BBC Radio Award for World Music Nomination 2006

The next Omar Sosa Quartet tour in the United States will feature R&B saxophone great Pee Wee Ellis (of James Brown and Van Morrison fame), together with drum & bass pioneer Marque Gilmore, and bassist Childo Tomas from Mozambique, scheduled for April 18 to May 7, 2006. This ensemble recently completed a highly successful run at Blue Note Tokyo in Japan, so we are pleased to announce this tour period offering in the U.S. and Canada.

For information on presenting the Omar Sosa Quartet featuring special guest saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis during this period, please contact Eye For Talent at 650-595-2274, or bill@eyefortalent.com, or scott@melodia.com.

We are also pleased to announce that Omar Sosa has just received a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music nomination 2006 in the Americas category, along with Ry Cooder, Seu Jorge, and Carlos Vives. For a complete list of BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music nominees along with information on the Audience Award, please visit:

www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldmusic/a4wm2006/nominees.shtml

Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 18 on a live edition of BBC Radio 3’s World Routes program, and the Poll Winners Concert will take place at the Brixton Academy in London on Friday, April 7.

Omar Sosa’s upcoming December 2005 tour in Europe, featuring percussionist Ang Diaz and bassist Childo Tomas, includes the following dates:

December 1 L’Equinox, Chateauroux, France QUINTET
December 3 Concert Congress Hall, Vilnius, Lithuania TRIO
December 9 Scene Nationale, St. Quentin en Yvelines, France QUINTET
December 10 Scene Nationale Bonlieu, Annecy, France QUINTET
December 11 La Spirale, Fribourg, Switzerland TRIO
December 12 Le Cheval Blanc, Schiltigheim, France TRIO
December 13 Dewarande, Turnhout, Belgium QUINTET
December 14 Espace Senghor, Brussels, Belgium TRIO
December 15 De Spiegel, Sint Niklaas, Belgium TRIO
December 16 Het Burgerweeshuis, Deventer, Netherlands TRIO
December 17 Cultuurcentrum Strombeek, Grimbergen, Belgium TRIO
December 18 Bimhuis, Amsterdam, Netherlands TRIO

For details, please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar Sosa’s remarkable new CD release “Ballads” (OTA1015) is available at www.melodia.com/order.php. Writing about “Ballads” in a recent issue of the LA Weekly, Greg Burk concluded, “It’s lilting, melodious, but never cloying – you hear moment-to-moment focus, you understand that the emotion is real, and you feel that the spirit is present”. A must-have collection for Omar Sosa fans…

Also available is Omar Sosa’s latest CD release, “Mulatos Remix”, on iTunes:

www.apple.com/itunes

For worldwide booking and distribution information, please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar Sosa Nomination for Latin Jazz Album of the Year; Spring-Summer 2005 Tour Schedule

We are pleased to announce that Omar Sosa and his CD, “Mulatos” (OTA1015), have been nominated for Latin Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards 2005. Recordings by Charlie Haden, Jerry Gonzalez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba have also been nominated in this category. The 9th Annual JJA Jazz Awards celebration, presented by BETJazz, will take place on Tuesday, June 14 at B.B. King’s Blues Club in NYC. For more information, please visit www.jazzjournalistsawards.com.

Mulatos features:
Paquito DRivera, clarinet
Dhafer Youssef, oud
Dieter Ilg, bass
Steve Arguelles, drums
Renaud Pion, clarinets
Philippe Foch, tabla

Mulatos is available online at www.melodia.com/order.php.

Omar Sosas Spring and Summer Touring Schedule 2005, including France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Morocco, England, U.S.A., Australia, and New Zealand:

May 11
Casa Da Musica
Porto, PORTUGAL
www.casadamusica.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Childo Tomas, bass

May 12
Radio FIP Live Broadcast
Paris, FRANCE
www.radiofrance.fr/chaines/fip/accueil
Quartet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Childo Tomas, bass

May 13
Salle Dutilleux
Amiens, FRANCE
+333 22 97 79 77
Duo, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion

May 14
Palatia Jazz Festival, Festsaal at Herrenhof
Neustadt an der Weinstrabe, GERMANY
www.palatiajazz.de
Quintet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

May 15
Cremona Progetto Jazz, Teatro Gonzaga
Ostiano, ITALY
www.cremonaonline.it

May 19
New Morning
Paris, FRANCE
www.newmorning.com
Quartet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Marque Gilmore, drums; Childo Tomas, bass

May 20
Le VIP
Saint Nazaire, FRANCE
www.les-escales.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Doctor L, drums

May 21
L’Aronef
Lille, FRANCE
www.aeronef-spectacles.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Doctor L, drums

May 27
Tanjazz
Tanger, MOROCCO
www.tanjazz.com
Quintet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

U.K. TOUR:

May 29
Bath Jazz Weekend
Bath, ENGLAND
www.bathmusicfest.org.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

May 30
Queen Elizabeth Hall
London, ENGLAND
www.rfh.org.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

May 31
Salisbury Festival
Salisbury, ENGLAND
www.salisburyfestival.co.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

June 2
Phoenix
Exeter, ENGLAND
www.exeterphoenix.org.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

June 3
South Hill Park, Wilde Theatre
Bracknell, ENGLAND
www.southhillpark.org.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

June 4
Wychwood Festival
Cheltenham, ENGLAND
www.wychwoodfestival.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

June 5
World Music Weekend, Glee Club
Birmingham, ENGLAND
www.glee.co.uk
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Dhafer Youssef, oud & vocals

June 11
Santa Maria Dello Spasimo
Palermo, ITALY
www.brassgroup.it
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Childo Tomas, bass

June 23
Festival Complujazz
Jardn Botnico, Universidad Complutense
Madrid, SPAIN
www.ucm.es
Quartet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

U.S.A. TOUR:

June 26
Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Great Barrington, MA, U.S.A.
www.mahaiwe.org
Trio, featuring Mino Cinelu, percussion; Geoff Brennan, acoustic bass

June 29
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, MA, U.S.A.
www.mfa.org
Trio, featuring Mino Cinelu, percussion; Geoff Brennan, acoustic bass

July 10
Parc Floral
Paris, FRANCE
www.parcfloralparis.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Childo Tomas, bass

