On Thursday, March 13th, 2014 a journey began. I was given the opportunity to record and make my debut album a reality. Prior to this day, I had been performing regularly at Lagniappe House, a Miami jazzhaus. There I met Sebastian Vega who was a professor of sound engineering at the Miami International University of Art & Design. He approached me about recording at the school’s state of the art studio as well as at his own private studio for a widely circulated internet program he hosted dedicated to emerging artists in the Magic City called “Wynwood Sessions”. It was decided we would be given 5 hours time at each location. We started at the university on March 13th and then a week later we did the remaining 5 hours at Sebastian’s private studio. Our goal was to record 3 good takes of a song each hour. Despite how unrealistic this sounded we ended up with 11 songs in 10 hours! The musicians were exceptional! The recording staff and their equipment was world class. I named the recording “Sessions 33 1/3” because in the midst of all this I had turned 33 1/3 or 33.3 of age, a mystical sign for someone as superstitious as myself. When you listen you will hear magic, nothing fancy however, just tremendous love and emotion from this ensemble eloquently transmitted through each track. The next step was mixing down and editing the takes recorded. Having no money to invest into the album for post-production my dream laid dormant until October 5th, 2016. I won a contest, Miami’s Buskerfest 2015 and the Damian J Project had studio time awarded. Yet after months of deliberating with musicians about recording a new album I decided to use the time wisely and finish what I had started 2 years ago. It was over 10 hours of tape and I listened to every last bit along with Andrew Yeomanson (founder and lead audio engineer at City Of Progress Studios, Miami, FL) whose amazing work on this album cannot go without recognition.
          I selected the best take for every song and let Andrew mix me the best representation of those two sessions possible. It was like opening up a time capsule since I had never heard a single note recorded. 10 out of the 11 tracks were ready, the 11th song was incomplete. I then took the studio mixes and equalized them mastering the songs for home and car stereos. Finally on Sunday, October 9th, 2016, Damian J Project Sessions 33 1/3 was complete and being heard for the first time by 4 out of the 5 original members. We unanimously agreed this would be our debut album and the launch to a new career. "Sessions 33 1/3" is a historical debut album attempting to present the diverse history of jazz through the creative flow of woodwind artist and vocalist, Damian J Sanchez. The recording demonstrates the various sub-genres of jazz from its beginnings in New Orleans, Louisiana around 1914 with traditional jazz and progresses all the way to today's modern examples of jazz with Instrumental Pop, Fusion, Latin Jazz, and Acid Jazz.

There are a few elements unique to this ensemble that contribute to the validity of this album as a reputable source for authenticity in jazz:

1. A technique known as "genre-crossing" is heavily employed throughout the recording taking a traditional ballad and performing it over a hip-hop rhythm from the drummer or utilizing an early period New Orleans "marche funèbre" and performing a selection of the American Songbook over it. The mixing of genres creates a new and refreshing version of the old standards appealing to a wider audience.

2. The two horns, trombone & woodwinds offer a diverse palate of sounds throughout the compositions. Rhythmic as well as harmonic nuances captivate the crowd and elevate the overall
emotional spectrum of the ensemble. Carlos Avila on the trombone provides that low to middle range while Damian J on the woodwinds brings the high to altissimo range into the mix. Combined, the two gentlemen cover the majority of musical range or tessitura and create a dense signature sound for the group.

3. This album is the epiphany of collaboration! Everyone contributes to the overall flow of the music. Each musician is absolutely essential. This recording is not as much about Damian J's versatility as it is about everyone playing together and listening to each other. The Sessions crew was selected by Damian J as being the very finest musicians and human beings in the magic city. "There are musicians that are
very fine playing trad or on electronic jazz but these guys play it all and play it better than myself", said Sanchez in a recent radio interview. From the amazing talents of Shay Eischen on the drums to the masterful Axel Aleman driving the grooves all night long on bass to Mike Bishop being featured on his outstanding guitar work to Carlos Avila backing up and soloing and even serving as stealthy auxiliary
percussionist at times; this album demonstrates collaboration and THAT is what jazz and the Damian J Project are all about! Playing together as one tight unit! 

The debut album of the Damian J Project, “Sessions 33 1/3” is available now through this site and at live performance.

***In an effort to preserve authenticity and quality, this recording is not available for digital distribution at this time. Thank you for supporting jazz in the 305! All rights reserved ©2017. Unlawful reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Sessions 33 1/3