|BV Cool, thank you, Ill tell the artist!
CP How many guitars do you own?
BV I have 4 guitars but also have other instruments that are guitaresque if you will.
CP Such as?
BV I have whats called a Quattro which is a Puerto Rican instrument that has 10 strings on it. Who knows why they call it a Quattro which means 4 in Spanish (laughing). It is the National Instrument of Puerto Rico. I also play an instrument called a Bajo Quinto which is basically a soprano guitar, a little smaller and tuned a lot higher than a normal guitar its used in ballads a lot, the Buena Vista Social Club is a good example of where you would have seen one before.
CP How did you get together with this band?
BV We are old friends. The trumpet player, Matt Hilgenberg, was my roommate in College. The conga player, Ernesto Abreu, is my right-hand-man. Weve played together a lot on the New York scene along with saxophonist Topaz in various bands, including Antibalas.
The drummer Matt Baranello was at one of our gigs in the audience when we blew the sound system; and I mean blew the speakers right off the hinges. Not because of volume but perhaps more from the spirits we conjured up (laughing). I think he was impressed by that and he started hanging out with us and eventually became our drummer.
CP How did you get into Latin Jazz?
BV Oh, thats a great question, people dont usually ask that because they generally assume oh well youre Latin. Yes Latin music was my parents' music but I grew up listening to whatever was popular in the 80s and 90s. Hip Hop, Alternative etc
Eventually I got into jazz and became a Coltrane fanatic while I was still listening to Sonic Youth and Tribe Called Quest. You know, I discovered Ron Carter through Tribe!
Through jazz I started listening to Latin musicians. When I was around 19 or 20, in one weekend I picked up an Irakere CD, a Jerry Gonsalvez CD, and a Ray Baretto CD and I started listening to this music religiously and made the decision that this was the style of music I wanted to pursue and eventually started my own band.
CP When did you start playing guitar?
BV I was 12 years old, way back in 1987 there you go I just gave away my age (laughing).
CP Where do you see your music going?
BV I envision more vocals but basically keeping it in the same direction but moving forward if that makes any sense.
CP Thanks for joining us today Bryan.
BV My pleasure, look forward to the next time!