Eugene Uman, piano; Michael Zsoldos, saxophone; Jeff Galindo, trombone; David Picchi, bass; Jon Fisher, drums + special guests
Eugene Uman’s annual concert at the VJC has become an opportunity for him to assemble a dream band that manifests his vision and unites his musical influences. Uman’s compositions draw from a vocabulary of modern jazz, hard bop, rock, soul, Latin American rhythms and gospel; listeners can expect a “convergence” of the music he loves, a mash-up of styles where groove is king. Uman’s energetic playing and writing style is flavored with the Latin rhythms that he has absorbed from numerous excursions to South America. Several of his compositions employ forms and grooves adapted from Colombian music such as cumbia, pasillo, puya, bambuco, and currulao. In the last several years, with the addition of Jon Fisher’s drumming and David Picchi’s bass work, the Convergence Project’s focus has evolved to highlight their profound strengths in funk and soul. Uman’s most recent creative venture is to mesh wordless vocals, sung by Wanda Houston, with the harmonized melodies of the horn lines and to add lyrics, penned by Verandah Porch and Patty Carpenter, to his Gospel-tinged compositions.
“I always love listening to Eugene’s compositions; they make so much musical sense and bring you on a journey with a very healing, uplifting feel.” — Jerry Bergonzi