In Conversation with Pianist David Virelles

David Virelles

David Virelles - Photo by Juan Hitters Born and raised in Cuba, pianist and composer David Virelles grew up in a musical family, his father a renown singer-songwriter and his mother a flautist in the Santiago de Cuba Symphony. He started studying classical music at age seven, as well as being exposed to the large array of musical forms in the island. Eventually, David … [Read more...]

Q & A With Dr. Felipe Salles

Felipe Salles

A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Felipe Salles is an Assistant Professor of Jazz and African-American Music Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2010. Being an active musician in the US since 1995, he has had the opportunity to work and record with prominent jazz artists like Randy Brecker, David Liebman, Lionel Loueke, George Russell, Gunther Schuller, … [Read more...]

Q&A With Cultural Historian Ivor Miller

Ivor Miller 0

Q&A with Ivor Miller, Cultural Historian, Author And Senior Lecturer at the Department of History and International Studies at the University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. Prior to meeting Ivor Miller I’d heard about the book, Voice of the Leopard – African Secret Societies in Cuba, which has been described as, “an unprecedented tracing of an African … [Read more...]

Jazz En La Encrucijada: Los Pasos de Elegguá

Jazz at the Crossroads

Cada martes durante estas últimas dos semanas he visitado Minton's. Ubicado en la calle 118 y la avenida St. Nicholas, está en el mismo corazón de Harlem. Ahí presencié los primeros dos espectáculos de una serie titulada "Jazz en le Encrucijada: Los Pasos de Elegguá". Empezó el día 13 de mayo y continúa todos los martes hasta el 26 de agosto. Aquella primera noche fué todo un … [Read more...]

Conversation With Dita Sullivan

Jazz at the Crossroads

For the past two Tuesdays, I have been stopping by at Minton’s on 118th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, in the heart of Harlem for the first two shows of Jazz at the Crossroads – The Dance of Eleggua, which runs from May 13th to August 26th. The first evening got off to a flying start with drummer, composer Francisco Mora-Catlett’s AfroHORN, an ensemble that draws its … [Read more...]

Conversation with Pianist Manuel Valera

Manuel Valera 1

Manuel Valera: The wunderkind of the New Musical Express on music and life Although it may not have happened that way, pianist Manuel Valera seems to have burst on the New York music scene. Of course he was born in Cuba, but then—it seems—he appeared in New York as if by magic, announced his genius and began to sub with some of the finest musicians in the city. His roll call … [Read more...]

In Conversation with Andrea Zapata-Girau

Guitarra de Palo 2

In Conversation with Director, Co-Producer, Co-Scriptwriter, Editor and Cinematographer Andrea Zapata-Girau on the U.S. Premiere of Guitarra de Palo Andrea Zapata-Girau studied classical guitar in Mayeusis Conservatory (1994-2004) and studied music at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In addition, she studied Audiovisual Communication at Pompeu Fabra University … [Read more...]

Catching Up with Pianist, Composer, Arranger Osmany Paredes

Osmany Paredes

On the Release of Trio Time (Menduvia Music, 2013) By Tomas Peña In 1998 a group of young, Cuban musicians residing on Aztec soil formed a collective and named it “Menduvia” (as in tasty and/or flavorful. The result was “Osmany Paredes con Menduvia,” a recording that has endured the test of time. The music was nothing if not progressive, diverse, uplifting and bursting with … [Read more...]

In Conversation With Drummer, Composer, Arranger, Artistic Director, Francisco Mora-Catlett


“Music is about freedom, that’s what it proposes, that’s why it’s so popular and that’s why people love it. And it’s not freedom that come without discipline. This is something that Sun Ra taught me very well. You have to be disciplined in order to obtain the tools to express freedom.” Francisco Mora-Catlett Interview Conducted By: Tomas Peña - Oct 2013 For nearly 50 … [Read more...]

Wilbert Sostre Interviews Puerto Rican Guitar Legend Jorge Laboy

Jorge Laboy

A couple of weeks after receiving a well deserved homage by the Puerto Rico Senate, I sat down with Puerto Rican guitar legend and personal idol, Jorge Laboy. Wilbert Sostre: Let’s talk about your beginnings in music. Jorge Laboy: My father played guitar and also sold guitars, so there were always guitars at home. And since I was a little kid I took the guitar and tried to … [Read more...]