Santi Debriano Trio

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June 12, 2015 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ 07042
$15 pp music charge $12 pp minimum
Santi Debriano Trio @ Trumpets Jazz Club | Montclair | New Jersey | United States

2 sets:  8 p.m. & 10  p.m.
$15 pp music charge  $12 pp minimum

Ralph Lalama sax
Roni Ben Hur guitar
Tommy Campbell drums
Santi Debriano bass, guitar, compositions



“The depth of his performances and his energy [are] an inspiration for his colleagues and his audiences.”- Jabali Billy Hart

“In my estimation he is a living jazz master.”- Mike Longo


Santi Debriano has proven to be one of the most versatile and creative musicians to emerge from the New York jazz scene. Drawing on such lifelong influences as jazz greats Miles Davis, and  Duke Ellington, bassists Charles Mingus, Israel Lopez Cachao, Scott LaFaro and composers Oliver Messaien, Anthony Braxton and Oliver Lake, he’s created a body of music of his own that embraces a variety of traditions and genres. His virtuosic abilities on acoustic bass and guitar, combined with his vast range of experience has brought him to a position of eminence as one of the most inventive and innovative of performers.

His work as a leader has been documented on several brilliant recordings with the groups Panamaniacs and Circlechant, the bass trio Castle Magic and his collaborations with guitarists Paul Meyers and Roni Ben Hur.

Santi has eight CDs as leader to his credit and has participated in some 100 recordings as sideman. He has performed and recorded with some of the most notable musicians of our time, including Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, Sonny Fortune, Chico Freeman, Pharaoh Sanders, and Kenny Barron, Freddie Hubbard, Louis Hayes, Danilo Perez, Bill Pierce, Louis Hayes and Randy Weston among others.

His performance career has crossed many stylistic boundaries, from straight ahead jazz (with Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Elvin Jones, Kirk Lightsey, Freddie Hubbard) to latin jazz (with Danilo Perez, Jerry Gonzalez and Fort Apache Band) to the avant garde (with Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe, Don Pullen, Barry Altschul, Dewey Redman). He has written compositions in various styles and formats, including for big band (check out Wise One- recorded on 14th annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert), chamber group (Little Spring- The Radius Ensemble on “A Santi Sampler”), and his bass trio, Castle Magic.

Mr. Debriano received his B.A. in composition at Union College, did graduate work in bass performance at the New England Conservatory under Tiny Martin and Miroslav Vitous, and his M.A . in ethnomusicology/jazz performance from Wesleyan University.

In performance Santi displays a rare combination of fiery soloing abilities and telepathic communication and projects a joyously spirited vibrancy to his audiences.

Santi Debriano is also very active in music education, at all grade levels. He’s taught at or given master classes and clinics at all the following schools: The New School For Jazz, William Paterson College, New York University, Berklee College of Music, and The Thelonius Monk Jazz Institute. Mr. Debriano was  Assistant Professor of African American music at University of Massachussetts, Dartmouth from 2003- 2006. He continues to instruct young people interested in music in the Newark Public Schools system, and in clinics, masterclasses, and private lessons.

In the summer of 2008, the guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and Mr. Debriano brought their ensemble and a group of adult jazz students (ages 25- 55) to a small village in South France, to study jazz for one week and to enjoy the experience of being there. The encounter was a huge success for both the students for the village. The festival is now in its fifth year.

Debriano and Ben Hur released their first CD collaboration, Our Thing, in the fall of 2012. It also features Duduka da Fonseca on druims.

“The approach I use in teaching improvisation is to highlight elements that are common in all forms of music. I try to have my students see themselves as artists on a world stage. Many musical elements and ideas connect the jazz improviser with the worlds greatest musical traditions, from scales to rhythm, dynamics, the treatment of sound, and much more. A thorough understanding of these elements will increase the students awareness and abilities, and allow them to play creatively in any context.”




