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Though the Miami New Drama-commissioned “Queen of Basel” will have its official world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. next season, you don’t have to wait or travel to discover how playwright Hilary Bettis has reimagined August Strindberg’s controversial 1888 classic “Miss Julie.” With three powerful actors and a small audience sharing the stage space at Miami Beach’s Co..

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“America’s Greatest and Least Known Playwright.”This is how the Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes is referred to several times throughout Michelle Memran’s documentary “The Rest I Make Up,” which makes its Florida debut this Saturday as part of Miami-Dade College’s Miami Film Festival. Fornes has been called the “Mother of Avant-Garde Theater.” Theater giants like Edward A..

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The first time the Amernet performed “The Seven Last Words of Christ” during Holy Week – the week leading up to Easter -- the string quartet played in darkness. Just hours before, cellist Jas..

Drummer Dafnis Prieto and pianist Omar Sosa closed this year’s Global Cuba Fest at the Light Box in Wynwood, Miami, with shows on Friday and Saturday, March 16-17 that suggested a sort of mus..

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Omar Sosa: Festival Internacional de Jazz de Miami

Photo:
Written by: Fernando Gonzalez
Article Rating

 

Para el pianista y compositor cubano Omar Sosa la noción de una cultura global, sin fronteras, no es un concepto abstracto sino un tema personal. En su música, elementos de hip hop y rumba, ritmos de los Gnawa de Marruecos, un blues y cantos de la música ritual de los Orishas (o Santería), conviven, se mezclan y se potencian de una manera natural y sorprendente.

Para Sosa, son simplemente diferentes expresiones de una misma raíz africana.
“Somos todos hijos de la misma madre,” escribió Sosa en sus notas para su disco Afreecanos (2008). “Y aunque nuestros sonidos son diferentes por la geografía, todos estamos cerca en esencia, concepto y raíz.”

Su trío con el trompetista italiano Paolo Fresu y el percusionista indio Trilok Gurtu sugueren una fascinante vuelta de tuerca a esas ideas, vuelta que no solo las reafirma sino que las expande.

Gurtu, Fresu y Sosa, en su primera gira por los Estados Unidos, actúan con el Dillard Center for the Arts Jazz Ensemble, cerrando el 4to Festival Internacional de Jazz de Miami en el Wertheim Performing Arts Center de la Escuela de Música de FIU el próximo sábado (abril29) a las 8 p.m. (Para ver el programa completo del festival visite www.miamiinternationaljazzfest.org )

Sosa, 52, nació en Camagüey y después de terminar sus estudios en la Escuela Nacional de Música y el Instituto Superior de Arte de La Habana salió de gira con su primer grupo, visitando Angola, Congo, Etiopía y Nicaragua. En 1993 se mudó a Quito, Ecuador y de allí a la llamada Bay Area en California, primero en San Francisco y luego en Oakland, antes de asentarse en Barcelona, España, en 1999. Fue durante su estancia en Ecuador, trabajando con músicos y cantantes afro-ecuatorianos de la región costeña de Esmeralda, donde Sosa se encontró con muchas, y profundas, similitudes con la cultura afro-cubana.

El descubrimiento lo inspiró a investigar y explorar los lazos entre las culturas de la diáspora africana. “En Cuba siempre tienes la historia de la negritud alrededor, pero la tienes tan cerca que no la aprecias,” dijo Sosa en una entrevista en una previa visita a Miami. En esa búsqueda, plasmada ya en más de 25 álbumes, Sosa ha utilizado todo tipo de ensambles e instrumentaciones — incluyendo dúos, tríos y cuartetos, pero también big bands de jazz y orquestas sinfónicas, mezclando desde tambores batá, clarinetes y computadoras a percusión afro-venezolana e instrumentos como el n’goni (un laúd de África Occidental).

Sosa habló desde Rennes, Francia, donde estaba preparando un concierto con la Orchestre National de Bretagne.

