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Player Watch: Santi Debriano

Santi DebrianoSanti Debriano is a bassist that should be on everyone’s list to check out. The 54-year-old native of Colon, Panama currently lives on Staten Island and can be seen at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York for his upcoming gig on Monday October 19th.

The performance is for the album release party for guitarist Roni Ben-Hur’s new release, Fortuna, and will include pianist Mulgrew Miller, drummer Lewis Nash and percussionist Steve Kroon in the performing band.

Debriano has released five albums as a band leader, the latest of which is Artistic License, released in 2001 on High Note Records.

“I feel I can cut loose, fly on the bass better than on anything else I do in life,” Debriano said in an interview with NJ.com. “There’s a feeling of liberation. I enjoy the supporting role, making up the jazz bass line, but my favorite stuff is soloing.”

Debriano also has an impressive list of past collaborations, having worked with Archie Shepp in the late 70’s and early 80’s before moving to Paris where he played with Sam Rivers. Three years later he returned to NYC and has since recorded with giants such as Don Pullen, Pharoah Sanders, Louis Hayes and Arthur Blythe.

Currently Debriano teaches at the Peshine Avenue School in Newark where he focuses on instrumental music. “I like that I’m able to inspire serious students at the very beginning of their quest,” he says, “helping them build self-confidence.” You can hear some of his playing and get additional information on Debriano from his MySpace page.

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Philip Wain

I love Santi Debriano's playing.
I first heard him on Cindy Blackman's excellentCD with Dave Fiuczynski – Trio+2 (1990 Freelance) and fell in love with his sound and style.

Philip Wain

I love Santi Debriano's playing.
I first heard him on Cindy Blackman's excellentCD with Dave Fiuczynski – Trio+2 (1990 Freelance) and fell in love with his sound and style.