Julian Gerstin Sextet
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Julian Gerstin Sextet

Brattleboro, Vermont, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Brattleboro, Vermont, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Jazz World




"The Old City"

Global sensibilities on full display … Infusing jazz composition and instrumentation with his worldly orientation and rhythmic arsenal, Gerstin teases out the African and Caribbean elements so prevalent in [jazz]. - JazzIz Magazine

"The One Who Makes You Happy"

Uproarious and jubilant … Sweet and strong like sugarcane. - DeeDee McNeil

"The Old City"

Full of danceable grooves, along with swirling irresistable ensemble playing and strong solos that are easy to listen to but far from being easy listening music … A magical musical stew. - Ron Weinstock, Jazz and Blues Report

"The One Who Makes You Happy"

Dynamic and lively … Full of joy and high-energy talent. The driving forces of the universe are quite apparent. - Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews


The One Who Makes You Happy (Zabap Music 2017)  1. Iroko Hop (7:52) 2. Polar Bear Meltdown (8:00) 3. I Remember It Differently (5:36) 4. The One Who Makes You Happy (5:31) 5. Kaiman Ka Modé (6:12) 6. Child Left Behind (5:30) 7. Appreniendo Como Amar (3:22) 8. The King Dreams of Flying (6:45) 9. Dig It Deeper (5:44) 10. Mogo's Lament (6:04) 11. Love That Stumbles Across the Earth in Ecstasy (3:49)  All songs by Julian Gerstin (Zabap Music BMI) except Apprendiendo Como Amar by Julian Gerstin, Juan Stable Perez "Pescao" and Philip Pasmanick (Zabap Music BMI). Produced by Julian Gerstin, Eugene Uman and Gary Henry.

The Old City (Zabap Music 2019)  1. The Old City (7:22) 2. Jugo de Mambo (4:02) 3. Human Element (5:08) 4. Pwan Lajan-lan (7:12) 5. Que Guapo Es Mi Compay (6:50) 6. Leander's Waltz (3:43) 7. The Deaf Singer (3:40) 8. Cumbia Sin Cambio (4:26) 9. Soukwé Soukwé (4:24) 10. Santa Barbara Blues (4:22)  All songs by Julian Gerstin (Zabap Music BMI). Produced by Julian Gerstin, Eugene Uman and Gary Henry.



Think of it as global jazz: music with lively Caribbean drums and sparkling trumpet, velvety clarinet and muscular piano. Music by turns lyrical and humorous, intense and peaceful, grooving and thoughtful, and always surprising. Think of it as tradition tweaked by jazz inventiveness. Think of it as connections.

Julian Gerstin has spent a lifetime playing music of the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and the U.S. — funk, R&B, and jazz from New Orleans to the avant-garde. Along the way he has mastered dozens of percussion instruments and hundreds of traditional rhythms. On a given song you might hear him playing congas, jawbone, an enormous beaded shaker, or the tanbou drum of Martinique, on which he sits and uses one heel to change the pitch.

Gerstin founded the JG Sextet to bring these sounds to a jazz setting, where they serve as a platform for his fellow musicians’ creativity. On stage, the group’s enjoyment of one another is plain to see: smiles, nods of appreciation, dancing. The group includes five of New England’s most creative talents: the electrifying clarinet virtuoso Anna Patton; versatile trumpeter Don Anderson; pianist Eugene Uman, who like Julian ranges across traditions and from funky grooves to experimentalism; bassist Wes Brown, whose career spans gigs with early jazz master Earl “Fatha” Hines to avant-gardists like Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton; and drummer Ben James, another who can both swing and go “out there.” Since 2016 the Sextet has worked in clubs, festivals, house concerts and schools throughout New England and has released two CDs, The One Who Makes You Happy (2017) and The Old City (2019).

Tradition used creatively, intricate ideas used organically: the JG Sextet’s music makes connections, in sound, between musicians, and with audiences.

WORKSHOPS AND RESIDENCIES: The group is available for university and high school workshops. Julian has a PhD in Anthropology, MFA in Composition, and publishes and teaches in ethnomusicology. Three of the other group members also have extensive college and community teaching experience and appropriate degrees.

Band Members