Capace di spaziare con la massima naturalezza tra rock e jazz, Joel Guzman affonda le sue radici musicali nella tradizione popolare americana, tra cajon, tex mex e folksongs. Joel e Sarah (texana, ma di madre messicana e padre cubano) si conobbero quando entrambi facevano parte della band Little Joe y la Familia, fu amore a prima vista, un amore che dura ormai da più di trent'anni e migliaia di concerti in giro per il mondo con le varie formazioni di cui hanno fatto parte o hanno fondato: dai Motion agli Human Touch (formazione di jazz contemporaneo), dai Trocadero (una band di salsa) ai Los Aztex in versione tex-mex o latin rock. Per diventare alla fine semplicemente Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox, la formazione con la quale si presentano a Maison Musique, completata dal batterista Zeke Galvan e dal chitarrista Gabriel Guzman. Dopo tanti anni finalmente siamo arrivati a una formazione che esalta il mio stile vocale e l'organetto trasversale ai generi di Joel, dice Sarah, e Joel aggiunge facciamo jazz folklorico al gusto di blues.
L'organetto di Joel può essere ascoltato nei dischi di grandi artisti come T-Bone Burnett, Joe Ely, Buddy Miller, Chris Smithers, Rickie Lee Jones, Los Lobos, Lee Ann Womack, Marc Ribot e tantissimi altri. Più volte ospiti al prestigioso David Letterman Show, Joel e Sarah hanno ottenuto due Grammy Award nel 2005 con il disco Polkas, Gritos y Acordeones.
Una frase di Joel Guzman spiega bene perché l'organetto è così amato in tutto il mondo: per me l'organetto è grande come un piano gran coda. E' un piano gran coda. Quando metti insieme i bassi da un lato e gli acuti dall'altro è come qualunque altro strumento, sono solo bottoni, ma c'è così tanta storia dentro. Suonando l'organetto in Texas ho imparato che posso comunicare attraverso il mio strumento con chiunque, perché è un linguaggio universale. Sono sempre molto attento a preservarne la tradizione, ma allo stesso tempo superarla andando oltre.
Il nostro intento è semplicemente quello di esprimere musica onesta, musica integra, così quando saliamo sul palco possiamo suonare la nostra musica tradizionale e raggiungere così i vostri cuori. Joel Guzman
When accordionist Joel Guzman and singer/songwriter Sarah Fox got
together in 1982, they dreamed of a future that would allow them to
make a living doing something they loved. Though they knew it wouldn’t
be easy – even Guzman’s fieldhand father warned him picking crops was
hard, but being a musician was harder – the pair chose to pursue their
passion anyway. Almost 30 years and a few Grammys later, they’re
actually living that dream – and loving it. You can hear their
happiness in the grooves of their latest album, “Latinology. ”Guzman
and Fox’s story has an almost Hollywood-like beginning. A
third-generation musician born in Sunnyside, Wash., Guzman moved to
Texas to play with the famed Tejano band Little Joe y la Familia. Fox,
the Temple, Texas-born daughter of a Mexican mother (singer Guadalupe
Reyna Castillo) and Cuban father, started singing with Little Joe at
16. After being introduced during a Little Joe recording session, they
fell into a classic band-member-meets-band-singer romance. Since then,
they've led many bands of their own, including Motion, a pop act;
Human Touch, a contemporary jazz group; Trocadero, a sassy salsa band;
Los Aztex, their Tex-Mex/R&B incarnation; and Aztex, a Latin rock
outfit that morphed into the entity known as Joel Guzman & Sarah Fox
(backed by drummer Zeke Galvan and guitarist Gabriel Guzman).
"After many years of going back to the drawing board, we finally
arrived at a concept that complemented my singing style and Joel's
cross-genre accordion playing," Fox says of their latest formation.
Guzman adds, "I may play a box, but I don't want to be put in one.
"Guzman describes the couple’s style as Jazz Folklorico with a taste
of American Rock and Blues. That, of course, is simplifying things a
bit. One blogger at letspolka.com called Guzman “probably the best
three-row diatonic player in the country,” and added, “he can play
anything from traditional conjunto to jazz and beyond." Guzman, a
child accordion prodigy, was given title "El Pequeno Gigante" by his
peers. ”Now a sought-after session player, arranger and producer,
Guzman's most recent work includes The Crazy Heart Soundtrack, while
previous works can be found on the many recordings with artists such
as T-Bone Burnett, Joe Ely, Buddy Miller, Chris Smithers, Sarah Fox,
Rickie Lee Jones, Los Lobos, Lee Ann Womack and many others. Guzman
and Fox have appeared numerous times on NPR's "A Prairie Home
Companion" with Garrison Keillor, the Conan O'Brian show, and the
David Letterman Show. Recently Guzman performed alongside David
Hidalgo and Marc Ribot at the Bass Hall / Austin,Texas.
In 2005, the pair launched their own label, Guzman Fox Records, Their
first production, Polkas, Gritos y Acordeones, won 2 Grammys. Guzman
and Fox can also can be heard on the Grammy-winning 1999 “Los Super
Seven” album (Fox duetted with Joe Ely on the Woody Guthrie classic,
“Deportee”). Their Los Super Seven participation led to having famed
Los Lobos/Super Seven producer Steve Berlin helm their 2000 album,
"Short Stories." Their current release, “Latinology,” was produced by
Guzman and recorded at their own Guzman Fox Studios in Austin,Texas.
The disc is a bi-lingual reflection of their memories, their love,
their spirituality and their hope for a more peaceful world. Fox wrote
or co-wrote most of the songs, and Guzman arranged and played a
variety of instruments.
Special guests included four electric guitarists considered true
musical luminaries in (and far beyond) Texas: Jon Dee Graham, Stephen
Bruton, and Mark Towns. Says Guzman: “Our vision is to just put out
really honest music, music that has a lot of integrity, so when we
bring our shows to the stage, we can touch on traditional music and
capture your heart that way.” As for the accordion, he says, “To me,
it’s every bit as big as a grand piano. It is a grand piano. When you
add up the bass keys on one side and the treble keys on the other
side, it’s like any instrument. It’s just buttons. But there’s so much
history involved in it. For me, being an accordionist in Texas, I’ve
learned that I can communicate with my instrument to all people,
because it’s a universal language. I’m always trying to find ways to
preserve the tradition of it, but at the same time, go beyond.” To
which Fox adds, “I remind myself every day that music is a blessing
and we are doing something we love.”