NYC Cultural & Culinary Scenes to be Enhanced by 4/28 Opening in Manhattan of Tutuma Social Club Showcasing Afro-Peruvian Jazz & Food

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Tutuma Social Club is a new restaurant/music venue in Manhattan that combines the culinary fusion of Peruvian tapas with the best in live contemporary Afro-Peruvian jazz. Santina Matwey, a second-generation New York restaurateur, has effectively imported the atmosphere found in traditional peñas, the vibrant urban clubs of Perú. Tutuma Social Club offers world-class Afro-Peruvian music performances every night--the only venue in New York City to do so. Dr. Gabriel Alegría, a jazz trumpeter and composer known as one of the world's leading proponents of Afro-Peruvian jazz, is the club's artistic advisor. Tutuma features an innovative "no cover charge / no minimum" policy that further distinguishes it from other live music venues. A membership rewards program is available to repeat customers. The menu has been expressly designed by two of Perú's internationally acclaimed chefs Rodrigo Conroy and Carlos Testino.

Finally, vocalist Pilar de la Hoz is one of the most representative singers performing Afro-Peruvian jazz today. She works with some of Perú's finest percussionists and will appear at Tutuma with a band including the legendary Juan Medrano

The New York metropolitan area's cultural and culinary offerings will be enhanced by the opening on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 of Tutuma Social Club. The new venue, at 164 East 56th St. (at Third Ave.), will be the only locale in the region showcasing both Afro-Peruvian jazz and refined Afro-Peruvian cuisine on a daily basis. "Live" music will be featured weekdays at lunch with evening sets by established jazz artists from North and South America presented Monday-Sunday at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Tutuma's kitchen will be open daily from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. and an Afro-Peruvian Jazz Brunch, also accompanied by "live" music, will be held Sundays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Unlike most clubs featuring live music, Tutuma will have neither a cover charge nor a minimum. For reservations or more information please call 866.988.JAZZ (5299) or visit the website http://www.TutumaSocialClub.com.

Conceived by Santina Bari Matwey, a second-generation restaurateur whose family has owned and operated the RayBari Pizza parlors in New York City since 1973, Tutuma Social Club will recreate in Manhattan the lively atmosphere found in traditional peñas, the vibrant urban clubs of Perú. The menu will feature both hot and cold tapas as well as other dishes developed by the internationally acclaimed Peruvian chefs Rodrigo Conroy and Carlos Testino. Meg Schedel designed the club's sound system. Gabriel Alegría, a trumpeter and composer who has been instrumental in expanding the audience for Afro-Peruvian jazz through concerts and workshops in New York and around the U.S., is presently serving as Tutuma's artistic consultant. Tutuma will present a diverse series of programs featuring a variety of guest instrumentalists and vocalists performing in the context of Afro-Peruvian jazz. These cross-cultural collaborations will highlight "Festejo," "Lando" and other traditional Peruvian styles and include:

JAZZ GOES AFRO-PERUVIAN - Jazz artists performing in the context of Afro-Peruvian music.

SONG CYCLES - Vocalists from around the world will perform original material and jazz standards within an Afro- Peruvian jazz context.

RITMOS NEGROS DEL PERÚ (BLACK RHYTHMS OF PERU) - Traditional percussion, song and dance from costal Perú presented by master percussionist and zapateo dancer Freddy "Huevito" Lobaton.

LUNCHTIME CRIOLLO - A weekday series featuring jazz instrumental versions of classic Afro-Peruvian folk music.

Artists scheduled to appear at Tutuma Social Club during its first month include trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and drummer Jon Wikan (4/28-5/3); vocalist Angela Vicente (5/5-10); pianist Andy Milne (5/12-17); Argentinian vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis (5/19-24); and Peruvian vocalist Pilar de la Hoz (5/26-31). In addition the Peruvian percussionist and "Zapateo" dancer Freddy "Huevito" Lobaton will be performing weekly on Tuesday and Wednesday nights when not on tour with the Afro-Peruvian Sextet which will appear Thursday-Sunday nights, also when not on tour. The NYU Afro-Peruvian Jazz Ensemble will perform weekly on Monday 5/14, 5/11 & 5/18). A schedule for the period 4/28-5/31 is attached (Note: All programs and artists are subject to change.).

The catalyst for Tutuma Social Club was a group tour of Perú that Matwey and her husband took in the summer of 2008 with other fans of the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet. Following the band around the country to attend a series of concerts and other appearances, Matwey discovered one of the world's best kept secrets: Afro-Peruvian music, culture and cuisine. Along the Pacific Coast of Perú, sociological and geographic factors have had an oasis effect that led to the development of a remarkable culture whose rich traditions are thriving in and around the capital city of Lima but have yet to be discovered by the rest of the world. Matwey had been considering opening a restaurant to serve as an alternative to other dining and entertainment opportunities in the U.S. and Alegría's program combining cultural, musical and culinary tourism inspired her to establish a variation of that theme in Midtown Manhattan.

"Tutuma Social Club was born out of the spirit of cultural exchange and a sense that one positive aspect of globalization is that different World Music heritages that can be combined and thrive together," Alegría said. "The sounds of Afro-Peruvian jazz - which combines the rich rhythmic and melodic traditions of Afro-Peruvian music with the harmonic sensibility of jazz -- will be what distinguishes this endeavor. These musical styles are connected both spiritually and technically and we intend to explore various forms and formats of the resulting fusion at Tutuma which, incidentally, will be the only club in the world presenting Afro-Peruvian jazz nightly."

Alegría provided the following insights when asked about the artists appearing at Tutuma during its first month:

"Ingrid Jensen and Jon Wikan have toured Perú three times and have grown to love the food, the people and the native Peruvian dynamic. For the past two years Jon has been taking his Peruvian cajon (a wooden box drum developed by slaves of West and Central African origins) on all his gigs and even invented an electric version by attaching sensors and running the drum through an effects loop.

"The California-based vocalist Angela Vicente is a singer who captures the essence of Ella Fitzgerald's gifted improvisation and has performed in Perú twice. She brought down the house with an improvised rendition of 'Summertime' while sitting in with the Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Jazz Sextet during the 2005 Festival Jazz Perú.

"Andy Milne's a natural fit as he embodies the idea that jazz is a music that should always move forward and embrace change and thus is ideally disposed to work with Afro-Peruvian musicians. Hearing how he'll apply his superior skills on various keyboards including the synthesizer to Afro-Peruvian grooves will be a revelation.

"Vocalist Sofia Koutsovitis performed at Festival Jazz Perú three years ago and has since incorporated many Peruvian rhythms and sounds into her repertoire that also includes traditional songs from her native Argentina.

"Finally, vocalist Pilar de la Hoz is one of the most representative singers performing Afro-Peruvian jazz today. She works with some of Perú's finest percussionists and will appear at Tutuma with a band including the legendary Juan Medrano "Cotito" audiences may recognize from his association with Afro-Peruvian vocalist Susana Baca."

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Mitchell Feldman

Beatrice Segura
Tutuma Social Club
718-361-9300 ext. 108
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