ED Note: It’s Wednesday and music is in the air and not just because at midnight the 2011 New Orleans Jazz Fest schedule is going to be released! Hump day means Andrew Black is again performing at weekly Wine Down Wednesday celebration. And of course at REV Coffee, it’s open mic night from 8 – 10 p.m. as it is every Wednesday eve. The cool java joint on Spring Road has featured a plethora of talented performers in recent months, including Alejandro Valdivia, who entertained the Rev crowd last weekend.
Who is Alejandro Valdivia you might ask? Well, the Cuban born native is one of the Atlanta area’s newest members to the music scene and his style is best described as Latin infused folk with influences of classic American rock.
Alejandro’s musical journey began in the 1990s when his family relocated to Costa Rica. “My upbringing was very nomadic,’’ he said. “My parents enrolled me in music school when I was in third grade to keep me out of trouble. Over the years, with the many relocations it became a constant in my life.’’
During his residency in Tampa, Fla., Alejandro teamed up with his brother, bassist Gabriel Valdivia, along with a long time friend to form the band Triptico (derived from the word triptic which refers to a work of art). The band played mostly progressive rock and recorded a dual album in 2009, which has yet to be released.
In 2010, Alejandro decided to make his mark as a solo artist currently marketing his EP, which contains five original songs. Though he is in the process of working on his first CD, Alejandro is in no rush for the completion as he is slowly making the rounds of the Atlanta underground music circuit to establish himself.
He took the stage at REV Coffee last Friday evening. With the cold temperatures and icy roads, the crowd was light but Alejandro still performed a few of his songs. For those who don’t know, Rev requests music artists to perform only original material, no covers.
Smyrna resident Paul Dawn was in attendance for Alejandro’s show. “He puts everything he has into it,” Paul says. “I’ve heard him once before at an open mic and enjoyed his music then.”
Alejandro’s influences include Cuban folk singer Silvio Rodriguez, Argentinean folk singer Charlie Garcia, folk rock artists Damien Rice and Leonard Cohen, and the legendary Bob Dylan.
“I enjoy the artistic side of performing. I’m always trying to find a way to paint images with words, so it’s more of an introspective show I think,” said Alejandro of his performances. He says that his songs should be looked at as a collective whole and his music is about sitting down and actually listening to the messages.
“There is no linear story. My songs are not about anything specific, but rather a look inside; each person can look inside (themselves). I hope the songs provoke thought,” said Alejandro of his lyrics.
Alejandro said his music ranges from apathy to pure love, though it can be considered inspirational at times. He hopes people will continue to question things, such as the very nature of our existence, and that his music will be a conduit for the search. “You may not have the right answers but you can have the right questions,” he concluded.