Silvano Monasterios & The 4th World Ensemble
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Silvano Monasterios & The 4th World Ensemble


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Silvano Monasterios & The 4th World Ensemble @ Iridium

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Silvano Monasterios & The 4th World Ensemble @ Toronto Jazz Festival

Toronto, None, Canada

Toronto, None, Canada

Silvano Monasterios & The 4th World Ensemble @ Lancaster Jazz Festival

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

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Monasterios - Egan - Wertico
Silvano Monasterios/ Mark Egan/ Paul Wertico (Dogleg) - 2007

Recorded live at the April 15, 2006 “Jazz Impressions” concert in Fort Lauderdale, New York bassist Mark Egan and Chicago drummer Paul Wertico, familiar to South Florida JAZZ audiences because of their appearances with guitarist Larry Coryell, dug very deep to handle the often daunting arrangements of standards, jazz covers, and originals created by Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios, arguably the most accomplished composer and player on the local scene. This was not a jam session with visiting firemen, as sometimes occurs when players converge for a gig. This music was shared well in advance and rehearsed solidly prior to the performance. Still, it required the unique listening abilities of veteran professionals such as these to produce such a notable event. The music represented on this CD was culled from two performance sets that evening. Because of time constraints, only Wertico’s remarkable drum solo from Monasterios’ “Avila” in 5/8 time is reproduced on the CD. Few drummers could maintain the feel of the music through such a creative and extended solo.

Silvano must be commended not just for his arranging and playing, but for the diversity of the tunes, which include Bill Evans’ “Very Early,” Wayne Shorter’s “Wildflower,” Steve Swallow’s “Fallen Grace,” and chestnuts like “Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise and “Alone Together” all of which sound remarkably fresh. His own pieces, “Jerusalem” and “Avila” crackle. By the way, you can purchase this CD from this website (see Jazz The Future at the bottom of this page).

Personnel: Silvano Monasterios, piano, Mark Egan, bass, Paul Wertico, drums

Track Listing: Alone Together, Wildflower, Very Early, Falling Grace, Jerusalem, Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise, Avila (drum solo) -

Sunday, June 22, 2008
Coryell + Monasterios = Monster jazz show
When I heard that Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios was joining the Larry Coryell Trio for its Saturday night concert, I thought it would be a trainwreck. After all, Coryell's tightknit group with bassist Mark Egan and drummer Paul Wertico hardly needs embellishment. And, as good as the Venezuelan-born Monasterios is, it seemed like piano would just clutter up the works. But midway through the second song of their show at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center, my concerns vanished.

The group jumped from the gate with Coryell's buoyant "Good Citizen Swallow," a homage to the bassist-composer and longtime Coryell colleague, and sure enough, Coryell and Monasterios seemed to be playing atop one another. The same thing happened at the start of Bill Evans' lovely "Very Early," but, like the pros they are, the two quickly recalibrated and found the right mix. By the time they launched into the tricky Monk tune "Trinkle Tinkle," they had found the groove that would keep them sailing smoothly for the rest of the 2-plus hour show and keep the packed house riveted.

Coryell was in excellent form, his liquid phrasing on his hollow-body jazz box sounding as easy as breathing for the jazz and fusion vet. During the course of the evening, he'd return to Monk with a brilliant read of "Well You Needn't," pick a lovely version of "They Can't Take That Away From Me" on acoustic guitar with some intriguing flourishes, and simply soar on fusiony tunes such as "Spaces Revisited" and "Dragon Gate." The latter featured some jaw-dropping solos from drummer Wertico, who indeed thrashed like the tail of an angry fire-breather. Can't say enough about the always-tuneful Egan, one of the few bassists you can't wait to hear solo. Coryell featured him prominently throughout, and gave him the spotlight on a gorgeous new tune titled "Tracy," which the guitarist wrote for his wife.

But one of the highlights of the evening was a duet between Coryell and Monasterios on the lilting "Someday My Prince Will Come." Sigh-inducingly lovely, it called up the likes of Bill Evans and Jim Hall, but was scrupulously original and contained plenty of surprises, often calling up the darker aspects of the wistful tune.

- Bob Weinberg / Blog Archive

College is a time when teachers and mentors have a profound influence, and self-motivating soloists discover that when it comes to learning what to improvise, the sky’s the limit.

