Born: November 4 Primary Instrument: Vibraphone
Vibist-composer Lalo’s self-titled debut from 2003 featured a compelling trio consisting of bassist Kermit Driscoll and drummer Todd Isler. Favorable reviews abounded: “Lalo has injected some rock vitality into the vibraphone,” proclaimed host Liane Hansen during a feature interview on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday. “Lalo’s music exists as a playground made of sound,” read a Jazz Times magazine feature on the vibraphonist. The Village Voice said, “If Lionel Hampton joined â€˜80s King Crimson, he might’ve played vibraphone like Lalo.”
With her first release, Lalo established herself as an artist of innovation and skill. Her next move is an adventurous detour from the pared down format of her first CD. On her new album, Half Moon (to be released January 2006) Lalo explores different instrumentation in a series of expanded ensemble pieces tied together by a sense of mystery, magic and mood. As described in Bill Milkowski’s liner notes, the result is “a collection of beguiling compositions and ambitious arrangements that run the gamut from darkly introspective to audaciously intense, from chamber-like to downright giddy and eerily whimsical.” Says Lalo,“Exploration is what makes it all fresh.”
The Savannah, Georgia native has been journeying both musically and geographically for some time. Currently based in New York, Lalo has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe as a performer and bandleader. “To be able to travel the world through my music has been a goal of mine ever since I took my first lesson on the vibraphone [with world-renowned vibraphonist Mike Mainieri],” remarks Lalo. “There is nothing quite like exploring new places every day and then getting to perform each night.” She continues, “Wherever I go, I can always feel like I’m back in familiar territory as soon as I step up to the vibes.”
Her itinerary often includes legendary New York City venues such as the Blue Note, 55 Bar, Makor, and the Bitter End. During her frequent tours outside of New York, she has brought her band to the Half Note in Berlin, South by Southwest in Austin, and the Baked Potato in Los Angeles. She has been a featured guest artist at festivals such as the Rochester Jazz Festival, Savannah Jazz Festival, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Lalo has performed her music with symphonies, jazz big bands, chamber ensembles, small groups, duos, and solo. “It’s always exciting to see where the players take the music,” Lalo comments. “My compositions are not static creations: musicians breathe life into the written notes.” Between touring, Lalo has recorded with legendary jazz pianist Kenny Werner for BMG Japan, performed with Cyro Baptista’s ten-piece percussion ensemble, and regularly plays in several established New York City bands.
A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Berklee College of Music after only two years of attendance, Lalo’s travels frequently bring her to colleges and universities throughout the U.S as both a performer and clinician and often as an artist-in-residence. The list of colleges at which she has played is extensive, spanning the country from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of Arizona, Tucson to South Dakota State University and Owens College, from Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of North Florida to SUNY Potsdam and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “I enjoy performing in concert halls as well as jazz clubs,” says Lalo. “Every venue is different, and it’s all about the energy between the audience and the players.”
Lalo endorses Vic Firth mallets and Alternate Mode, Inc.