The brush of palm leaves, the whispering waves, the salt in the air. You reach the end of the beach, and feel a steady beat. A little closer and you hear the strum of a guitar. Just as you arrive, a voice rings out strong and clear. This isn’t a dream. It’s Trio Bembe.
Out of the snowy Canadian prairies rises a tropical breeze from a surprising source. Three musicians join, having chased their passion to Cuba, Brazil, and Chile. Trio Bembe’s mastery of Latin music drives their audiences into a rhythmic frenzy. Their sophomore album “Oh my soul” invites the listener to discover the Latin spirit cultivated on the Canadian Prairies and carries them on a warm breeze to a place where dance and rhythm rule.
Amber Epp - vocals, percussion
Rodrigo Muñoz - guitar, percussion, vocals [leader of Papa Mambo]
Scott Senior - percussion [formerly of The Dukhs]
Trio Bembe, "Oh my soul", April 2011
Trio Bembe, "Trio Bembe". Nov 2009
Manitoba Music (Compilation). Jan 2010
CBC: The 204, Making a Prairie Scene. July 2010
Talented young Winnipeggers' CDs on launch pad
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Nov 9, 2009 Chris Smith In a sense, it's like watching your kids grow up. A pair of young jaz...Nov 9, 2009
In a sense, it's like watching your kids grow up.
A pair of young jazz musicians -- pianist Will Bonness and singer/pianist Amber Epp -- are releasing debut CDs Nov. 23 at the West End Cultural Centre, and while I can't take any credit for their musical maturity, I can be pleased by it.
A lot of local jazz fans have watched the two musicians, both in their early 20s and part of a group of young players who have become active over the past half-dozen years, as they have become better and stronger musicians.
Epp's disc, Trio Bembe, is a showcase for her musical love, Latin jazz. On Bonness's album, Subtle Fire, he leads a trio in a mix of driving and introspective instrumental tunes.
Epp is familiar to jazz fans from the Monday Night Hang jam session, Jazz Winnipeg Festival, Jazz under the Rooftop and other club gigs, more recently with Trio Bembe.
Bonness first came to my attention when, at 17, he missed a Jazz Winnipeg Festival performance with the high school all-star band because he was going out on the road with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's big band. He, too, has played widely around town, including the piano spot with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, and with U.S.-based musicians violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Avishai Cohen.
My first encounter with Epp was listening to a teen take the stage at the Hang session, clearly nervous but determined to succeed as a singer.
Now, she composes her own music and lyrics as well as singing the songs of Cuba and Latin America. Epp is studying Spanish to sing the songs she loves and plans to add Portuguese to her linguistic palette. She will study in Cuba for three months this winter.
Bonness is comfortable in many musical situations, but excels in complex jazz originals and interesting reworkings of standards.
Bonness's nine-track disc finds him driving on one tune, introspective on the next, clearly playing with a vision whatever the tempo. The title Subtle Fire says its all, and the title track is the best on the disc, which has six Bonness compositions and three covers, including a tasty Gingerbread Boy.
He is backed by bassist Steve Kirby, a mentor, and drummer Terreon Gully (who has returned to the U.S. and who will be replaced at the CD launch by Curtis Nowosad).
The 14 tracks on Epp's CD are a mix of Spanish and English lyrics, with the backing of Trio Bembe mates Rodrigo Muñoz (Papa Mambo himself) on guitar, vocals and percussion, and percussionist Scott Senior. (Flutist Shannon Kristjanson, a U of M jazz student who plays with Steve Kirby's Oceanic Jazz Orchestra and Jazz on Wheels, will perform with Trio Bembe).
Both CDs are very good: Epp's more of a get-up-and-dance disc by the nature of the music; Bonness's is a sit down and listen to the brilliant playing.
You've heard both musicians on record recently -- they appear on Breakfast of Champions, released this fall by guitarist Keith Price, another member of that young group and a talented musician to watch.
