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PRESS SHEET (Bio + Press Quotes)

US Ensemble
Andrew Cyrille - drums
Karl Evangelista - guitar
Alexander Hawkins - piano OR Lisa Mezzacappa - bass
Francis Wong - saxophone

European Ensemble
Andrew Cyrille - drums
Karl Evangelista - guitar
Alexander Hawkins - piano
Trevor Watts - saxophone

Karl Evangelista Apura is a multi-generational improvised music project meant to explore the relationship between jazz-based musical improvisation and social transformation in an era of worldwide political upheaval.

Apura uses original composition and daring improvised sounds to tie the revolutionary music of the past to the activist music of the present day, touching on American, South African, and Filipino musical traditions.

Combining the strengths of legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille (in for the great Louis Moholo-Moholo) with firebrand pianist Alexander Hawkins (UK), experimental powerhouse Evangelista, and a host of top flight improvisers, Apura celebrates and advances the spirit of intercultural collaboration pioneered by the likes of the Brotherhood of Breath, Bay Area organization Asian Improv aRts, and Milford Graves's Dialogue of the Drums.

Guitarist and producer Evangelista named the project Apura after a Tagalog turn-of-phrase that translates, roughly, to "very urgent." Very Urgent (1968) was the title of an album by the Chris McGregor Sextet (the "Blue Notes"), a trailblazing band of South African musicians whose aim was to combat Apartheid through the power of sound. The music that Apura makes some 50 years later seeks to tap into that record's primordial energy, insisting that the struggle for equality, justice, and musical freedom remains unfinished.

PRESS QUOTES (REVIEWS OF APURA! on Astral Spirits)

Up-and-Comers of the Year: Karl Evangelista (Guitar)
Debuts of the Year: Apura!
New York City Jazz Record, Best of 2020

"Apura! is another modern classic, sure to sit alongside the many records that inspired it, and hopefully the future albums it spawns." - Free Jazz Blog (Lee Rice Epstein)

"All four musicians are master improvisers and since each one has so much creative spirit & ideas to draw from, everyone finds ways to weave so many fascinating streams of interaction and solos... Improv disc of the year?!? No doubt!" - Downtown Music Gallery (Bruce Gallanter)

"An overarching theme of freedom emerges from Apura! - freedom that is joyous but does not come easily... the quartet plays with a lot of variables - old and new, tight and loose, tension and release - to form a compelling and enjoyable set. Strong recommendation." - Avant Music News (Mike Borella), Selection: Best Albums of 2020

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