Award-winning trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder teams up with a crew of top Jazz and World musicians to present this exhilirating, unprecedented project of musical discovery: the Jewish-Cuban connection. David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana presents “delicately textured and dazzlingly tuneful music, with powerful, swinging and lyrical playing”, that is “passionate, dancing and completely irresistable.” Arising out of the musical ferment of the most diverse city on the planet–Toronto–this truly original sound is a collaboration between the writing of Buchbinder and Grammy-nominated Cuban piano master Hilario Durán, and the band of killer musicians. Together, these forces take audiences on a journey of cross-cultural discovery, that consistenlty engages, challenges and delights.

Odessa/Havana’s two CDshave been beautifully received, hailed as outstanding in both the World Music and Jazz realms. Walk to the Sea was recently honoured with a JUNO Award (Canadian Grammy) and the group’s self-titleddebut CD nabbed a Canadian Folk Music Award, while the two recordings (released internationally on the Tzadik label), have received well over 100 rave reviews. The band has toured across North America, playing to sold-out houses in every venue, and was at the core of David Buchbinder’s multi-disciplinary creation Andalusia to Toronto, commissioned by oneof Canada’s greatest venues, Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music.Now, on the heels of the release of their sophomore CD, they are ready to take on touring the world.

While the cities and cultures of Odessa and Havana might seem many miles apart, their musical associations are many-faceted, multi-layered and rich indeed; rooted in their common ancestry in medieval Andalusia and sharing Arabic, Roma (Gypsy), Sephardic and North African forbearers. The two musics already share haunting minor modalities, improvisatory flourishes, a strong rhythmic drive and deeply spiritual underpinnings. And both musical traditions have long since proven their suitability for creative adaptation, serving as a kind of “raw material” for musical development (Latin jazz, modern klezmer/“Radical Jewish Culture”). Buchbinder and Durán’s compositions explore these commonalities as they break new ground, and the recent inclusion of their special arrangements of Sephardic songs have taken the music to a new level of richness. Without a doubt, Odessa/Havana’s compelling and powerful performances will bring your audience a peak musical experience. Guaranteed!

The musicians of Odessa/Havana, on recording and in performance, truly represent the cream of the crop in Canada and beyond. This is an ensemble of incredible, award-winning instrumentalists, bandleaders, producers and educators whose performing, producing and compositional credits read like a Who’s Who of the international world jazz and pop scene.

They are:

      David Buchbinder: Trumpet, Flugelhorn
      Hilario Duran: Piano
      Justin Gray: Bass, Guitar
      Mark Kelso: Drums, Bata, Percussion
      John Johnson: Clarinet, Tenor And Soprano Saxes, Alto Flute
      Aleksandar Gajic: Violin, Viola
      Joaquin Nuñez Hidalgo: Congas, Dumbeq, Bata, Chekere
      Maryem Hassan Tollar: Vocals

Musicians we have performed and recorded with:

      Roberto Occhipinti (bass, guitar)
      Dafnis Prieto (drums)
      Jamey Haddad (percussion)
      Michal Cohen (vocals)
      Bassam Bishara (oud)