The joint Epp/Bonness CD launch is Monday, Nov. 23, at WECC, 8 p.m. Tickets -- $15, or $10 for students) available at WECC, at the door or by calling 952-4834. The CDs will be on sale for $10 each.
She's singing the praises of her Cuban immersion
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Chris Smith May 25, 2010 Singer Amber Epp spent three months in Cuba during the winter to study ...Chris Smith
May 25, 2010
Singer Amber Epp spent three months in Cuba during the winter to study piano and Cuban rhythms.
And, along with escaping a Winnipeg winter, she got an unexpected bonus: a set of Cuban "grandparents."
"Most people in Winnipeg know me as a singer, but I'll play piano more and more," she said.
Epp studied piano while taking her bachelor's degree in music from the University of Manitoba and will return to the U of M in the fall to do post-baccalaureate work in piano.
She started her educational sojourn in Cuba by studying montuno piano style (found in salsa music) with one teacher, then added a few more. "Musicians are very easy to find in Havana," Epp says.
So easy in fact, when Epp and a friend were walking down a street in old Havana listening to the music coming from bands playing on patios, in restaurants and lounges, her friend called out in Spanish "This girl is a singer" and Epp was asked to sit in with a Cuban band.
"A few days later another group of musicians I didn't know asked me to play," Epp adds. She also played piano for a tre (three-stringed guitar) player named Coto for two weeks.
Epp stayed with a Cuban family, sort of a B&B arrangement, and ate with them and lived in a safe neighbourhood and was "adopted" by them.
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TRIO BEMBE By Mike Sherby Summer 2010 This is going to be one birthday party that won't disappo...TRIO BEMBE
By Mike Sherby
This is going to be one birthday party that won't disappoint. It was precisely one year ago this July that Winnipeg Latin powerhouse Trio Bembe played its debut concert at the Winnipeg Jazz Festival.
The band, composed of Amber Epp (vocals), Rodrigo Muñoz (guitar, percussion, vocals), and Scott Senior, has been making waves in the city with its blend of rhythmic salsa and Latin beats. This feat is especially impressive considering that each member splits their time between other bands, including Winnipeg's Papa Mambo.
Epp says the group came together out of a mutual love of Latin rhythms and music, and a desire to share this love with the world.
"I wanted to create a group to play Latin music that wasn't just Salsa music, but music from all over the world. I wanted to do something with a big broad spectrum."
This may sound like big talk coming from a woman from Steinbach, Manitoba, but Epp has the chops to back it up. Between picking up all she could from musicians on the Latin scene, to learning to speak Spanish to help her sing the songs, she's devoted herself to the music with a passion.
This past winter, Epp even spent three months in Cuba learning to play salsa music from the locals there. It was an experience that she says she couldn't have gotten anywhere else.
"Salsa music basically came from Cuba. It's gone through a lot of changes in a lot of countries, but that's the birthplace, so I said 'I'm going to go right to the source.' "
Finding music teachers down in Cuba proved to be a fairly easy task, and soon Epp was learning salsa in a unique and authentic way.
"I was taking one-on-one instruction with musicians, but I didn't go to a music school because I was studying salsa music, and they don't teach that in schools, because that's the popular music and you can learn it on the street."
Epp displayed the same kind of determination in putting together Trio Bembe. After a couple of years playing around the city with Papa Mambo and other Latin musicians, when it was time to put together her own group, she knew just who she wanted.
"Scott and Rodrigo are both the best in their fields of music, and they both have a very unique sound and lots of experience playing Latin music. I said I wanted the best Latin musicians I could think of and bam, bam, that was it."
Of course a large part of playing any salsa music is the rhythm, something that Epp is particularly enamored with. Take the group's name for instance. If the word "bembe" doesn't sound too familiar don't worry, it probably won't be in any Spanish-English dictionaries either.
"It's a Cuban slang word, and it means a couple of things. First of all it's a rhythm," here Epp pounds out a quick drum roll on her kitchen table for emphasis, "and it also means a gig at a party. So I like to say Trio Bembe has a lot of rhythm and we like to party."
