Latin-jazz-classical ensemble The Red Quartet has set a March 31 release for its first album, an evocative blend of European and South American traditions and sounds performed by four virtuosos who play here as one.
Featuring the rich soprano voice of Marissa Steingold, the fiery guitar of Kenton Youngstrom, Philip Vaiman’s elegant and vibrant violin, and Maksim Velichkin’s deeply sonorous cello, The Red Quartet presents a departure from the usual string quartet lineup (first violin, second violin, viola, cello).
Each Red Quartet member is a virtuoso in chamber, symphonic, and jazz, with vastly different musical influences, education, and experience. Yet as seasoned professionals they blend their exceptional musicianship and experiences to create a fluid, sensuous, passionate ensemble sound.
“Red to us is associated with life, vibrancy, and excitement,” said Vaiman, who founded and leads the Quartet.
Known for its eclectic repertoire in live performances, The Red Quartet debuts on record with reimagined adaptations of jazz favorites “Three Preludes” by George Gershwin; J.S. Bach’s timeless “Trio Sonata”; the Brazilian art song “Aria” from “Bachianas Brasilieras” by Villa-Lobos; and three playfully sensuous selections from Jobim and Gilberto’s bossa nova standards.
Vaiman produced the sessions for “The Red Quartet” at Watersound Studios in Sherman Oaks, California, working with recording engineers Carlos Castro and Marco Gamboa. Gavin Salmon provided additional percussion on the bossa nova tracks. The production’s bright, warm intimacy puts the listener right in the studio with the musicians. Mastered by Alan Yoshida, the album is being released on the independent Talia Records label.
The Red Quartet’s members are all first-call session players in Los Angeles recording and film studios and have appeared at prestigious venues worldwide. They have recorded for and performed with artists including Sting, Dave Matthews, Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Taylor Swift, Goo-Goo Dolls, Rod Stewart, Shakira, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Andrea Bocelli, Placido Domingo, Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, John Legend, and KISS.
The group has performed in Southern California for several years at venues including the Clark Library and the Bruman Chamber Music Festival at UCLA, the Summer Sounds Classical and Jazz Series in West Hollywood, and the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall.