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MP3 Francisco Castillo - The Bolero Project

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MP3 Francisco Castillo -
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The Project aims to offer a unique and definitive interpretation of Latin romanticism. With diverse arrangements of Latin standards by an assortment of talented Los Angeles musicians, sweetened by original compositions and immersive performances.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (50:42) !
Related styles: Latin: Bolero, Jazz: Latin Jazz, Instrumental

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The Bolero Project & Más

The idea of The Bolero Project started in November of 2007 when I was on tour with Andrea Bocelli and the New West Symphony Orchestra.
I was playing the English Horn and sitting next to me was guitarist Ramon Stagnaro and nearby, bassist Kenny Wild. We were talking about projects that we were involved with or had in mind. I happened to mention that I was planning to record a solo CD of Handel, Cimarosa and Telemann oboe concertos. In unison, Ramon and Kenny said: "Why are you making another baroque oboe CD?" Ramon went on and on about the beauty of the sound of the oboe and the English Horn and how great it would be to make an oboe CD of latin love songs. After some thought I asked them: if I made a Latin CD, would they play on it? ...and they said, in unison again, "Yes!" From there, I started doing some thinking and doing research online. I visited iTunes, like, a million times, I auditioned songs and I bought different latin songs from many different artists. In the meantime, I contacted my friend Oswald Bernard to tell him of this idea: making a CD featuring a solo oboe playing beautiful and traditional latin boleros. Oswald got so interested and involved that his energy became very contagious and moved me to get started with the Bolero Project.

Something worth mentioning is that I have known Oswald since I was in diapers. He attended the same schools I did in Costa Rica, including the Conservatorio de Castella, an art and music school that takes students from first grade all the way to 11th grade; elementary, middle and high school, all in one, dedicated not only to academic classes but to all the arts.
After the Conservatorio de Castella we both attended the University of Costa Rica. After that, Oswald went his own musical way, following his latin jazz and pop desires and I went mine - classical music.
We lost contact for a long time and to my pleasure, after more than 20 years, I found Oswald also living in Los Angeles.
What can I say, really, but what a small world this is.
What is funny about the whole ordeal is that I actually found Oswald through another friend from the Conservatorio de Castella that is working in Los Angeles, Joaquin Kino Gil. I remember Kino from the years at the Conservatorio de Castella, when he used to play the flute and now he is an animator, movie director and artist that runs his own studio and production company in Los Angeles.

The first task was to choose the songs for the CD. This task became the most difficult part of the process because there are so many great boleros out there that are lovely, romantic and suitable for the Oboe and the English Horn.
I was able to make a list of over 150 songs - then pare it down to 35. I couldn't make up my mind as to what songs to record, so I went to the person I know to be the number one bolero lover in the world: my mother. After talking to her I was able to lower the list to 20 boleros. Unable to make a final decision, I went to the friends that were going to be arranging the songs for the CD: Ron Hess, Tommy Pedrini, Charles Fernandez, Patrice Williams and Oswald Bernard.

I gave a CD and the sheet music to my friends with 3 or more (different) songs on each CD and I let them choose one of the songs from that CD to make the arrangement of their favorite bolero. By accident, the CD I gave to Tommy was not a CD of boleros but one of my favorite latin rock songs that I had in my car. That is how the song El Vendedor by Juan Carlos Calderon Lopez de Arroyabe y Jose Garcia Nieto came to the Bolero Project. Well, after that I talked to Tommy and asked him for an arrangement of a Bolero with a new "flavor," new-age and fresh. I gave him a new CD with boleros and he chose Aquellos Ojos Verdes by Nilo Menendez and Adolfo Utrera.
So, now I had one bolero, not in a bolero style and one rock piece for the CD. I was not about to let the arrangement of El Vendedor go, because it was great and I love the song. That changed the original concept of the CD, and now, "& Más", became part of the name.
I once again talked to Oswald about the predicament I was in, he went on and said "not a problem", he was going to write something for the CD in a different style.

Later that week Oswald wrote two new original songs: You, in a Latin Funk feeling and Llanura in a Venezuelan Waltz style. He also made an arrangement of the famous song El Reloj by Roberto Cantoral in a danzon rhythmic style.
Patrice arranged one of my mom's favorites boleros, Somos Novios by Armando Manzanero. Ron arranged Sin Ti by Pepe Guizar and Sabor a Mi by Alvaro Carrillo. After that, I suggested to Ron to make an arrangement of his favorite bolero and he said yes. I learned later that he had chosen Besame Mucho by Consuelo Velazquez, his mom's favorite bolero.