Getting hips moving isn't hard for the trio. They have a driving, exotic rhythm behind the songs that make even the most reluctant listener at least tap their feet. But Epp hopes to get more than just feet tapping when the band plays both the Jazz Winnipeg and Winnipeg Folk Festivals this summer.
Although both of these festivals attract large amounts of people, stage fright is one thing Epp says she's never had to deal with. She keeps a simple philosophy when it comes to being onstage.
"I love playing music, everyone loves music, so it should be good."
Epp first discovered Latin music about three years ago, while a student at the University of Manitoba's Jazz program. Soon enough, she started going to regular gigs by one of her favourites, Marco Castillo.
"I started following him and Rodrigo Muñoz around, and listening to their music. Eventually I said 'give me a song, give me an instrument to play.' And I learnt one song, and then I learned another, and I basically just sat in so much that I just became a part of Papa Mambo."
Papa Mambo regularly plays as an octet, and when she was looking to start a band herself, Epp says she deliberately kept the group small.
"I wanted to keep it small because there's a challenge in what you can create when you only have three musicians. It's interesting what you can create when you only have certain parameters to create within."
Trio Bembe released their self-titled debut album last November to rave reviews both locally and across the country. Critics praised the group's fresh take on Latin grooves. Epp says they hope to follow up with a new album sometime in the next year.
In the meantime, she says they'll probably be unveiling some new songs live this summer to see how the audience responds, and she hopes that people keep listening to what she's doing, and learn a little more about the music she loves.
"I love the feeling and the groove of the music and that's why I think a lot of people love Latin music. Even if they don't speak the language they love the rhythm. It makes them feel like dancing."
Find out more about Trio Bembe at www.triobembe.com.
Courtesy of Manitoba Music.
A sublime and smouldering package
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Nov 18, 2009 Lee Repko "A sublime and smouldering package: Winnipeg Latin/jazz musician Amber Ep...Nov 18, 2009
"A sublime and smouldering package: Winnipeg Latin/jazz musician Amber Epp excitedly prepares to release her debut"
Vocalist, pianist and percussionist Amber Epp is releasing her first CD. by Scott Senior
Amber Epp, Winnipeg jazz scene’s “next big thing,” will be releasing her debut CD with Latin-influenced jazz combo Trio Bembe this Monday, Nov. 23 at the West End Cultural Centre.
Epp, who plays weekly with the Papa Mambo Trio at Hermanos, the new Exchange District hotspot for Latin American food and music, recently graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Music School and has a burning passion to contribute as well as perform.
“How can I improvise on these jazz gems and not write for myself?” asked Epp at Hermanos last weekend.
Epp may have a Mennonite name, but her influences come from all over the Latin American map: from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and even Spain.
Growing up in Steinbach may not seem the ideal place for a lover of the hot and loose sounds of the southern hemisphere, but Epp continues to defy skeptics with her passion for the culture, even to the point of learning Spanish and Portuguese, maintaining a great sensitivity to the phrasing, and conveying an understanding in languages not her own.
“I started with intro Spanish classes at university and am continuing today to learn the language. I still don’t write [in Spanish],” Epp said.
Three of the album’s 13 pieces are hers, along with her appropriate interpretation of celebrated Argentinian novelist and poet Jorge Luis Borges.
“Instantes from the record was a poem I read in one of my classes by Borges and I knew I had to put it to music.”
Epp’s passion for this music is relatively new for her, first meeting Rodrigo Hernan Muñoz (of Papa Mambo) at the weekly jazz jam “Cool Monday Night Hang” at the Orbit Room only four years ago.
“This was the first place I heard live jazz. The more I heard the Latin flavour, the more I knew I had to learn this,” Epp explained.
Learn she did, eventually joining the award-winning Papa Mambo band as well as earning her chops with other students culminating in the Amber Epp Quartet.
“It was tough at first, a new language and I had to sing and dance, and then add in with percussion. Percussion is essential to Latin music; it’s all about the rhythm,” Epp said.
