Top jazz ensembles to perform at La Jolla’s Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Edmar Castañeda of the Edmar Castañeda Trio
Edmar Castañeda of the Edmar Castañeda Trio

The Athenaeum Music & Art Library’s jazz program presents its winter concert series through March 2, 2017 in the music room, with the stars ranging from soloists to quartets, and featuring some of today’s top artists.

Tuesday, Feb. 14, marks the return of the Edmar Castañeda Trio, with improvising Colombian harpist Castañeda, trombonist Marshall Gilkes and drummer-percussionist Dave Silliman — special guest vocalist Andrea Tierra. A native of Bogota, Castañeda has taken New York and major international jazz festivals by storm with his approach to the traditional Colombian arpa llanera.

In addition to leading his own groups, he’s been chosen as a guest soloist by artists such as Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, John Scofield and John Patitucci. The New York Times wrote, “Producing cross-rhythms like a drummer, smashing chordal flourishes like a flamenco guitarist and collating bebop and Colombian music, Castañeda is almost a world unto himself.”

On Saturday, Feb. 25, hear two of the top jazz instrumentalists of their generation, tenor saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Ethan Iverson. Known to Athenaeum audiences from his past performances with the collective trio Fly, Turner and his tenor sax have been praised by The New York Times as “possibly jazz’s premier player … his stature in the jazz world keeps growing.”

Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner performs with pianist Ethan Iverson, Feb. 22 at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library.
(Paolo Soriani)

Iverson is a member of drummer Billy Hart’s quartet and known for his role in the jazz trio The Bad Plus, called by The New York Times “better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60’s jazz and indie rock.”

The series concludes Thursday, March 2, with a solo date by guitarist and composer Ralph Towner. Known as a member of the landmark quartet Oregon, Towner has been a key ECM Records recording artist for over 40 years, including six celebrated solo albums. He shaped a distinct language for his classical and 12-string guitars, blending influences from classical, jazz, folk, and world music.

JazzTimes wrote, “From the first luminous minutes, it’s clear that we’re in good hands and on a musical journey that’s by turns pensive and wise, atmospheric and focused … Like few musicians alive, Towner manages to bridge the supposedly disparate worlds of jazz and classical music.”

IF YOU GO: Feb. 14 Edmar Castañeda Trio; Feb. 25 Mark Turner/Ethan Iverson; March 2 Ralph Towner. All concerts begin 7:30 p.m. at Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St. Single tickets $21 ($26 for non-members). (858) 454-5872.