Tune in to New Music Monday on Lunchtime! with Arturo Gómez on Monday, June 24 at noon. You’ll hear new music from Eliane Elias, Ken Peplowski, and Manuel Valera New Cuban Express.

Eliane Elias: “Time and Again”
Perhaps the most well-known Brazilian artist of the last 30 years, pianist-vocalist Eliane Elias releases her new album recorded in her hometown of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City. Eliane took advantage of being in three cities by having guests from each location stop by, Brazilian superstar Djavan, Pete Erskine-drums, Denver-raised guitarist Bill Frisell, and Mike Maineiri on vibes, among others. Elias sings in Portuguese and English and her husband and co-producer Marc Johnson plays bass on four of the eight tracks, all the music and lyrics were written by Eliane, one of which- “Falo do Amor,” (talk about love) is for her daughter; “Little Lucy.”

In the past, whenever a new album by Eliane came out, she would play at Denver’s own Dazzle, let us hope the trend continues so we can once again see the joy of her playing at the new Dazzle.

Ken Peplowski: “Live at Mezzrow”
Like most musicians who love playing live on stage as well as depending on performances to keep afloat financially, Ken was hit hard. However, in addition to that loss, his dog Honeypie passed away and he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. To overcome those setbacks, Peplowski began playing with the members of the band on this recording via streaming outlets, adopted a new dog to keep himself exercising, and with the help of friends who contributed to the costs of his treatment he managed to pull through and go into remission. Once the doors of clubs began to open after Covid, jazz pianist and club owner of Smalls and Mezzrow asked Ken to play live at Mezzrow, a venue named after jazz great, “Mezz” Mezzrow.

The new album features Ken on tenor sax and clarinet, Ted Rosenthal on piano, Martin Wind on bass, and Willie Jones III on drums. Peplowski opted to play some of the lesser-known songs of the jazz canon and a few standards, a job well done.

Manuel Valera New Cuban Express: “Rise Again, Vol. 1”
Born into a music family in Havana, Manuel Sr. played saxophone for the Gonzalo Rubalcaba Quartet and other prominent players, the family decided to leave Cuba and relocate to Miami where after a short stay, Manuel opted to move to New York where many of his jazz conservatory classmates were living. Valera’s resume is very impressive, recipient of the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship, a three-time awardee of the Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works, and the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award among a few others. Manuel has eighteen albums in his discography as a leader plus many more as an accompanist.

Manuel Valera was in Denver the weekend of June 14 for three live shows and a recording session with Jonathan Powell’s Latin Jazz Party. One of those three live dates was at the KUVO Masterpiece Studio which you can watch by going to the KUVO’s YouTube channel. While at KUVO, Manuel gave us a copy of his latest CD where he is accompanied by five of New York City’s finest Latin jazz players.

Now in its 21st year of debuting the latest arrivals to the KUVO Jazz library, many of them are played ahead of their official release date. In addition to the music comments, I’ll provide a few tidbits about the artist, if it’s a new or an up-and-coming artist. It all begins at Noon every Monday.

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