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The Hope I Hold

by Ryan Keberle & Catharsis

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    6-panel slim wallet designed by Ktu Meza.

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Tangled in the Ancient Endless Chain Words by Langston Hughes I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart, I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars. I am the red man driven from the land, I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek— And finding only the same old stupid plan Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak. I am the young woman, full of strength and hope, Tangled in that ancient endless chain Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land! Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need! Of work the men! Of take the pay! Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
Despite the Dream Words by Langston Hughes I’m the one who dreamed, a dream so strong, so brave, so true, it sings For I’m the one who came, To build a “homeland of the free.” (The free?, Who said the free? Not me?) All the dreams we’ve dreamed And all the songs we’ve sung, and hopes we’ve held The [throngs] who have nothing— Except a dream that’s almost dead today. O, let America be America again— The land that never has been yet— And yet must be—the land where every man is free. Must bring back our mighty dream again.
America Will Be Words by Langston Hughes O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe. (There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”) The steel of freedom does not stain. From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives, We must take back our land again, America! O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath— America will be!
Campinas 06:08 video
Para Volar 05:55
Para Valor Words by Camila Meza Vine a dibujarte flores en tu piel Y ví cómo nace el río Me dejaste abrazar tus alas sin miedo Y me fuí volando contigo Un nudo se deshace cada vez Que vuelvo a imaginar ese instante Tu sombra se hace pequeña A contraluz tu vuelo renace Deja que te lleve el viento Vuela libre hasta encontrar Verdades sin temor ni tiempo En su esencia libertad Deja que te lleve el viento Vuela y vuelve a sonar
Peering 06:13 video
Zamba de Lozano Words by Manuel Jose Castillo Cielo arriba de Jujuy Camino a la puna me voy a cantar Flores de los tolares Bailan las cholitas el carnival En los ojos de las llamas Se mira solita la luna de sal Y estan los remolinos En los arenales dele bailar Ramito de albahaca Niña Yolanda, dónde estará Atrás se quedó alumbrando Su claridad Flores de los tolares Bailan las cholitas el carnival Jujeñita quien te vio En la puna triste te vuelvo a querer Mi pena se va al aire Y en el aire llora su padecer Me voy yendo volvere Los tolares solos se han vuelto a quedar Se quemara en tus ojos Zamba enamorada del carnival Ramito de albahaca Niña yolanda donde estara Atras se quedo alumbrando Su claridad Vuelvo a las abajeñas Ya mi caballito no puede más
Become the Water Words by Mantsa Miro If I told you here and now is all we have, would you still hear me? What if we are blind, all of us, imagining there was a time when great was real. Our weakest link is fear of losing greatness. Get on stage before the curtain falls, before the blind messiah opens fire. We are here to elevate, to greater. Find the common, shine a light. Become the water. Put out the fire. Through all the noise, why do we only hear what we already know? Why don’t we think the other side is here with us? Why don’t we hear the sirens wailing for us all? Why don’t we fight for greater common, not against our people? Are we not here to elevate us all? Why do we let our fear be greater than our greatness? Where fear is king, compassion is a beggar. Dethrone the blind and elevate the kind. Find the common, shine a light. Become the water. Put out the fire.


Having performed and collaborated with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, David Bowie, Sufjan Stevens, Ivan Lins, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Wynton Marsalis, and the Saturday Night Live house band, trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle brings these experiences to bear leading his own band, Catharsis, which has released four acclaimed studio albums.

On their new full-length album The Hope I Hold, Ryan Keberle & Catharsis are departing, expanding and progressing. It’s an album full of welcome firsts. To start, it’s the first Catharsis release to feature the genius multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson on saxophone, alongside band veterans Jorge Roeder on bass and Eric Doob on drums. It also marks the debut of Chilean artist Camila Meza as the group’s guitarist, adding to her role as vocalist.

