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2023 Concert Series sponsored by
Vital Information is one of improvised music’s best-kept secrets. The tunes are adventurous . . . but they always groove. The musicians shoot for, and achieve, real emotion rather than soulless fireworks.
Drummer Steve Smith has been touring and recording with his all-star group Vital Information since 1983. In 2023, the group celebrates its 40th anniversary with a newly recorded double album, Time Flies.
Vital Information’s newest lineup features virtuoso musicians with vast experience onstage, in the recording studio, and leading their own groups. Keyboardist Manuel Valera, a Guggenheim Fellow and Grammy nominee, was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He now lives in New York City and plays with New York’s jazz elite, including Antonio Sánchez, Dafnis Prieto, and John Patitucci. London-born and Los Angeles-based electric bassist Janek Gwizdala is one of the most in-demand bassists in the world. He records and tours with Peter Erskine, Mike Stern and Randy Brecker.
The new trio version of Vital Information collectively creates a powerhouse sound. Although the band is rooted in the straight-ahead swing of bebop, it also explores time signatures from South Indian Carnatic music and has arranged adventurous funk-driven renditions of jazz standards. Its live shows are marked by high-level musicianship, collective virtuosic improvisation, and a sense of joy onstage.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.