The ever-passionate and apt pupil of local jazz and Latin legends is excitedly anticipating her CD release.
“This music is fun, uplifting and upbeat. This isn’t just jazz, this is the folk music of the people and Winnipeg should take this rare opportunity to hear this music.”
Trio Bembe plans to tour this release, taking this incredibly sublime and smouldering package as far as they can.
“Better catch us now before we’re gone!” Epp warned, jokingly.
Records of Achievement – Students from U of M Jazz Prorgam Begin to Release Albums
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Nov Issue, Airtimes Magazine Michael Elves Calling them “Kirby’s Kids” makes them sound like ben...Nov Issue, Airtimes Magazine
Calling them “Kirby’s Kids” makes them sound like beneficiaries of a telethon rather than a group of up-and-coming jazz musicians; but the first crop of students from the University of anitoba’s Bachelor of Jazz Studies in the Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music are beginning to make waves on the local music scene and they’re quick to credit the guidance of the Director of Jazz studies, Steve Kirby (along with the rest of the faculty) with getting them to this point.
“I really got all of my fundamentals, all of the basic knowledge that I really needed to do the kind of music that I do, at the university,” says vocalist/pianist Amber Epp.
Epp goes so far as to list Kirby and his wife Anna-Lisa Kirby as her top two influences on her Myspace page. She explains that, “I studied with both of them at university; Anna-Lisa was my vocal instructor and she was great because she never held back and never had any secrets. She would tell us anything we wanted to know…most of what I know about singing I started learning through Anna-Lisa nad Steve. The’s the director of the program; he was hosting the Hang every week, giving master classes, and he taught my first improv class and I got to play with him at various things, Including hi Jazz on Wheels group…they influence me in a lot of different ways.”
The “Hang” Epp refers to is also known as the “Monday Night Hang,” or by it’s official title, the “Cool Monday Night Hang.” Another former student of Steve Kirby is jazz guitarist Keith Price, who reveals that while it doesn’t happen in a classroom, the Hang is where the majority of learning takes place:
“There are good and bad classes,” comments Price, “but what I really got the moist out of was the fact that it [the Hang] was a good environment…since it’s a small group of people and everyone was hanging out at the Hang every week. The conversations you’d have ovr a beer, you’d end up learning more than in the classroom. And just the experience of being able to sit in every – I don’t think I missed a Monday Hang session for like two years. That weekly experience there, just eing around those people and getting to hear Steve and Larry [Roy] and the players in town play every week; it was definitely just as much of an education, if not more, than what the school provided.”
Epp agrees that the Hang – which moved from its former home at the Freehouse to the Orbit Room – provided her with a learning opportunity to rival the classroom.
“The things we learn in the classroom are more of the history sort of thing. The performance aspect, most of that I learned by going to the Monday Night Hang…I basically learned by going up there, trying it out, falling on my face, and then getting back up again and trying it the next week.
Epp goes on to detail the performance pointers she picked up at the Hang that have served her in numerous performances since: “I learned even the most basic things – how to count off a tune, knowing the title of your tune, who wrote it, what key you’re going to play it in, if you want an introduction, how to tell the band. [And] you need to know what kind of feel the song is – if it’s going to be a swing, some kind of Latin groove, if it’s going to be funky.”
Mentioning Latin groove in conversation isn’t just a ‘for instance’ with Epp, as she’s primed to release a debut album with her group Trio Bembe (which also features Scott Senior on percussion and Rodrigo Muñoz on guitar, vocals and percussion. The release party for that is happening on Monday, Nov 23 at the West End Cultural Centre. Having dipped her toes in Latin groove with a guest spot on Marco Castillo’s Brazilian Season last year, Epp takes a bath in it on this upcoming self-titled Trio Bembe record.
