Chiva mixes it up

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Cliff Lee
Arts & Entertainment Editor

Latin American jazz group Chiva represents “cross-pollination ideology. The great art of mixing art forms,” says music director Nick “Brownman” Ali.

Chiva took life when band leader Ruben “Ben*E” Esguerra wanted to combine Colombian rhythms with an urban aesthetic and went straight to Ali, an award-winning latin-jazz trumpeter, for help.

Ali hopes the genre-bending beats of Chiva will make a splash at Olympic Island. “What makes [great artists] great is their ability to take risks and that’s something Canadians aren’t concerned about because everyone’s so nice,” he says. “I don’t believe in dumbing down a damn thing.”

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