This month, the debut of a musician comes to the forefront, pianist and composer Jeanine S. Ruiz launches her first and highly anticipated album ‘This Is Me’ comprising a combination of eclectic styles and flavours of her short but potent musical career. Ruiz has a wide-ranging scope of influences that are comparable to multi-instrument and multi-genre greats across the global landscape.
‘This Is Me’ is a collection of experimental music brought to life by the bubbly composer, audio engineered by Ryan Chaitram with sound mixing by Sean Poland and Sterling Quan Soon, mastered by Martin Raymond with music production supervisors Ato Williams and Atiba Williams.
This debut album is filled with all the varied textures of a lush and musically diverse Caribbean experience. ‘This Is Me’ is difficult to place within one genre, but its debut at the annual Jazz Artistes on the Greens is a fitting enough place for a sound so experimental by design.
“This Is Me celebrates the idea of being mixed,” confessed Ruiz.
“The music contains Caribbean influences such as Parang, Soca, Afro rhythms and so on, and also genres of the world like Jazz, R&B. Electronic music and much more. It can’t be classified as one genre.”
At only 25 years old, Ruiz has introduced music to the Trinbago sonic scene that is as wonderous as it is undefinable. She will also launch her new band The J9Quartet at Jazz Artists on the Greens featuring Aaron low Chew Tung on Guitar, Azriel Bahadoor on Drums and Percussion, Jemel Patrice on Bass and Ruiz herself on Keys. The performance will also feature a quartet of vocalists adding dynamic sound to the set, comprising LeAndra Head, Tylah Head, Louise Clarke and Janine Charles-Farray.
No stranger to the local music scene, Low Chew Tung comes from a musical family and got his early love of music from the rock world the first time he heard someone play a Metallica song.
“I was drawn to the project because Jeanine’s music is very exciting and challenging,” revealed Low Chew Tung.
“I’m always looking forward to challenges in music. I want something that’s going to push me beyond my comfort zone. (Working on this album) raised the excitement because we felt the energy from each other. The project gave us an energy to push forward.”
Jemel Patrice began tuning his classical guitar to a six-string bass and started practicing after being inspired by fellow T&T bassist BJ Saunders who visited his then church often.
“When I was contacted to be a part of the project, I felt excited. Knowing what Jeanine has done and getting the opportunity to place a little part of me in the music, I took it. The music is adventurous. It’s a journey. I was able to be myself and represent who I am. What you hear is a reflection of me,” shared Patrice.
The heartbeat of the quartet, Azriel Bahadoor picked up the drums during a long vacation after encouragement from his father and fell in love immediately. He started his musical career deeply rooted in classical music but considers himself a lover of every genre of music he can get his hands on.
“Recording the music was a challenge but it was also extremely fun. I had to come out of my comfort zone a bit but overall it was an excellent experience that I’ll gladly do again,”
“Working with team was very pleasant and professional. There’s an open mindedness to the creation which I appreciated.”
On the limited-edition album and to be performed at the Jazz Artists on the Greens debut will be the following pieces; Ambitious, Overthinker, Impulsive and Dreamer. The album will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis at the debut event for purchase and contains some exciting extras including a bonus track introducing the listener to the album, along with the process through which Jeanine composes.
“The instrumental music tells a story though melodies and mood manipulation,” explained Ruiz. “Even with vocal involvement – such as on ‘Dreamer’, there is no lyrical storytelling. Each composition represents one of my personality characteristics. I’m ambitious, an over-thinker, impulsive, temperamental and a dreamer,” she explained.
The trio project challenged the musicians to play multiple roles, to be experimental on their instruments and very flexible. Low Chew Tung, Bahadoor and Patrice were specifically chosen not only because of their accredited skills but for their personalities and musical flavours.
“The chemistry between the musicians were of great priority. In fact, everyone chosen to be a part of this project including the engineers, studio house, designer etc. were specifically requested because of their open-mindedness; Their will to work on a project that’s not of the norm,” confirmed Ruiz.
The live concert debut of the J9Quartet takes place on Saturday 17th March 2018 at the Jazz Artistes on the Greens event at the WASA grounds in St. Joseph. ‘This Is Me’ the album is scheduled to be available digitally April/May 2018 on popular platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby and many more. You can pre-order your hard copy today with a Gratitude Discount on www.j9perspective.com. Keep updated on Facebook.com/j9perspective. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.