Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is the long-awaited new CD from Argentinean drummer-composer Guillermo Nojechowicz and his jazz ensemble, EL ECO. The disk is being released by Zoho Music, the Grammy-winning New York-based jazz label.
Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 was inspired by a remnant of Nojechowicz’s family history, the passport that his grandmother carried when she fled Warsaw for Argentina in 1933 along with Nojechowicz’s father, who was then a small boy. Crossing Europe by train, they left behind everything familiar to face the unknown in Buenos Aires — a trip that spared them from the Holocaust, when so many others in their community later perished. The Latin jazz suite that chronicles their long, uncertain journey is the centerpiece of EL ECO’s new recording, Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933.
In addition to Nojechowicz (Claudio Roditi, Romero Lubambo, Donny McCaslin, Airto Moreira) the EL ECO ensemble members include Brazilian pianist Helio Alves (Joe Henderson, Yo-Yo Ma), Argentinean bassist Fernando Huergo (Antonio Sanchez, Dave Liebman), Italian saxophonist Marco Pignataro (Eddie Gomez, Berklee Global Jazz Institute), vocalist Kim Nazarian (New York Voices), and Grammy-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch (Eddie Palmieri, Phil Woods). Nojechowicz and the band are joined on three tracks by Italian accordionist Roberto Cassan, who sadly passed away shortly after this recording.
The evocative sound of Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 is already capturing attention. “There is something very powerful in these compositions,” said internationally renowned composer Osvaldo Golijov. Acclaimed Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza called Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933 “a beautiful and important record.” And Oscar-winning film composer Gustavo Santaolalla (“Motorcycle Diaries,” “Babel”) summarized the recording: “Excellent material! And great musicians!”
EL ECO festival performances have included Telluride Jazz Celebration, where the festival line-up featured Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard; the Curaçao Jazz Festival; the Freihofer Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs; the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival in Argentina; and the Dominican Republic Jazz Festival.
Also an international clinician and educator, Nojechowicz has led his World Jazz Ensemble students in workshops at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School with guest artists Joshua Redman and Wynton Marsalis through a collaboration with Harvard University. He has also traveled with his students to teach and perform at the Panama Jazz Festival, which features renowned jazz artists that have included Danilo Perez, Chucho Valdez, and John Scofield.