Sunday, June 14, 2015


Capital Jazz Project
The Street Theatre, June 4

Reviewed by Len Power

Brothers Juan Andres and Nicolas Ospina provided a fascinating and entertaining evening of music that combined the elements of contemporary jazz and traditional Colombian styles.  The mix of native, Spanish and African influences was quite apparent as you listened to these musical masters.  They were accompanied by Argentinians Andres Rotmistrovsky on bass guitar and on percussion, Marcelo Woloski.

Juan Andres Ospina led the trio first on piano with items blending Colombian rhythms with jazz elements.  Each item displayed styles of music from different parts of Colombia such as by the sea and in the mountains.  His piano playing was sharp and clear in spite of the complexity of the music.  He also premiered a new song he had written called ‘Silent Citizen’, inspired, he said, by a pot plant.  His sense of humour endeared him to the audience.  This haunting song displayed a charming singing voice.

His brother, Nicolas, played piano and sang songs combining Colombian folk, contemporary and experimental music in a fusion of jazz.  More modern and less classical sounding than the works played by his brother, the driving Colombian rhythms gave the songs a fascinating depth.  He has a beautiful voice which blends so well with the music.

Percussionist, Marcelo Wolovski, was fascinating to watch as he played with various sticks and brushes on the drums, unfamiliar metal ringing instruments and often just with hands on wood.  Bass guitarist, Andres Rotmistrovsky, was impressive with his calm, assured accompaniments.  It was all mentally stimulating as well as entertaining.

Originally published in Canberra City News digital edition June 5 2015