James Travers senior recital program will consist of 3 songs from the Afro-Cuban genre.
An older tune called “Tabu” which is a standard bolero or ballad featuring New School student Luz Pinos on vocals. A Latin Jazz song called “Wonderbread” which will showcase a full latin horn and rhythm section and from the modern Cuban songbook “Recapacita” made famous by the Cuban group Bamboleo. Each of these cuban songs was picked to take the listener on a short journey through the rich history of Afro-Cuban popular music. The program will also feature a Soul tune by the great Bobby Womack and a Jazz standard by Ornette Coleman.
Originally from the the Pacific Northwest, James Travers took a rather circuitous to the New School. After graduating high school, he moved to California to play snare drum with the world renowned Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle corps. After finishing a United States tour with the Vanguard, James returned to his hometown of Portland, Oregon to begin his drumset studies. Over the next decade James was able to play and tour with some of the regions top Soul, R&B, Funk and Rock bands. During this time James discovered Afro-Cuban music and began travelling regularly to Cuba to study with some of their top drummers like Giraldo Piloto (NG La Banda, Klimax), Ludwig Nuñez and Herlan Savior (Bamboleo), Eduardo Velazquez (Chispa y los Complices, El Clan) and José Luis Quintana aka Changuito (Los Van Van). In 2008 James realized that to become a more well rounded musician, he needed to further his formal musical studies so he entered Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon. During his time at Mt. Hood, James met the Executive Director of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Mr. Martin Mueller who was also an alumni of Mt. Hood Community College. After speaking with Mr. Mueller, James decided to finish his studies at the New School. In 2011 James began the challenge of The New School and was fortunate enough to study under some of the finest players and educators in the United States, among them Charli Persip, Dave Gibson, Amir Ziv, Scott Kettner, Ralp Irizarry and the legendary Lenny White. As a 2013 candidate for graduation, in his final semester of his New School career, James was granted the honor of being invited to participate in the Bern Jazz festival in Bern, Switzerland.