July 17
BCN Grec Festival, Mercat de les Flors
Barcelona, SPAIN
www.grec.bcn.es
Quintet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Marque Gilmore, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

July 22 & July 23
Queensland Music Festival, Powerhouse Centre for the Arts
Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
www.queenslandmusicfestival.com.au
Quintet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Marque Gilmore, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

July 24
Christchurch Arts Festival, Christchurch Town Hall, James Hay Theatre
Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
www.artsfestival.co.nz
Quintet, featuring Ang Diaz, percussion; Marque Gilmore, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

July 29 & July 30
Festival Internacional de Blues & Jazz
Cadiz, SPAIN
www.cultura-cadiz.org
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz; Childo Tomas, bass

August 7
Jazz in Marciac
Marciac, FRANCE
www.jazzinmarciac.com
Trio, featuring Ang Diaz; Childo Tomas, bass

Omar Sosa Releases CD “Mulatos”

New Omar Sosa CD, “Mulatos” (OTA1014), featuring special guest Paquito D’Rivera, produced by Steve Arguelles

Set for release in the United States on October 12, 2004, distributed by Harmonia Mundi USA (www.harmoniamundi.com), and concurrently worldwide (please see www.melodia.com/dist.php for worldwide distribution)

Also available at www.melodia.com/order.php

How to be true to a music tradition and be part of the world at large? To be a modern artist (and consequently a traveler), without dismissing your roots? Omar Sosa searches out new sounds for a music that is simultaneously his own, and part of an Afro-Cuban culture. Mulatos is a fitting description for the kind of approach Omar is adopting – a mix of Cuban music that dances with rhythmic inspirations of Indian tabla, jazz drums, and studio mixing. Listening to the voices of the Arabic lute, the oud, a fore runner of the Cuban tres, and European clarinet melodies reminding him of Paquito D’Rivera and the repertoire of the great Cuban masters, Omar Sosa’s unique way of imagining how this can fit together and making the leap to realize the recording of it, is what makes him stand out as a very modern musician – an inventive and courageous artist.

The album Mulatos features the highly individual talents of Dhafer Youssef (oud), Steve Arguelles (drums, electronics), Dieter Ilg (double bass), Philippe Foch (tabla), and Renaud Pion (clarinets). With the exception of Omar Sosa, the relation to Cuban music for these musicians is somewhat removed, though respectful and engaging. Omar’s extraordinary abilities as a composer, pianist, marimba percussionist (new here to many of his followers) and his authoritative leadership threads this together beautifully to create a major development for a Cuban jazz artist.

Joining the project as special guest on clarinet for three compositions, someone whose artistry Omar has admired for many, many years – Paquito D’Rivera (tracks 1, 2, 6).

Producer Steve Arguelles remarks, “It’s an album that is tightly constructed, like movie editing in the sense that the clarity of musical ideas are presented to maximum effect, be it a simple melody, a curious rhythm, or an electronic touch here and there. It remains rich, too, in the way that a favorite record is what you keep returning to, an important objective of ours. It tells a story about Omar’s relation to jazz, Afro-Cuban rhythms and spirituality, the piano, and a freely expressive mind”.

For more information, or to order “Mulatos”, please visit www.melodia.com.

“Omar Sosa commands an enormous range of styles and timbres; from modal McCoy Tyner-like vamps to Cuban clave; from abstract playing both inside and outside the grand piano; to simple melodic fragments to advanced jazz harmony. It’s the ingenuity of his approach rather than particular claves or tunes that makes Sosa a distinctively Cuban creative musician. Sosa’s most recent CD, “Mulatos”, produced by drummer Steve Arguelles, has many nice moments: Renaud Pion’s dark-hued bass clarinet on the groove of “La Tra”; Dhafer Youssef’s oud on the languorous “Reposo” and “El Consenso”; Paquito D’Rivera’s soaring clarinet on the Middle-Eastern nu-jazz of “Dos Caminos”. Sosa dedicates the infectious “L3zero” to Arsenio Rodriguez and Thelonious Monk, and it’s on this penultimate track that you get a taste of what Sosa might do one day to reinvent Cuban music for the new century”.
-John L. Walters, The Guardian (London), September 17, 2004

“Omar Sosa’s very personal embrace of African and Diasporan rhythms and improvisation has added a great deal to the vocabulary of Latin music. Mulatos is another addition to an ever-expanding musical mosaic that Sosa is passionately crafting. His aesthetic is unremittingly hybrid; it’s pluralistic and impure in the most positive sense. Mulatos is an artistic and cultural statement that reinforces this worldview. There is something in the way Sosa writes and improvises that retains a tremendously communicative energy. The combination of both drive and delicacy in his single note runs and the clever harmonic progressions are hallmarks of an artist to be reckoned with”.
-Kevin LeGendre, Echoes (U.K.), October 2004

“Omar Sosa is on a musical quest, a voyage of sonic discovery that traverses the globe in search of a fusionistic Holy Grail. With Mulatos, holding firm to his Latin roots, the GRAMMY nominee and visionary creates a sound not unlike that of other great Cuban masters. No need to be deceived by Sosa’s open minded aesthetic: for all its space, simplicity and free form delicacy, Mulatos is a tightly-constructed piece of work, meticulous in ideas and execution. As composer, bandleader and jazz disciple – Thelonious Monk’s expressive legacy is palpable – Sosa manages to create a glorious, often refreshing whole from various empatico parts. A highly recommended effort from an artist who just keeps getting better”.
-Jane Cornwell, Jazzwise (U.K.), October 2004

Omar Sosa on A&E TV - October 3, 2004

CONCERT SCHEDULE UPDATE: Due to problems related to the recent hurricanes in Florida, Omar Sosa’s concert on October 14 at Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus (Miami, FL) has been cancelled. For an update on Omar’s touring schedule, please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar Sosa will appear Sunday, October 3 on A&E TV Network’s “Breakfast With The Arts” program, with host Elliot Forrest:

Sunday, October 3:

8-10 AM ET
7-9 AM C
6-8 AM MT
8-10 AM PT (check listings for availability)

“Breakfast With The Arts” is a Sunday morning series covering the full
spectrum of popular, performing and fine arts, with programming ranging from world premiere in-studio performances, to documentary specials, to full-length classical performances, to insightful one-on-one interviews with the major artists of our day.