Trio Bembe opened for Price when he released his debut record Breakfast of Champions earlier this fall, but Price won’t get to return the favour, as the group will be sharing the night and the stage with another U of M jazz student, pianist Will Bonness. Bonness will be releasing his own album that night, Subtle Fire, a mix of original compositions and reinterpretations of jazz standards. All three musicians – Bonness, Epp, and Price – are serving notice with their albums that the future of Winnipeg’s jazz scene is in capable hands. Hands that have been trained by Kirby and that have hung at the Hang.
Jazz singer set to cha-cha her way to Cuba
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Chris Smith. Sept 29, 2009. Singer Amber Epp loves Latin rhythms so much, she's going to Cuba to...Chris Smith.
Sept 29, 2009.
Singer Amber Epp loves Latin rhythms so much, she's going to Cuba to study them. Not that three months in Cuba in the winter isn't appealing enough by itself.
But first, the 22-year-old recent graduate of the jazz studies program at the University of Manitoba faculty of music will be performing the opening concert of the Jazz Under the Rooftop season on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Expect Epp to perform "a lot of music with a Latin or Cuban vibe" but also some compositions of her own and "our very different arrangements" of some standards.
Epp chose Cuba for her warm-weather sabbatical "because so many Latin rhythms originated" there; rhythms that had "an influence on the Caribbean and Latin America."
"Cuba is the source of a lot of popular Latin rhythms" such as salsa and the cha-cha, she adds. Epp will study piano with private teachers on the island, switching course from her classical training.
It may seem like a long musical journey from Steinbach to Latin America, but all it took was a stopover in Winnipeg. In the third year of her four-year bachelor's degree, Epp took out a CD of Brazilian music performed by saxophonist Stan Getz from the music faculty library and caught a bug.
Then she heard local musician Marco Castillo and guitarist and percussionist Rodrigo Muñoz and started going to Papa Mambo concerts. "I'm still not sure why the music grabbed me, but it did," she explains.
Epp is studying Spanish and when she's comfortable with it, she'll start to learn Portuguese. "I seem to have a good ear for Spanish," she says, and has sung in that language in her own performances and as a guest with the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.
She also has been writing her own compositions and testing audience response with an eye to recording a CD next summer.
Epp performs mostly as a singer, but is working piano into her show. She studied jazz vocals and classical piano for her degree and is "working slowly on my piano skills; it's a new language playing jazz." But, she adds, "If I can have Will Bonness on a gig, I'd rather do that."
Pianist Bonness will perform with Epp at her WAG show on Saturday along with guitarist Keith Price, bassist Julian Bradford, drummer Curtis Nowosad and percussionist Scott Senior.
Jazz Under the Rooftop continues Nov. 14 with pianist Glenn Buhr and singer Martha Brooks, and Jan. 16 with the Ron Paley Big Band. Tickets are $19 from the WAG or Ticketmaster.
Home Cookin': Amber Epp
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Charlene Diehl. Sept 1, 2009 If you’ve been out to jazz concerts in Winnipeg, no doubt you’ll ha...Charlene Diehl.
Sept 1, 2009
If you’ve been out to jazz concerts in Winnipeg, no doubt you’ll have run into Amber Epp. She’s a force of nature on the stage, whether she’s doing jazz or blues or revamped standards with her regular band, or crooning in Portuguese or Spanish on one of her Latin gigs, or hopping up to jam with a band that didn’t exist a moment ago. She has a powerful voice, an infectious grin, and talent to burn. This past May, she graduated with a Bachelor of Jazz Studies from the U of Manitoba, winning the Gold Medal, the Faculty’s highest honor.
How did you get into singing jazz?
In my last year of high school, I started listening to some of the traditional jazz singers—Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra. Then for my 18th birthday, my parents took me to the Monday Night Hang at The Freehouse. Alvin Atkinson was there playing drums with his elbows, and Steve Kirby and Larry Roy and Will Bonness. I was hooked! After that, I was always phoning my friends in Steinbach or bugging my parents to drive me in.
Eventually I got up my nerve to get up on stage. I sang “Lullaby of Birdland”—and it was really, really terrible! But I knew I had to try it again. I’ve learned many times that The Hang is the best place to fall on your face. It’s better to work stuff out there than in a concert!
