Concert Review: The Metropole Orchestra, my CE’s prospective


As my culminating experience in the Master’s Program at Berklee, I’m part of the organization team for a non-profit concert that would take place in Valencia in 2015.

The concert will feature Jacopo Mezzanotti (Italian Guitar Player) as the main artist. The show will consist mainly in original Jazz compositions arranged for a Jazz trio, a Symphony Orchestra and a Jazz Big Band, all on stage.

Today I want to show what was the inspiration for this project: the Metropole Orchestra.


The Metropole Orchestra, founded in 1945 in Netherlands, is the leading musical project that makes arrangements for both jazz and pop using the hybrid format of a Symphony Orchestra and a Jazz Big Band all together.

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Let’s check out a selection of some of my personal favorite collaborations with this orchestra.

The first time I heard about it was because of Steve Vai, one of my big musical influences and favorite artists.

Steve Vai released a DVD in 2007 called “Visual sound Theories”, played and recorded live with the Orchestra. The concert’s first act consisted mainly of popular songs from Steve arranged for the orchestra. The second part consisted of original compositions for orchestra format. He didn’t play in this part. In fact, he is watching the show.

This is “Frangelica”, performed by the Metropole Orchestra for Steve Vai:

Take a look at this beautiful version of his song “Gentle Ways”.

Pat Metheny also recorded with the orchestra in 2003. His concert is the reference and style “simile” inspiration for what Jacopo is arranging for the concert we are planning.

I will finish showing what guitarist Jacopo Mezzanotti did in a similar way  with his band “Joe Midnights space trio” and the S.C Orchestra. This footage was recorded live at the Royal Conservatory of Den Haag on January 2014.

I encourage everyone to be ready for this big project we are making by the end of May/beginning of June 2015 (to be announced). With your assistance, you will also be helping to raise funds for local NGO “Música para el Autismo” (MUA) in Valencia.

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Concert Review: MTV Unplugged (part 3: 2000’s and the present/future of music)

( Continues from )

Finally, we reached the 2000’s. New music revolution is starting. I think that early 2000’s was the “agro-rock” era for MTV. Bands like Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Korn and Deftones were trend.

What is most interesting is the fact that this aggressive genre could find a way to be arranged into acoustic. In 2006, Korn recorded an Unplugged, having as guests Amy Lee, Robert Smith and Simon Gallup.

Notice the comparison between the original version and the unplugged:

Moving to Latin America, one of my favorite bands from Chile, “La Ley” recorded an MTV Unplugged on 2001. I remember the transmission on MTV was very late, and I was in primary school, so my brother set a VHS tape reproducer/recorder to record it so I could watch it the day after. (The first Chilean band to perform in MTV Unplugged was “Los Tres” at 1995.)

This version of “Mentira” Unplugged become so famous, that the band sometimes played the song 2 times on their concerts for each version. This version featured Mexican singer Ely Guerra as guest.

It was also an “unplugged era” for pop and soul artists, such as Ricky Martin (2006), Aicia Keys (2005), Adele (2009), even Katy Perry (2009).

Classic Rock is not dead! In 2013, Scorpions made an MTV Unplugged in Athens.

Finally, we get to 2014. Pop, Mainstream EDM and Indie rock are trending music.

Though that I personally don’t like Miley Cirus’ music, her 2014 unplugged is pretty good. Actually, is way more sophisticated and minimalist than all the “typical sexual buzz” associated to Miley.

Thank you very much for reading all these MTV Unplugged series. As we see, there is a consistent relationship between the different genres playing unplugged with the trend of those times. My big question is, what comes next?

I would like to see a “David Guetta goes Unplugged” or “Daft Punk RAMplugged” kind of show.

Until Next time!


Concert Review: MTV Unplugged (part 2: 90’s)

(Continues from )

Back in the 90’s, MTV Unplugged became popular worldwide and was an opportunity for new artists for gathering new audiences.

Interesting crossovers start happening. In 1991, MTV Unplugged transmitted by first time a rap show, featuring: LL Cool J, MC Lyte, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, accompanied by a 5 musicians band called Pop’s Cool Love. For me, it’s almost the first time I’ve ever heard rap in this way. It has something special; perhaps more organic sound at the same time as all energy is focused on the singers without the traditional DJ’s set.

