Known for his splendid tonalities and melodically outstanding charts, the Argentinian native demonstrates his superb skills on alto, tenor and soprano saxes, while employing a wide range of Panamerican references, from straight ahead to tango to candombe to samba to mambo. The source of Feldman's ease at crossing musical genres is his eclectic musical education.
Growing up in Cordoba around painters who gathered in the familly gallery art business, listening to his father's jazz records, he attended Conservatorio Provincial de Musica and was very soon part of the prominent music scene in his hometown, becoming a founding member of acclaimed band Los Musicos del Centro.
Oscar benefitted from a long association with Hermeto Pascoal, whom he met in 1979 and the next year, barely 19 years old, he was invited by the great bandoneonist and ECM artist Dino Saluzzi to join his group. He then moved to Buenos Aires, where his career took off, becoming a sought after studio musician, recording more than 40 albums as a sideman and touring with Argentina's most prominent artists. He won the Outstanding Performance Award as the Best Soloist in Fusion in 1986. Living and working in a big metropolis whetted Oscar's appetite for more and he procured the Achievement Scholarship Award from Berklee College of Music. With training form the best jazz teachers, he graduated cum laude in 1995 with a Major in Professional Music. Oscar began to realize that he could be an artist bridging both worlds and soon after was part of the United Nations Orchestra conducted by Dizzy's successor, Paquito D' Rivera.
Since moving to New York, Oscar quickly developed a well-deserved reputation as a versatile musician, as evidenced by his work with notable artists such as guitar legend Al Di Meola, Grammy winner and top producer/arranger Eumir Deodato, Jeff Tain Watts, Avantango, Paquito D'Rivera's United Nations Orchestra, Alex Acuna, Bebo Valdes and His All Star Latin Jazz Band, touring and performing at prestigious venues such as the Opera Vienna House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Town Hall in New York, Park La Villette in Paris, the Blue Note as well as many International Jazz Festivals in Europe, the Americas and Africa.
Among his numerous recordings as a sideman, Oscar recorded the album "Tropicana Nights" with a Big Band conducted by Paquito D'Rivera which received the Latin Grammy Award 2000 for "Best Latin Jazz Album", "Tribute to Mario Bauza" with Rudy Calzado and the Cubarama, Pablo Aslan's Avantango, which went on to be voted Best Album of the year by Jazz Times. He recorded for the soundtrack of the movie "Lust, Caution" by Academy Award winning director Ang Lee.
Feldman has led many touring projects enlisting the talents of notable musicians such as Horacio Negro Hernandez, Alex Acuna, Dave Samuels, Otmaro Ruiz and Tom Kennedy.
Oscar has been always passionate about teaching. Currently he is on the faculty at the New York Jazz Academy, has taught workshops and clinics at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and leads his own music jam classes weekly in New York. He also has written an article for Down Beat magazine; a solo transcription and analysis on Paquitos's solo on "Mambo Inn".
Feldman created quite an uproar by the end of the 1990's with his impressive recording debut as a leader "El Angel" (Songosaurus, 1999) The album received rave reviews and is enriched with the presence of various stellar guests including Gato Barbieri, Claudio Roditti, Alex Acuña and Paquito D'Rivera. Jazz great David Liebman writes in the Cd linear notes: "With this album you can sense that Feldman has experience in representing his personality. He has chosen to not merely record a pastiche of latin influenced music with the customary heavy percussion, but instead offers a panorama including a cha-cha, a tune based on a typical Uruguayan rhythm, several varieties of the tango, a bolero, a tune by Sting and even a true find which is "Wow" by Lennie Tristano arranged in a very clever way." With El Angel Feldman plays tribute to his idols: Gato Barbieri played on the title track "El Angel", a song that Oscar dedicated to him. Paquito D'Rivera played on the opening track, "Amigos Del Barrio", a song composed by Feldman that would eventually become part of Paquito's repertoire. Quoting Down Beat jazz magazine: "The intriguing title cut suggests Feldman is a formidable composer".
For his second album “Oscar e Familia”, it was the great Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal who was in charge of penning the title track. Released in 2009 on Sunnyside, the album is a splendid ten-track recording featuring an impressive Pan-American cast and all-star support team. Feldman enlisted mexican drummer Antonio Sanchez (Pat Metheny Group, Chick Corea), upcoming cuban pianist Manuel Valera, Puerto Rican bassist John Benitez and Curacao percussion master Pernell Saturnino for his core group. With special guests tenor sax titan Mark Turner, homeboy and lablemate trumpeter Diego Urcola, Pablo Aslan & Cuartetango and the Argentinean pop star Luis Alberto Spinetta. South American by birth, a tanguero by heart and and an improviser of the first order, Oscar Feldman's Oscar e Familia represents the beginning of the blend of hemispheres; a true jazz de las Americas. "...I think this album is the continuation of my first album..." Feldman writes in his CD linear notes,"which includes different spirits, colors and styles in the manner of an actor representing different roles. But always finding my own voice and personality in each one of them: the joy and humor of Latin rhythms, the sadness and melancholy of tango, the drama of swing and the pause and sweetness of the ballad."
In 2011 Oscar joined the Caribbean Jazz Project led by Grammy Winner Vibraphonist Dave Samuels, touring in Europe and Japan
Photographer: Kristin Kirkley
Festival: Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, 2012