Gabriel Alegria Sextet | Maurer Hall, Old Town School of Folk Music | International | Chicago Reader
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Gabriel Alegria Sextet 

When: Wed., Feb. 11, 8:30 p.m. 2009
Price: $5 suggested donation
Peruvian trumpeter Gabriel Alegria has several music degrees from American universities and currently serves as associate director of jazz studies at NYU, but his sextet proves he hasn’t forgotten his homeland. Their recent Nuevo Mundo (Saponegro) is steeped in postbop harmony and improvisation, but it rides on the kind of thick, sensual Afro-Peruvian grooves we’ve previously heard from Susana Baca and Eva Ayllón. The group’s take on “Summertime,” where Alegria kicks some serious ass with the plunger mute, shatters any expectations you might’ve had for a South American jazz hybrid, and the rest of the album is nearly as strong. He’s joined on the front line by his wife, saxophonist Laurandrea Leguía, as well as guitarist Yuri Juárez, but the real juice comes from the rhythm section: bassist Ramon de Bruyn, drummer Hugo Alcázar, and cajon player Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón. —Peter Margasak

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