In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression.
Jorge Reyes (b. 10-29-51) began his career as a bassist with Pio Leyva’s Montuneros. After studying contrabass under Orlando ‘Cachaito’ Lopez at the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory in Havana, he played successively with Orquesta Riverside, Orquesta de Radio y Televisión Cubana and Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna.
In 1981, he joined Arturo Sandoval, with whom he remained for over a period of nine years, touring all over the world.
In 1983 he recorded his solo album Pocito 11, with among others Omara Portuondo.
In 1990, together with pianist Hilario Duran and guitarist Jorge Chicoy, he founded Perspectiva.
In 1996 Jorge Reyes joined Irakere.
In 1997 he participated in Roy Hargrove’s Cuban project: Crisol. The CD: Havana won the 1998 Grammy Award in the Latin Jazz category.
In 2001 he recorded with David Murray his Cuban jazz project: Now is another time, in 2003 and 2004 he toured with this big band in Europe, very well received at numerous festivals.
Jorge Reyes has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Carmen Mc Rae, Max Roach, Paquito D’Rivera, Emiliano Salvador, Pablo Milanes, Rey Guerra, José Maria Vitier.
In fact, in Cuba, there is hardly any that he hasn’t played with.
In the seventies, Jorge Reyes was involved in the production of the Dizzy Gillespie documentary film ‘A Night In Havana’. In the ensuing years, there were regular meetings with Dizzy Gillespie during which Dizzy’s admiration and friendship with Chano Pozo (who died in 1948), were often the subject of their conversations.
Inspired by Dizzy’s enthusiasm, Jorge began collecting information about and compositions of the legendary conga-player. The quantity and the quality of the compositions surpassed his expectations many times over. At the close of 1998, in a recording studio in Havana, just a few weeks prior to the fiftieth anniversary of the unfortunate death of this vibrant Cuban percussionist, Jorge Reyes was applying the final touches to the recording of his tributo a Chano Pozo.
The CD was nominated in two categories for the Premio Cubadisco 1999.
In september 2000 Jorge Reyes’ tributo a Chano Pozo performed in Bogota, Colombia. Spring 2001 they performed at the Barbados Jazz festival. September 2003 Barranquilla Jazz festival. Spring 2004 Jorge Reyes recorded ‘De todo un poco’ Cuban jazz-quinteto, with 4 young and talented musicians from Havana. Winter 2008 Jorge Reyes was invited to work with Yuri Buenaventura, under Jorge's musical direction the tour started in February 2009.