In Conversation With 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...

Wilbert Sostre Interviews Puerto Rican Guitar Legend 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...

Conversation with Amanda Martínez

As part of the Royal Conservatory 2012-2013 Season, World Music Series, World Music, Pop, Royal Conservatory Presents: Amanda Martínez with Special Guest Javier Limón...

One on One with Danilo Pérez: 10th Panama Jazz Festival

The Panama Jazz Festival was founded in September 2003 by Panamanian Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Pérez. A Fulbright Scholar, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Cultural Ambassador of...

Conversation with Jorge Gómez, Musical Director of Tiempo Libre

As part of the Royal Conservatory 2012-2013 Season, ¡Qué Rica Cuba! Series, "Tiempo Libre" makes an appearance at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Saturday,...

Conversation with Pianist, Composer Alfredo Rodríguez

As part of the Royal Conservatory 2012-2013 Season, ¡Qué Rica Cuba! Series, the Alfredo Rodríguez Trio makes an appearance at Koerner Hall in Toronto...

Conversation with Jorge Luis Torres ‘Papiosco’

Conga player and percussionist Jorge Luis Torres “Papiosco” was born in Havana City in 1969 He began to play Cuban percussion as a 3 years...

Conversation with Pianist, Composer Sebastian Schunke

"Sebastian Schunke brings with Life and Death a new and very intimate touch to his music – piano solo. For the first time Sebastian...

Conversation with Guitarist Brian Moran

Grupo Falso Baiano is a choro group that offers a window into the history and diverse culture of Brazil. Choro is one of Brazil's earliest popular musics, dating back to the late 1800s, and, similar to jazz, it reflects the melding of African rhythms with a melodic and harmonic structure closely resembling Baroque Classical music. G.F.B.'s exploration of choro spans nearly 100 years, including everything from the traditional to more contemporary [...]

Conversation with Brazilian artist Antonio Adolfo – Chora Baião

Antonio Adolfo grew up in a musical family in Rio de Janeiro (his mother was a violinist in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra), and began his studies at the age of seven. At seventeen he was already a professional musician. His teachers include Eumir Deodato and the great Nadia Boulanger in Paris. During the 60's he led his own trio and toured with singers Elis Regina and Milton Nascimento. Adolfo wrote tunes that gained great success and have [...]

Catching Up with Percussionist, Composer, Arranger Samuel Torres

My grandfather, Manuel Martinez was a trombone player. He came from a small town in southern Colombia near Ecuador. At the age of fourteen he escaped from the Ecuadorian army and he traveled throughout the Caribbean during the 1930s and 1940s. Before returning to Colombia he picked up a lot of musical influences. My grandmother was a self-taught musician and my uncle, Francisco Martinez, who is the father of (pianist, composer, arranger) Edy Martinez [...]

In Conversation with Saxophonist, Composer, Arranger Mercedes Figueras

When Mercedes and I met in person the first thought that crossed my mind was, “How is such a small person capable of producing such a LARGE sound?” During the course of my conversation with Mercedes I received the answer to that and many other questions about her life and music. As a music journalist, it gives me great pleasure to lend my support to exceptional new artists who are “under the radar.” Meet Mercedes Figueras and the Black Butterflies [...]
Oscar Valdés Founder of Irakere

Oscar Valdés, founder of Irakere and now band leader of Diákara

Irakere was Cuba’s invention to enable the Cuban scene to compete with the international rock music development. The innovative band became a great success and won a Grammy in the 70s. The Cuban state cut the success tour when it forced the group to cancel their concerts in the US in favour of local events. The founders Chucho Valdés, Cuba’s most famous pianist until today, and Oscar Valdés, percussionist and singer, are two of Cuba’s [...]

In Conversation with Flutist, Composer, Arranger, Mark Weinstein

The reason I am focusing on Pedrito is that "Timbasa" is as much his project as it is mine. He co-produced the recording and set things up in response to a funny challenge. I ran into him somewhere and he asked me when we were going to collaborate on another project. Sort of goofing on him I said, "Find me a piano player and a bass player who are as good as you and bring a couple of drummers." I had no idea what he was going to deal me! [...]

Um Abraço Pra Claudio – An Interview with Claudio Roditi

Interview conducted by: Raul da Gama My palms are wet, but I am not nervous—just uncontrollably excited to be talking with Claudio Roditi, an iconic...

A Conversation with Percussionist, Bandleader Poncho Sanchez

Speaking with someone you have idolized for years is never an easy task. So it was with some trepidation that I dialed Poncho Sanchez’s telephone number and held my breath. When he answered the telephone we exchanged pleasantries and he quickly informed that he could only give me 15 minutes of his time. Somewhat disappointed, I pressed on and lo and behold, an hour and a half later we were still on the telephone! [...]

Roberto Fonseca: A Life in the Spirit

The considerable talent of Cuban pianist, Roberto Fonseca has now spread far and wide and if there was another dimension to enter, it would be the one that qualifies an artist to greatness. However, Fonseca fights shy of any attention that distracts from his music. A deeply spiritual person, who just happens to express himself through his art he prefers to defer to the mysterious, invisible force that compels him to make music [...]

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