Julieta Eugenio’s debut album features eight original compositions as well some choice jazz standards performed with her trio that includes bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Jonathan Barber.

Available now.

Released on March 4, 2022.

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery for artistic goals to come into focus, and that’s the story behind tenor saxophonist Julieta Eugenio’s debut album (pronunciation guide: who-lee-ETTE-ah EH-oo-HEN-yo), JUMP. Releasing on Dave Douglas’ label Greenleaf Music (which also gave us Donny McCaslin’s 2008 tenor trio classic Recommended Tools), Jump finds Eugenio at the helm of a superb trio with bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Jonathan Barber. Both happen to be based in Connecticut, an alluring getaway from the bleak conditions Eugenio faced in pandemic-stressed New York. “I remember the day Matt called me and said, ‘You should come up here, we can play with Jonathan, go for a hike, it will be fun.’ And that’s how it all started. I was writing new music at the time so we tried some of it and then for a month I was going up there almost every weekend.”

Recorded while musicians everywhere were facing an uncertain future, as Eugenio writes in her program notes, “This music gave me hope, it gave me the strength to keep moving forward and continue making music every day for the rest of my life. The album is like an open book reflecting on many feelings and life experience I’ve had these past years living in NYC. Jump will take you on a musical journey of sensations inspiring you to reflect on life, explore yourself and to take the Jump, or jumps, you may need in your life, to feel free, to feel alive.” We hear that adventurousness in the mellow waltz feel and intricate trio chemistry of “Jump,” the title track, which Eugenio describes as evoking “a period of loneliness, sadness, many changes, but a deep feeling of peace at the same time, getting rid of old habits. A jump into the unknown, the adrenaline of letting it go and feeling free again.”

Raised in a small city five hours from Buenos Aires, Eugenio earned a degree from the Manuel de Falla Conservatory for Jazz Performance, taking the first steps in developing her own voice in the idiom. She made the “jump” to the United States in 2013 and began pursuing her jazz goals full-time, earning a master’s degree in 2016 from the Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College. Her formal studies with Antonio Hart and experiences playing with fellow students and people on the New York scene paved the way for her tenor and compositional voices to come into their own.

The invigorating results are clear on JUMP, the first dispatch from Eugenio’s musical journey to date. On the cover, Eugenio is posed with tenor sax amid dense and lush forest green.

The leadoff track, “Efes,” translates to the plural of the letter “f” (i.e., more than one “f”), although not the key of F. Eugenio is hinting here at a unique synesthesia: she associates this tune with a yellow-orange hue and an array of “Efes.” The maturity of Eugenio’s tenor concept also comes across on the album’s two standards, “Flamingo” and “Crazy He Calls Me,” the latter as a tenor-bass duo with Dwonszyk. The theme of nature is also pronounced on Jump, in the music and Eugenio’s cover art. “I want the listener to have that feeling of walking in nature and finding peace even during chaos. There’s always a way out.”

“La Jungla” is pertinent in that regard, representing “the intensity of living in New York,” Eugenio remarks. The fiercely swinging “Snowbirds” and the ambiguously funky “Raccoon Tune” continue the nature theme as well. The raccoon in question took Eugenio by surprise while looking out her window in Queens. The gregarious varmint came around often, angling to get inside. He got a composition dedicated to him instead.

“Tres” touches on what Eugenio calls “the inner search, a call for freedom.” “Another Bliss” is about “the search for happiness, the feeling that things were going to change, that another bliss was on the way.” It’s an answer of sorts, perhaps, to the unresolved pain of the meditative ballad “For You” — “you can hear it in the melody that I was hurting,” says Eugenio, who cites Mingus and Strayhorn as influences on this song. While the piece may reveal “a crying heart,” as Eugenio writes, “a healing soul was awakening. The inner light was starting to shine again.”

Track Details

1. Efes
2. Jump
3. La Jungla
4. For You
5. Racoon Tune
6. Flamingo
7. Another Bliss
8. Crazy He Calls Me
9. Snowbirds
10. Tres

Total time: 60:06


Julieta Eugenio, tenor saxophone
Matt Dwonszyk, bass
Jonathan Barber, drums

Production Credits

Executive Producer: Dave Douglas
Producer: Julieta Eugenio
Recorded March 30, 2021 at Big Orange Sheep Recording Studios in Brooklyn, NY
Recording, mixing, and mastering by Michael Perez Cisneros
Photography by Nicolas Manassi
Graphic design by Lukas Frei

All compositions by Julieta Eugenio (Julieta Eugenio Music / BMI) except:
“Flamingo” by Ted Grouya & Edmund Aderson (Grouya Publishing Int. & Edwin H.
Morris & Company / ASCAP )
“Crazy He Calls Me” by Carl Sigman & Sidney Keith Russell (Music Sales Corporation /

Press Inquiries

Matt Merewitz
Fully Altered Media


Website: www.julieta-eugenio.com
Facebook: @Julieta-Eugenio-Music
Instagram: @julietaeugenio


“Eugenio’s tenor tone is round and polished as she plays about sadness with an ever-present tint of hopeful[ness].”
– Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz

“Its emphasis on composition and sophistication over speed and brawn is refreshing and Eugenio’s clear tone and passionate temperament are what make it happen.”
– Elliott Smith, NYC Jazz Record

“An admirably focused effort that often evokes the calm at the center of a storm.”
– Nate Chinen, WBGO Take Five

“She plays with the poise of someone who has spent years on the bandstand … JUMP stands out as one of the most promising debut albums I’ve heard in a long time.”
– James Hale, SoundStage Experience ★★★★

“Jump is an auspicious debut. Most newcomers try to dazzle with tone, soloing technique, and deliberately complex compositional chops. Conversely, Eugenio offers carefully expressed, seamless solos that shine inside diverse, welcoming compositions that showcase her understated yet infectious and commanding musicality.”
– Thom Jurek, All Music ★★★★