  1. ObeahFreelance Records (1989) featuring Jerry Gonzalez, Sonny Fortune, Kenny Barron and Billy Hart.
  2. Soldiers of Fortune– (1991) Freelance Records- re- released by Evidence Records. Featuring John Purcell, Ronnie Burrage, Kenny Werner, Joe Locke.
  3. Trio Plus Two (1993) Freelance Records- re- released by Evidence Records. Featuring Cindy Blackman, Dave Fiusczinski, Greg Osby and Jerry Gonzalez.
  4. Threeology– (1994) Konnex Records. Featuring Arthur Blythe, Billy Hart.
  5. Panamaniacs(1996) Freelance Records re- released by Evidence Records. Featuring Dave Kikoski, Mino Cinelu, David Sanchez, Tommy Campbell.
  6. Euphoria(1997) (cooperative trio featuring Paul Meyers, Vanderlei Peirera) on Mapleshade Records,
  7. CirclechantHigh Note Records (1999). Featuring Miri Ben- Ari, Valtinho Walter Anastacio, Helio Alves, Horacio El Negro Hernandez.
  8. Artistic LicenseHigh Note/Savant Records (2001) with Miri Ben- Ari, Abraham Burton, Helio Alves, Will Calhoun, Willie Martinez.


Santi Debriano has participated in nearly 100 jazz recordings, documenting the various associations he’s enjoyed with important artists over the years. His original music has been recorded by many important artists and groups, including:Larry Coryell (Abra Cadabra, Patience), Louis Hayes ( Our Quiet Place, Patience), Kirk Lightsey (Nandi), Gato Barbieri (Suave), Bobby Battle with David Murray (The Offering, Jazz Laughter) Marcus Belgrave, Arturo O’farril (Brava), Roots (Linden Blvd.), Billy Hart Band (El Junque, The Offering ) and Euphoria



About Our Thing on Motema Records

A set of exquisitely played originals, jazz standards and Jobim tunes.”
-Philip Booth, Jazz Times

“With a melting pot of musical influences that spans four continents, they have recorded one of the most exciting jazz albums of the year.”
-Ron Netsky, Rochester City Newspaper

“A jazz piece of delectable internationalism of near-Olympic variety.”
-Jeff Simon, Buffalo News

“All three blend with a heartfelt facility for subtle Latin and North African panache with a cerebral embrace of improvisation…The result is a nimble feel that combines airy grace with spry rhythms.” -Britt Robson, eMusic

“Our Thing is an album that transforms subtlety into an art form. [Ben-Hur] evokes the sprightliness of jazz’s contemporary guitar generation, dripping away each intricate refrain like melodic water…Ben-Hur, Debriano and Da Fonseca sway across the air with the grace of palm trees, exuding a laidback introspection.”


About Artistic License on Savant Records

“This album has the feel of that great McCoy Tyner band of the early 80s … this band is just as talented, and whats really scary is that Debriano may be a better writer than Tyner., With a truly international cast, the young Panamanian bassist presents nine more of his wonderfully moving compositions that proves that his sterling 1999 album Circle Chant, was no fluke. Its almost the same band from that album, with a sax player added, but Debrianos maturation as a composer is startling. He only showed glimpses of brilliance on the earlier record. On the new one, track 1 through 9 are all memorable lines that display an attentiveness to counterpoint, rhythm and creative voicings that doesnt usually comes out of bass players. He also has a sort of complicated simplicity to his melodies that are at once challenging and quite easy to remember and sing along too.

The quiet fire contained on this disc is a hot cauldron of modern acoustic music that is a fine addition to any jazz collection. If this is not Debrianos breakthrough album, the way hes progressing as a composer, the next one is sure to be. “ -by Mark Ruffin for


About Artistic License

“Bassist Santi Debrianos Artistic License is a joyful expression of life, celebrating, in the course, music from various parts of the world the music is beyond strict categorization; although it is decidedly within the inclusiveness of the jazz tradition..beautiful melodies, sophisticated harmonies,and varied rhythmic movements [and] pungent solo work. Inspirational, Artistic License is an album by which to jump start your day.” – Russell A. Roberts in The L.A. Jazz Scene


About Circlechant on High Note Records

“If Santi Debriano’s Circlechant is indicative of a new direction in the fusion of world music and jazz, then I’m climbing on the bandwagon. It is pervaded with beautiful melodies, as was Stan Getz’s albums that melded bossa nova with jazz. But that is where the similarity parts. For one, Debriano’s music is much more diversified as well as complex… If after listening you are not enraptured by its music, as I was, then I recommend that you get psychological counseling to put you in touch with your feelings.” – by Russell Arthur Roberts

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