Omar Sosa

  Genre: Instrumental Jazz
  Performances at Java Jazz Festival:
Saturday March 8, 2008, Telkomsel
Sunday March 9, 2008, BNI 46
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About This Act :
The music of composer and pianist Omar Sosa is a unique style of Afro-Cuban jazz. While Sosa’s music is rooted in the folkloric traditions of the African Diaspora, he always takes an exploratory approach – never one to let orthodoxy stand in the way of his pursuit of freedom. Sosa offers a joyful mix of jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms, combining percussive forays inside the piano and a series of electronic effects with his inspired, passionate playing at the keyboard. His tempos are fluid, and his moods change freely. Sosa revels in the irresistible clave grooves of Latin jazz, while adding experimental touches to keep his listeners on their toes.

There’s an invigorating new jazz sound coming from Cuba, a music of great virtuosity and innovation drawing on a wide range of musical tradition – from Latin jazz to straight-ahead to European classical music. One of the leading ambassadors of this new Cuban sound is composer and pianist Omar Sosa.

The marriage of jazz and Cuban music – New World cousins related by African ancestry – has given birth to some of the most intoxicating music of the past 50 years. In New York in the late ’40s, Dizzy Gillespie and the fabled Cuban conguero Chano Pozo created a bracing new music merging Cuban polyrhythms with modern jazz harmony and improvisation. In Havana, a decade later, the legendary bassist-composer Israel “Cachao” Lopez fused mambo and jazz in late-night jam sessions that fueled Latin jazz and salsa. Today, young Cuban players are making remarkable music drawing on an even wider range of sounds – from secular and sacred AfroCuban forms to bebop, pop tunes, and free jazz.

The original and free-flowing Omar Sosa comes to us from this exciting vein. His impressionistic music encompasses cha-cha grooves and Monkish phrases, Yoruba chants, hip-hop beats, and rhapsodic melodies. The award-winning Cuban composer and pianist brings the economy of a Thelonious Monk and the melodic richness of a Keith Jarrett to the rhythmic power of Afro-Cuban music. You might say modern, urban music with a Latin jazz heart.

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