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Chano Domínguez

Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez has achieved an unusual integration between the rhythms and languages of modern jazz and the entire lineage of flamenco. While many musicians have attempted this fusion -- with varying degrees of success -- Dominguez has created a unique idiosyncratic style from them. His 20th century recordings Más Allá de Nuestras Mentes Diminutas (1978), Noche Abierta (1979), and Canción de Primavera (1980), not only established his reputation at home as a pianist and composer, they put his name on the map in Europe and Asia as a true musical innovator. Since then, Dominguez has established a groundbreaking partnership with Paco De Lucia on acclaimed albums such as 1997's En Directo. His own recordings, including 2008's Cuentos del Mundo, 2014's Chano & Josele with guitarist Niño Josele, and 2015's Soleando with WDR Big Band Cologne have forged a new direction not only for flamenco but also for modern jazz. Born in Cadiz in 1960, Dominguez started playing flamenco guitar around age eight before moving on to the piano. In his twenties he formed the progressive Latin rock ensemble CAI, who released three albums for CBS. After the group disbanded in 1981, Dominguez pursued a solo career. He quickly garnered several awards for his innovative mix of flamenco and jazz, including First Prize in the National Jazz Competition for Young Interpreters in 1992. A year later, he released his debut solo album, Chano, and relocated to New York City. Several more well-received albums followed, including 1995's Paco de Lucia-themed 10 de Paco and 1997's En Directo. The 2000s saw Dominguez release a steady stream of forward-thinking, cross-cultural albums, including 2001's I Si!, 2002's Hecho a Mano, 2006's Acercate Mas, and 2007's New Flamenco Sound. Also in 2007, he appeared alongside saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera in the concert film Quartier Latin. A year later, he delivered Cuentos del Mundo. In 2010, Dominguez earned a Latin Grammy Award nomination for his album Piano Ibérico. Two years later, he returned with Flamenco Sketches, a re-visioning of Miles Davis' Kind of Blue that peaked at number eight on the international jazz album chart. He then teamed with contemporary flamenco guitarist Niño Josele for Chano & Josele. In 2017, he delivered the intimate solo piano album Over the Rainbow, recorded live at Barcelona's Palau Falguera, and followed it a year later with the collaborative album Chano & Colina (with Spanish jazz bassist Javier Colina) on Sunnyside Communications. While appearing at the 2017 Jazzahead Conference in Bremen, Germany, the pianist met the acclaimed Israeli flutist Hadar Noiberg after she heard his set. She introduced herself and proposed that the two work together. Since they each lived in Brooklyn, New York -- and, as fate would have it, mere blocks apart -- they began rehearsing together informally at first, whenever they were in the city at the same time. The duo found their approaches to music fit well together; both had backgrounds in jazz and classical music along with a love for a variety of Latin music. Dominguez's Spanish influences were not foreign to Noiberg, her background in the widely eclectic music of Israel provided touchstones to the Iberian Peninsula, and further, her own involvement with Latin American music gave her a grounding in its rhythmic ideas. Further, many of the Israeli folkloric pieces that Noiberg introduced to Dominguez reminded him of holiday tunes from his native Andalusia. After rehearsing, performing, and developing a collective sound, the pair took their new repertoire and made a formal recording at Trading 8s Studios in Paramus, New Jersey. The duo set was issued as Paramus in 2019.
© Matt Collar /TiVo


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