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YAZMIN & BEAT ZERO
June 30, 2023 @ 8:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Ticket link follows bios. Those of you who saw the Randy Sabien Trio here in December will have already been introduced to Yazmin’s talents. “She was incredible…… How brilliant is she? She is absolutely fantastic. What a voice, what a keyboard player, just absolutely extraordinary.” Nanci Griffith
YAZMIN & Beat Zero serve up a unique blend of lyric-driven folk-rock mixed with Cuban rhythms, jazz-informed harmonies and classical foundations. Blues, R&B, Funk, Timba, Latin Jazz, and Rock are all part of the recipe. Yazmin’s songwriting is honest and soul-baring, diving into subjects such as creative burnout, finding one’s life purpose, immigration, and of course, love. She weaves between both English and Spanish with ease, inviting listeners to cross between worlds with each note. You may be equally called to dance or to shed a tear before the night is over.
The show features Yazmin’s powerful keyboard playing and soaring vocals as well as the talents of her world-class band: Grammy-nominated Álvaro Benavides from New York City on bass and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Gillespie from Minneapolis, MN on drums.
Yazmin & Beat Zero are touring across the Midwest this summer. This is a rather momentous occasion for Yazmin as it’s the first time reforming her trio since the pandemic and since losing her father and lead violinist T Bruce Bowers to cancer in 2020. T Bruce was a founding member of the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua where Yazmin now performs in the house band. He was also one of her greatest musical collaborators. After several transformative years spent in grief and quarantine, Yazmin is ready to step fully into this next chapter and emerge with new wings, hence the tour’s title: The EMERGENCE Tour.
Raised by two professional musician parents, Yazmin started playing the piano and singing before she could walk. At age 12 while on the path of classical piano competition, she happened upon Afro-Cuban music for the first time and her life took a new direction. She spent over a decade studying Latin piano with Rebeca Mauleón-Santana in San Francisco and eventually moved to Cuba to continue her studies. Yazmin has toured nationally and recorded three solo albums. Highlights from her career include opening for Nanci Griffith, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and being featured on Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? radio program. Aside from music, she’s also an accomplished painter, dancer, teacher, and tour guide of the island of Cuba.
Alvaro Benavides, born in Caracas, Venezuela, began his musical studies at the age of 12 under the tutelage of his grandfather, a prominent trumpet player and music teacher from his native country. Later he attended Berklee College Of Music in Boston MA after earning a Best Entering Student Scholarship where he graduated as part of the Class of 2000. Moving to New York in 2004 he began working with local bands and artists in different genres. There he landed a gig with Pedrito Martinez and along with two other musicians, they formed the Pedrito Martinez Group. He recorded two studio albums and one live album and toured the world for a few years. This earned him a Grammy nomination and the opportunity to play with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Steve Gadd, Ruben Blades, Issac Delgado and many more fantastic musicians in many different venues around the world. He currently plays with local musicians in the city and with his own band under his name. He also works as a musician and assistant MD for Pregones/PRTT theater in New York with sites in The Bronx and the theater district in Manhattan under Desmar Guevara, Musical Director for the theater.
Andrew Gillespie is a drummer and percussionist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Having lived in Brazil and Puerto Rico, and spent considerable time in Cuba and New Orleans, he counts the traditions and roots of these locales as his chief influences. Andrew holds an individualized BA degree in music, Latin American studies, and Portuguese from a combination of the University of Miami and the University of Minnesota. Beginning in 2003, Andrew cut his teeth in many Latin, Brazilian and New Orleans groups in the Twin Cities music scene. In 2010 he relocated to New York where he worked with several New Orleans style brass bands, neo-soul and funk groups, including the Akie Bermiss Trio (of Lake Street Dive) who he still performs with currently. In 2016 he returned to the Twin Cities where he teaches private lessons, works on his piano skills, and performs with various groups.
Yazmin has toured nationally, recorded three albums and appeared on countless other recordings as a pianist, vocalist, or accordionist. Since she was 5 years old she’s been a regular performer in concerts and theatrical productions at the Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. She has opened for artists such as Nanci Griffith and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and been a guest on Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know? radio program. The raw emotion of her songs is transmitted through her powerful stage presence, evocative lyrics, and full-hearted storytelling.
Yazmin teaches piano, composition, voice, and popular Latin dances. She composes music for television, film, and commercials, and owns and operates her personal music label and publishing company. In 2019, she founded Nautilus Exchange to lead dance-, art-, and music-focused tours of Cuba. In her art, Yazmin works primarily in acrylics, pastels, and charcoal.