Omar Sosa’s “Breakfast With The Arts” appearance on Sunday, October 3 will feature a duo performance with famed French-Caribbean percussionist Mino Cinelu, whose credits include Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder, to mention just a few.

The interview with host Elliot Forrest touches on Omar’s recent CD
release, “Pictures of Soul”, with world music innovator, percussionist and composer Adam Rudolph.

For those of you who enjoy tuning into BBC Radio 3, critic John Walters will be the guest on Lucy Duran’s World Routes show at 3:00 PM (London time) on Saturday, October 9 discussing new releases, including “Mulatos”, and playing “L3zero” in the context of a conversation about Arsenio Rodriguez, and the new book about Cuban music by Ned Sublette, “Cuba and It’s Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo”. To listen online, please visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldroutes.

Omar’s latest CD, “Mulatos”, featuring special guest Paquito D’Rivera, is set for release in the U.S. on October 12 (and concurrently worldwide). For more information, or to order, please visit www.melodia.com/order.php.

“Omar Sosa is on a musical quest, a voyage of sonic discovery that
traverses the globe in search of a fusionistic Holy Grail. With Mulatos,
holding firm to his Latin roots, the GRAMMY nominee and visionary creates a
sound not unlike that of other great Cuban masters. For all its space, simplicity and free form delicacy, Mulatos is a tightly-constructed piece of work, meticulous in ideas and execution. As composer, bandleader and jazz disciple – Thelonious Monk’s expressive legacy is palpable – Sosa manages to create a glorious, refreshing whole from various empatico parts. A highly recommended effort from an artist who just keeps getting better”.
-Jane Cornwell, Jazzwise (U.K.), October 2004

An interesting new Omar Sosa interview by Tomas Pena can be found on the MundoAfroLatino website at www.mundoafrolatino.com/english/102803.htm.

Fall 2004 Tour Schedule

In support of his new CD, “Mulatos” (OTA1014), with special guest Paquito D’Rivera, Omar Sosa’s touring this Fall 2004 begins with two concerts in the U.K. (more on the new CD in our next newsletter):

Saturday, October 2 * 7:30 PM
The Venue
Leeds College of Music

Sunday, October 3 * 7:45 PM
Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank Centre)
London

For tickets to the Queen Elizabeth Hall concert, please call 08 703 800 400 or visit www.rfh.org.uk. For Leeds, please call 0113 222 3434 or visit www.lcm.ac.uk.

Omar Sosa will do a live radio interview and solo piano performance on the BBC Radio 3 program “In Tune”, on Thursday, September 30 at 7:00 PM. For more information, please visit www.bbc.co.uk/radio3.

Both U.K. concerts will present the Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring:

Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion
Steve Arguelles, drums
Luis Depestre, saxophones
Childo Tomas, bass

Next stop in October 2004 for Omar Sosa is Miami:

Thursday, October 14 * 7:00 PM (with Master Class at 5:00 PM)
Miami Dade College, Kendall Campus
11011 SW 104th Street
Miami, FL
Room 8117
Both events are FREE and open to the public

For directions and information please call Miami Dade College at 305-237-2321 or visit www.mdc.edu/kendall.

This concert will present the Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring:

Josh Jones, drums
Eric Crystal, saxophones
Michael Wilcox, bass
Brutha Los, hip-hop lyricist/rapper

Additional Omar Sosa touring activity this Fall 2004 includes:

October 19
Das Haus
Ludwigshafen, Germany
Pictures of Soul Trio with Omar Sosa, Adam Rudolph, and Joseph Bowie

October 20
Teatro Alighieri
Ravenna, Italy
Pictures of Soul Trio with Omar Sosa, Adam Rudolph, and Joseph Bowie

October 22 & 23
Black Atlantic / Congo Square
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Berlin, Germany
www.hkw.de
Featuring Tony Allen, Ayibobo, Joseph Bowie, Adam Rudolph, DJ Spooky, Torch, Jane Cortez, Jazzanova, et al

October 30
Big Big World Festival
Centre for Contemporary Arts
Glasgow, Scotland
Omar Sosa Duo, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion

November 3-6
Joe Zawinul’s Birdland
Vienna, Austria
www.birdland.at
Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

November 7
WOMAD Festival
Las Palmas, Canary Islands
Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass; El Houssaine Kili, vocals

November 11
Kunst Kultur Karstadt
Karstadt Kulturcaf
Nurnberg, Germany
www.kunstkulturkarstadt.de
Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass; El Houssaine Kili, vocals

November 23
Festival de la Cote d’Opale
Calias, France
Omar Sosa Duo, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion

December 2
New Morning
Paris, France
The Big “Mulatos” Record Release Party
(more on this new release very soon)

December 4
Flagey – Studio 4
Brussels, Belgium
Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

December 21
Leitung Kulturburo
Lorrach, Germany
Omar Sosa Quintet, featuring Miguel “Anga” Diaz, percussion; Steve Arguelles, drums; Luis Depestre, saxophones; Childo Tomas, bass

For more information, please visit www.melodia.com

For booking in Europe+, please contact:

3D Family
4, rue Felix Terrier
75020 Paris
FRANCE
+331 40 09 64 66 phone
+331 40 09 12 34 fax
www.3dfamily.org
info@3dfamily.org

For booking in Germany, please contact:

Transatlantico
Methfesselstr. 23
10965 Berlin
GERMANY
+49 30 788900 20 phone
+49 30 788900 99 fax
www.transatlantico.com
frank@transatlantico.com

For booking in the United States and Canada, please contact:

Eye For Talent
P.O. Box 280786
San Francisco, CA 94128
U.S.A.
+650 595 2274 phone
+650 595 2258 fax
www.eyefortalent.com
bill@eyefortalent.com

For management and record label, please contact:

OTA Records
484 Lake Park Avenue, Suite 32
Oakland, CA 94610
U.S.A.
+510 339 3389 phone
+510 339 0389 fax
www.melodia.com
scott@melodia.com

Omar Sosa Releases New Solo Piano Recording – Available Only Online at www.melodia.com

Recorded live at Radio Bremen, Germany, in November 2003, Aleatoric EFX is Omar Sosas fourth solo piano recording. It combines Omars free, improvisatory approach to the piano, with his use of a number of electronic effects, also directed live from the piano during the performance. The result is an engaging, multi-dimensional musical experience, with elements of jazz, classical, new music, and electronica. The term aleatoric refers to the chance or random ways in which the subtle electronic elements mesh with the performance both inside the piano and on the keyboard.