90’s also was the era of grunge to strike on all teenagers on their rebel inside. Memorable presentations were Pearl Jam (1992), Nirvana (1993) 5 months before Kurt Cobain’s death, Stone Temple Pilots (1993) and Alice In Chains (1996) being one of front man Layne Staley last performances live before his death also.

Some of the prominent presentations was Eric Clapton’s (1992), which album became the bestselling Unplugged album in the US, with more than 10 million sales. Also, The Eagles “Hell Freezes Over” (1994) version of “Hotel California” is a well known classic worldwide.

MTV Unplugged was also a window for non-English speakers. Roxette on 1993 was the first one. On 1994, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs were the first latins to perform, followed by Charlie Garcia (1995), Soda Stereo (1996) and Shakira (1999), who’s show was the first latin Unplugged album to win a Grammy. The first big concert I ever assisted was Shakira’s, when I was over 10.

to be continued…

Concert Review: MTV Unplugged

Hello everyone, and happy thanks giving for my USA friends!

This time I want to make a series of blogs for reviewing the history and evolution of the famous MTV Unplugged, from its origins to recently Miley Cirus’ version.

I want to start with an interesting quote I found on an article:

images People know this, but they don’t necessarily remember this: MTV used to air music. Not 20-second snippets of the new Katy Perry jam before a 16-hour Jersey Shore marathon, but videos, documentaries, concerts, and more. If there was one place you were going to get your music fix on television, MTV was where you’d go. Everything they aired was original, since there was no real competition– at the time, anyway– and one show that would always appear just when you thought it was time they do another one was MTV Unplugged. This show’s premise remained simple. Producers would take some of the biggest names in rock/pop/hip-hop and see what happened when they cut the power, the amps, the beats, and the stadiums. Instead, they would supply them with acoustic instruments in an intimate setting and have them perform their biggest hits.

The fact that today’s most MTV’s content is not music is another interesting/sad discussion, but let’s talk about history now.

MTV Unplugged concept was born on the late 80’s, created by producers Robert Small and Jim Burns, in inspiration with several acoustic and informal set ups done on the 70’s and 80’s by another artists such as Elvis, The Beatles, and a famous UK show called “The secret policeman’s Ball”. The second version of this show in 1981, which became very famous in the US, included artists Sting, Phill Collins and Bob Geldof. On the late 80’s, bands like Jethro Tull and Bon Jovi also start making live acoustic appearances.

MTV Unplugged first season had 13 episodes, hosted by singer/songwriter Jules Shear. The first episode was aired on November 26th, 1989, which feautured band Squeeze (UK) and artists Syd Straw (US) and Elliot Easton (US, Berklee Alumni!).

to be continued…

The Endless River…


This time I’m very glad to talk about Pink Floyd´s new album from last week, “The Endless River”.


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The Endless River is based on re-vising material from the 1993 Division Bell sessions, which contains original recordings from Richard (Rick) Wright (1943-2008), former keyboardist of the band.

David Gilmour and Nick Mason (remaining living members of the band) refer to this piece is a tribute for their friend Rick, whose sound will be a part of them forever.

Rick wright talking about his favourite song:

The track “Talkin’ Hawkin” features a voice sample of Stephen Hawking’s voice taken from a 1994 British Telecom advertisement.

Some words from David Gilmour about their song “Louder than words” (the only one that contains lyrics)


“The music for Louder Than Words is from those final sessions, the three of us playing together on the houseboat Astoria with Rick’s idiosyncratic keyboards reminding me now that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.  At the start of the album I asked Polly [Samson] to write the lyrics.  She felt that what I played her didn’t need words, that hearing us play was more interesting.  In the end she wrote just this one, which expresses, beautifully I think, the way the three of us, me, Nick and Rick have something when we play together, that has a magic that is louder than words”, David Gilmour

Louder than Words:

In few days, this album release has carried on interesting numbers, hurtling towards the Official Albums Chart number 1.

“Taking a strong lead on fellow rockers Foo Fighters, Floyd’s The Endless River has sold over 92,000 copies at this midweek stage and is set to become one of the fastest-selling artist albums of the year, as well as Pink Floyd’s first chart topper in nearly two decades”, taken from their FB fan-page.

10386378_929484567078990_3086899739860325889_n Let me tell you my opinion of the album as a personal glimpse and as a strong Pink Floyd’s music fan. First, the fact that Pink Floyd makes a new album is amazing itself, so my expectation and my disposition to this one were already biased. As I heard the pieces, I felt a strong nostalgia on their sound and melodies. Melodies are not “dark” anymore, but very “healing”. I saw the interviews and photos and I really got impressed on David and Nick. They look older, but happy. As I was hearing the album, I got very emotional thinking in the possibility that maybe this is a “good-bye” message, “as the endless river will always flow” within their music in our hearts forever. Their love to their friend Rick is so strongly demonstrated in the music, so as the feeling of “we’ll meet again soon”.

I invite all of you to find some time and hear this beautiful work.

You can find it on Spotify in this link: Pink Floyd – The Endless River

Until next time!


Artist Review: Itzel Salinas (part 3: final thoughts for Deimusaranea’s Demo)


Let’s move forward to the remaining part of this fantastic music.

2. Lago Mercurio (mercury lake)

Dirty bass riff at the beginning. Something very slow is happening and converging into one form. The music shows you a very interesting landscape. Very interesting sounds made with the whammy-like and the tremolo FX in the guitar.

At about 2:42, the guitar stabilises and starts making a bluesy melody and feel. As if there is a playful ambience in this “place”, the whammy screams portrait as if people were laughing ironically. The beat is constant and repetitive, so it drives me into an interesting trance.

Around 5:37, the song starts changing its rhythm and melody. Still submerged on the same land and the same feelings, little by little the sensation is that you are escaping from something.

Around 7:36, it’s quieter, as if you were sneaking, walking quiet. Around 8:11 the song explodes like if something in this place is turning really dangerous, but you still feel curious and sneaky.

I feel “ironic bluesy melodies” that merge into strange screams and high pitch sounds. Around 11:00, something is happening to this atmosphere. As if everything slowed their tempo. Very dark bass melody, reminds me to Tool. Lost in time and space. Perhaps this is the effect of falling into the “mercury lake”. A very dense mass that makes matter changes its form and dimensions. You try to talk but you feel very, very slow. Perhaps gravity is also increasing, and you feel more weigh.

Slowly, things start to flow again and becoming a constant stream (perhaps constant scream?). Around 12:52 you could hear even birds! In this world this may be an illusion, hallucination or even a parallel time travel. It’s the picture of an echo of the past. It is clear that the place is no longer the same.

Check out the live version here:

3. Tamborilero de Santa Soledad (Holy Loneliness Beater)

The song has an energetic and powerful intro, more “harmonically friendly”. Reminds me of a big circus. It’s a psychedelic feel of happiness, but with this condiment of awkwardness and obscurity.

The sax solos give the song a ludic feel. Good play between chromatics and harmonic minor oriental riffs. It’s a party, dance and jumping theme.

Around 4:00, they begin to do this “full circle” round, looping and increasing the velocity. After this section, there’s a sad and nostalgic feel like “everything has an end” and has to go back to normal.

Suddenly “death” is there again. The question is then… what is normal, as referred above? May be the awkward sensation of living in a “false” circus?

Around 6:10 drums start announcing something, intensity is growing, oriental melodies came in (princesses dancing). When you are starting to engage with the song again, it suddenly stops surprisingly.

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Thank you for reading my thoughts and descriptions about this fantastic music. All my regards to my friend Itzel, and her band Deimusaranea. I truly think we will start hearing more about these guys very soon.

Feel free to share your opinions, and suggesting material for me to review (perhaps, send me your demos!, I love receiving mailboxes!)


Artist Review: Itzel Salinas (part 2: Deimusaranea – La Cabalgata de la Musaraña)


Continuing with Itzel Salinas’ artist review, let me introduce you with her band “Deimusaranea”.

Deimusaranea is:

Antonio Escamilla (Electric Guitar)

Ramsés Guevara (Drums)

Sinuhé Guevara (Electric Bass)

Itzel Salinas (Tenor and Alto Sax)

Deimusaranea's 3 song Demo

Deimusaranea’s 3 song Demo

The band started in 2010 just with guitar and drum experimentation, giving birth to a 5 song EP. At mid 2011’s, bass guitar was added and finally at 2012, Itzel joins the band playing sax.

The band self describes as a mixture of rock, stoner, jazz, progressive, psychedelic and noise, with their intensity and complexity in their sounds as a main characteristic.

This is true as you listen their music. There is a “constant creepy” feel of chaos and mutations through their sound. It’s full of dark musical colors and a “root of absurd”, perfectly described in their conceptual artwork. Beautiful.

See here for more artwork:

So now I would like to describe briefly their music from my personal prospective and review the 3 songs corresponding to the band’s new Demo that Itzel gave me as a gift.

  1. Cabalgata de la Musaraña (Ride of the Shrew)

The song starts with the feeling that something is becoming bigger. Dark chords surround this “growth” and gives a creepy color atmosphere. The sensation of scary things can be enhanced thanks to the tremolo and the guitar FX.

Slowly, the drum beats starts increasing intensity as the guitar screams with the wha-wha. The song “explodes” and melody changes into a more regular pattern around 3:15. It’s still “perturbing”. Around 4:00 the climax ends, giving intro to the second part of the song.

A powerful guitar riff, giving the sensation that this “something” has life and “can walk, and has its own personality”. The section has time changes and very bluesy riffing.

Around 8:17 the song has its second breakdown. Some screaming echoes (very “Pink Floydian”), perhaps “the beast has devastated the city”, and everything has been turned into shadows and screams.

Chaos and fear surrounds. We can hear a voice saying “una musaraña, y su cabalgata” (a shrew and its ride) and suddenly the fast section begins again, as if the mystery has already been solved.

Around 12:15 there is another breakdown, with a repetitive loop and if like this big thing has gone but the fear is never gone. Around 13:41 the last section of the song begins. We can notice a more reflective and positive melody, but still unstable. It goes back to the beginning… and then its over. Peace?

On next post I will finish reviewing the 2 remaining songs of this fantastic piece of art.

Feel free to share your thoughts and feelings, and if you want me to review any artist or concert, just write it!

Until next time


Artist Review: Itzel Salinas (part 1: from Mexico to Boston)


I’m back after a very busy week (month perhaps?). Thank you for the feedback on my reviews! I hope you’ve liked my reviews on Yanni and Pink Floyd so far (remember you can always make me suggestions for reviewing anything you wish).

This week I will move from live concerts reviewing into a very interesting and nice young lady I met this summer in Berklee Boston.

Itzel Salinas (Mexico)

Itzel Salinas (Mexico)

Itzel Salinas is a young tenor sax player from Ciudad de Mexico. She started playing sax at the age of 16 influenced by John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Charlie Parker.

One year from her initial studies, Itzel had the chance to be part of the Mexican international cultural exchange program hosted by Carnegie Hall. There, she played live with Sax player Miguel Zenón (Puerto Rico), which as she says, encouraged her to develop more studies in Jazz.

In addition to her Jazz studies, Itzel also developed classical studies at UNAM music school in Mexico. Today, she defines her playing style as a mix of classic, traditional and contemporary jazz, avant-grade, free jazz and tonus music.

During her musical journey, Itzel has being taught by a huge list of well known musicians such as: Sam Newsome, Nando Michelin, Adrián Terrazas-González, Aaron Siegel, Aldo Salvent, Alex Terrier, Wade Matthews, Cyro Baptista, Oscar Stagnaro and others. To this list we must add all the international musicians which she has played live with, such as: Yoron Israel, Diane Richardson, Charlie Kohlhase, John Kordalewski, Arnie Cheatham, Bill Lowe, Sean Berry, Kurtis Rivers, Seth Meitch, Jerry Sabatini, Wes Brown, Al Patterson.


Itzel’s first approach to Berklee was taking online jazz improvisation classes with faculty member Gary Burton.

