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Gonzalo Teppa Quintet | Away from Home

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Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Avant Garde: Modern Composition Moods: Instrumental
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Away from Home

by Gonzalo Teppa Quintet

In this album I narrate, chronologically, our experiences as a migrant family. Away from Home is a window into the vulnerable feelings I have kept inside for so many years, and I offer it in the hope that it might be of benefit to the many others who have endured similar experiences. It is not easy to leave everything behind: a life full of loving relatives, sweet hugs from my mother, wise words of my father, musical collaborations with my father and dearest friends. But above all, leaving my country, the land where I was born and where I learned everything that I know, where I discovered who I am and where I come from, my roots, my Venezuela. Featuring: Gonzalo Teppa on bass, Greg Harris on vibraphone, Alex Heffron on guitar, Ike Spivak on sax, Andrew Wheelock on drums. All compositions by Gonzalo Teppa
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Uncertain Hope
12:50 $0.99
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2. Customs Blues
5:42 $0.99
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3. Venezuelan Roots
7:39 $0.99
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4. Away from Home
7:47 $0.99
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5. Sudden Awakening
7:02 $0.99
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6. Happy Childhood
5:49 $0.99
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7. Together Like Old Times
6:54 $0.99
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8. Making Progress
6:46 $0.99
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9. Remembrances
6:03 $0.99
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10. The New Way of Freedom
4:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Away from Home
In this album I narrate, chronologically, our experiences as a migrant family. Away from Home is a window into the vulnerable feelings I have kept inside for so many years, and I offer it in the hope that it might be of benefit to the many others who have endured similar experiences. It is not easy to leave everything behind: a life full of loving relatives, sweet hugs from my mother, wise words of my father, musical collaborations with my father and dearest friends. But above all, leaving my country, the land where I was born and where I learned everything that I know, where I discovered who I am and where I come from, my roots, my Venezuela.
My country is a natural paradise enveloped in breathtaking beauty, inhabited by exquisitely kind and generous people. They are willing to suffer, if necessary, to stay in their homeland and to provide a good life for their children so that they may smile and dream with peace and happiness. This is not just my story, but the story of so many Venezuelan families who left everything to make a new life in a different country, adapting to a new culture, learning new languages, reinventing themselves in new jobs, and loving their families and friends from a distance. Year after year, we kiss and hug through a screen, celebrating each Christmas, each birthday, each milestone of life, with tears in our eyes.
The track “Uncertain Hope” describes the moment I decided to emigrate. My ability to see the future of myself, my wife and my two kids (ages five and one) was vanishing in a country full of shortage. Violence and insecurity lurked in every corner and the violation of human rights at the hands of a tyrant regime was a daily occurrence. I knew that preserving our sweet nest that we had built with so much devotion and hard work was becoming less important than ensuring the freedom and happiness of our innocent children.
“Customs Blues” is an expression of the fear and ambivalence I felt as I went through the immigration process at the airport. When I saw that I was next in line, I turned to look behind me. With a broken heart, I said a silent goodbye to my country, my family, and all of the things that made me who I am, and turned forward to walk into an unknown destiny.
“Venezuelan Roots” is a celebration of the diverse beauty that Venezuelan immigrants bring to their host countries, gifting them with immeasurable talents and spreading the rich culture of Venezuela wherever they go.
“Away from Home” goes inside my vivid memories of walks on the beach, laughing with my extended family at my parents’ house on weekends, the swirl of smells and flavors… everything that is my country. The greatest suffering is the feeling of being so close and yet so far at the same time.
I had a “Sudden Awakening” one night with a melody in my mind, and I recorded it in a whisper so as not to wake my wife sweetly sleeping beside me. This tune describes the first morning after our immigration, the first moment that I glimpsed my new reality. The kids were still slumbering peacefully, with no idea of the path that awaited them, and when they awoke they jumped on the bed, full of excitement and innocence.
Giving our kids a “Happy Childhood” was our main impetus for leaving Venezuela. I remember the first morning in Colorado, after breakfast, our family was walking in the streets of Boulder. I gripped the hand of my oldest son, with the instinct of fear and protection that had become so familiar to me. He tugged his hand free, looked into my eyes, and said, “It’s OK Papi Papi, let me run, we are safe now.” In that instant, my eyes filled with tears as I watched my son running away to play, and I knew that we had made the right decision. With a smile, I looked at my other son in his stroller, squeezed my wife’s hand, and felt a peace that I hadn’t felt in many years.
After many years of separation, our first family reunion in Orlando found us “Together Like Old Times.” This tune is full of rhythmic and melodic intensity, the feeling of a heart beating with incalculable speed. I remember the pain in my chest during each everlasting hug, crying like I’ve never cried in my life, as if my soul reached outside of me to get inside each one of them. On that trip, I realized all the moments I had missed by their side and filled myself with my mother’s kisses and caresses, long chats with my father, reminiscences with my siblings about our childhood pranks and adventures, and having a blast with my nephews and nieces.
“Making Progress” tells of the rebirth of hope in the search for freedom and the will for change in my country. It articulates my heart’s deepest desire for a transformation in the political sphere of Venezuela that could enable myself and all my compatriots to return to our horribly mistreated land, to rebuild it and make it a place full of opportunities for all.
“Remembrances” is a bolero that invokes my earliest musical education at my parents’ home, playing music with my dad and countless other friends and musicians. These epic jams would last well into the next day! When I was a toddler, I built shakers for myself out of matchboxes and tiny rocks so that I could join the musicians. How much I learned, about music and about how to live a good life!
I wrote “The New Way of Freedom” for my good friend Ernesto Rangel after he was released from being falsely imprisoned by the Venezuelan regime. It is also a tribute to each one of my Venezuelan brothers and sisters that have been repressed, imprisoned or affected in any way by a corrupt government.

¡Sigamos adelante! Let us go forward, we must not fail. We beseech the world to continue listening and helping us overcome this devastating tragedy where all citizens, children and families have been subjected to the most unimaginable grief that Venezuelans have ever lived in our history. We deserve to have our rights back, to live without fear. Our freedom is close, I can feel it, and I know we can achieve it!

¡Dios bendiga a Venezuela! God Bless Venezuela!

Gonzalo Teppa


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