Last spring, Silvano Monasterios played piano with the University of Miami Bebop Ensemble, a small group that focused on student compositions, time playing, use of motives in solos interaction. A Jazz Pedagogy Master’s student at the Coral Gables, Fla., school at the time, Monasterios has since graduated, and he continues to write original music, embark on new projects and drive his solos to new heights.

“Silvano has gone beyond the stage of imitating others, and his personal compositions demand unique approaches to soloing,” said ensemble director Phillip Strange. “He has his own style and musical ideas, which I tried to support and develop as organically as possible. I worked with him to develop dynamic contrast and shape in his compositions, and realize these dynamics in the group performance. We worked a lot on time accuracy in the group, as many of Silvano’s compositions use odd meters.

“At times, I made various comments relating to over-pedaling and overly loud left-hand comping,” Strange continued. “I also insisted on motivic soloing to achieve a continuity of ideas. Silvano is always a pleasure to hear, and audiences love his rhythmic vitality and inventively mellifluous melodic lines.”

When it comes his turn to blow, Monasterios tries to look at the big picture. “I want to develop a solo that will make sense in its totality,” he said. “I try to use some rhythmic and melodic elements from the actual composition and make them my own by freely changing them in any way I choose. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to create new melodies during the solo, as well as pushing the envelope rhythmically.”

In addition to his teacher, Vince Maggio, Monasterios has absorbed the influence of a long list of piano giants, most noticeably Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. “Latin and South American rhythms have played a big role in what I attempt to do as well;” he said. “Lately, I can’t have enough of Monk and Brahms.”

Ed Enright, Downbeat Magazine
- Downbeat Magazine

Para oídos inquietos. La música nunca es de un lugar ni tiempo concreto, sino de donde se ?siente y se hace?Silvano Monasterios - Fostered. Cuando oí hablar hace unos años de Silvano Monasterios, pensé: otro talento venezolano que se apunta a la moda. Para entonces, gozaba de gran demanda como pianista acompañante de Franco De Vita, Frank Quintero y Yordano, entre otros. Pero, con el tiempo, pude comprobar con regocijo que, como en otras ocasiones, me había equivocado; que Monasterios no era otro del montón, ni de esas perpetuas promesas que transitan sin rumbo fijo, sin saber conjugar ficción y realidad, tradición y actualidad, sin que pierdan un gramo de autenticidad. Los buenos músicos, al igual que el oro en polvo, sólo requieren tiempo para aumentar su valor, y Monasterios, a sus 41 años, ha sabido sacarle provecho a todo lo aprendido. Radicado en Estados Unidos desde comienzos de los 1990s, lleva bastante tocando en diversos países y en grabaciones como la que ahora nos ocupa, donde demuestra que ha sabido crecer sin tener que hacerse mayor. Y lo hace con su piano y sus composiciones, huyendo de los artificios y aventurándose por un sonido categórico, propio de los quintetos de jazz (trompeta, saxofón, piano, contrabajo y batería), esmerándose en conciliar sus raíces y experiencias sin malgastarse en esfuerzos inútiles. El título de su disco proviene del vocablo Foster, que en castellano refiere a todo aquel que temporalmente acoge a un niño en su seno, sin adoptarlo legalmente, así como a quien fomenta esperanzas, abrigo, sueños, realizaciones. Entre 2002 y 2004 Monasterios formó parte del Bop Brothers Ensamble, conducido por Vince Maggio, su maestro, mentor y amigo, a quien va dedicada la producción. De allí que la gratitud se comprima en una simple palabra: Fostered. ?Estamos ante un trabajo producido en un gran momento de inspiración, imprescindible para todo amante del jazz universal, e indicado para los que quieran adentrarse en el seductor mundo de Silvano Monasterios, uno de los músicos venezolanos más respetados en tierras ajenas. Alberto Naranjo / Música de
la ciudad / El Mundo / Caracas, Venezuela

