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Karl Evangelista's Apura


Label: Astral Spirits

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock


In the Filipino language Tagalog, Ngayon translates to “now.” Appropriately, this sophomore effort from Karl Evangelista’s Apura is intended to capture the feeling of an abstract and transcendent present - a moment apart from the desperation and uncertainty that afflicted the past several years of human life. What began as an indictment of fascism vis-à-vis Apartheid South Africa, Trump’s America, and the long lineage of Filipino political corruption slowly morphed into a story about how battling human violence requires endurance above all else.

This recording came within a razor’s edge of total oblivion. Conceived in 2019, the original intention behind Ngayon was to provide an opportunity for the great Louis Moholo-Moholo to visit California for the first time in over three decades. Due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and a variety of other unpredictabilities, Ngayon was canceled, re-envisioned, and rescheduled countless times. I take some pride but no great pleasure in declaring that only brutal perseverance, dumb luck, and the generosity of others rescued this project from the colossal hole that it dug itself into. Heartfelt thanks are due to my compatriots, including Asian Improv aRts cofounder Francis Wong, the endlessly resourceful Lisa Mezzacappa, and Rei Scampavia, my closest collaborator. Others, like pianist Alexander Hawkins, engineers Andrew Scott and Myles Boisen, attorney Bill Martinez, bassist/educator Ravi Abcarian, and my family, played pivotal roles in seeing this project to fruition. 

Of the many kind faces that participated in this recording, the great Andrew Cyrille deserves special notice. The goal of Apura has been to foster ties between generations and cultures, identifying synchronicities between the legendary creative music of the past and the activist sounds of the modern day. In Louis’s absence, Andrew provided a center of calm and personal depth that was both invaluable and inimitable. One of Andrew’s statements has stuck with me. Regarding our time making music together, he intoned, “Well, this is what’s happening right now.” Ngayon also translates to “today.” As Andrew reminded me, the sounds of the 21st century have a weight imbued with both the power of tradition and the infinite possibility of the future." - Karl Evangelista

Cat. number: AS208
Year: 2023