JORGE SYLVESTER ACE ( Afro Caribbean Experimental ) MUSIC
Jorge Sylvester Alto Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger, Producer, Teacher and Bandleader
Born in Colon, Panama attended the Panama Conservatory of Music and the University of Panama. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music from the State University of New York College at New Paltz in 1981. A unique innovator in the idiom of creative music, Sylvester’s sound is reminiscent of another time in jazz history when artists like Dolphy and Ornette were exploding on the scene and experimenting with concepts that would ultimately revolutionize music at large. A throwback to the future, Mr. Sylvester has been on the cutting edge of that scene since 1980 when he first came to New York City. His blend of African-Caribbean rhythms with new music is what gives Sylvester his distinguished voice.
An impressive composer and arranger, his music moves, entices and stirs the imagination, as visceral as it is visual, his ability to transform colors into sounds and sounds into textures place him in the company of the great expressionist painters.
Beginning his professional career at age 14, Jorge was leading his own Caribbean dance band, writing his own arrangements and compositions. He studied privately with renowned Panamanian jazz saxophonist, Euclides Hall, who took him along on gigs to observe from the bandstand in the “old school style”. When Jorge’s professor at the conservatory, Efrain Castro, sent him to sub for him in a band led by the great Panamanian pianist Victor Boa, Jorge was taken on as a regular.
Heading for Europe in his early twenties, Sylvester spent ten years touring and recording with his ensembles and freelancing throughout Europe. In 1979 he studied advanced harmony with Argentinean pianist, composer Luis Vecchio in Las Palmas de Gran Canarias, Spain. It was during this period that Mr. Sylvester began to explore free jazz by playing and recording with the Luis Vecchio Quartet.
Upon his arrival to New York in 1980, he studied with Dave Holland, Oliver Lake, Steve Lacy, Ramsey Ameen, Marion Brown and many others at vibraphonist Karl Berger’s Creative Music Studio in Woodstock. Since that time, Sylvester has performed with: Stefon Harris, Rodney Kendrick, Karl Berger, Trombonist Composer, Craig Harris, the David Murray Big Band, poet Sekou Sundiata, the Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, the Oliver Lake Big Band, Kuumba Frank Lacy’s Vibe Tribe, the Next Legacy Orchestra, Joe Bowie’s Defunkt Big Band and Nora McCarthy who is a member of his group The ACE (Afro-Caribbean Experimental) Collective and with whom he also co-leads several groups, namely: The ConceptualMotion Orchestra and A Small Dream In Red (voice and saxophone duet) a CD by the same name was released on the Sundown label in March, 2003. The ConceptualMotion Orchestra, conducted and orchestrated by Sylvester, is a 20-piece all original music orchestra with compositions contributed by both he and McCarthy, opened the renowned avant garde VISION FESTIVAL X in New York City, June, 2005. Also in 2005, In the Spring of 2006, Jorge Sylvester toured Europe and Israel with the World Saxophone Quartet filling the chair formerly occupied by its founding father Julius Hemphill, Arthur Blythe, James Spaulding, Eric Person, John Purcell and Bruce Williams. Mr. Sylvester performed alongside luminaries David Murray, Oliver Lake and Hammiet Bluiett.