Astrid Hadad And The Necessary Art Of Mockery


Astrid Hadad

True, Jazz With an Accent is at times more about the “Accent” — the languages and ways in which, despite borders, walls and the awful noise, we try to share experiences and communicate — than it is about “Jazz.” But it was hard to pass up an opportunity to speak with the extraordinary Mexican singer, actress and performance artist Astrid Hadad and I hope after you hear her you’ll know why.
This piece was written for Artburst Miami


Astrid Hadad takes the absurd seriously. Her surreal brand of cabaret lampoons the marketing of Mexico’s cultural icons and reframes received historical truths. Her costumes, often marvels of movable set design, unfold, billow and blink. At one moment, she’s a living Diego Rivera calla lilies painting, and the next, a walking Aztec pyramid. She can turn herself into an altar, a revolver-shooting mama and a Frida Kahlo trinket. 

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Dave Holland, Chris Potter, and Zakir Hussain

This was the playlist for The Sammy Figueroa Show with Fernando Gonzalez on May 27, 2019. The theme was the tabla in a few of our favorite (unusual) settings.

“Ragalegria  (Part 2)”         Louis Winsberg              Jaleo                (2003)
“Yerbaguena (Occidente)”   Pepe Habichuela & The Bollywood Strings   Yerbaguena  (2004)
“Baba”       Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, Sikiru Adepoju Global Drum Project (2007)
“Mazad”                            Dave Holland, Chris Potter & Zakir Hussain  Live Unreleased
“Breathing Light”            Nitin Sawhney         Live At Ronnie Scott’s  ( 2017)
“Waterwheel”                   Oregon                         Out of The Woods (1978)

Back To Radio


Percussionist Sammy Figueroa. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.

Before becoming a blog, Jazz With an Accent ® was a radio show, a 10-program series about global jazz for WDNA 88.9 FM, Miami, to be precise. I love radio, I had a great time being part of WDNA’s programming, truly the “Serious Jazz” radio station in Miami, and since that project ended I’ve been trying to figure out the right follow-up.

As it turns out, old friend and master percussionist Sammy Figueroa, who has had a successful parallel career as a broadcaster on WBAI 99.5 FM New York and has hosted a popular weekly program on WDNA for the past 12 years, was getting restless and looking to shake things up. Last week we talked and he generously invited me to join him on his show with the idea of developing a new radio project. The new show has no name yet but you can count on interesting music (and if you are reading this you know it will not be just jazz), a global perspective, good talk (Sammy is a very funny storyteller) and yes, improbable segues.

Listen every Monday at 11 am, Miami time, at and check this space for our set lists.