From the mysterious, ethereal beginnings of Follow My Shadow, with its bass string drone and yearning melodic figure, to the classical lyricism and haunting beauty of Impromptu in D Minor, the recording opens in a delicate, understated mood. Mute Ostinato in C continues Omars fascination with the bass drone, as in Indian classical music, combined with a series of lilting rhythmic figures, and unique use of the coco shells inside on the piano strings. Throughout these opening improvisations, we see the influence of one of Omars classical music mentors, Eric Satie.

Pentatonic Research reveals some of Omars daring harmonic sense, built on a dialogue of space-age motifs with Eastern overtones. This is followed by a version of Omars signature ballad, Iyawo, with its sweet, romantic melody, sliding, as he often does, into a subtle montuno groove. With Sobre Un Manto en E Minor and Siberian Horses, we continue to find ourselves traversing an aural landscape of longing, urgency and surrender.

Only toward the end of the recording, with Intense Moon in F# Minor and the rousing finale, Muevete en D, another of Omars signature compositions, does he take the energy to a dramatic level. For those who have enjoyed Omars previous solo piano outings, Aleatoric EFX is sure to be an enjoyable addition to the collection. For those who are new to this dimension of Omars musical sensibilities, it is sure to be a good place to start.

Omar Sosa on A&E Television Network’s “Breakfast With The Arts”

Omar Sosa will appear on the A&E Networks Breakfast With The Arts,
with Peabody Award-winning host Elliot Forrest

Sunday, March 7

8-10 AM ET
7-9 AM C
6-8 AM MT
8-10 AM PT (check listings for availability)

Breakfast With The Arts is a Sunday morning series covering the full range of popular, performing and fine arts, with programming ranging from World Premiere In-Studio performances, to documentary specials, to full-length classical performances, to insightful one-on-one interviews with the major artists of our day.

Omar Sosas Breakfast With The Arts appearance on Sunday, March 7 will feature a duo performance with famed French-Caribbean percussionist Mino Cinelu, whose credits include Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, and Stevie Wonder, to mention just a few.

Omars interview with host Elliot Forrest touches on his latest CD release, Pictures of Soul, with world music innovator, percussionist and composer Adam Rudolph. Omar and Adam will celebrate the release of Pictures of Soul with three California concerts in March:

March 17
HEAR Music, Santa Monica, CA
(Los Angeles)

March 18
The Monday Club, San Luis Obispo, CA

March 20
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts,
San Francisco, CA
www.yerbabuenaarts.org

March 22
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA
www.kuumbwajazz.org

In April, Omar will be joined again by Mino Cinelu in a number of concert dates on the East Coast, including:

April 14
Manuel Artime Theater, Miami, FL

April 15
Joes Pub, New York, NY

April 17
Cape May Jazz Festival, Cape May, NJ

April 18
Southam Hall, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

For more details on these and other Omar Sosa performances, please visit www.melodia.com.

Pictures of Soul is available at your favorite record store, or visit www.melodia.com.

Omar Sosa Receives BBC Radio 3 Nomination

Omar Sosa recently received a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music nomination in the ‘Americas’ category, along with Ibrahim Ferrer, Caetano Veloso, and Os Tribalistas. Winners will be announced on January 31, 2004, with a special awards ceremony on March 9, 2004 at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland.

For details, please visit:

www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/world/awards2004/

U.K.-based Union Square Music will release a compilation CD of tracks from each of the nominees on their Manteca label, set for February 23, 2004.

For more information, please visit:

www.unionsquaremusic.co.uk

New Omar Sosa CD Release – January 13, 2004

Artist – Omar Sosa and Adam Rudolph
Title – Pictures of Soul
Catalog # – OTA1012
Label – OTA Records
Release Date – January 13, 2004
UPC Code – 616444101229
File Under – Jazz
U.S. Distribution – harmonia mundi

Pictures of Soul is an improvised music collaboration between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Los Angeles-based percussionist Adam Rudolph. These two creative musicians have enjoyed each other’s work at a distance for several years. Both share an appreciation of ritual trance music – music that leads us into altered states of consciousness. In April of 2002, when Sosa and his Septet arrived in Los Angeles for a run at the Jazz Bakery, it was possible for these kindred spirits to meet and make music together. The result is Pictures of Soul, a poignant aural journey into the transcendent realms of the creative music process.

Sosa and Rudolph both experience their art as an interactive spiritual voyage. Their approach in the studio called simply for an openness to explore musical landscapes together – without charts, without rehearsal. In Pictures of Soul we find a wide range of expression, from delicate introspection to fiery dance. Sosa plays mostly acoustic piano, both on the keys and inside the instrument. Rudolph is featured on an array of hand drums, including djembe, tarija, dumbek and tabla.

Sosa has released ten recordings on the Ot label since 1997, including 2002’s GRAMMY-nominated Sentir. He performed recently with his Octet at the opening of Carnegie Hall’s new Zankel Hall, about which Alex Ross of The New Yorker remarked that Sosa has “a ferocious flair for rhythm and a keen musical wit”. Composer John Adams, who curated the opening of Carnegie Hall’s new venue, commented that “Sosa is a deeply creative musician with an extraordinary harmonic sense. His piano playing is sui generis: It has obvious roots in Cuban music, but he’s taken his approach to the keyboard into completely new regions”. And Don Heckman of The Los Angeles Times recently wrote “Sosa’s vision of contemporary jazz reaches across every imaginable boundary”. For more information, please visit www.melodia.com.

Mr. Rudolph, a native of Chicago, is known as one of the early innovators in what is now called “World Music”. In 1977 he co-founded The Mandingo Griot Society with Gambian musician Foday Musa Suso, one of the first bands to combine African and American music. In 1988, he recorded the first fusion of American and Gnawa music with Moroccan sintir player and vocalist Hassan Hakmoun and jazz trumpet great Don Cherry. In the same year, Rudolph began his association with the legendary Yusef Lateef, which continues to this day. Hailed by Down Beat as “a percussion wizard”, he currently leads his own ensemble, Go: Organic Orchestra. For more information on Mr. Rudolph, please visit www.metarecords.com.

