Melissa Aldana Trio (Minsky Hall, Orono)
November 16, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall
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Melissa Aldana Trio (Minsky Hall, Orono)

Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
Minsky Recital Hall

Melissa will perform with Pablo Menares on acoustic bass and Kush Abadey on drums. The concert includes an opening performance by the UMaine Jazz Ensemble.

GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana has garnered international recognition for her visionary work as a band leader, as well as her deeply meditative interpretation of language and vocabulary. She was recently signed with Blue Note Records and released her debut album with the historic label titled 12 Stars in March 2022. “Melissa Aldana is one of the foremost musician/composers of her generation,” says Blue Note President Don Was.

Aldana was one of the founding members of ARTEMIS, the all-star collective that released their debut album ARTEMIS on Blue Note this past Fall. The album featured Aldana’s simmering composition “Frida,” which was dedicated to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, who inspired the musician through “her own process of finding self-identity through art.”

Kahlo was also the subject of Aldana’s celebrated 2019 album Visions (Motéma), which earned the saxophonist her first-ever GRAMMY nomination for Best Improvised Jazz Solo, an acknowledgement of her impressive tenor solo on her composition “Elsewhere.” In naming Visions among the best albums of 2019 for NPR Music, critic Nate Chinen wrote that Aldana “has the elusive ability to balance technical achievement against a rich emotional palette.”

Adults $30, all fees included | K-12 free

This concert will also be performed at the Performing Arts Center at The University of Maine at Machias on Friday, Nov. 17. see here

Pablo Menares is originally from Santiago, Chile. Since moving to New York City in 2009 he has become one of the most in-demand bass players in the Jazz music scene.

Throughout his career Menares has worked with many internationally recognized artists including Randy Brecker, Melissa Aldana, Greg Osby, Claudia Acuña, Camila Meza, Bob Moses, Peter Bernstein, Christian Gálvez, among many others.

He has performed in many of New York City’s most notable jazz venues including Blue Note, Village Vanguard, Jazz Standard, Jazz Gallery, Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club, Birdland, 55 bar, and also at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Steinway Hall. He has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, North, Central and South America.


Drummer Kush Abadey has been enjoying a fast-paced and eclectic career for years. At age 16, he joined the quintet led by Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Wallace Roney, and he has since worked with artists including Ravi Coltrane, Chris Potter, Melissa Aldana, Joel Ross, Tomasz Stanko, Jeremy Pelt, Gilad Hekselman, Seamus Blake, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Frank Lacy, Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and Buster Williams, contributing to original projects ranging from jazz to rock and electronica. Recent highlights (in a rapidly growing list of accomplishments) include performing for Michelle Obama at the White House and becoming the youngest artist ever selected for the Strathmore Artist-in-Residence program. In 2009, Kush was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts, where he attended for two years. While at Berklee he was able to collaborate and study with some of the top musicians in the business including Terri Lyne Carrington, Ralph Peterson, and Darren Barrett. In 2012, Kush moved to NYC to pursue the jazz scene and was welcomed with open arms. He currently performs, records, and tours internationally with various renowned musicians and groups.

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