“The Jazz moved Ciudad Juarez, and Juarez moved El Paso”
The 97-year-old Mexican jazz player Tino Contreras is not only active in the music field, but also involved in streaming concerts, including a special program from Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, which can be seen all over the world this weekend.
For Contreras, who just celebrated his birthday on April 3, it is not surprising to see him appearing in the virtual speech trend followed by young musicians in popular music, because the essence of jazz is innovation.
In a recent video telephone interview in Mexico City, he said: “Yesterday’s music is today’s music, and today’s music is serving the future.” Jazz music always keeps pace with the times and keeps pace with the times. It left its mark. This is what we are leaving”.
“Tino Contreras of the Frida Kahlo Museum” can be seen on Saturdays and Sundays all over the world (please check local time). In Mexico City, the presentation starts at 7:00 pm (0000 GMT) and tickets are valid for 24 hours. This is the first concert digitized from the former residence of Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Tickets for $17 can be purchased on Dice.fm anywhere in the world.
Contreras said: “It’s great to touch the intangible.” “It’s inexplicable, but it can be explained.”
The concert is organized by La Línea-London Latin Music Festival. Since 2001, with the support of the Anglo Mexico Foundation, the essence of contemporary Latin music has been displayed on the stage in central London. Contreras was originally scheduled to perform at the 20th London Music Festival in 2020, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
The composer and multi-instrumentalist Contreras has more than sixty years of experience. He has shared the stage with jazz superstars such as Dave Brubeck, Cannonball Adderley and Duke Ellington Orchestra, and has combined Latin-influenced sounds with jazz, la psychedelia, experimental music, Even flamenco dancing. His latest album “Night of the Gods” was released on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Records in October 2020.
He said: “He was born in the pyramids of Teotihuacán,” he was inspired by the drums and the pyramids of the moon to create this seven album, titled “Sacrifice” and “Dawn”, which is very dynamic.
Contreras has composed more than 2,000 pieces of music and recorded 59 albums. When he was 8 years old, he followed his father and grandfather in his hometown of Chihuahua (Chihuahua) and began music creation. He was already playing with professional musicians when he was 10 years old. A few years later, he developed his career in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, where he met Nat King Cole and Frank Sinner. Qu’s music.
“Ciudad Juarez is a kind of dedication, because since many American orchestras came to El Paso, Texas to perform, I went to see them. At that time I was full of jazz, full of beautiful things. Kong Treras recalled that it was at the end of the Second World War, and almost most soldiers liked to get rid of the fear they brought from so many gunshots while listening to jazz.
He said: “The Jazz moved to Ciudad Juarez, and Ciudad Juarez moved to El Paso, Texas.”
He soon arrived in the capital and worked on XEW Radio, where he met artists such as Mexican film star Tin Tan and worked with him to make music for the film. He is also a member of the Luis Alcaraz Orchestra. During his trip to Latin America, he took Merengue from the Dominican Republic as a souvenir and introduced the rhythm in Mexico.
Over time, he established a nightclub called Ríguz in Mexico City. Every night he played with Alfonso Zúñiga on the piano, Víctor Ruiz Pasos on the double bass and Mario Contreras, the late brother of the trumpet. Other Mexican jazz players who have shared with him throughout his career include Tommy Rodríguez, Mario Patron, Pablito Jaimes ), Leo Carrillo and Héctor Hallal (Arabs).
“We are not New Orleans, we are not New York, we are not Chicago. No, why not? “Because we also have to do a lot for Mexican music,” Contreras said. “This is called Mexican music, not because New things have been done, but because we are Mexicans! This means that there is an essence in our thinking.”
In 1954, it was part of the first jazz record recorded in Mexico, which included original works by local musicians. From there, we started to visit Greece, Turkey, France, Spain as well as Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Cuba.
In 1966, he premiered his most distinctive work “Jazz Jazz”, and because of his taste, he was welcomed by Catholic authorities and became a symbol of spirituality.
“I showed it for the first time in the Cuernavaca Cathedral. It was a success. From there, we took her to Palacio de Bellas Artes Palace, which was another very successful experience. After that, the biggest blow (success) of my life was that my music was already in the Vatican,” Contreras said.
As if not enough, when he showed his work at the National Theater of Buenos Aires, he met Father George Mario Beglioli, the father of the current Pope Francis. According to Contreras, he remembers working in a very rough community.
The jazz player said: “It is said that God is music,” and he was attracted by the brilliance and divinity. “God is music. This is what he bequeathed to us, just like the wind is coming and going.”
His son Valentino is a musician like him. He has been playing drums since he was 4 years old and often accompanied him in speeches. His children Marco Antonio and Jorge and his former partner María Luisa are dead.