Fans of improvised music as well as aficionados of all types of intimate jazz settings will find Pictures of Soul a rewarding listen. For more information, press kit, or interviews, please email pictures@melodia.com.

Omar Sosa to Perform at Carnegie Hall

We are pleased to announce that Omar Sosa has been invited to perform at the opening of Carnegie Hall’s new Zankel Hall, a brand-new performance space located underground at Carnegie Hall. The 650-seat, state-of-the-art facility will open the weekend of September 12-14 with a series of performances curated by composer John Adams, who was recently appointed to The Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall for the next three years, a post previously held by Pierre Boulez.

The Omar Sosa Octet will perform at 10:00 PM on Friday, September 12, 2003. Tickets are $25.00, and are available online by visiting www.carnegiehall.org, or by phone at 212-247-7800.

Mr. Sosa’s ensemble will consist of Martha Galarraga (Cuba), vocals; Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuela), percussion; Geoff Brennan (U.S.A.), acoustic bass; Yassir Chadly (Morocco), vocals; Luis Depestre (Cuba), saxophones; Brutha Los (U.S.A.), hip-hop lyricist/rapper; and Josh Jones (U.S.A.), drums. Omar will be presenting new material developed on tour in Europe this summer, as well as selections from his recent recordings “Sentir” and “Prietos”.

Highlights of Omar Sosa’s concert schedule for Fall 2003 in the United States and Canada include:

Sept 16 African American Art & Culture Complex, San Francisco, CA (Quintet)
Sept 17 Esalen, Big Sur, CA (Quintet)
Sept 18 Cal Poly Theater, San Luis Obispo, CA (Quintet)
Sept 19 Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Merced, CA (Quintet)
Sept 20 Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA (Quintet)
Sept 25 Equinox Music Festival, Boston, MA (Octet)
Sept 26 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA (Octet)
Sept 27 Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (Octet)
Sept 28 HotHouse, Chicago, IL (Quintet)
Sept 30 Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos, CA (Octet)
Oct 5 Theatre on San Pedro Square, San Jose, CA (Quintet)
Oct 6 Outpost, Albuquerque, NM (Quintet)
Oct 8 Le Spectrum, Montreal, Canada (Octet)
Oct 10 Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (Octet)

Advance copies of Omar Sosa’s new solo piano recording, “A New Life”, will soon be available through www.melodia.com. Details to follow in our next newsletter. Official release date is September 9, 2003.

Release date for Omar’s new recording with percussionist Adam Rudolph is set for January 13, 2004.

Summer 2003 Concert Dates

Omar Sosa – Summer Concert Schedule 2003

May 22 Arrecife Jazz, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain – TRIO

May 23 Matosinho Jazz Festival, Porto, Portugal – SEPTET

May 24 Dunya Festival, Rotterdam, The Netherlands – SEPTET
FREE concert in Euromast Park, 11:15 PM, www.dunya.nl

June 13 Jazz en Franche Comte, Aspro Jazz, Besancon, France – TRIO

June 19 Salle Nougaro, Toulouse, France – DUO

June 21 Rencontres Internationales de Jazz, Nevers, France – SEPTET

June 23 Festival Rio Garonne, Toulouse, France – SEPTET

June 27 Verona Jazz Festival, Verona, Italy – SEPTET

June 28 Festival del Mediterraneo, Genova, Italy – Trio (tbc)

July 2 Monument National, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreal, Canada – SOLO
Double bill with Hilton Ruiz

July 10 Lugano Jazz Festival, Lugano, Switzerland – SEPTET

July 12 North Sea Jazz Festival, Den Haag, The Netherlands – DUO
Celebrating Omar’s current CD “Ayaguna”
with percussionist Gustavo Ovalles

July 15 Universijazz, Valladolid, Spain – SEXTET

July 31 Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan – OCTET
Aug 1 Blue Note, Tokyo, Japan – OCTET

Aug 3 Esperanhza, Namur, Belgium – OCTET

Aug 6 Fiesta Latina, Sete (near Montpellier), France – OCTET

Aug 7 Hot Metronome, Spoletto, Italy – OCTET

Aug 8 Jazz on the Coast, Minori, Italy – OCTET

Aug 9 Italy – OCTET

Aug 10 Italy – OCTET

Aug 23 Aste Negusia, Bilbao, Spain – OCTET

To schedule an interview please email omar@melodia.com or for more information please visit www.melodia.com or call 510-339-3389 (USA).

Two new Omar Sosa recordings with release dates later this year:

Omar’s third solo piano recording, entitled “A New Life” (OTA1011), and a new duo recording with percussionist Adam Rudolph entitled “Pictures Of Soul” (OTA1012). For more information on these recordings, please email cds@melodia.com

Boston Phoenix – Live Review – May 2003

THE OMAR SOSA TRIO
LATIN JAZZ WITH A TWIST

Cuban pianist Omar Sosa made his Boston-area debut at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center a week ago Thursday with a set of infectiously joyful Afro-Cuban jazz. Unlike a lot of Latin jazz, however, the music played by Sosa and his trio was exploratory. The folkloric traditions that root Latin jazz in its danceable rhythms and give it its folksy appeal also have a tendency to make the style formulaic. But though it’s clear that Sosa, percussionist Gustavo Ovalles and alto-saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa know those formulas well, they never let orthodoxy stand in the way of their pursuit of freedom. In the first of the trio’s two sets, Sosa enlivened the mix of jazz, blues, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms with electronics, and he played the inside of the piano with brushes and other objects. Tempos were fluid and the mood changed freely. In the end, the performance was doubly exhilarating: Sosa’s trio took full advantage of Latin jazz’s fun and funky grooves while adding experimental touches to keep listeners on their toes.

Sosa and Ovalles are the heart of the trio; the mixture of respect and playfulness that they bring to Afro-Cuban rhythms set the tone for the concert, as it does on their new duo CD, Ayaguna (Ot). The opening ” Eleggua ” combined the ritualistic beat of bata drums (which are used in santera religious ceremonies) with Sosa’s restless piano. Sosa played a teasing, episodic solo – a Puckish improvisation in keeping with the trickster personality of the santera deity after whom the tune is named. It ranged widely and jump-cut from motif to motif, but there was little of the surface flash and technical dazzle usually heard in Cuban jazz.

A duet with Mahanthappa found Sosa using an echo effect in the same way dub reggae producers do: when he hit a chord, the pulsing echo added an extra rhythmic layer to the groove. Mahanthappa dove right in with a dark reedy tone and driving lines that thrust themselves over and around Sosa’s chords. When they built the tension to a fever pitch, Ovalles slid in with a medium funk groove that sent the band off into a prolonged three-way jam.

Traditional montuno piano vamps set the stage for the trio’s version of ” Remember Monk. ” But it wasn’t long before Sosa was stretching the song’s Cuban roots to the snapping point. At one point, he got the audience to snap their fingers in time as Mahanthappa started soloing. Then he began to scrape the piano strings with a brush, creating scratching shimmering sounds. With Sosa playing both the piano strings and the keyboard in synch with Ovalles’s congas, Mahanthappa’s chromatic lines knotted their way into the percussive weave in one of his best solos of the night.

There were more sonic surprises in store. On ” In a Dream, ” Ovalles twirled a plastic tube over his head to create a ghostly humming melody that complemented Sosa’s hushed gospel chords and Mahanthappa’s tender alto playing. On ” Karanbao en D, ” Sosa tossed a clump of shells onto the piano strings while Ovalles played the berimbau (a Brazilian one-stringed percussion instrument). It was a mark of Sosa’s progressive conception of pan-Latin jazz that the most melodically abstract moment of the night was also the funkiest. The final ” Iyawo ” showed Sosa at his most delicate and lyrical, and it reminded us that as far and wide as this trio were willing to range, the basic jazz building blocks of melody and rhythm remain the spiritual and emotional bedrock on which all their music rests.

BY ED HAZELL
Issue Date: May 2 – 8, 2003

Dimensions Dance Theater Collaboration – May 3, 2003

Saturday, May 3, 8:00 PM
Dimensions Dance Theater
30 Year Anniversary Celebration
Calvins Simmons Theater
10 Tenth Street
Oakland, California

Tickets $25.00 general admission, $20.00 students & seniors
Visit ticketweb.com or call 415-901-0210 or at the door

On Saturday, May 3, Dimensions Dance Theater (DDT) will celebrate 30 years of dance with the production of “From Africa to America: Legacies” at Calvin Simmons Theater in Oakland. This new large-scale, multi-disciplinary work is choreographed by artistic director Deborah Vaughan in collaboration with Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa. “Legacies” will explore the artistic traditions of the African Diaspora via “backwards mapping”, from Oakland to the Caribbean, to the African interior and the centuries-old tribes of Zimbabwe.

“Legacies” began in June 1998 when Dimensions Dance Theater was awarded an INROADS grant. Since then, various parts of the work have been developed through a series of local and international residencies. The first phase of the choreography, “Between Shores”, was developed in 2000, during the company’s residency in Cuba. This section of “Legacies” was later workshopped during DDT’s 2001 home season. The second phase of the work, “In The Shadows Of Our Ancestors, Mudzimu” (2002), was initiated with the company’s residency in Zimbabwe in 2001. This section focused on the mythology central to Zimbabwean life, the role of art in social change, and the many voices of Africa.

For more infomation, please call 510-465-3363.

Omar Sosa & the New VJ Ensemble – Paris & San Francisco

EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENTS: Paris & San Francisco

Always one for stretching boundaries and experimenting, Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa brings an entirely new, multi-media concept to Paris and San Francisco this Spring. Working in collaboration with London-based video artists Marc Silver and Nick Hillel, collectively known as YEAST, Omar will present four concerts that fuse new digital video technology with live performances by the Omar Sosa Duo, featuring master Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles. The VJs will sample, mix and project images, illuminating the venues in synchronization with the live musical performance. The content is both personal and political, with messages that enter first the realm of the emotions.

PARIS
Tuesday, March 18 and Wednesday, March 19
Studio de L’Ermitage
8, rue de L’Ermitage
75020 Paris
For tickets please call 01 40 09 64 66 or FNAC locations

SAN FRANCISCO
Friday, April 18 and Saturday, April 19
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission Street at 3rd Street
San Francisco
Tickets $18.00 regular; $15.00 adance, seniors, students; $10.00 members
Call 415-978-2787 or visit www.YerbaBuenaArts.org

Joining the Duo as special guests in San Francisco will be Moroccan vocalist Yassir Chadly, didjeridu master Stephen Kent, and hip-hop lyricist/rapper Brutha Los.

Gustavo Ovalles plays a number of traditional Venezuelan percussion instruments, including quitiplas and culo’e puya, as well as congas, bongo, maracas, guiro, snare and cymbals. In February 2003, Omar Sosa and Gustavo Ovalles released a live Duo recording entitled “Ayaguna” (OTA1010). Writing in the February 22 issue of Billboard, Philip Van Vleck notes that “the entire album is simply transcendent. Sosa is shaping a new synthesis of Latin and American Jazz”.

For more information and complete tour schedule, please visit www.melodia.com or email OTA Records at duo@melodia.com.

U.S. & Europe Tour Schedule – February-May 2003

OMAR SOSA NEWSLETTER
OTA Records * Number 20
Oakland, CA * February 20, 2003
www.melodia.com

Omar Sosa tour schedule in Europe and the United States:

February 21 Croydon Clock Tower, London, U.K.