That fall, I entered the Jazz Studies program at the U of M—and now, four years later, I’m done! I was so excited the first time Steve invited me up to sing with the house band at The Hang. Now I find myself hosting The Hang and singing all over the place.
You’ve been schooled in the classroom and schooled on stage. How do they go together for you?
I can’t really see having one without the other. I didn’t grow up surrounded by this music (Steinbach is the Choral Capital not the Jazz Capital), so university helped me make up a lot of ground. You’re there to study, practice, take lessons, ask questions. It’s motivating to be surrounded by people with a similar mindset. (That person knows more tunes than me? Well, not for long!) Also, you meet people who’ll be part of your musical life for a long time.
At the same time, I’ve learned just as much from live performances as I have in school. Right from the start I have gone out to every single thing I could, and I sit in whenever I can. I have seen my mentors on stage, so I know that performing is their passion too—they’ve basically been coerced into teaching! Being out there is where the energy is. I try to put myself in as many different situations as possible, and then just go for it. I certainly don’t intend to stop learning now that I’ve got my degree!
Did that attitude get you hooked on Latin music?
I had met the Papa Mambo crew at The Hang in my first year, but I got the Latin bug a couple of years later when I heard the Brazilian singer Astrud Gilberto on a Stan Getz recording. In an odd coincidence, I met Marco Castillo at practically the same time. After that, I literally started following these guys around, asking them to recommend songs. I got claves and shakers, and much to the annoyance of my roommates, practiced my güiro in the basement. Then I’d hop up and join them whenever they’d let me.
Now I do about as much Latin as straight-ahead jazz. I love the spirit of the music and the people—so much so that I’m going to spend three months this winter studying in Cuba. You’d be shocked to know how many different kinds of Latin rhythms come from there! Since I want to know everything I can about this music, I’m going right to the source…
Sufficiently Blown Away
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John Herbert Cunningham. Sept 25, 2009. Keith Price took a big risk in having Trio Bembe as the ...John Herbert Cunningham.
Sept 25, 2009.
Keith Price took a big risk in having Trio Bembe as the opening act. This trio of Amber Epp (vocals), Rodrigo ‘Papa Mambo’ Muñoz (guitar, percussion, vocals) and Scott Senior, although new on the scene - this being only their third live performance, has jelled into one of Winnipeg’s most exciting musical acts. By the time this review goes to press, they will have cut their first CD.
But then, it was almost impossible for this unit to miss. When you have one of the best vocalists in Winnipeg in Epp, one of the best guitarists in Canada in Muñoz and one of the best percussionists in Senior, there is a danger that their respective egos will clash. Except that these three happen to be three of the nicest individuals you’re likely to meet and completely without egos. They performed some exceptionally fine music ranging from Spain to Peru to Chile to Brazil to Colombia to Canada where Epp has put Jorges Luis Borges’ poem ‘Instantes’ to music.
Local jazz singer wows the crowds
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Curt Penner Dec 17, 2009 From the moment she steps up to the mike, Amber Epp leaves no doubt tha...Curt Penner
Dec 17, 2009
From the moment she steps up to the mike, Amber Epp leaves no doubt that she was born to sing! Close your eyes, and you are quickly whisked away to any of the legendary clubs in Havana, Rio de Janeiro, or Buenos Aries. Open your eyes and you’re back at Hermanos on 179 Bannatyne where Papa Mambo and Steinbach’s own Amber Epp are warming an enthusiastic crowd with their exquisite Latin melodies and rhythms.
Amber Epp has been developing quite a name for herself in Winnipeg’s burgeoning jazz scene recently. Specializing in Latin jazz, Amber has wowed many an audience as a vocalist for Papa Mambo, Trio Bembe, and the Amber Epp Quartet, as well as special appearances with the Ron Paley Big Band and the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra.
