Primary Instrument: Various
Riyel's debut CD will be released internationally on Summit Records in early March 2010. Summit's library is exclusively distributed by Allegro Corporation.
Due to the unique nature of Riyel's brand of jazz, Allegro Corp. & Summit Records will also likely be collaborating with a major distributor in the French Caribbean, thus making the Kreyol CD widely available in Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, French Guyana, St. Lucia, Aruba, Haiti, etc... Despite the added distribution to these key territories, this title will always remain a Summit release.
Born of a long-running musical relationship & friendship that developed during their still-active tenure with Haitian supergroup Tabou Combo, trumpeter Ken Watters, bassist Yves Abel & trombonist / vocalist Andre Atkins formed the Caribbean / Roots inspired jazz ensemble RIYEL (pronounced ree-YELL, meaning “backstreet” or “alley” in Haitian Creole) roughly a year ago.
ANDRE ATKINS is truly an original voice in th emodern trombone world, an extraordinary composer and a powerful vocalist (as he demonstartes on our rendition of the Hector Lavoe classic Aguanile).
YVES ABEL (“The Fridge”) has earned his reputation many times over as a premier bassist, composer, producer & an overall creative force in the Caribbean music world. Yves is among the most influential & formidable bassists on the scene.
KEN WATTERS has been involved with (as leader or co-leader) four prior jazz releases for Summit Records (Brothers, Brothers II, Brothers III & Southern Exposure). The music of RIYEL, though still jazz, is a stylistic departure from Watters’ earlier Summit releases.
When listeners describe the music of RIYEL (pronounced ree-YELL), most tend to categorize it as distinctly Caribbean and folklore-influenced jazz. However, our music defies traditional boundaries and is not so easily categorized. Our chosen repertoire is melodically-based, yet the element of individual and group improvisation is paramount to our overall musical concept.
Our mission is to combine what we believe to be the most powerful and seductive Caribbean styles with a mix of musical traditions from many cultures, all under the umbrella of the jazz spirit. To be integrally involved with a band like RIYEL has been a dream of all of ours for many years…
- Alphonse Piard, Jr. / Karijazz
Here’s another reason to send attention towards Haiti and it has nothing to do with disaster. Riyel is a Haitian jazz group composed of Andre Atkins, Yves Abel and Ken Watters. Their brand of jazz feels very liberated & flows together with ease... I read that the word riyel means “backstreet” or “alleyway.” I am not from Haiti and don’t know the complete connotation of the word. All I’ll say is that even if you heard these guys in an alleyway somewhere it would be a worthwhile experience.
- Gray Hunter / grayhunter.wordpress.com/
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.
Both frontmen for the band are Jupiter Artists / Clicians. Between the two of us, we speak 5 languages fluently, enabling us to conduct master classes overseas as well as domestically. Trumpeter Ken Watters received his formal education from University of North Texas & Manhattan School of Music; Trombonist Andre Atkins received his BA from Berklee College of Music (Boston) Both are accomplished clinicians & are about to work with students of all levels & musical styles. Emphasis is on horn section work & jazz improvisation.
"Jazz Musicians' Protocol" AND: "From Buddy Bolden to Wynton - A General History of Jazz Trumpet" *RIYEL horn players / frontmen Ken Watters & Andre Atkins collectively speak five languages, thus enabling them to conduct workshops in many countries outside of the continental US... They are both Jupiter Artists / Clinicians.