“Music Of Venezuela” musicians win Latin Jazz Awards

Flutist Marco Granados and cuatro player Jorge Glem took first place in the Latin Jazz Corner’s 2008 reader’s poll.

Best Latin Jazz Flautist of 2008: Marco Granados
Venezuelan flautist Marco Granados brought all his musicality to the heart of the Latin Jazz world this year with his album, Music of Venezuela. His extensive training has helped Granados develop a high level of technical ability and a gorgeous tone, while his experience in the classical music world has refined his precise artistic sensibility. His dedication to Venezuelan music has fueled his current career, and his passion for the tradition emanates powerfully from Music of Venezuela. He interprets the melodies of many modern Venezuelan composers with a compassionate insight, and a rich connection that sings through his flute. Granados leaves most of the improvising to his band mates, letting the depth of the compositions speak for themselves. Yet the grace and style that he brings to the melodies lift the music to new heights.Music of Venezuela walks the borderlines between folk music, a South American classicism, and jazz, and Granados’ rich vision pull it all together into a must-hear package.

Best Latin Jazz Guitarist of 2008: Jorge Glem
While I originally labeled this category as Best Latin Jazz Guitarist/Tres Player of the Year, I really should have named it best Guitar-Like Instrument as the year, as neither a guitar player or a tres player won here – cuatro player Jorge Glem clearly won this category. As a member of Marco Granados’ Un Mundo Ensemble, Glem adds a great deal of virtuosity, improvisational wit, and Venezuelan flavor to Granados’ album Music of Venezuela. As an accompanist, Glem shines with flair and musicality. He obviously understands the ins and outs of traditional Venezuelan music; he traverses through each song with style and ease. At the same time, Glem clearly understands the potential of his instrument to create powerful rhythmic momentum as well as gentle foundations. Glem serves as one of the album’s prime improvisers, and he obviously knows how to build a storm from a series of simple chord progressions. He utilizes virtuosic passages, chord melodies, and smart variations to build solos with quite inspiring results. There’s a great deal of potential in Glem’s playing, and fortunately, Music of Venezuela has introduced LJC readers to this incredible musician!