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Jazz: Meridian 71 – Nomvula (Mother of Rain)

A heavily cinematic tone thematic thread of ‘a search for belonging’ runs through the tracks of Meridian 71’s upcoming Metropolitan Sketches. The first track “Nomvula (Mother of Rain)” is inspired by the life-story of one of composer Giuseppe Paradiso’s very dear friends who’d immigrated from South Africa during apartheid. A black woman who arrived in Boston as a refugee when she was just twelve-years-old with no parents, no family, nothing, her life-story really resonated with Paradiso’s own search for belonging, which led him to the historied metropolitan immigrant hub. Musically, the track is a little bit of a combination of her life story merged with musical inspiration Paradiso felt after watching a movie about the life of John Coltrane.
Nomvula (Mother of Rain) is a track by Meridian 71, a band based in Boston since 2012. The group is led by drummer Giuseppe Paradiso. Nomvula has been released as part of an album named Metropolitan Sketches. Highly eclectic and certainly influenced by John Coltrane, a mixture of different music traditions, from Mediterranean to western African roots. According to Giuseppe, the band’s name comes from Boston’s longitude, meridian 71. According to him, that’s the place where he’s met musicians from different parts of the globe, with whom he connects and share a common tongue.