JaZzArt en Valencia 2019/2020

“Las Caras de Agueda Beatriz” Omnia Caelum Studios Valencia
(Cuadros y dibjuos de Francisco Bravo Cabrera)

INSTAGRAM: @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera

JaZzArt en Valencia: http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155

Piano Jazz de AJA (mi grupo): http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja


While Listening to Mingus…

Jazz is the ultimate freedom in music…

Jazz is personal…

Jazz is individual and at the same time very in touch with the group…

Jazz marches, swings, serenades and waltzes into the heart and into the feet because originally Jazz was dance music. It is big band and trio, quartet and a solo performer. Jazz is improvisation and order combined through the creativity, the technique and the mastery of the artist. It is the artist’s art without question.

That is why I listen to great artists like Charles Mingus. His music not only inspires me, but it guides me in the direction that I want my art to follow. Follow and lead as well because you can do both things simultaneously in Jazz.

And Jazz is not just music. Yes, it is a musical genre where there are many greats, but it is also a lifestyle, a way to do things. If you follow the parameters, or rules, or definition established by the original masters of New Orleans back at the turn of the XXth Century, then Jazz becomes a way of creating art. That is the art-form I pursue.

I draw following the principles of Jazz music. These are improvisation, the performer as artist-composer and rhythm. There are only three but they are enormous in size and scope.

These drawings you see here are all original pencil and ink on paper drawings. They are all 27,9cm x 35,6cm in size. They are all originals. I do not make copies. Yes, their original black and white colours have been digitally altered, only for this article and they are not to be reproduced in this manner, or in any manner at all.

They are all part of what I call my “JaZzArt” series. Presently it is “JaZzArt en Valencia” because I live in the city of Valencia, Spain and that is where many of them are exhibited.

Charles Mingus was born in Nogales, Arizona (USA) on the 22nd of April, 1922 and died in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on the 5th of January, 1979. He was one of the great, great men of Jazz. His instrument was the upright bass but he also played piano and cello. He was a composer and a band leader. (I strongly suggest you listen to “Epitaph” a tremendous example of composition and orchestration). He wrote an autobiography called “Beneath the Underdog”. And to read more I suggest the love story, written by Sue Graham, love of Mingus’ life, which is titled “Tonight at Noon”.

Charles Mingus 1976 cropped.jpg
(Photo by Tom Marcello, New York City 1976)

Mingus played bass for Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Bud Powell, among many other great jazz players. He then put together his Jazz Workshop. He recorded many albums, as a band leader, which changed the course of music and are regarded as some of the best.

Towards the end of his life, already suffering the debilitating effects of the ALS that finally killed him in 1979, and which did not allow him to play the bass, he still composed and the result was an album called Mingus. Joni Mitchell added lyrics to some of his compositions including “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and Herbie Hancock and Jaco Pastorius participated in this endeavour. I strongly suggest that if you like Jazz you look into his full catalogue. My favourite of his recordings is Let My Children Hear Music from 1972, however, you cannot go wrong with any album on the discography of Charles Mingus.

If you liked what you saw and read, I would greatly appreciate a like, a follow and a share. AND…

If you would like to see more of my artwork, both drawings and paintings, you can see it all by following me on Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and to see my 2019 collection (JaZzArt en Valencia) please go to http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155


From My Blood-Red Orange Part 8: Origins of My Jazz Art

Playing with AJA, Coral Gables, Florida 2005

Well…I guess you can call it a late start…I began really getting into Jazz in the late nineteen nineties. Actually in the early nineties I didn’t even know who John Coltrane was, I’m ashamed to admit but it is the truth. I was always a rock and roll lad. I grew up listening to the Beatles and through their songs was how I learned to speak English, mostly.

The group I formed in nineteen ninety nine, which lasted through to two thousand and four, I called AJA (Abstract Jazz Arrangement). We recorded two CD’s (www.cdbay.com/cd/aja http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aja2) and there I started developing my version and idea of what Jazz was all about. (I left the link so, if you like, you can get an idea from the samples offere

Then by 2003, Jazz changed for me. It became a language, a way to express my art, not just music. I studied Jazz and discovered the definition that most of the originators agreed upon was that Jazz was the performer’s music, that it had to have improvisation, rhythm and that the player (soloist) would create as he played, therefore, it had to have spontaneity. That definition is what I use to create my artwork.

“Expressing Blue” 2003, acrylic on canvas (private collection)

Of course, I am inclined to include the players as well in my paintings and drawings. I paint (and draw) them as I imagine them, playing the music that is deep in their soul and magically letting those musical phrases travel from brain to fingers to instrument. I try to capture the expression of the sound and the expression of the inner world of the artist as they join with the others onstage and then separate into their own inner world. And since Jazz is also dance, I have my dancers participate in the temporary world created as the music travels through time creating itself and destructing itself, improvising, succumbing to the rhythm, and then creating it.

“Los Tres Musicos” 2003, oil on canvas (private collection)

Jazz is a world like none other. It resembles life but life orchestrated and rehearsed in order for it to be artistic for even though Jazz is spontaneous and improvisational, it is still art and raw emotion is not art.

Please feel free to comment and like and share, I will greatly appreciate it. Also you can see many more of my paintings and drawings in my Instagream @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera AND if you would like to see my 2019 collection, JaZzArt en Valencia (my city in Spain), please visit…you do not have to buy anything…my online gallery at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155