Harpist Castaneda to release ‘Fiesta’

Dec. 12, 2013 @ 12:06 PM

Go and Do

WHAT: CD release party for “Fiesta en Naranjal,” by Pavelid Castaneda
WHEN: Dec. 21, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Casbah, 1007 W. Main St., Durham
ADMISSION: Tickets are $10. For information, visit casbahdurham.com

Pavelid Castaneda, a Chapel Hill-based harpist who is originally from Colombia, has released “Fiesta en Naranjal,” a collection of 11 original compositions. On his website, Castaneda discusses his preference for harpists who think outside of traditional classical repertoire. (Castaneda writes that he likes and performs the music of Carlos Santana.)
On “Fiesta,” Castaneda and a wonderfully “unplugged” ensemble deliver excellent performances of compositions that are highly danceable and lyrical, touching many different Latin traditions and styles. The ensemble includes Ronald Polo on congas, along with other percussionists, Shlomi Cohen on soprano saxophone, and Itai Kriss on flute. The latter two take on some fine solos – Cohen notably on the waltz-like “Nieta,” and the title tune, and Kriss on “Song for Fahir.”
Castaneda plays a sensitive solo on “Fuga Intro,” a slow intro to the up-tempo “Fuga de Ilusiones,” on which his technique and skill show through. “Acuerdo” has some intricate interplay between Castaneda and Channo Tierra on accordion.
Throughout, these musicians amaze and charm, with tunes that are guaranteed to make you feel good.

--Cliff Bellamy, The Herald-Sun