This year (Jan, 2014) for the first time, Berklee organized the first version of “Berklee Latino”, a program focused on bringing the Berklee culture for Latin American musicians. The program took place in Mexico City, where Itzel took part. As a result, she was awarded with a full scholarship to attend Berklee’s “5 week performance Program”.

See for more information of Berklee Latino Program taken place this 2014.

Some quotes of Itzel at Berklee Blogs, regarding her experience this summer:

“Five week (…) was not just a musical experience, but was surrounded by situations and experiences that made this something completely essential, something that made me realice what really surrounds beyond being a professional musician in the actual world”

“You have to set daily goals being at the limit of what it means to you a big challenge, and be careful in the line of what could become a musical frustration, because you might not see progress and leave your goals at half (…) it is crucial to be patient, beyond everything, because in the end it’s a process that doesn’t happen from one day to another.”

See more of Itzel’s Berklee blog review at

Itzel and me, outside BPC, Berklee, Boston

Itzel and me, outside BPC, Berklee, Boston

Meeting Itzel was a real pleasure, I could see how she was always willing to collaborate or help people in school. We shared real good conversations there, about music and goals in life. The human factor is extremely important to me, regardless the musical quality.

Today, Itzel is part of a musical project called “Deimusaranea”, with very high- trained musicians from Mexico. Their new 3 song demo was finished while we were in Boston at that time, and was sent to Itzel’s mail-box at mid-August.

I feel very honoured to have with me today this fresh-original copy of their new demo, which was a gift from Itzel to myself.

Stay tuned for the next post! I will be talking about Itzel’s project “DEIMUSARANEA” and reviewing this awesome piece of art.

until next time!



Hello everyone!

PinkFloydPompei-0011This time I would like to talk about a band that I’ve listened since I was a young kid.

My first approach to Pink Floyd was more than 20 years ago, because my father bought a Laser-disc (vinyl type, 2 sized audio and video, previous to the DVD) of Pink Floyd’s live concert “Pulse”. From that time to now, I have become a big fan of Pink Floyd’s music and spirit.

Regardless the fact that I recommend everyone to see Pink Floyd’s “Pulse”, this time I want to talk about another epic masterpiece of the band.

“Pink Floyd live at Pompeii” is a concert documentary film directed by Adrian Maben, which features the band playing in the ancient Roman Amphitheatre in Pompeii, Italy. The concert was shot in 1971 and released in 1972. Years later, in 2003, Maben (director) released a DVD version of the footage re-mastered with additional audio/video material.

The DVD starts with space shoots from the Apollo space program and visual space effects which slowly start fading combining with the intro of the song “Echoes” being played by the band live in the ancient Amphitheatre. As the band perform, we can see images of nature surrounding the place, perfectly placed with the music.

A perfect combination of nostalgia, colors and a deep journey about how music was understand and created more than 40 years ago.

The director’s cut version includes recorded interviews of the band, explaining their creative process during the recordings sessions for the big seller album “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973) on Abbey Road Studios.

We could see the band talking about their music, drugs (regarding their good friend Syd Barret, former Pink Floyd musician) and even a funny reflection about oysters.


“It’s all extensions of what’s coming out of our heads”, as David Gilmour (guitar and vocals) said, is one of the many phrases the band said in their interviews, regarding the use of the analogue synths and guitar FX for their compositions.


One of the special moments is the trance moment in the song “A Saucerful of Secrets”. It’s a chaotic song, full of anger colors, with a repetitive and accelerating drum beat, in perfect combination of the screaming guitar FX and the aggressive piano. Roger Waters (bass, vocals) is doing percussion in this song, and experimenting the peak moment when he goes and hits the gong (which the director makes the analogy with the sun). This epic shot is the cover art for the material. The song then continues with a beautifully contrasting peaceful melody, which breaks all the chaos.

“ (…) There was this silence (…) this is the place where the Pink Floyd would have to be, because Pompeii has a lot going for it. It has death, it has sex, ah… and it has something that is still living there, and pink Floyd in that Amphitheatre could bring the hole thing back to life”, words from the director Adrian Maben speaking about developing his idea for the film.

pink-floyd-live-at-pompeiiI still feel that sometimes I need to listen this masterpiece to feed my soul with all this colors and feelings. I recommend all of you to get comfortable, and watch this movie with high volume and let go your feelings.

