Release on October 14th. 2022
Back in the ‘90s in Cuba, when I was about 18 years old, I had a VHS tape of Omar Sosa playing an open-air concert for thousands of people. His playing was enchanting. And I watched that video almost every day, absorbing as much as I could, mesmerized by his art, never imagining that many years later I was going to be seated at a piano across from him on stage, playing together, learning from him, sharing life stories, and calling him friend.
We are from different generations yet we have the same aesthetic when it comes to music and how we approach our Duo. No words are needed when we play together. There is an instant connection, a musical understanding and a deep sense of trust which is so important, especially since we are constantly creating as we go, musical moments vanishing as soon as they arise.
And for me that makes this album so precious. We captured on record a unique evening, a moment in time that will never materialize again in the exact same way, an extraordinary experience that you now get to be part of.
When Corinna Rottschy and I first met to discuss the project DANZÓN CUBANO, I felt that it would be a special collaboration. I never dreamt it would turn out to be one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences that I’ve ever had. Furthermore, immortalising this project as an album is a dream come true. I have always loved working with an orchestra. My composition teacher, Mr. Tulio Peramo, told me that nothing compares to the feeling you experience when hearing your music being played by an orchestra for the very first time !
Then, when I became part of that orchestra, and we were playing my music, I was overwhelmed with such joy, happiness and gratitude.
This project was a labor of love from the very beginning. Much love and respect goes out to the outstanding team we had working so hard to make it all happen. I will always treasure the unforgettable night in Viersen that will never be repeated again.
If you were one of the many thousands in that audience, I hope you were able to feel that energy along with the composer and conductor Gordon Hamilton, the WDR Funkhaus Orchestra, Joo Kraus, my Trio and myself. And, If you are one of the millions ( hopefully ) that will listen to this recording, I wish to bring to you the exuberant colours of orchestral latin jazz and the exhilaration of a night like no other.
I would like to explain the general concept of this album and my personal approach in the process of choosing the songs: The artists on this album, are not only artists that I have always admired, but also artists with a very strong and defined musical identity. I stepped into their musical world, chose a tune that spoked to me and arranged it for a Duo, always keeping in mind the authenticity of the artist. It was a beautiful process and the result is magical: Each song has a very distinctive sound, each artist is represented as they are. It is very honest.