“Over the mighty Magdalena, a lengthy project of the sea, its islands of feather and sand cry it’s raucous call to the suns’ light”

Nicolás Guillén

Recorded in 2018, this is Joan Chavez’ first studio album as a bandleader. The music was developed a result of his career in Bogotá, Colombia and Cologne, Germany. Being a sideman double bass player Joan has built a career playing in different formations. This time, his trio brings the mixture of two cities, presenting the sounds of modern Jazz and folkloric influences.

Río Grande de la Magdalena is Colombia’s main river. Its stream comes from the Andes mountains and during its path, feeds hidden landscapes, and specially, stories, music and traditions.

The Band

Recorded, mixed and produced at the Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen 2018. Recording engineer Georg Niehusmann - Mixing engineer Arthur Jogerst - Produced by Joan Chávez

The Trio is based in Cologne, Germany and has been playing as a band since 2016. After getting together for rhythmical explorations and searching for a unique sound as a group, they started playing music composed by the former bass player Joan Chávez. Even though the music has elements of traditional South American folklore, the musicians have developed their own interpretation by adapting their own sound to the project.

With Jazz-piano-Trio sounds the band explores the contrasts of South American music and blends contemporary Jazz with ancestral influences.

Although the music has a strong element of freedom in which each member contributes with his own language, the compositions delineate a travel through different Colombian influences.

Essen Universität der Künste Studios

"African and Indigenous peoples brought the rhythms, the harmonies came from Europe, but the melodies came from all of them"


"The idea of approaching traditional folklore with modern Jazz language, has the same development as it had when European cultures merged with African and Indigenous traditions creating new musical identities. The interaction of different cultures has also been my personal experience working with local musicians and teachers from Essen and Cologne, in which I have received many different inputs and influences, as well as I have offered some of the elements of South American Folklore to the members of the band"


Joan Chavez is a musician who was born in Bogota, Colombia. He began his music studies at Universidad el Bosque. Then he graduated in electric bass and Jazz double bass at Sergio Arboleda University in 2011, earning the Sofia Hernández Scholarship in his last year of studies. Joan has performed as an interpreter, arranger and composer with Pacasmayo quartet, GCS trio and Carolina Aguirre. He has also performed as a bassist with multiple musicians from Bogota such as Oscar Caucaly, Juan David Arango and Nicolás Rojas among others, and participated in five CD productions as a sideman. Joan performed with different groups in various iconic settings of the Colombian music scene like Teatro del Centro Cultural Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jazz Domingo Festival, Teatro Libre Jazz Festival, Villa de Leyva Jazz Festival and Atlantijazz in Barranquilla.

In 2014 Joan began his master studies in Jazz Performance at Folkwang Universität der Künste, in Essen Germany, under the mentorship of Robert Landfermann. Living in North Rhein-Westphalia Joan got involved with the local Jazz scene. In 2015 he toured with Juan Gonzales’ project in Saarland and France. The same year he also toured with Colombian Drummer German Sandoval, presenting the Celecanto project in Belgium, Germany and Spain. Thanks to his encounter with other artistic disciplines, he participated in the following performances: Festival Cheers for Fears, with Celine Bellut’s project; Ser tao seco under the direction of Danilo Cardozo; and the scenic project Salz, The land of the body by Schwerkraft Collective. He also participated in the Intercultural Festival Art Dialogues Festival in Istanbul Turkey, with Amanda Kapsch's quartet and The Yilan International Arts Festival 2016 in Taiwan, with the group Carretera Sur.

Joan got based in Cologne, Germany in 2016 where he found a path in the local scene as a sideman. He opened for the Howard Kanovitz exhibition at the Ludwigmuseum in the city of Koblenz with saxophonist Katrin Scherer. Also, Joan played with his trio, at Campus Jazz for the German radio WDR3 in 2017.

Recently, in 2018, he performed at Jazz Against The Machine Festival in Cologne, Campfire Festival Journalismus in Düsseldorf, and with his trio at Centro Machado Kulturverein in Cologne.

"My music and performance have grown thanks to the knowledge acquired with Robert Landfermann in areas like resources of interpretation, motivic variation and development, and extended techniques. The improvising exercises with Thomas Rückert and the collective performance in Mathias Nadolny lessons have also nourished my growth. Consequently, my interest is to continue enriching my music with modern Jazz elements, contemporary music, free improvisation and ancestral rhythms of the American Continent.”

All Pictures by Alvaro Severino - Instagram: severinoalvaro


Phone number: +49 176 47148516 / Email: joancu88@gmail.com

Created By
Joan Chavez


Alvaro Severino Instagram: severinoalvaro

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