The album also underscores Keberle’s evolving roles as well, and features him not only on trombone but on vocals and keyboards. But perhaps the most important unfolding on The Hope I Hold relates to the album’s theme of optimism in the face of political and cultural corruption. The album features lyrics drawn from “Let America Be America Again,” a virtuosic and poignant poem written by Langston Hughes in 1935 that Keberle felt compelled to incorporate into his new work.


released June 28, 2019


Ryan Keberle – Trombone, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Korg Minilogue, Piano, Vocals
Camila Meza – Vocals, Guitar, Guitar FX
Scott Robinson – Tenor Saxophone
Jorge Roeder – Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass, Bass FX
Eric Doob – Drums

Production Credits:

Produced by Ryan Keberle
Executive Producer – Dave Douglas
Recorded at D.A.D.S studio in Brooklyn, NY on September 12, 2018
Recorded at Figure 8 studio in Brooklyn, NY on September 13, 2018
Engineered by Eric Doob (D.A.D.S); Michael Coleman and Nate Mendelsohn (Figure 8)
Edited by Leo Sidran
Mixed by Alex Venguer
Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Artwork and Design by Ktu Meza

All arrangements by Ryan Keberle except Track 7 (Camila Meza) and Tracks 8 & 9 (Jorge Roeder).

Tracks 1 through 5, 9 & 10 music by Ryan Keberle (Groove Monkey Music / BMI)
Tracks 1-3 lyrics by Langston Hughes
Track 6 music and lyrics by Camila Meza (Ambar Music / ASCAP)
Track 7 music by Jorge Roeder (Jorge Roeder Music / SESAC)
Track 8 lyrics by Manuel Jose Castillo and music by Gustavo “Cuchi” Leguizamon (WB Music Corp OBO Editorial Lagos / ASCAP)
Track 9 lyrics by Mantsa Miro (Mantsa Miro / BMI)

The Hope I Hold by Ryan Keberle & Catharsis has been made possible with support from Chamber Music America’s 2016 New Jazz Works program funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Press Quotes:

"Ryan Keberle and Catharsis prove why they are one of the most progressive bands in modern jazz."
Will Layman, PopMatters

"“Despite the Dream” is a showcase for Meza’s clear, un-showy vocals. It’s a sharply political track, but its deceptively light rhythm and the steady pace of the horn solos keep it from becoming agitprop. Keberle’s solo has a joyful but bottom-heavy feel, like theme music for a cartoon elephant, while Scott Robinson’s saxophone has a big ’70s sound."
Phil Freeman, Stereogum

"The music on the recording both expands and streamlines the band’s sound. Mr. Keberle is heard on keyboards on some tracks, and the songs swell and recede in a graceful way reminiscent of the Maria Schneider Orchestra. Wordless vocals, lyrics and solos emerge from gorgeous weaves of musical textures."
Martin Johnson, Wall Street Journal

"...all those tones give the music a lovely, splayed-out energy, turning his sighing compositions into big, open canvases."
Giovanni Russonello, New York Times

"Ryan Keberle & Catharsis continue to make relevant music, the writing continues to mature, and the musicianship is of the highest caliber."
Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

"'The Hope I Hold' is a powerful album which documents the continuing evolution of this remarkable band."
Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online

“Keberle’s lyrical precision and Meza’s voice steer through mirror-image crosscurrents and conjunctions.”
John McDonough, Downbeat ★★★1/2

“Each instrument here maintains its own grain and its own fit within the pocket. And thank goodness for that sense of amalgamated looseness. With Catharsis, Keberle always seems to be hinting at something dangerous, maybe the danger of getting lost. This time, swimming in more colors, the music really starts to go there.”
Giovanni Russonello, Downbeat Hot Box Review ★★★1/2

“Musical polemics never have held much attraction for me, but Meza puts Keberle’s lyrics across so sweetly that the punch comes swathed in silk. The pair’s connection creates a shimmering contracts to the tougher elements beneath.”
James Hale, Downbeat Hot Box Review ★★★★

“A beautifully optimistic selection of compositions from Keberle accompanied by Meza’s soaring vocals. Highlights come on the opening suite and closing track, using a Langston Hughes poem as an incisive counterpoint to Trump’s shortsighted sloganeering.”
Ammar Talia, Downbeat Hot Box Review ★★★★

“The hope I hold is that Keberle and Catharsis will make more such optimistic and provocative music.”
J.D. Considine, JazzTimes


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Trombonist Ryan Keberle & Catharsis new album, "The Hope I Hold" available now.

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