Patrice's original song, Caminando con el Sol, came to the project by accident. Patrice invited me to her studio to see and listen to her arrangement of Somos Novios. When I walked into her studio she was in the process of composing a new piece; as soon as I heard it, I looked at Ralph Williams, Patrice's husband (he was there working on an arrangement of his own for his solo clarinet CD) and said that this new song of Patrice's would be great on my CD. Ralph agreed and suggested to Patrice that yes, her new song would be great on my CD. We went on and on about her new piece, Caminando con el Sol. (Of course, running out of time I had to come back again to work on Somos Novios the next day... This became a great excuse for us to go and eat at one of our favorite Argentinean restaurants in Granada Hills.)

That same week, I was happy when Charles Fernandez called me to tell me that he had made an arrangement of La Bikina by Ruben Fuentes Gasson.

That left me with one more arrangement to make and I chose Solamente Una Vez by Agustin Lara.
Now I had my 11 songs for the CD and I was ready to go.

The following week I collected all the arrangements. At that point I realized that I actually had 12 songs instead of 11 songs, the amount of songs I originally intended to record.
That day my mom called and said that I needed to have a traditional Costa Rican song on the CD and suggested her favorite Costa Rican song: Luna Liberiana by Jesús Bonilla Chavarría. After a long discussion Luna Liberiana became part of the project. That evening I made the arrangement and I was ready to start recording.

After one of the recording sessions Oswald and I realized that we had many different latin styles of music for the CD but one very representative style of Latin Music was not present.
Oswald wanted to arrange one more song, in "Salsa" style. I had just listened to his CD "Los Paisajes" with his group Opa-Opa. From that CD I loved his song Soledad, and suggested to him to make an arrangement of Soledad for the project; the next day, he had the arrangement done and ready to be copied. So, that is how the name of the CD came to be The Bolero Project & Más, and that is how we ended up with 14 songs.

One of the best things about Los Angeles is that we have a vast amount of talent.
I am also fortunate to have many talented friends that I have met in Los Angeles for the past 29 years, friends that I have met playing at all sort of performing situations and venues.
I am honor to have with me on this CD: Ramon Stagnaro playing a bunch of guitars. Kenny Wild playing electric and string bass. Yalil Guerra playing electric bass, synth, latin percussion and tres cubano. Rene Camacho playing the baby bass. Bryan Pezzone and Joe Rotondi playing the piano. Pedro Pachamango in the electric piano. Cesar Espinoza playing latin percussion. Giovanna Moraga playing the cello. Joey Heredia, playing the set drum and latin percussion. Marie Matson and Brad Dutz playing marimba. Oswald Bernard playing the trumpet. Ralph Humphrey playing the drum set. Jamie Pedrini playing the flute. Ralph Williams playing bass clarinet. Patrice Williams and Tommy Pedrini IV playing the synth and Gary Wasserman doing all the union and business paper work that made me dizzy.
Patrice Williams and Tommy Pedrini served as recording session supervisors and Oswald Bernard and I were the producers for all the songs.

Patrick Spain was the recording, editing and the pre-mixing engineer and Yalil Guerra did the final mixing and mastering of the CD. Yalil's talent and musical abilities are amazing, grander and exquisite.
I can not forget to mention the help to the Bolero Project from our technical consulting engineer Erich Bulling and Joaquin Kino Gil for helping us with their candid opinions, knowledge and professional insight, our own "opinologos", without their vision, wisdom, knowledge and advice, we could have been singing another tune.
I also want to thank all the people that gave us so much help at the two studios we used, Private Island Trax in Hollywood, California and RYCY Productions studios in Burbank, California.
The art work for the CD was conceived and composed by Joaquin Kino Gil. His art work looks awesome, original, hot and "yummy."
Without Oswald's enthusiasm, knowhow and energy along with Oswald's creativity, perseverance for excellence and integrity, qualities that are unrivaled in this business, I would have never been able to finish this CD.

I want to thank my friend Oswald, Kino, Jamie, Patrice, Tommy, Ralph, Tom Pedrini III, Chuck, Ron and my daughters Jennifer and Kristina for all their support, unpaid hours of collaboration and hours of listening and production, along with all the work they have put towards the success of the The Bolero Project & Más. Without your help I would have never been able to make this CD. Thanks a million.
I dedicate this CD to my beautiful mom, Zulay Baltodano Araya de Castillo.
I am so lucky to have so many great friends that are not just friends but are a part of my family too.

With love,


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