The course is an excellent hands on introduction to Cuban music. The teaching team of Sierra McGuinness and Sierra Maestra is excellent. It was wonderful to be able to go out in the evenings and hear top class bands playing what we were aspiring to, and to enjoy the convivial company of course participants and organisers.
Since Jean Toussaint left Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, he hasn't looked back. Nor has he spent a career trying to repeat the past. The experiences gained in that world-class hothouse have enabled him to push forward and embrace challenging and often high-profile musical collaborations in many different jazz styles. Today he works out of London as a composer, tenor and soprano saxophonist, and educator.
Born in the Caribbean, Toussaint grew up in New York, and studied at Berklee with friends Greg Osby, Branford Marsalis and Jeff Watts. He joined Art Blakey in 1982 and toured and recorded with him for four years alongside Mulgrew Miller, Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, and Lonnie Plaxco. While in New York, Toussaint regularly led the jam session at New York's Blue Note club.
Invited to teach for three months at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Toussaint came to London in 1987 and still uses the capital as his base. He has released 9 CDs as a leader, and guested on many, many more. Collaborations with musicians based in the UK have included Bheki Mseleku, Julian Joseph, Jason Rebello, Cleveland Watkiss, and Orphy Richardson. Toussaint is also often invited to join tours with US musicians touring Europe. In the last couple of years, he has played North Sea Festival, The New Morning in Paris, Montreux, Clermont Ferrand and Cork festivals and Ronnie Scott's.
Toussaint has recently recorded two CDs for Space time records in Paris, which has given him an opportunity to get together and tour with old friends - Mulgrew Miller, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Robert hurst, Bill Mobley, donald Brown, Gary Bartz and Essiet Essiet. The Latest, Continuum, wil be released in the UK in the Autumn.
Find out more about Jean Toussaint at http://www.jeantoussaint.com/ - URL NO LONGER WORKING