- El Mundo

Quienes tuvimos y/o han tenido el gusto de conocer la trayectoria de Silvano, de haberlo escuchado en tantísimas de sus participaciones con diferentes artistas variopintos, de múltiples estilos y géneros, no podemos evitar el notar el crecimiento y la consolidación como compositor y arreglista de este notable y desarrollado pianista venezolano. Sabíamos de su propuesta de su gusto personal por un jazz de estilo muy directo y singular, desde su participación, no hace mucho tiempo con el Bop Brother Ensamble. Esta obra suya, este CD “Fostered”, nos deja ver una excelente propuesta a partir de sus composiciones las que nos permiten entrever siempre esa influencia venezolana, esos sonidos característicos que “aparecen” al oído atento en un conjunto de temas consistentes y muy bien ejecutados. Un jazz contemporáneo de líneas muy particulares en donde por afinidad cualquiera esperaría un sonido más latino y, paradójicamente (aunque muy bien resuelto y presentado) Silvano nos muestra su arte inspirado, en un trabajo muy destacado.
Jairo Rocha / Enclave de Jazz / Montevideo, Uruguay
- Enclave de Jazz

It is not surprising that as I was listening to the music of Silvano Monasterios I began to smile. With all great piano playing in the jazz genre, we can recognize the usual suspects of influence, whether it is Bud, Monk, Bill Evans, Herbie, McCoy, Keith, Chick, or anyone for that matter. That fact is simple, and undisputed. Great jazz playing on any instrument has always been a synthesis through osmosis of sorts, and a ton of study, practice and most of all, patience. Through its entire history, every great player has listened to the records of their inspirators, transcribed their feel, their mood, their harmonic concepts and language, their developed ideas and improvisation, and most of all, their wonderful idiosyncrasies of execution. The articulation, if you will. All of that is mixed into the heart and soul of the wishing individual creating a new kind of artistry. We hear this influence in every piano player, including the masters, so to have smiled when I first heard Silvano's music made perfect sense to me. I smiled also because his music makes one smile and happy, but equally important is that I smiled because I heard his voice and felt his vision and the influence that he too will have on others over the years as well. From the shortest phrase to the longest, though the language of jazz is obvious, his own sound and style has, and will ever be refreshing to me, and the first thing I think about, and feel as I listen to him, is the influence of his own culture, present in every cell of music that he creates; in every phrase he executes; and most of all; in every piece he composes.

When I first met and had the privilege of meeting Silvano was at the University of Miami. He was a student of mine for a brief period of time, and my favorite part about teaching him was actually what he taught me. I have always learned more from my students than I have taught them. Most honest teachers would/should admit that. Coming to America from Venezuela with nothing but a dream was inspirational to me and still is. He had a powerful hope and desire, and through many years of hard work on his part, has envisaged his dream many times over and will continue to do so. The greatest part of his presence and present, is still his longing and search for matters of the heart. His love of home, family and heritage will forever be at the core of his artistic journey. They are what drives him to and into maturity, and always will be. Silvano's originality will always be a source of joy to me. What I learned from Silvano is that when one listens, one learns. When one learns, one might just smile as well.

During the years 2002-2004, Silvano was the pianist in the award winning ensemble "Bop Brothers" at the University of Miami. Vince Maggio was the director and creator of this revered group which was known for its hard edged, fierce and energetic style. "Bop Brothers" garnered many awards of merit over its life and times for its amazing live performances, and was a featured small group ensemble at IAJE conventions. Every player who had the privilege of playing in this group finished out their tenure with a much greater understanding of the dynamics involved with small ensemble performance, and equally important, with the soloing responsibilities inherent within such a focused and tightly spun organization. Intelligently, Silvano utilized this chance to explore his composition skills to the max, and not without much sweat. He opened up his soul to allow his original skill and command to emerge, but also allowed his vulnerability to surface as well. His great fortune of having a group of ensemble players equally as devoted as himself, allowed for the opening and creation of a "sound and feel" that helped him further define this music of his. They enabled his voice to be heard, and it is apparent in the exquisite tracks you will hear on this cd.

Jeff Laibson - Jeff Laibson

Jazz Impressions 1

Silvano Monasterios / Mark Egan / Paul Wertico | Dogleg Music (2007)

By John Barron

Recorded live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the spring of 2006, Jazz Impressions 1 is an inspired, piano-led set of straight-ahead jazz, co-led by Venezuelan-born pianist Silvano Monasterios, bassist Mark Egan and drummer Paul Wertico.
Monasterios, who regularly performs with Latin jazz percussionist Sammy Figueroa, demonstrates astonishing facility throughout. The notes fly fast and furious on modern jazz gems like Wayne Shorter’s “Wildflower,” Bill Evans’ “Very Early” and Steve Swallow’s “Falling Grace.” The pianist’s take-no-prisoners approach inspires intuitive group interplay, especially on his free-wheeling original “Jerusalem” and the standard “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise.”

Egan’s fretless bass dances gracefully around Monasterios’ lines—reminiscent of the way Eddie Gomez used to poke and prod at Bill Evans in the 1970s. The veteran bassist, who came into prominence some thirty years ago as a member of guitarist Pat Metheny’s group, solos with the kind of melodic playfulness usually lost to overzealous electric bassists. His vigorous and inventive lines on “Softly As in a Morning Sunrise” are a disc highlight.

Wertico, also a Metheny alumnus, swings tastefully and solos with dynamic sensibilities. The Chicago native gets in the last word on the bombastic closer “Avila/Drum Solo.”

With an abundance of technical flourishes and unwavering camaraderie, Jazz Impressions 1 is an impressive release. Hopefully these three stalwarts have plans to develop into a regular working unit. -

...Figueroa's first album won a grammy nomination, and THE MAGICIAN could do the same. He has assembled an outstanding band. (....)
Michael Orta and Silvano Monasterios split the piano duties, and each is a technically gifted, stirring soloist. ....Monasterios composed the title tune, an ingratiating cha-cha, as well as the vibrant and mysterious "Crossroads." - Scott Alpin, Jazztimes Magazine


- "Roads not Taken", featuring bassist Marc Johnson
and multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan.

- "Jazz Impressions", a live concert with Paul Wertico and Mark Egan (summer
2007 release)

- "The Magician" with Sammy Figueroa (summer
2007 release)

- "Fostered", featuring the song "Avila", winner of a
Downbeat Magazine award as "Best original

- "Boiling Point" with Melton Mustafa

- "Mi Alma Latina" with Nestor Torres (Latin Grammy

- "Dances, Prayers and Meditations for Peace" with
Nestor Torres.

- "Pepper Trombone" with Juan Pablo Torres

- "Low Registers" with Gabriel Vivas

- "The So Then Collection" with Jesse Jones Jr



Pianist-composer Silvano Monasterios was born in Caracas, Venezuela. After years of training at the Jose Angel Lamas Conservatory, he began his professional career at the age of 18, already having become experienced in a wide variety of musical genres by performing and recording with some of the most prominent Venezuelan artists.

In 1989, he traveled to Miami, Florida to participate at the Miami Jazz Festival, where he received a “Best Soloist Award”. In 1990, he immigrated to The United States where he received a scholarship from Miami Dade Community College. After obtaining an “Outstanding Soloist Award” at the University of Colorado in 1991, Silvano received a music scholarship from the University of Miami, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1995.

Silvano has performed with a number of important of artists including Ira Sullivan, Terumasa Hino & the World Jazz All-Stars, Othello Molineaux, Dave Liebman, Larry Coryell, Melton Mustafa, Marc Johnson, Donald Byrd, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, Nathen Page, Randy Brecker, Sammy Figueroa, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Allan Harris, Paul Wertico, Mark Egan, Shakira, David Lee Roth, and Nestor Torres.

In 1998, Silvano was voted “New Artist of the Year” at the “Hennessey Cognac Jazz Search” in New York City. 1998 also marked the release of his first CD, Roads Not Taken, which received outstanding reviews in the U.S. and Latin America.

Unfulfilled academic aspirations led Silvano to return to the University of Miami where he earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Piano and Pedagogy in 2004. DownBeat Magazine honored Silvano as the winner of its “Best Jazz Instrumental Soloist Award” in the Annual 28th (2005) Student Music Awards. A particularly gifted composer, he also won in the category of “College Original Song Outstanding Performance” for his composition “Avila.”

Last summer, his new recording entitled Fostered was released. Fostered features all original compositions, including “Avila”, mentioned above.

Dogleg Records, a new independent label recently released "Jazz Impressions", a concert recorded live in trio format with Grammy award winners Paul Wertico and Mark Egan. Also, a new CD by world renowned percussionist and Latin Jazz Grammy nominee Sammy Figueroa has been released by Savant Records. This CD features two compositions written,produced and performed by Silvano, including the title track, entitled "The Magician". The album was nominated in 2008 for a Grammy Award as "Best Latin Jazz Album".