Emilio Solla’s bands since his start in Buenos Aires include Solla & Afines, Bien Sur!, La Inestable de Brooklyn and Apertura to name a few. He is also an active free-lance arranger and pianist in different projects in NY. He has performed all around Europe, Japan, the US and Latin America to rave reviews in many of the most important Jazz houses and Festivals. As a composer, Solla’s symphonic work has been included at the Palau de la Musica during the Barcelona Jazz Festival in 2014, with upcoming concerts at the Chicago Symphony Hall, Rutgers University in 2015 as well as a concert in Buenos Aires of his Suite Piazzollana. Emilio has recorded CDs as band leader (Fresh Sound Records) and more than forty as arranger/producer and has composed for, arranged for and performed with Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, Edmar Castañeda, Pablo Aslan, Cristina Pato, Chris Cheek, Donny Mc Caslin, Billy Hart, Jeff Ballard, John Ellis, Ryan Keberle and many others. La Inestable de Brooklyn‘s first CD, Second Half (2014) was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award as Best Latin Jazz Album.
Emilio is currently a Faculty Member at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and has given clinics in Jazz Composition at Emory University, Bates College, Gotemburg Music School (Sweden), Jazz & Pop Conservatory (Helsinki, Finland) along with past teaching positions in Argentina and Spain. Emilio Solla got his degree in Classical Piano at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and his MA in Jazz Composition at Queens College in New York.
Ñandú started as an idea for a piano solo piece sometime ago, and is based on an Argentinean folk dance known as Malambo. As many of the north-west folk dances of my country, it is based on a superposition of the time signatures 3/4 and 6/8. In this particular dance, the gaucho (cowboy) shows his skills with a set of boleadoras, a throwing weapon made of weights on the ends of interconnected cords, designed to capture animals by entangling their legs. The Ñandú is a typical bird of the Buenos Aires plain land (very similar to the ostrich) which is still hunted with this ancient method.
The traditional malambo is played only with percussion or, if accompanied by guitar, the harmony is a very basic loop with no melody which just serves the purpose of showcasing the dancer skills. Based on that simple idea, I have explored many possibilities of rhythmic displacement and harmonic development, and that plan constitutes the kernel of the piece and the theme one. Later on, a second, more melancholic theme appears presented by the oboe, maybe picturing the slow, orange sunsets that you can witness in that part of our countryside. But I never compose with the idea of suggesting any particular feeling or landscape, I prefer to let you, the listener do that part of the job, so we are both creating that unique moment of the listening together! Enjoy.
listen to Emilio’s Suite Piazzollana: