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Jesus Molina | “Selah”

Virtuoso Colombian Pianist

Jesus Molina Presents Selah

A Stunning Album at the Crossroads of

Discipline and Global Fusion

Featuring Bassist Guy Bernfeld and Drummer Cain Daniel

with Guests Hubert Laws, Noel Scharjris and Lucia Micarelli

Available Today on Digital Platforms

via Dynamo Productions

Vinyl & CD Available on June 28

“Excellence in sonic form. Joyous effortless playing based on years of hard work.”

– Jimmy Jam

“Jesus Molina is an extraordinary and wonderful musician, he never ceases to amaze me every time I hear him play….Selah is a blessing and marks the beginning of a great career for a musician with inexhaustible talent”

– Juan Luis Guerra

“I am blown away by this project. It is thought provoking, it’s passionate, it’s crisp, it’s clean, it’s ambitious, it’s cinematic, it’s heartfelt, it’s everything you’d ever want in a musical project of this highest caliber.”

– Greg Phillinganes

“Selah is like having your hands on a keychain with which you can open all the possible doors of musical harmony with taste and much, much virtuosity”

– Juanes 

A world-class jazz pianist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and successful online piano tutor, 27-year-old Jesus Molina is a one-man force of nature, a Berklee College of Music grad and Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation award winner who has already carved out an impressive career. His brand-new instrumental album Selah – a blessing meaning “praise” or “lift up” – perfectly captures his spiritual approach to music; 10 songs that soar to celestial heights, featuring Molina on piano and soprano saxophone, fronting a trio including bassist Guy Bernfeld and drummer Cain Daniel, two fellow Berklee alumni. Selah will be released on vinyl, CD and streaming on May 24th via Argentine/Mexican musician Noel Schajris’ independent label Dynamo Productions.

From the exotic Middle Eastern overture on the opening title track to the climactic “Out of a Dream,” which could be the orchestral end credit score to an epic movie, Selah introduces a major talent who takes cues from such jazz piano greats as Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea, Art Tatum, Errol Garner and Bill Evans, but has developed his own style on his new release.

Jazz legend Hubert Laws provides flute and piccolo solos to the playful Brazilian/Cuban Latin rhythms of “Dear Fall,” while label owner (and Sin Bandera member) Schajris provides wordless a cappella vocals to the dreamy, hopeful “Soul Journey,”. Lucia Micarelli’s haunting violin marks “Melody,” a song Molina spontaneously wrote for his newborn daughter, while he returns to the soprano sax for the adventurous “Quintuplets,” named for the unusual “5/4” time signature adopted midway through. “Blue New Year” evinces an Arabian/Moorish influence, while the dramatic “Kadoshin” (Hebrew for a holy instrument) offers another paean to God’s glory, with its dynamic juxtaposition of chaos and peace, followed by the tumultuous “everything everywhere all at once” of “Caf,” a melting pot cauldron of Molina’s diverse influences.

“All the music that comes out of me that can’t be explained is from God and my relationship to Him,” Molina says. “I’m just His vessel.”

Produced by music business veteran, former Blood, Sweat & Tears founding member and drummer Bobby Colomby at Los Angeles’ fabled Village Studios, Selah offers an introduction to what Colomby calls “a once-in-a-lifetime talent” whose promise coaxed him back to a managerial role as well after working with the likes of The Jacksons, Jaco Pastorius and Leo Amuedo.

“I hadn’t been inspired by anything musically for a long time until I heard Jesus,” Colomby says. “It’s not about the number of notes you can play, but being able to create memorable melodies spontaneously.”

The second oldest of four children born in Sincelejo, Colombia, on the northern coast near Cartagena, Jesus Molina’s parents were both lawyers, while he turned out to be the only one with musical talent in his family. He was encouraged to pursue that passion by his grandmother, who gifted him a Casio keyboard when he was four years old, and he proceeded to plunk out the notes to “Happy Birthday,” to the encouragement of his mom, eventually teaching himself to play the saxophone before taking up the piano again as a teenager.

Molina had never been to America when he first flew into Boston in May 2016 to attend Berklee, earning tuition as part of the Latin Grammy’s Juan Luis Guerra Scholarship, taking ESL classes to learn to speak English along the way. “When they asked me about my dreams in music, all I could say was, ‘I Jesus Colombia… I love orange juice.’ But what I meant was, I want to be the next Chick Corea.”

And while his technical ability has led him to a role as an online Zoom tutor with a following of 25,000 students, Molina’s music is anything but sterile noodling, with an appreciation for accessible pop melodies which originally attracted him to the sax stylings of Dave Koz and Kenny G. But his life was forever changed viewing a video of Canadian piano jazz great Oscar Peterson, known as “the King of inside swing,” dubbed “the Maharaja of the keyboard,” by no less than Duke Ellington.

You can hear those influences on Selah, but that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Molina’s crossover potential, with planned future albums devoted to pop vocal in Spanish and English, making him a true triple-threat.

But it is not only his musical ability which astounds, but his personal story, going from more than 375 pounds down to 175 thanks to gastric sleeve surgery in 2018 and a large helping of self-discipline. “Once I lost all that weight, it freed the position of my arms and hands so that I could be much more flexible and comfortable playing,” Molina says. “And I have much more energy.”

After several previous recordings, including Agape (God’s Love) and Departing, featuring covers of classic jazz standards such as Chick Corea’s “Spain” or Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia,” along with several originals, Molina is looking forward to performing the newly penned Selah songs in front of live audiences. “I love playing for people,” added Molina. “That’s still my favorite part of making music.”

Selah is a musical blessing, a sacred symphony to transport this troubled world into a more joyful space. The world is about to discover Jesus Molina for themselves.

Photo Credit: Carlos Montes

“This new Jesus Molina record is just staggeringly brilliant. Just one of the most musical, creative records I’ve heard in ages. Just fabulous.”

– Mark Isham

“When I first heard Jesus Molina’s song ‘Blue New Year’ I said to my self ‘Oh my god this sounds exactly like what Mozart would have written had he been alive today.’ Mozart was a genius and so is Jesus Molina.”

– Dennis Alves, Director of Artistic Planning, Boston Pops

“I’m a huge fan of Jesus Molina, an incredible, amazing, piano virtuoso and a really cool composer too.”

– Billy Childs

“An instant classic. Jesus and his whole band takes you on a journey that reminded me of what I always loved about Chick Corea and Weather Report albums. SELAH is a soulfully elegant collection of beautifully produced songs. Jesus Molina is an artist who is truly gifted and is touched by magic.”

– Robbie Nevil

Jesus Molina · Selah

Dynamo Productions · Release Date: May 24, 2024

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