Mistura Fina was founded by percussionist Frank Ayala in 2000 and is currently co-led with saxophonist Alex Nekrasov. Based in Denver, the group regularly performs concerts at festivals, nightclubs, special events, and other venues. It’s critically acclaimed recording, A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That, is a representation of Mistura Fina’s various musical influences.
Mistura Fina, loosely translated from Portuguese, means “A Fine Mixture” and in the music of Mistura Fina, you will hear a fine mixture of South American musical styles.” Ayala explains, “One of the great things about jazz today is musicians from around the world continue to elaborate their styles and traditions to create an always growing, never-ending musical form.”
Ayala and his musicians have dug deep to discover arrangements of traditional songs that fit into their unique latin-jazz format. Often, listeners will approach the band to let them know that a particular song has triggered a memory from their homeland or an arrangement has special meaning from their childhood or another time in their life.
Per former band member Andrew Hudson, “Many people I’ve met are surprised to hear that musicians from Denver have been exposed to these styles,” Hudson said. “But Denver has always been a mixing pot of musical styles.” Denver has always been a tour stop for some of the great Latin jazz artists like Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez and others.”
“If we were to describe our music, there’s really one word that comes to mind: diversity,” says Ayala. “Every song we perform is linked to the passion of the traditions and cultures of people from around the world. Sometimes the passion is reflected when people dance to our music and other times it is seen in the tears of a listener created by a strong emotion of a beautiful melody.”