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Bernardo Padrón (leader / composer / saxophone / flute / percussion)
The Bernardo Padrón Group is led by the Venezuelan-born saxophonist and composer, adroitly harnessing the talents of a stellar lineup that includes some of Canada's most sought-after world-music and jazz artists. The original compositions on the acclaimed "Tales of La Juana" are at once a richly complex exploration of Venezuelan folkloric tradition and an engagingly accessible contemporary jazz experience.
With this stunning 2007 CD as the primary catalyst, the Venezuelan-born saxophonist & composer has firmly established himself as one of this country's most innovative and exciting global-jazz voices. The award-winning musicians who comprise the Bernardo Padrón Group are indeed a testament to the quality and vision behind Padrón's music. This contrast of full-throttle jazz and more nuanced and gentle folk influences make Padrón and the Group's live performances an engaging treat for a wide variety of audiences. They have performed at all of Toronto's leading jazz and world-music venues, including: Lula Lounge, Hugh's Room, The Rex, The Music Gallery, and Trane Studio.
Padrón has been extensively featured on the CBC Radio network, with airplay across Canada and interviews on programs such as "Big City, Small World", "Fresh Air", "Metro Morning" and "Here and Now". In June 2007 he was interviewed by Ralph Benmergui on his Jazz.FM 91.1 "Morning Show". "Tales of La Juana" has been a staple on Canadian campus radio charts, highlighted by a #1 all-genre ranking on CIUT 89.5 FM in February 2007. Airplay for "Tales of La Juana" has been consistent and acclaimed in the United States, Latin America and Europe. Padrón's 2001 album, the lyrical "Seadance", is now in its second printing and continues to receive airplay on jazz radio programs around the world.
In addition to leading his own project, Padrón has performed and/or recorded with an impressively diverse range of Latin, pop, folk and world musicians & ensembles such as: Hawksley Workman, Alexis Baró, The Mighty Sparrow, David Rudder, Denyse Plummer, , Mark Sepic, Mitch V and the World, The Liquidaires, Evaristo Machado, Ruben Vásquez, Ricky Franco, Diego Marulanda, Folklore Urbano, Guiomar Campbell and Parabólica, The Alchemystas, Fantasía, Charlie Ringas, Luz Marina, Frank Quintero, Andy Durán, Biela DaCosta and Martes 8:30, among many others.
The compositions on “Tales of La Juana” were inspired by Venezuela’s rich and varied musical folk traditions. Then, placing these folk forms into a contemporary jazz context, we utilize them as our improvisational points of departure. From the near traditional renditions and arrangements of “La Juana” and “Quirpa”, to the abstract “El Jabillo”, the songs cover a wide spectrum of stylistic blending.
With help from the Canada Arts Council, “Tales of la Juana” came out earlier this year. The Bernardo Padron Group is dedicated to promoting and performing this project.