Artist Spotlight | Julian Velasco
In celebration of Cedille’s upcoming album release, As We Are, we are proud to feature saxophonist Julian Velasco, winner of Cedille’s first Emerging Artist Competition, in our Artist Spotlight series, where Chicago’s classical artists discuss the music important to them.
From Julian: As We Are is the result of a powerful moment of realization I experienced last year. For years, I struggled to fit neatly within a singular description of myself. There are a multitude of identifiers that I ascribed to myself saying, “My identity is a mixture of American, Canadian, and Mexican cultures… classical, jazz, and popular musical backgrounds.” However, this list of (well-intentioned) labels felt reductive at best, exclusionary at worst. I frequently found myself unable to answer convincingly the question, “Where do I fit in?” In April 2021, I watched my friend Steven Banks premiere his new work, Come As You Are. In his performance notes, he shared his thoughts about accepting his own plurality as a form of strength and opportunity. That performance and those notes brought me considerable affirmation in my own journey towards individuation. Subsequently, it inspired this collection of music celebrating plurality rather than dividing and isolating personal and musical identities, culminating in a collaborative work that celebrates us as we are.
Julian expands on inspiration for his debut solo album in the video below.
As We Are is now available to order. To learn more about the project and purchase, click below.
Buffy Baggott, Lincoln Trio, John Bruce Yeh
The Billy Collins Suite: Songs Inspired by his Poetry
Leo Sowerby: The Paul Whiteman Commissions & Other Early Works
James M. Stephenson, Lake Forest Symphony, Vladimir Kulenovic
Symphony No. 3, “Visions”
Chicago a cappella, the innovative vocal ensemble praised for its “clarity, well-balanced tone, and deep emotional involvement” (Washington Post), presents Miracle of Miracles — Music for Hanukkah, a new recording aimed at unveiling the richer meaning of the Festival of Lights, with music that ranges from heartfelt prayers to jazzy and playful holiday favorites, showcasing the creativity and vitality of American Jewish musical traditions.
On episode of Classical Chicago, Cedille President Jim Ginsburg talks with Third Coast Percussion‘s David Skidmore about his experience recording Cedille’s latest release, Between Breaths. The works on the album explore aspects of meditation in sound, incorporate unconventional timbres and tones, invite listeners to lose themselves within a captivating sonic landscape.