The New Immigrant Experience
Music Inspired by Conversations with Dreamers
Written for The Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble
6pm doors • 7pm show
The New Immigrant Experience is a powerful new multi-media work, combining live music and video projection, inspired by the experience of the Dreamers (people who are currently protected by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program). Written by Felipe Salles, and developed with the aid of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship, the work uses speech cadences and melodic motives based on key words as its main source of musical material. The speech material was collected through video interviews of a representative group of Dreamers. Their personal stories, experiences of growing up bilingual and undocumented, also inform musical choices. The video portion of the work was created by Fernanda Faya, video director, editor and cinematographer.
This piece will be performed by the Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, a New England–based, 18-piece large jazz ensemble, giving full-throated voice to one of the stories of one of the most misrepresented groups in the United States today.
Jonathan Ball — soprano and alto sax, flute, piccolo
Aaron Dutton — soprano and alto sax, flute
Mike Caudill — soprano and tenor sax, flute, clarinet
Rick DiMuzio — tenor sax, clarinet
Tyler Burchfield — bari sax, clarinet, bass clarinet
Nando Michelin — piano
Kevin Grudecki — guitar
Ryan Fedak — vibes
Keala Kaumeheiwa — bass
Bertram Lehmann — drums
A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr Felipe Salles has served as an Associate Professor at of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2010. An active musician in the US since 1995, he has worked and recorded with prominent jazz artists including Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, Jerry Bergonzi, Chico Pinheiro, Jovino Santos Neto, Oscar Stagnaro, Duduka Da Fonseca, Maucha Adnet, Tony Lujan, Luciana Souza, and Bob Moses. He has toured extensively in Europe, North and South America, India, and Australia, both as a sideman and as a leader of his own group.
Salles is a 2018 Guggenheim Foundation Composition Fellow, a 2015 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant winner, a 2009–10 winner of the French American Jazz Exchange Grant, and a 2005–06 winner of the Chamber Music America New Works: Creation and Presentation Grant Program, which is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He was awarded First Place in the 2001 Concurso SAAE de Jazz “TETE MONTOLIU”, 2001, with his composition The Return of The Chromo Sapiens.
His arrangements and compositions have been performed by some of the top groups in the world, including the Metropole Orchestra, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Violas, the Meta4 String Quartet, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, among others.
Salles has released seven critically acclaimed recordings as a leader. Departure (Tapestry, 2012) received 4 stars from DownBeat and a place on their best albums of the year list in 2013. They noted that Salles is adept at “crafting pieces that juggle intriguing complexity with buoyant rhythms and lush colors”. JazzTimes Magazine noted that “Felipe Salles blends the visceral and the cerebral on his fascinating fifth album, infusing classical modernist strains with the buoyant rhythms of his Brazilian homeland”. Ugandan Suite (Tapestry, 2014) also earned a place on DownBeat’s best albums of the year list in 2014 and was praised by jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke: “This is one of the best progressive works I have heard in a long time. What a great blend of classical, African, and Jazz music.” Varanda (Tapestry, 2017), with the Brazilian jazz collective Reunion Project, also earned critical acclaim including 4.5 stars in DownBeat Magazine.
The Lullaby Project and Other Works for Large Jazz Ensemble is Salles’ first large jazz ensemble recording, and it was composed for and recorded by his own Interconnections Ensemble.
Dr Salles is a D’Addario Woodwinds Select Reeds Artist/Clinician and an Andreas Eastman Saxophones Artist/Clinician. He currently leads both the Felipe Salles Group and the Felipe Salles Interconnections Ensemble, and works as a member of the New World Jazz Composers Octet, Kyle Saulnier‘s Awakening Orchestra, Alex Alvear’s Mango Blue, and Gonzalo Grau’s Grammy-nominated La Clave Secreta.