Tú has usado todo tipo de formatos musicales, desde dúos de piano y percusión y cuartetos de jazz a orquestas sinfónicas. ¿Cómo surge este trío?

El proyecto originalmente era con Trilok Gurtu y [el percusionista brasileño] Airto Moreira, dos músicos extraordinarios, pero hubo problemas de calendario con Airto y como alternativa, en vez de buscar otro percusionista, le propuse a Trilok incluir un instrumento melódico. Trilok para mí es un referente. En la escuela en La Habana estudié percusión, soy percusionista, y tocar con Trilok es como cenar la mejor comida con el mejor vino (se ríe). Él fue uno de los primeros que entró en lo que hoy se llama World Jazz. Y su universo [musical] es tan personal y a la vez tan universal que de pronto está tocando India y se te va a África.

Yo no conozco a nadie que sepa más sobre la música africana que Trilok. Pero para el trío, de cara a la mezcla de culturas y al lirismo que podíamos darle a la música, agregar un instrumento melódico me parecía mucho más interesante [que buscar otro percusionista]. Paolo y yo venimos tocando juntos hace años, tenemos ya dos discos como dúo [Alma, 2012 y Eros, 2016] y nos llevamos de maravillas. El es de Cerdeña, es un isleño, como yo, y el estar rodeado de mar te impregna de algo especial, no creas, y eso también nos une. Nosotros en Cuba tenemos mucha África, pero en Cerdeña también tienen mucha África, y en el mundo vocal, ellos tienen cosas que se asemejan a las tradiciones campesinas nuestras, como el punto guajiro.

Cada formato requiere una manera diferente de tocar, de presentar la música. ¿Cómo ha afectado tu estilo el ser parte de este trío,?

Desde la grabación de Mulatos mi productor Steve Arguelles me viene diciendo “No es necesario sacar músculo todo el tiempo. Hay muchas maneras de llegarle a la gente”. Y eso es algo que nosotros los cubanos y los latinos no siempre tenemos en cuenta. Poco a poco he estado buscando ese camino de tocar “canciones sin palabras,” de aprender a dejar espacio, de tocar menos. Es la filosofía de Miles [Davis] quien decía que, a veces, la mejor nota es la que no tocas. Es el arte de encontrar la magia en el silencio, y eso con Paolo se da muy fácil.

Todo en tu música, desde la composición y los arreglos a la instrumentación y la interpretación, habla de un mundo sin fronteras, de conexiones, de encuentros, justo en un momento en que inmigración es un tema caliente, y doloroso, en Europa y aquí en los Estados Unidos. ¿Cuál es tu perspectiva?

Hace 3 días tocamos en Calais, Francia, en un centro cultural guapísimo, con el proyecto Transparent Water (Agua Transparente) con el músico y cantante senegalés Seckou Keita. Había un frio de pelar, pero había una instalación de cuatro chicos que estaban subidos en el quinto piso del edificio con unos carteles enormes que decían: “Aunque cierren las fronteras nunca impedirán que la gente viaje y que la gente se encuentre.” Y así es. Aunque los políticos quieran cerrar puertas por un problema de poder y de estrategia económica, eso ya no se puede parar, porque si la gente no viaja físicamente, viaja cibernéticamente. La humanidad es mezcla.

Si Va

Quien: El trio Trilok Gurto, Paolo Fresu y Omar Sosa, parte del 4to Festival Internacional de Jazz de Miami.

Cuando: Sabado, abril 29, 2017 a las 8:00 p.m.

Donde: Wertheim Performing Arts Center, FIU’s School of Music,

10910 SW 17th St,Miami

Tickets: $20 - $25 a la venta en www.miamiinternationaljazzfest.org

Para más información llamar305-491-3588.

 


 



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Music writer, associate editor of the Latin GRAMMY Print & Special Projects for The Latin Recording Academy

Emmy-winner and GRAMMY®-nominated writer, critic, and editor Fernando González is the associate editor of The Latin GRAMMY Print & ..

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