It’s no secret that jazz music has been one of America’s great cultural exports. But interestingly, as the influential, dynamic, and malleable art form that it is, jazz also comes back to us as a cultural import from other corners of the globe where it has taken root. Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana is one such new voice in the burgeoning global vocabulary of jazz. Fronting a sax-bass-drums setup—aptly named the Crash Trio for its sudden, unpredictable intensity—this 24-year-old swirls Afro-Latin grooves and the percussive strut ofchinchineros (Chilean street musicians) into straight-ahead swing standards and free-form improvisation. By age 16, this third generation of jazz saxophonists was headlining jazz clubs in her native Santiago. After arriving in America with a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, Aldana cut two solo albums (Free Fall and Second Cycle) for Inner Circle Music, a label founded by saxophonist Greg Osby, one of her mentors. Last year, she became the first female instrumentalist to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, for which her prize money has funded an inaugural recording with the Crash Trio—featuring fellow Chilean Pablo Menares on bass and Francisco Mela on drums. Blending Aldana’s force-of-nature technique with a rhythm section both playful and powerful, the Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio will energize the intimate club setting, with the sound of jazz-as-global-citizen.
Cash bar available.