New tracks from Simon Mulligan focus on the music of Brazil and its distinctive bossa nova and samba rhythms and harmonies. From Argentina, Pablo Ziegler is a consummate performer of tango nuevo, a style that blends improvisatory jazz with the many traditional regional dance forms of his native country. Chucho Valdès and Elio Villafranca also blend contemporary jazz with traditional folk — and represent marvelous music-making from Cuba. And from Uruguay, Gustavo Casenave gives us an especially fervent and passionate Latin style.
You may think of new age music as gentle, atmospheric, and generally free of tension. One of our favorite artists in this area is the Belgian pianist and composer Jean-François Maljean. Some of his Spirio tracks will indeed remind you of George Winston and his ilk, but much of his music also displays jazz-improv abilities. Maljean is also our featured performer in this month’s Spirio Sync video.
A noted Spirio debut this month is the Swedish pianist and composer Martin Tingvall, an artist who avoids facile categorization. His music always sets an atmosphere and a mood and in listening to his original works, you’ll hear why he is a fine film composer as well.
Also in the broad genre of new age, Spirio welcomes the Dutch pianist and composer Iris Hond. Her music leans in yet another direction, revealing a strong influence from Classical repertoire.
The dynamic young pianist (and composer) Nikita Mndoyants also makes his debut on spirio. The most recent winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Mndoyants performs the complete Bagatelles Op. 126 by Beethoven, works that are often performed individually as encores. He also plays Prokofiev’s powerful set of short works entitled Sarcasms. And Hamburg–based Bach specialist Stepan Simonian joins the spirio roster this month with a splendid performance of Bach’s 6th Partita, BWV 830, as well as two of Bach’s Three-Part Inventions.