According to the New York Times, “…Kibbey made it seem as though her instrument had been waiting all its life to explode with the gorgeous colors and energetic figures she was getting from it.”
A winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Salon de Virtuosi SONY Recording Grant, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Bowers Program, Premiere Prix at the Journées de les Harpes Competition in Arles, France, and the Juilliard School’s Peter Mennin Prize for Artistic Excellence and Leadership, Kibbey expands the capabilities and platform of the harp on international stages via baroque transcriptions, cross-genre collaborations with today’s top Latin Fusion artists, and showcasing masterworks of the French Belle Époque.
She has toured and recorded with luminaries Placido Domingo, Dawn Upshaw, and Gustavo Santaollalo for SONY Records and Deutsche Grammaphon; and, her own debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of the Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York.
Celebrated percussionist, composer and arranger, Samuel Torres was born in Bogota, Colombia. He has performed with a veritable “who’s who” of the jazz, Latin pop and salsa world, including such luminaries as Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Chick Corea, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin, Don Byron, Richard Bona, Lila Downs, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Angelique Kidjo, Marc Anthony, Rubén Blades, Fonseca, Andrés Cepeda, Thalía, and his country’s own international superstar, Shakira. His talents have also been featured in concerts with classical orchestras such as Berlin Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Boston Pops, Bogotá Philharmonic, Medellín Philharmonic, Delaware University Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony.
Since arriving in NYC years ago to attend Juilliard, Kibbey found herself escaping Lincoln Center most weekends to dance salsa or check out the latest in the free jazz movement at the Knitting Factory. This dual education sparked an interest in folk music and jazz that has evolved into a love affair with the popular dance forms of South America.
Not content to sit on the sidelines –and viewing her harp as a massive guitar – she invited Colombian musicians Benito Meza and Samuel Torres to join her in a brand new collaboration featuring clarinet, harp, and percussion – exploring the confluence of cultures that make up today’s Nuevo Latino Culture.
Following the migration of rhythm and harmony from the baroque courts of Europe to West African Kora, to the Andean Mountains, to the Amazon…and finally, right to the heart of New York City, Bach to Brazil is a celebration of the composers who immigrated to the United States from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela…alongside the folk masters who inspired them.
Formed in Fall of 2016, this vibrant group’s reputation is spreading fast – with invitations to perform in 2020 via Carnegie Hall’s CityWide Series, the Philipps Collection in Washington, DC, The Colombian Embassy, the Schubert Club, and various summer music festivals along the East Coast.
“Over the course of three centuries, you have a fascinating cross-pollination of cultures melding into the ever-evolving song and dance forms we love today –– in modern-day Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and beyond.”
In order to tell the tale, we start from the roots:
You have the height of the baroque courts of Europe in the 17th/18th Century. With a desire to colonize the New World (and all the good, bad, and ugly that came with it), this baroque aesthetic mixes with the rhythm and music of West Africa. Together, these cultures meet the indigenous populations and pure melodies of the Amazon and Caribbean Coast. You have all of these rich cultures encountering one another for the first time, and melding…leading up to today’s Nuevo Latino luminaries.
What results are the ever-evolving dance forms of bossa nova, jequibau, tango, joropo, samba, cumbia, salsa, merengue. Yet, through it all, the structure and harmony of the baroque style is unmistakable, and the grounded rhythmic impulses of Africa are clear.
We can’t wait to meet you and share our passion for this great migration story.
Composers represented in this project incorporated with improvisational elements
Joquin Rodrigo (Spain)
Jacob de Bandolim (Brazil)
Chabuca Grande (Peru)
Samuel Torres (Colombia)
João Luiz Rezende (commissioned by us) (Brazil)
Benito Meza (Colombia)
Bridget Kibbey (USA)
Jose Barros (Venezeula)
Paquito d’Rivera (Cuba)
Juan Manuel Plaza (Venezuela)
Astor Piazzola (Argentina)