Duende Quartet
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Duende Quartet

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | SELF

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Latin


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Cadence CD review"

From Cadence magazine, July 2008:
Harry Appelman, despite his chronically self-effacing manner, is one (of) the finest pianists in the DC area and over the years I have had the pleasure to see him perform in a variety of configurations including this current ensemble. Here on his latest CD, he is leading an excellent Latin-Jazz contingent backed by three veteran Rumba Club musicians (another fine Latin-Jazz group, by the way). Though the set is dominated by familiar tunes, there is freshness afoot here partly through the transmigration of tunes, such as the seemingly unlikely “Mrs. Robinson,” into a Latin mode and partly from the imaginative recasting of existing Latin and Jazz vehicles, such as their off-kilter treatment of the hoary “Afro Blue”. The result is a satisfying set with pleasurable discoveries throughout.
Appelman plays piano with an economical, supple grace and beautifully developed ideas. This is not a fiery Latin-Jazz outing typical of the genre but it has a thoughtfulness that suggests the kind of approach Bill Evans might have taken were he a Latin player. This is a refreshing trend and one echoed by the current direction taken by the impressive Rodriguez Brothers. Though the outward fireworks may be muted, the interplay between Merella, Turner and Schwartz, with Appelman’s incisive lines yield the kind of heat that is generated from strong ideas rather than the vacuity that results from blind virtuosity. All in all, this is a very satisfying date and worthy of an enthusiastic recommendation.
- David Kane
- Cadence magazine

"CD review: DUENDE QUARTET "Duende Quartet""

From the Washington Post, Friday, March 28, 2008; Page WE12:
DUENDE QUARTET "Duende Quartet"
THE DUENDE QUARTET's self-titled debut is strictly a hornless affair, perhaps not what you'd expect of a band that, according to the CD liner notes, is devoted to "exploring the intersection of Latin Jazz with the cool Blue Note sound of the '60s."
As it turns out, though, the absence of brass and reeds has its rewards, at least in this cozy context. The Duende Quartet specializes in small-combo arrangements for piano, bass and percussion that are intimate, interwoven and, thanks to unexpected shifts in meter, delightfully inventive. Pianist Harry Appelman is largely responsible for introducing and embellishing the melodies, though with a 6/4 arrangement of Cole Porter's "So in Love," he contributes to the band's percussive, Afro-Cuban thrust. Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" offers an even more vivid example of the band's energy and resourcefulness. Colorfully recast as a rumba, the tune is enlivened by chattering cross-rhythms and Appelman's resounding chords.
Given the quartet's affection for vintage Blue Note recordings, it's not surprising to find saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter represented by two performances here, including a thoroughly engaging arrangement of "Tom Thumb." It's Duke Ellington's "African Flower," however, that inspires the most alluring and subtly textured performance: a rhythmically insinuating showcase for bassist Josh Schwartzman, best known for founding the Baltimore-based band Rumba Club, and seasoned percussionists Mark Merella and Sam "Seguito" Turner.
-- Mike Joyce
- The Washington Post


"Duende Quartet" CD (2008) - self released



Duende Quartet

In flamenco music, the distinctive, mysterious quality that stirs the audience's feelings and reaches their hearts is known as duende. Duende, a word of Andalusian origin literally meaning goblin or imp, is sometimes described as the indefinable, magical power of creativity that results in a work of art, or simply as soul. Kenneth Tynan, one of several writers who used the term duende to describe the understated music of jazz pioneer Miles Davis, defined it as "...the ability to transmit a profoundly felt emotion with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of restraint." Duende is a musical value that has inspired all of the musicians in this quartet, and a quality to which they all aspire.

The Duende Quartet, composed of pianist/keyboardist Harry Appelman, bassist Josh Schwartzman, and percussionists Mark Merella and Sam "Seguito" Turner, has been chosen twice by Jazz at Lincoln Center to tour internationally under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State’s American Music Abroad program. The group was one of six jazz quartets to tour in 2007, and one of ten selected in 2009. Formerly known as the Jazz Ambassadors, this program has hosted such legendary musicians as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie. Duende played concerts and led workshops in India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Taiwan in March 2009, and in Turkey, Albania, Cyprus and Bosnia in February 2007.

Harry Appelman

Performing jazz has taken Harry Appelman to five continents. In addition to the two Duende tours, he performed at the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival, travelled to Egypt in February 2008 with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and was chosen to participate in an earlier U.S. State Department sponsored tour of South and Central America in 2002. Harry has toured with the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He was a finalist in both the 1987 and 1988 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competitions and one of three prizewinners in the 1989 Great American Jazz Piano Competition. Harry has performed in small groups led by Eddie Daniels, Gary Thomas, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Jim Snidero, Valery Ponomarev, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, Vincent Herring, Jack Wilkins and Walt Weiskopf, among others. He is a member of the Latin Grammy-winning group Afro Bop Alliance, and plays frequently with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club.

Mark Merella

Mark Merella is a musician whose versatility on both drum set and hand percussion has made him an in demand player for live, studio and educational settings. He began his professional career while still in high school playing summers at Wildworld theme park. He attended Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and graduated in 1984. Mark has worked with a wide variety of artists in the Jazz and Latin fields including Randy Brecker, Steve Turre, Ray Vega, Rene McLean, Joe Ford, Steve Berrios, Mario Rivera, Al Williams, Eva Cassidy, Imani and percussion legend Candido Camero. Mark has also worked with the groups Rumba Club, Mambo Combo, Ala Carte Brass & Percussion and Latin Grammy winners Afro-Bop Alliance. As part of Havana Select he played for Celia Cruz's induction into the Smithsonian and 1997's Black Music Conference in Chicago. Mark also performed with master drummer Julito Collazo as part of a symposium on Afro-Cuban music in Washington, D.C. On the R&B circuit Mark has worked with The Flamingos, Bo Diddley, Phil Flowers, Jr. Cline and Mary Wilson of The Supremes. As a freelance musician Mark has played at many embassies, the White House, the Kennedy Center and also appears in the critically acclaimed film "Syriana". Mark was commissioned by the American Composers Forum to compose a piece for Jane Franklin Dance, which premiered March 1st, 2003. Currently Mark works with the groups Mosaic as well as with the Duende Quartet.

Josh Schwartzman

Josh is best known as founder, bassist and contributing arranger and composer for Rumba Club since its inception twenty-two years ago. He can also be found playing bass or piano in a variety of musical settings. Josh studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York in the early eighties and lived in Spanish Harlem where his interest in Latin music was nurtured. For several years, Josh studied arranging and composition privately with the late Dr. Asher Zlotnik, alumnus of the Peabody Institute of Music. Josh has performed in the DC area musical theater scene, most recently a two-month stint in the 2008 Israeli operetta "David in Shadow and Light", a modern and quirky biblical song and dancefest featuring odd-time signatures and much arco bass. He has had the honor of sharing the stage with well-known jazz and Latin musicians alike (Tito Puente, Billy Higgins, Giovanni Hidalgo, David Williams, Nestor Torres, Jon Faddis).

Sam Turner

This highly esteemed percussionist, from New York City, has worked nationally and internationally with legends such as