Amber, daughter of Gord and Lois Epp of Steinbach, has been singing all her life. Her mom first noticed Amber’s musical interest when, at the age of only a few months, Amber tried to sing along during a live opera performance. “I’ve always been singing,” notes Amber, “My mom used to send me to the garage when she got tired of me!”
“I knew she was talented early on when I could get her to make last minute changes to songs right before performing them!” observes Sheila Ardies, Amber’s first voice teacher, “She has always been a fabulous singer!”
Ms. Ardies remembers being impressed not only with Amber’s ability but her gusto as well. At age eleven, when Amber’s parents signed her up for her first voice lessons, Amber protested exclaiming, “Why do I need voice lessons? I already know how to sing!” Only a year later, Amber would sing the role of Gretel in the community opera titled Hansel and Gretel.
“Memorable as well,” recalls Ms. Ardies, “was the recital where Amber sang The Lonely Goatherd without missing a word or note all the while holding onto a live goat, running and bleating about her!”
Most of Amber’s early musical training concentrated on classical as well as musical theatre. It was at U of M, however, where she decided to focus more on jazz. She describes jazz as a musical “conversation,” where the singer and each of the band members are all “listening, speaking, and interacting” with each other within the song.
For the past two years, Amber has been studying Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and Latin music. She feels increasing comfortable performing in the groove-oriented Latin-jazz genre, singing not only in English, but Spanish and Portuguese as well.
Trio Bembe, which is comprised of Amber Epp, Rodrigo Muñoz, and Scott Senior, recently released a CD at the West End Cultural Centre in Winnipeg. The self-titled CD showcases Amber’s remarkable abilities as a vocalist and songwriter, featuring six of Amber’s originals as well as a variety of Latin jazz and traditional music.
Trio Bembe’s CD leaves no doubt that Amber Epp possesses the talent to really go places in the music business! The CD would make a great Christmas gift for any music lover in your life. It is available for purchase at Musical Directions in Steinbach or at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg.
Amber leaves for Havana later this month to further her studies in Latin music. She is particularly interested in studying Latin rhythms and Cuba’s rich musical heritage. “The majority of popular Latin rhythms originated in Cuba,” she notes, “Salsa, Son, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Bolero . . . !”
Anyone wanting to see Amber Epp perform will have to wait until her homecoming concert which will be held April 18 at the Park Theatre in Winnipeg. Tickets for that show are available through Jazz Winnipeg or by calling 989-4656.
To learn more about Amber’s career and to listen to samples of her music check out http://www.myspace.com/ambereppjazz.
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“Close your eyes, and you are quickly whisked away to any of the legendary clubs in Havana, Rio de J...“Close your eyes, and you are quickly whisked away to any of the legendary clubs in Havana, Rio de Janeiro, or Buenos Aires.” - Curt Penner, The Carillon
“Getting hips moving isn't hard for the trio. They have a driving, exotic rhythm behind the songs that make even the most reluctant listener at least tap their feet.” – Manitoba Music
“Epp may have a Mennonite name, but her influences come from all over the Latin American map: from Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and even Spain...”
- Lee Repko, The Uniter
“Growing up in Steinbach may not seem the ideal place for a lover of the hot and loose sounds of the southern hemisphere, but Epp continues to defy skeptics with her passion for the culture, even to the point of learning Spanish and Portuguese, maintaining a great sensitivity to the phrasing, and conveying an understanding in languages not her own.” - Lee Repko, The Uniter
“Epp's disc, Trio Bembe, is a showcase for her musical love, Latin jazz, [and is] more of a get-up-and-dance disc by the nature of the music.” Chris Smith, The Winnipeg Free Press
Latin American rhythms are at the heart of Trio Bembe's music. A set will include both originals and covers, including songs by:
Rosana Arbelo (Spain)
Jose Vasquez (Peru)
Violeta Parra (Chile)
Eduardo Motta (Brasil)
Tradional songs (Colombia, Brasil, Cuba)
Sara Tavares (Portugal)
Celia Cruz (Cuba)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.