Gabriela Anders’ Los Dukes…
Los Dukes is a new 9 piece band arranged and directed by Gabriela Anders, featuring songs from the Duke Ellington’s catalog done in wildly distinctive Latin American styles. A Latina’s tribute to the music of Duke Ellington.
Gabriela Anders is one of the most accomplished and appealing contemporary vocalists creating today. Her debut album on Warner Jazz, “Wanting,” enjoyed much success and critical praise.
Her new band, Los Dukes, pays loving tribute to the elegant GENIUS of Duke Ellington and includes some of the best Latin Jazz players on the New York scene.
Los Dukes is an explosive, artistic, riotously fun post-macho latin-jazz experience featuring New York City’s baddest gauchos. Los Dukes rocks the groove from all corners of Latin America from North to South and beyond
Who’s in the band?
Bobby Sanabria: 7 times Grammy nominated artist: drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, recording artist, producer, conductor, educator, activist, multi-cultural warrior. He has played and recorded with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puentes, Arturo Sandoval, Mario Bauza.
Orestes Abrantes on percussion: Originally from Cuba, Oreste has performed with Tito Puente, Eddie Montalvo, Bobby Sanabria and Willy Torres.
Edward Perez on bass: Hailed by Jazz Times magazine for his “great dexterity,” bassist and composer Edward Perez has performed with jazz greats such as Paquito D’Rivera, Lee Konitz, Mark Turner, Lionel Loueke.
Matthew Jondrell on Trumpet: Born in Australia, Mat Jodrell is one of the leading voices on the trumpet today. He is currently on faculty at the Julliard School of Music, NYC.
Silvano Monasterios on piano: Composer and producer from Venezuela. He who has worked with Ira Sullivan, Larry Coryell, Paquito D’Rivera, Dave Valentin, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, David Lee Roth. His last two CDs are entitled “Unconditional” and “Partly Sunny” and were released on Savant Records.
Chris Washburne on trombone: Chris has been hailed as “One of the best trombonists in salsa…” by The New York Times and “one of the most important trombonist performing today” by JazzChicago magazine. His latest release, “Low Ridin’,” received rave reviews.
A New York Story
How did Los Dukes start?
“Scott Ellard, owner of the 55 bar in New York, asked if I was interested in doing a Latin Jazz night at the club. I put a band together and we started doing standards, “Quimbara,” “Toro Mata,” boleros, cha chas. It sounded good. After the first show I was in a taxi coming back to the East Village and “Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues” was playing on the radio. I guess because I had all those latin rhythms floating in my head I started to hear the song with a Latin beat. As soon as I got home I did an acapella arrangement in protools. I later transcribed my vocal parts for the band’s instrumentation with Sibelius, a software completely new to me. I brought that first arrangement to the next rehearsal and was surprised that it sounded good! I started sifting through all the Ellington I could find in my collection and on youtube, thinking of how to present those great songs with all these Latin rhythms I was considering. I kept writing arrangements and as the months went by the gigs continued and we started to have a sound.”
Is it difficult for a woman musician to lead an all-male band?
“I was a bit insecure at first as an arranger – not really from a gender perspective but from lack of experience – but I soon accepted that there would be a period of try, try, learn, then try some more. Each arrangement got better and better. It was thrilling! The guys were super supportive.
There aren’t many role models out there right now other than Maria Schneider, but I started in the business when I was quite young and I’ve always been something of a ‘woman in a man’s world’ as many of us have. I’m comfortable with it.”
What kind of rhythms do you explore in Los Dukes?
“As many rhythms from Latin America as we can; the idea is that each song represents a tribute from a specific Latin American culture to the genius of Ellington. “It Don’t Mean A Thing” is a Cuban salsa, “A Train” is a Jamaican reggae, “Caravan,” an Argentinian tango and so forth. We do “Ain’t Got Nothing But The Blues” as a Puerto Rican cha cha! All these rhythms are so very different from each other. It’s a really, really fun band. I love this music.”
What’s next for Los Dukes?
“We just recorded 7 songs at Avatar in NYC and have some shows coming up. Basically, I’d just like for more people to hear about what we’re doing. The band has great energy, it’s a fun thing, the songs are classic, the soloists wonderful, the rhythm section is on fire. It translates really well to the audience. We want to find more opportunities to play!”