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Jazz 24/09/2018

Grammy-Nominee John Daversa (Big Band Featuring DACA Artists) Releases "American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom" September 28, 2018

Grammy-Nominee John Daversa (Big Band Featuring DACA Artists) Releases "American Dreamers: Voices Of Hope, Music Of Freedom" September 28, 2018
New York, NY (Top40 Charts) AMERICAN DREAMERS: VOICES OF HOPE, MUSIC OF FREEDOM, the new CD spearheaded by jazz artist and multi-Grammy-nominee JOHN DAVERSA, is a deeply personal, emotional, and timely project. It's a musical cri de coeur that gives voice to young undocumented people known as "Dreamers" who, through no fault of their ow, were brought to this country as children. They grew up here and were instilled with American culture and values.

But Dreamers now find themselves in a heated immigration debate since the Deferred Action for Childhood Early Arrivals (DACA) policy was rescinded in 2017. There are approximately 800,000 DACA recipients, and 90 percent of them are in school or have a job. Many of them are also musicians.

Daversa is a trumpet and electronic valve instrument (EVI) master as well as a composer, arranger, and bandleader. He's also the Chair of the Studio Music and Jazz Department at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. As an educator and father, he has a strong affinity for young people. And like many Americans, he cherishes the immigrant roots of his ancestors. That's why the plight of the Dreamers had a visceral effect on him.

Daversa and his production team worked with several non-profit immigrant organizations to scour the country to find Dreamers who could play musical instruments and would be willing to participate in the project. They found 53 Dreamers in 17 states who originally come from 17 different countries around the world, including Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, and Venezuela. Daversa and the team also selected professional musicians based in Miami, Los Angeles and New York to serve as the big band on this record.

Daversa is a top-notch arranger who writes intricate and demanding big band charts. Finding music students and non-professional musicians who could play his arrangements was one of the biggest challenges of the project. The team started discussions about the CD in November of 2017, and by the time the first recording sessions at the Frost School began in March 2018, they had found 14 Dreamers who played a range of instruments, from the violin and flute to piano and percussion. Each tune begins with a narration by a Dreamer, and their musical contributions are woven throughout this recording. They performed featured solos, instrumental accompaniments, spoken word poetry, string swells, multi-layered percussion grooves, lead vocals, shout choruses, and electrifying raps. Their musical performances are rich and diverse. Each of the tunes begins with a narration by a Dreamer.

Jazz is perhaps the greatest, intrinsically American art form and one of America's most important cultural exports. Jazz has been the music of freedom and protest, so it is eminently fitting as a vehicle for Dreamers to express their predicament. Putting aside the politics and partisanship of the current debate, all of us can enjoy the songs of our nation. Perhaps this album can inspire us to focus more on what unites rather than divides us.
AMERICAN DREAMERS will be available online everywhere and at on September 28, 2018.

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