Ales Cesarini Quartet will perform as part of MUV! Festival on February 24th at ‘Teatre el Musical’, sharing the stage with Johnny B Zero. After recently releasing his album ‘Black Mantra’, we have an exclusive interview with the renowned double bass player Ales Cesarini. His versatile and nuanced way of integrating an eclectic range of genres; jazz, flamenco, African music, reggae and more…. provides listeners with a special sound and great groove too. Read on to hear more from the artist himself.
EXCLUSIVE ‘24/7 VALENCIA’ INTERVIEW WITH ALES CESARINI
24/7 VALENCIA: I understand that you are a self-taught musician, what motivated you to start a musical career?
ALES CESARINI: I guess it was because when I was little, in my house, we listened to a lot of music every day. Also, my mother bought me a Casio keyboard for children and I liked to play with that. As a teenager, I played electric bass in several bands but without dedicating time to study music. One day, I was helping my father at a craft fair and I saw that they were doing a jazz concert. I was very impressed by the freedom with which they played and communicated with each other. So, I asked the saxophonist how I could learn to play like that… and I was very lucky that the guy was Latino Blanco, who had the only modern music academy in Valencia (Sedajazz). From then on, I started to go deeper into music. I have never been a good student. Most of the knowledge that I do have, I have acquired doing concerts with different musicians and styles.
What does reggae mean to you and how has it influenced your upbringing?
It is the music my mother listened to the most, and it transmits joy and relaxation to me. It’s also the music that makes me dance the most. I feel very identified with the minimalism of the bass lines. It has a lot to do with my character.
Which artists have been your biggest influences?
For the last few years, my favourite artists and the ones that influence me the most are the people I usually make music with…who are also my friends.
On Friday, February 24 you will share the stage with ‘Payoh Soul Rebel’, who has sung on many of the songs on the ‘Black Mantra’ album. Can you tell us more about your relationship with him? How do you think this collaboration complements your work?
We’ve known each other for many years, and we’ve played a lot of reggae together. Payoh has a very nice timbre to his voice and also a lot of adaptability regarding the music. This latest album and the two previous ones ‘Dandelion’ & ‘Nyabinghi’ were created between the two of us. Also, the other members of the band who are David Gadea (percussion) and Baptiste Bailly (piano) are musicians with a lot of personality and they have also contributed a lot too. You could say that we do it all together, only that my name is on it, because I organize everything.
Can you tell us more about your new album ‘Black Mantra’?
I named it ‘Black Mantra’ as a tribute to my mother who passed away around the same time. ‘Black’ because of my mother’s Afro roots…and ‘Mantra’ because of the taste she had for ethnical and distinctive rhythms. The album cover is a picture of my mother when she was young. The music is a compendium of my musical experiences with reggae and ethnic music.
The majority of the songs are sung by ‘Payoh Soul Rebel’ and this album features many of his lyrics too. On ‘Black Mantra’ there are also two songs from other friends; ‘My Safe Town’ by Ivan Lopez, and ‘Puntos Suspensivos’ by Santiago Pelaez.
Interview by Sabina Redfern
Article Copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
ALES CESARINI & PAYOH SOUL REBEL + JOHNNY B ZERO
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2023
Teatre El Musical
Address: Plaça del Rosari, 3, 46011, Valencia
Phone: 962 08 56 91
More information about Ales Cesarini: https://alescesarini.wordpress.com/
‘Black Mantra’ by Ales Cesarini featuring Payoh Soul Rebel: https://open.spotify.com/album/2a6oxItfIb5WJeKTSOeEj6?si=55cQWxLTTP-Zn2OTAdAPZA