Jure Pukl's 'Broken Circles’ feat. Melissa Aldana
The sociopolitical and environmental focus on our world seems to be stronger than ever, predominantly for all the wrong reasons. But consequential calls for action can also summon a positive uprising of both energy and creativity – something particularly evident in the story behind Broken Circles from New York-based saxophonist/composer Jure Pukl, with new music that reflects empathy and respect.
Jure Pukl resolutely recognizes his artistic direction: “The music I’m making is evolving – here, I have taken time to concentrate more on the compositional aspects. I see myself developing not just in jazz terms, but also influenced by my classical training.” Broken Circles clearly mirrors that concept of self-awareness, maturity and confidence.
Jure Pukl was awarded highest national award for contribution to Arts in his homeland Slovenia. He obtained university education abroad and studied classical and jazz saxophone at the University in Vienna as well as at the Haag Conservatory of Music. Pukl then won a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, where he pursued his studies with masters such as Joe Lovano and George Garzone. He completed his masters degree in music at the Graz Academy of Music.
Throughout his studies Pukl performed and recorded extensively, being engaged in his own projects, as well as working with a number of great musicians from different fields in music such as Dave Liebman, Branford Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, George Lewis, Maceo Parker, Vijay Iyer, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Gregory Hutchinson, Damion Reid, Darius Jones, Doug Hammond, Gerald Cleaver, Adam Rogers, Melissa Aldana, Rodney Green, Charles Altura, Joe Sanders, Aaron Goldberg, Marcus Gilmore, Johnathan Blake and orchestras like Big Band RTV Slovenia, European Jazz Orchestra, European Movement Jazz Orchestra, Vienna Saxophone Quartet and many others. He has been touring extensively throughout USA, Asia and Europe
His music has won him many awards and in his auctorial projects, such as the Doubtless, Broken Circles, Abstract Society, MEAT or Sound Pictures, Pukl dedicates himself to modern interpretations of jazz and improvised music. He published 8 Albums under his own name and received rave reviews all over the globe among others in the influential Downbeat, The New York Times, Jazzwise, Jazz Podium and All About Jazz. He is also featured on more than 50 other projects as a sideman.
“Pukl combines the skill, soul, and appetite for adventure that has fuelled jazz evolution from the beginning, and he’s a rising star of a creative new generation that is energetically driving the music on into its second century.” -The Guardian
"Slovenia-born Jure Pukl and his wife,Melissa Aldana, both tenor saxophone players, share a common musical vision and vocabulary... Their sweetly entangled saxophone lines reach ever upward, grounded by the driving pulse of the grounded rhythm section."★★★★1/2 DownBeat Magazine
"Pukl and Aldana play a collection of playfully cryptic pieces in unison, call-and-response, warm harmony and improvised polyphony... Fluently close knit music."Jazzwise Magazine
" Under it’s guise of artless, improvised freedom, this is highly sophisticated music, requiring an impressive level of virtuosity from all concerned ." Jazz Views
" A fascinating study in modern tenor saxophone ... Musical ideas building in a like-minded exchange that is a pleasure to share. "London Jazz
Melissa Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile. She began playing the saxophone when she was six, under the influence and tuition of her father Marcos Aldana, also a professional saxophonist. Aldana began with alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Michael Brecker. However, upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, she switched to tenor; the first tenor saxophone she used was a Selmer Mark VI that had belonged to her grandfather.
She started performing in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens. In 2005, after meeting him while he was on tour in Chile, she was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the Panama Jazz Festival, as well as a number of auditions at music schools in the USA. As a result of these introductions, she went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, where her tutors included Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, Bill Pierce, and Ralph Peterson.
Aldana graduated from Berklee in 2009, relocating to New York City to study under George Coleman. She recorded her first album, Free Fall, released on Greg Osby's Inner Circle Music imprint in 2010. Her live shows in this period included performances at the Blue Note Jazz Club and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and her second album, Second Cycle, was released in 2012. In 2013, aged 24, she was the first female musician and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which her father had been a semi-finalist in 1991. Reporting her win, the Washington Post described Aldana as representing "a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz”. In 2020 she got Grammy nominated for Best Improvised solo on Elsewhere from her latest albums Visions whihc was released on Motema in 2019.
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