Vana just returned from Mexico City, where his Vana Trio was joined by 9-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D'Rivera for a concert at the Sala Nezahualcóyotl (UNAM), Mexico City's acoustic gem of a theater.
In Brazil, his group's recent concert at the Savassi Jazz Festival was named best performance of the festival, and he was invited back to Brazil a month later, while on tour to Argentina.
After his critically acclaimed debut CD Small Regrets, Vana’s current album A New Day has been re-released by Challenge Records (May 2008). It had previously charted for weeks in the top of the Jazz Radio Charts. The audio/photo book A Day in New York (Ear Books/Edel Music), featuring 8 of Vana’s compositions and recordings, has become a bestseller in Europe. Promotional copies of his Vana Trio plus Brazilian Percussion - live CD have also shipped, and he is working on a CD with his Trio plus Strings.
3 years ago, Vana was presented by legendary bassist Eddie Gomez as an outstanding next generation pianist in a special 3-day presentation at the Iridium Jazz Club in Manhattan. He consequently sold out 2 shows at the New York Blue Note, opened up for Dionne Warwick
Vana was a featured pianist and composer on the 2006 NPR Jazz Christmas CD, Marianne McPartland & Friends, for which he co-wrote The Moon on Christmas Eve with Kathryn Williams.
In 2004, he won the SESAC Performance Activity Award for his composition Healing In Foreign Lands on a #1 Album, which Downbeat Magazine called "divine" and "a luminous testimony to Vana's sizable talent."
HBO’s Sex and the City solicited Vana in 2003 to compose and record a special piece for the season finale with Sarah Jessica Parker & Mikhail Baryshnikov.
In 2007, his composition and recording of An Awakening Thought, was chosen for Showtime’s TV series The L Word.
Vana was executive producer, artistic musical director, composer and pianist on Regina Carter's #1 album Paganini: After a Dream (Verve/Universal). He was deeply involved in the vision and realization of the historic idea for Regina to become the first non-classical musician allowed to perform on Paganini's priceless violin, and it was to become the only instrumental #1 album on the Billboard charts in years. The recording, as well as the historic concerts at Lincoln Center in New York and in Genoa were extensively covered by CBS' 60 Minutes II (Charlie Rose), NPR's All Things Considered, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Winfry's O Magazine, Downbeat, JazzTimes, and countless other media. Vana had been an integral part of the Regina Carter Quintet fro 9 years, and is featured on most of her recordings.
Vana has also been commissioned twice by the prestigious Wharton Center for the Performing Arts at Michigan State University. He premiered both pieces at The Wharton Center, “Morning Cadence” in April '04 with the Regina Carter Quintet, and “Açaí” in October '02, with his Vana Trio Plus Brazilian Percussion. Vana has performed with the Boston Pops in a televised PBS special, toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and performed with numerous other orchestras throughout the US and Europe.
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Congrats for being featured in October.I'm new to the Jazz Network. I'm listening to your music right now. Beautiful!, haunting melodies, great bopping, energy in others... Love your music. Many blessings to you!
Nice to see you around here today :-)
I added your CD cover and spotlighted you so all will make sure to know (who missed your feature) about your new project. Hoping all is well and will look to hearing great things about your musical journey.
Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."