."
Downbeat Magazine

"Michele led the band through a set of charts that gave insight into her imagination and talent.... Rosewoman gave a state-of-the-art performance that is rooted in tradition but searching for new ideas to further this sanctified circle and pay homage to the black spiritual music of two worlds for a joyous energized experience."
Latin Beat Magazine