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John A. Díaz-Cortés & The Folklorika Arkestra
John A. Díaz-Cortés (b. 1987) is an American saxophonist, composer and educator based in Colorado. Critics have described his sound as, “joyous, lyrical blues atop modern harmonic and percussive approaches to to the saxophone” (Hardbop Jazz Journal). Jazz Weekly has lauded Díaz-Cortés’ playing as, “warm, thick and chocolate-malt rich…he can state a theme and solo with clarity, cohesion and concision.” Díaz-Cortés has performed with luminary heroes of the jazz present and inspiring leaders of the jazz future, such as: Marcus Roberts, Sean Jones, Jason Marsalis, Lou Donaldson, Scotty Barnhart, Jamison Ross, Chris Pattishall, Barry Stephenson, and Alphonso Horne.
As a composer, Díaz-Cortés experiments with larger forms as a way to create opportunities for improvisation. Within this context the improvisor takes on the role of actor, acting as a vehicle for the music in an attempt to express the gamut of human emotion. His œuvre utilizes the art of composition as a reflection of his existential situation and process. His major influences are Duke Ellington, Philip Glass, Charles Mingus, Mary Lou Williams, Billy Strayhorn, Claude Debussy, and Bjork.
The Folklorika Arkestra is a group of storytellers dedicated to the dissection, development and dissemination of roots and art music of the Americas. This ensemble focuses on studying, developing and presenting folk forms, melodies and praxis in a post-modern context.
The purpose of the Folklorika Arkestra is to create new notated and improvised works, informed by its collective study. Through its performances, the Folklorika Arkestra works to present stories that inspire community in action.