Feel free to share here your opinion of the movie and/or suggesting me to review about any conceptual musical concert-film that you like.

Until next time!


Concert Review: My experience in Yanni’s live concert

Concert Date: August 24th / 2014

Tour: “World Without Borders Tour”

Place: Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, Boston MA, USA

Photo: Isabel (my mom), me and Pablo (my dad) on first row waiting for Yanni

Photo: Isabel (my mom), me and Pablo (my dad) on first row waiting for Yanni, big fans!

This summer I’ve had the big privilege of seeing live one of my favorite artists, the Greek piano player and composer, Yanni.

Yanni’s music is influenced by a big variety of sounds and melodies from all around the world. Therefore, in his actual band we could see people from: USA, Germany, Cuba, Paraguay, Taiwan, Canada, England, Venezuela, Armenia and Russia. We can found a big variety of instruments in stage on the tour. Violin, cello, percussion set, drums, bass, keyboards, a grand piano, trumpets, horn, trombone and even a set of harps. Moreover, Yanni has played live with entire orchestras adding also different folkloric instruments like the charango (Chile/Peru/Bolivia), duduk (Armenia), Chinese flutes, didgeridoos (Australia) and so on.

Yanni’s track list is mainly from their greatest live hits “Yanni Live at the Acropolis” (Greece, 1993) and “Yanni Tribute” recorded in Taj Majal and in the Forbidden City of China in 1997.

A two hour concert in which we can travel between oriental and mid-east melodies, piano ballads, voices as instruments, fast drum beats and percussion, and even a tropical latin solo performed by the harpist, the percussionist and the bass player.

Photo: Yanni’s Band (Google)

Photo: Yanni’s Band (Google)

From all musicians, I would like to point out Charlie Adams and Samvel Yervinyan. 


“From the USA, Charlie has been with Yanni from the beginning performing on drums in rock bands when they were kids. Charlie’s energy, stage performance and stamina gets every audience on their feet all around the world” (words from

Photo: Charlie Adams playing (Google)

Photo: Charlie Adams playing (Google)

Charlie is extremely extrovert and energetic, and as you see his special feel with Yanni playing live, it’s absolutely clear that they’ve been playing all their life together. I remember Yanni said joking that Charlie never tells anyone what clothes he would wear on the shows, so it’s always a surprise. Mainly associated with local sports, Charlie usually comes in with a t-shirt supporting a team, which the band prays to be the correct one. Charlie had “Boston Celtics” (basketball local team) shirt that day. One as Yanni fan knows that his best moment during the show is the drum solo during the song “Marching Season”, which is a very difficult song focused on the drums and the piano together, with many time changes.

You can watch this from a performance that they did in Brazil this tour:


“From Armenia, Samvel has been widely recognized as one of the world’s premier violinists and has been a star performer among Yanni’s orchestra for the past decade” (words from

Photo: Samvel Yervinyan playing (Google)

Photo: Samvel Yervinyan playing (Google)

Samvel has a very passionate way of playing. An exquisite technique combined with a very marked vibrato and attack dynamics. His unique interpretation gives Yanni’s live performances a big added value as his imposing presence arouses the stage. My peer Yarub Smalait, from the Perfomance Masters told me that he had the chance to meet Samvel and assist to one of his classes-workshops once. He described him as an amazing player with the same characteristics described before, and had a great time during his teachings.

An amazing video of Samvel and the rest of the band performing for Yanni’s shows:

Photo: Yanni live in Boston (picture by me)

Photo: Yanni live in Boston (picture by me)

Finally, I would like to point down Yanni’s motto of “One World, One people”. He expresses his rejection to lines in maps, as we came from the same place and we all want the same in life. We are not different at all, and music is his way to express this point. Therefore, it is no surprise that we could find musicians from all over the world on Yanni’s shows. It’s definitely a very warm audio-visual vibe there.

Photo: Yanni and me excited applauding

Photo: Yanni and me excited applauding

I would definitely come back to see Yanni again and recommend this great show to all musicians and new age/world music lovers. Feel free to share here your opinion about Yanni or share artists from the same genre, which I would love to check.

Until next time!