Stories From Home - Paco Luviano & Hannah Burgé Luviano

Every week, we ask a different local artist to provide their unique perspective on the pandemic experience from a musician’s point of view. Through words, video and music, each musician will share their story, along with an audio or video sample of a recent project, and a link to purchase their music so that you can support their work.

This week, educators, composers and partners bassist Paco Luviano (PL) and vocalist Hannah Burge Luviano (HBL) discuss successful pivots, the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and using technology to bridge distances.

PL: For the first time in memory, my work has decreased. My collaborations and tours were cancelled, and they haven’t yet been rescheduled. I’ve been collaborating with artists via Zoom, pre-recording tracks, working on live streamed videos, playing concerts to low or no audiences and finding my way around plexiglass stages.

HBL: Several of my jazz research trips were cancelled over the last years, including a return to Havana, and stays in Mexico. Planned recording sessions have been postponed, and I’m working to get them back on the books. We put aside a proposed tour to Mexico City and Acapulco, and postponed an international collaboration with Paco’s brother, Rudy Luviano. Finally, my work pivoted towards a position as a professor at Humber College, where I teach vocal performance, music history, and ethnomusicology.

HBL: We have spent plenty of time in Prince Edward County, maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Spending time in nature and eating local food has been good therapy for Paco, the children, and I. I have been connecting with jazz musicians, predominantly women and non-binary folks, across the country and I’ve learned that distance doesn’t separate us from supporting one another.

PL: I’ve utilized new means to incorporate technology. I have been able to reach other musicians across borders, to continue and strengthen connections. I also realized it’s completely doable to have an online teaching practice to connect with folks here and internationally.

PL: We’ve experienced a lot of new music. Because of social distancing, Hannah and I have been playing more with our trio, which includes Tony Zorzi on guitar. We did a fun mini-concert for JazzFM91 earlier this year. We are rethinking smaller formats for groups. I’m working on a new record with Kuné: Canada’s Global Orchestra, which we are recording in smaller sections, to keep social distancing during the pandemic. I just released my first track as a bandleader on Bandcamp – It’s a Latin jazz song called, “lucky”. And I’ve been playing with Howard Reese (piano) in the Prince Edward County region, which has been a return to my roots. I grew up playing jazz with my dad, and played a lot of swing and blues at York and U of T - returning to this music feels like returning to a beautiful place.

HBL: This summer, I collaborated with Juno-winner Jocelyn Gould on a duo project - this music will be released in the coming weeks (Ryan McNabb engineer, Justin Gray mastering). I have been working with Paco on a new collaboration and percussionist artist extraordinaire, Luis Orbegoso (Peru). And I’ve been writing music for a new collaboration, a project which includes great artists - women from across the country.

Support Hannah and Paco by purchasing their music from Bandcamp:

Here's Hanna Burge's “Serenity”, made in collaboration with multi-media artist Justin Broadbent, and pianist Robi Botos:

And here's Paco Luviano playing “Fast Paced Life” with Dominic Mancuso (vocals), Tony Zorzi (guitar), Chendy Leon (percussion), and Jerry Carringi (keys):