EL ECO
 
 

Guillermo Nojechowicz ( Gee - Jer - Mo NO - HAY - CHO - Wiz) : Originally from Buenos Aires, EL ECO bandleader Guillermo Nojechowicz is the percussive drive behind EL ECO’s elegant fusion of Brazilian Argentinean jazz. Combining samba and candombe with the tighter lines of straight-ahead jazz, he is a master of all the idioms, including Cuban, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, Funk – and of course, tango. A drummer who plays with the ear of a composer, Nojechowicz wrote most of the material on the band’s new CD, Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, which also features pianist Helio Alves (EL -EE-O AL-VEZ) (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma) , bassist Fernando Huergo (FER - NAN - DO WER - GO) ( Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Kim Nazarian (Na-Za-Ree-Un) (New York Voices), saxophonist Marco Pignataro (MAR - KO PIG - NA - TA - RO) (Eddie Gomez, Berklee Global Jazz Institute), and Grammy winning trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri) . Nojechowicz has also performed and recorded with Claudio Roditi, Donny McCaslin, Jon Faddis, Danilo Perez, Airto Moreira, Romero Lubambo, Carly Simon, Walter Vanderlei, and Pedro Aznar.

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Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is the long-awaited new CD from Argentinean drummer-composer Guillermo Nojechowicz and his jazz ensemble, EL ECO. The disk is being released by Zoho Music, the Grammy-winning New York-based jazz label.

Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 was inspired by a remnant of Nojechowicz’s family history, the passport that his grandmother carried when she fled Warsaw for Argentina in 1933 along with Nojechowicz’s father, who was then a small boy. Crossing Europe by train, they left behind everything familiar to face the unknown in Buenos Aires — a trip that spared them from the Holocaust, when so many others in their community later perished. The Latin jazz suite that chronicles their long, uncertain journey is the centerpiece of EL ECO’s new recording, Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933.

In addition to Nojechowicz (Claudio Roditi, Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, Airto Moreira) the EL ECO ensemble members include Brazilian pianist Helio Alves (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma), Argentinean bassist Fernando Huergo (Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, Berklee Global Jazz Institute), vocalist Kim Nazarian (New York Voices), and Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri, Phil Woods). Nojechowicz and the band are joined on three tracks by Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after this recording.

The evocative sound of Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is already capturing attention. “There is something very powerful in these compositions,” said internationally renowned composer Osvaldo Golijov. Acclaimed Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza called Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 “a beautiful and important record.” And Oscar-winning film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Motorcycle Diaries,” “Babel”) summarized the recording: “Excellent material! And great musicians!”

EL ECO festival performances have included Telluride Jazz Celebration, where the festival line-up featured Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard; the Curaçao Jazz Festival; the Freihofer Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs; the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival in Argentina; and the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival.

Also an international clinician and educator, Nojechowicz has led his World Jazz Ensemble students in workshops at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with guest artists Joshua Redman and Wynton Marsalis through a collaboration with Harvard University. He has also traveled with his students to teach and perform at the Panama Jazz Festival, which features renowned jazz artists that have included Danilo Perez, Chucho Valdez, and John Scofield.


BIOGRAPHY
EL ECO, one of the pioneers of Latin jazz in Boston, is led by Argentinean drummer-composer Guillermo Nojechowicz. Their recent appearance at the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival marked the debut of Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, their long-awaited new CD just released by Zoho Music, a record that jazz vocalist Luciana Souza has called “beautiful and important.”

A drummer who plays with the ear of a composer, Nojechowicz wrote most of the material on this new release. It was inspired by his grandmother’s journey out of Warsaw in 1933 with Nojechowicz’s father, who was then a small boy. Their trip spared them from the Holocaust, when so many in their community later perished.

EL ECO’s elegant fusion of Brazilian-Argentinean jazz digs deep into straight-ahead jazz, punctuated by a deep respect for the complexity of Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms darkened, occasionally, by echoes of Piazzola.

In addition to Nojechowicz (Claudio Roditi, Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, Airto Moreira) the EL ECO ensemble members include Brazilian pianist Helio Alves (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma), Argentinean bassist Fernando Huergo (Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, Berklee Global Jazz Institute), vocalist Kim Nazarian (New York Voices), and Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri, Phil Woods). On Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933, Nojechowicz and the band are joined on three tracks by Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after the recording.

Nojechowicz wrote the material for the band’s earlier CD, Two Worlds, immersed in the chacarera of Argentina, the candombe of Uruguay, and the samba of Brazil. One piece – Chacarera de Paloma – was dedicated to a friend who became one of the “desaparecidos” lost in Argentina’s dirty war. Another tune – Uruguay – was written as a tribute to the place where he spent many summers.

Of that record, Fernando Gonzalez wrote, “If the results sound organic, lived-in, it is because they reflect a life experience that is not just bilingual but bicultural. This is music from a place with blurred boundaries: a place of memories, echoes, and startling newness."

In addition to being featured on NPR’s Jazz Set, EL ECO has performed at the Regattabar and at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, the Blue Note in New York City, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Festival performances have included Telluride Jazz Celebration, where the line-up featured Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard; Freihofer’s Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, produced by the legendary George Wein; the Montreal Jazz Festival; the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival; the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival, and the Curação North Sea Jazz Festival, where the line-up featured Jon Faddis and Richard Bona.

EL ECO guest artists have included Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Luciana Souza (vocals), Romero Lubambo (guitar), Donny McCaslin (sax), Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica), Airto Moreira (percussion), Osmany Paredes (piano), Nando Michelin (piano), Jay Ashby (trombone, percussion), Diego Urcola (trumpet), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), John Lockwood (acoustic bass), Doug Johnson (piano), and Bruno Raberg (acoustic bass).

Past EL ECO band members have included Olga Roman (vocals), Dario Eskenazi (piano), Rachel Z. Hakim (piano), Alain Mallet (piano), Yorai Oron (bass), Philip Hamilton (vocals), Naoki Matsuura (bass) and Lionel Girardeau (bass).