Saturday, May 30, 2020

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 [...]

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...

In Conversation with Andrea Zapata-Girau

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...

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 Manuel Valera

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...

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...

Papo Vázquez Celebrates 40 Years…

Trombonist, Composer, Arranger, Papo Vázquez Celebrates 40 Year Anniversary and Musical Legacy and the Release of his Latest Album Spirit Warrior "Although his name is...

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...

NYC Latin On Lex: A Latin Jazz Fest

"The Y is a first rank cultural institution, and it’s an honor and a privilege to help them with this new festival, and hopefully serve as a bridge..."
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 [...]

Cuban Roots – Conversation With Mark Weinstein

Essential Albums: Mark Weinstein's Cuban Roots and Cuban Roots Revisited The following is an excerpt from an interview I conducted with Mark Weinstein in 2006....

Alex Conde Releases “Descarga For Monk”

Alex Conde was born into a family of artists indigenous to Spain. His father, Alejandro Conde, is a superstar singer in the style of “Cancion Española.”
Elio Villafranca: Epic Journey in search of Cinque

Elio Villafranca: Epic Journey in search of Cinque

There has always been a healthy restlessness to Elio Villafranca. When I spoke to him in February 2015 he was about to debut a...

Dafnis Prieto On “Triangles and Circles”

Dafnis Prieto - Biography A classically trained musician who absorbed from an early age the multifaceted percussive traditions of his native Cuba, Prieto transposes elements...

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,...
Dafnis Prieto: To the Sunset… and Beyond

Dafnis Prieto: To the Sunset… and Beyond

Of the many – and often chameleonic – ways to describe the music of Dafnis Prieto the word “questing” comes to mind most often...

Jazz En La Encrucijada: Los Pasos de Elegguá

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...

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 [...]

Nikki Denner & Cocomama: A Conversation

“Denner is a super strong pianist, and her arrangements are full of rhythmic order; when she’s improvising she brings a ton of harmony and...

Q&A with David Sánchez about his album CARIB

As a follow up to our Carib album review we present a Q&A with David Sánchez expanding on some topics around this wonderful project,...