James Sanders brings a lifetime of experiences to his newest project.
The son of a Dominican mother and U.S. born father, Sanders grew up in an ethnically mixed Chicago neighborhood. He formed the highly regarded Latin jazz ensemble James Sanders’ Conjunto in 2001. Meanwhile, Sanders maintained a parallel career as an in-demand collaborator with such noted improvisers as Dee Alexander, Nicole Mitchell, Tomeka Reid, Harrison Bankhead and more.
With Proyecto Libre (Free Project), Sanders combines his Caribbean heritage and command of Afro-Latin idioms with a forward thinking, purely improvisational aesthetic by bringing musicians from both genres together in a freewheeling musical experiment. The ensemble made its debut in December, 2013 at the Afro-Caribbean Improvised Music Festival in Chicago.
Proyecto Libre's core is James Sanders, violin; Avreeayl Ra, drums & wood flute; Joshua Abrams, bass; and Jean-Christophe Leroy, congas and Latin percussion. Harrison Bankhead is a frequent addition on cello and bass. To keep things interesting, Sanders frequently invites additional guest musicians to explore new dynamics and interplay. Recent invitees include saxophonist Edward Wilkerson, drummer Michael Zerang and percussionist Bobby Delgado.
In November 2014, Proyecto Libre was invited to perform along with other Chicago jazz greats at the prestigious Made In Chicago Festival in Poznan, Poland.
"A kind of a musical melting pot, in which a variety of cultural traditions and stylistic genres... form a unique symbiosis of sound. Proyecto Libre smoothly passed from contemplation and almost transcendental climates to a musical fiesta full of lively rhythm... a synonym for the characteristics of the ideal Chicago music, in which the various trends... form a kind of new music culture." - Long Play (Poznan, Poland)
Introduction to Proyecto Libre recorded at Lewis Achenbach's Jazz Occurrence No. 5.