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles

February 27 Espace Senghor, Brussels, Belgium

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles

March 6 & 7 Sala Clamores, Madrid, Spain

Trio with Gustavo Ovalles & Childo Tomas

March 11 Salle Nougaro, Toulouse, France

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles, El Houssaine Kili & MC Breis

March 14 Theatre Municipal, Fontenay Le Comte, France

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles El Houssaine Kili & MC Breis

March 18 & 19 L’Ermitage, Paris, France

Omar Sosa & the New VJ Ensemble with Gustavo Ovalles, and from London, VJs Marc Silver & Nick Hillel for tickets call 01 40 09 64 66

March 22 L’Art-Chipel, Basse Terre, Guadaloupe

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles El Houssaine Kili & MC Breis

March 29 Les Swing de Mars, Dreux, France

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles MC Breis & Childo Tomas

April 10 Jazz a Commercy, Commercy, France

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles UNITED STATES TOUR

April 18 & 19 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

Omar Sosa & the New VJ Ensemble with Gustavo Ovalles, and from London, VJs Marc Silver & Nick Hillel, plus special guests Yassir Chadly, Stephen Kent & Brutha Los for tickets call 415-978-2787 or yerbabuenaarts.org

April 20 Theater on High Street, Moorpark (Los Angeles), CA

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles

April 21 & 22 Dakota Bar & Grill, St. Paul, MN

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles, Geoff Brennan & Eric Crystal

April 23 Christ Church Cathedral, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Quintet with Martha Galarraga, Gustavo Ovalles, Geoff Brennan & Eric Crystal

April 24 Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge, MA

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles

April 25 Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles

April 26 Joe’s Pub, New York City

Trio with Martha Galarraga & Gustavo Ovalles Two shows 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM for tickets call 212-239-6200 or publictheater.org

May 3 Calvin Simmons Theater, Oakland, CA

Special collaboration with Dimensions Dance Theater

For show times and ticket prices, check www.melodia.com.

Omar’s latest CD, “Ayaguna”, a live recording with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, is now available in stores worldwide. For distribution information, please email dist@melodia.com.

GRAMMY Nomination for “Sentir”; Afro-Symphonic World Premiere

OMAR SOSA GRAMMY NOMINATION

Omar Sosa’s 2002 CD release, “Sentir”, received last week a GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. The recording combines traditional vocals and rhythms from Cuba, Venezuela and Morocco with contemporary jazz harmonies and spoken word. It brings together the guembri, a traditional stringed instrument from the Gnawa culture of North Africa, with bata drums, and several Afro-Venezuelan percussion instruments, including quitiplas and culo’e puya. Writing for “The BEAT” magazine, Robert Leaver comments that “Sentir is a truly groundbreaking recording that fuses Afro-Cuban and Moroccan folklore with jazz attitude and a rap overlay”. Also receiving nominations in the Best Latin Jazz Album category are recordings by Jane Bunnett, Caribbean Jazz Project, Duduka Da Fonseca, and John Santos & the Machete Ensemble. The 45th Annual GRAMMY winners will be announced in New York City on February 23, 2003.

NEW OMAR SOSA CD RELEASE

Omar’s next CD release, “Ayaguna”, is due in stores in the U.S. on February 11, 2003. Recorded live in Japan at Motion Blue Yokohama with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, “Ayaguna” features Omar moving freely from intensive groove patterns to very delicate modes of expression. Mr. Ovalles provides a steady foundation for the aural feast with several Afro-Venezuelan percussion instruments, including quitiplas and culo’e puya, as well as congas, bongo, maracas, and guiro. “Ayaguna” includes an enhanced CD bonus track version of the ballad, “Iyawo”, with multi-media visual production by London-based VJs Marc Silver and Nick Hillel. The bonus track offers an engaging glimpse of one of Omar’s new directions for live performance, in which the VJs sample, mix and project images onto a large screen in synchronization with the music. Omar Sosa and his VJ Ensemble will perform at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on April 18 and April 19, 2003.

AFRO-SYMPHONIC WORLD PREMIERE - GUEST ARTISTS

Guest artists for the world premiere of Omar Sosa’s work for symphony orchestra, “From Our Mother”, at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California on Friday, January 24 include Lazaro Galarraga, Stephen Kent, Maria Marquez, Benigno Medina, Hafez Modirzadeh, Jackeline Rago, and Michael Spiro. The evening will begin at 7:05 PM with a pre-concert lecture by Omar Sosa, hosted by Jesse “Chuy” Varela, music director of Bay Area jazz station KCSM. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, the Paramount Box Office (no service charge), or www.oebs.org. For more information please call 510-444-0801.

One of the great Cuban percussion masters, Lazaro Galarraga is currently based in Los Angeles. He is a native of Havana, founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, and world-renowned teacher, performing artist, choreographer and writer of Afro-Cuban music. Mr. Galarraga is the musical director for Caribbean Crew and for the Percussion Artists Workshop’s (PAWS) Afro-Cuban Folklore Ensemble in Los Angeles.

Composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and master didjeridu player Stephen Kent was born in England and raised in both East Africa and the U.K. He has performed around the world with many prominent artists, including Airto Moreira, Zakir Hussain, and Herbie Hancock. Mr. Kent is also well-known in the Bay Area for his weekly world music show on KPFA.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, vocalist Maria Marquez is a graduate of Berklee College of Music (Boston) and has been living, recording and performing in the Bay Area for the past 18 years. Her first self-produced recording as a solo artist, “Eleven Love Stores” (Palm Pictures/2001), received national and international acclaim. Ms. Marquez’ next CD is due out later this year.

Benigno Medina is a master Afro-Venezuelan percussionist from Caracas, specializing in the ritual music of the Bata drums. He has been a member of the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Caracas since 1997, and is a founder of the Cedra Libre de Percusion in Caracas. Mr. Medina has recorded with Orlando Poleo, Alfredo Naranjo, and Adrenalina Caribe.

Saxophonist and composer Hafez Modirzadeh has recorded for dozens of jazz and world music releases over the past two decades, including Don Cherry, Peter Apfelbaum, Steve Lacy, and Zakir Hussein. Mr. Modirzadeh received a doctorate in music from Wesleyan University. He is the recipient of two NEA Jazz Fellowships, and is currently a professor of music at San Francisco State University.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Jackeline Rago is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, producer and educator specializing in the cuatro (the national string instrument of Venezuela) and Afro-Venezuelan percussion instruments. She is currently a CAC Artist in Residence, and musical director of The Venezuelan Music Project (a Venezuelan folk music ensemble). Ms. Rago has recorded and toured nationally for over fifteen years.

Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, recording artist, and educator, known particularly for his work in the Latin music field. He has performed on hundreds of records, co-produced several instructional videos for Warner Bros. Publications, and produced seminal recordings for Orquesta Batachanga, Grupo Bata-Ketu, and Grupo Ilu-Ana.

Omar’s complete touring schedule can be found at www.melodia.com.

Los Angeles Times Review – January 19, 2003

Omar Sosa Stands at the Head of this Piano Class

January 19, 2003

By Don Heckman
Special to The Los Angeles Times

The relationship between jazz and Cuban music has been a virtual love
feast since the ‘40s, when Mario Bauza, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie and
Chano Pozo sat down at the same musical table.

The close connection continued through succeeding decades, enhanced by
groups such as Irakere since the ‘70s, and by the ‘80s defection to
the U.S. of trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and woodwind specialist Paquito
D’Rivera.

More recently players such as pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba have further
affirmed the persistence of the intimate relationship between the two
musical forms.

A new phase in the jazz and Cuban music linkage is being unveiled by
gifted pianist Omar Sosa. Previous blendings of the two genres have
tended to emphasize the powerful energies of Afro-Cuban rhythms in
combination with the harmonic structures and improvisational qualities
of jazz. Sosa, however, has moved beyond the parallelism of musical
elements into a kind of natural, organic expressiveness in which the
musics’ separate identities are replaced by a seamless, creative
mutuality.

In his latest release, “Ayaguna” (****, Ota Records), he teams up in a
live duo concert with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles. Both
are followers of Santeria, the Cuban manifestation of the Yoruba
culture of West Africa. The album title describes one of the paths of
Obatala, a Yoruban deity associated with peace and wisdom as well as
revolution and progress. And the music on the CD, which was recorded
at a 2002 concert in Yokohama, Japan, superbly reflects all those
qualities.

Reference points for Sosa’s performance include Thelonious Monk, Cecil
Taylor, Randy Weston and Herbie Nichols, among others. But he has
synthesized attributes from each of these adventurous pianists into
his own unique voice.

The results are extraordinary. Using the piano’s potential to the
fullest, usually from the keyboard, occasionally reaching in to stroke
the strings, he produces wildly spirited rhythms—complete, on “Una
Tradicion Negra,” with shouted interjections. On “Trip in the White
Scarf,” an electronic echo delay is employed, enlivening Sosa’s
powerful explosions of rich note clusters with eerie repetitions.

He contrasts the hammering intensity of passages reminiscent of Taylor
with the tender lyricism of “My Three Notes,” and emphasizes his Cuban
roots with the surging dance rhythms and scorching montunas of
“Toridanzon.”

Sosa, 37, immigrated to San Francisco in the mid-’90s and now has
reportedly moved to Spain. Each of his seven albums has revealed
impressive musical progression. His last album, “Sentir,” released in
2002, was nominated for a Latin Grammy and is a nominee for the Latin
jazz album in next month’s Grammy Awards.

“Ayaguna,” which arrives in stores the first week in February, fully
deserves even more attention, as does Sosa. Still far too little-known
in this country, he has all the traits necessary to become one of the
important figures in jazz.

CD Release of “Ayaguna” (OTA1010); “From Our Mother” Debut

Omar Sosa’s next CD release on OTA Records, entitled Ayaguna (OTA1010), will
be in stores worldwide beginning February 2003. The live Duo recording
celebrates Omar’s collaboration with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo
Ovalles. These two kindred spirits have been performing together since
1999, delighting audiences throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States
with their inspired musical chemistry and creativity. Please see below for
a listing of the Duo’s upcoming tour schedule in Europe.

Ayaguna was recorded at Motion Blue in Yokohama, Japan, the newest of the
Blue Note-run venues in that country, following a three-night engagement by
the Omar Sosa Octet at the Blue Note Tokyo in July of 2002. The intimate
duo setting allows Omar to exult freely and passionately at the piano
(inside and out), moving with ease from intensive groove patterns to
delicate, balladic modes of expression.

In addition, the performance is enhanced by the live interaction of the
Motion Blue sound engineer, who provides an undulating dimension of audio
effects throughout the concert. While the various sound effects interact
with the piano performance, the percussion accompaniment of Mr. Ovalles
provides a steady base for the aural feast. Mr. Ovalles is featured on a
number of interesting Venezuelan percussion instruments, including quitiplas
and culo’e puya, as well as congas, bongo, maracas, guiro, snare and
cymbals. An extraordinary synergy and sensitivity between the two musical
voices is evident throughout the recording.

The title, Ayaguna, is taken from Ifa, the religious practice of the Yoruba
culture of West Africa, and its New World offspring in Cuba (known as
Santeria). Ayaguna is one of the paths of Obatala, the diety of peace and
wisdom, albeit a path of Obatala as a young and fierce warrior, for whom
revolution is a necessary part of change and progress. Both Mr. Sosa and
Mr. Ovalles are “sons” of Obatala in their practice of Santeria, from which
they draw much inspiration.

Ayaguna concludes with an enhanced CD bonus track version of the ballad
Iyawo, featuring multi-media video production by London-based VJs Marc
Silver and Nick Hillel, collectively known as Yeast. The bonus track offers
an engaging glimpse into one of Mr. Sosa’s new directions for live
performance, in which the VJs sample, mix and project images onto a large
screen in synchronization with the music.

Omar Sosa’s previous CD, Sentir, received a Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best
Latin Jazz Album, as well as the award for Afro-Caribbean Jazz Album of the
Year from the Jazz Journalists Association in New York. For more
information, press kit, video, or interview, please contact
music@melodia.com.

Omar Sosa tour dates in the United States will follow in our next
Newsletter.

AFRO-SYMPHONIC WORLD PREMIERE

The Oakland East Bay Symphony (OEBS), led by Music Director and Conductor
Michael Morgan, will present the world premiere of Cuban composer and
pianist Omar Sosa’s first, full-length symphony, entitled From Our Mother.
The work, co-commissioned by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San
Francisco and the Oakland East Bay Symphony, will be performed on January
24, 2003 at 8:00 PM at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California. Also
on this, the second program of the Symphony’s 14th season, will be works by
Schreker, Tchaikovsky, and Saint Saens. Omar Sosa will present a free,
pre-performance talk beginning at 7:05 PM.

Maestro Morgan has long admired Sosa’s unique fusion of world music, jazz,
and folkloric instrumentation. “Sosa’s music is deeply spiritual,
rhythmically textured, and joyful. He is a musical adventurer, and I’m
thrilled OEBS will be joining him on this leg of the journey.”

>From Our Mother is an Afro-Symphonic work based on traditional folk melodies
and rhythms from Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, and West Africa. The concept of
the three-movement work is to interpret these traditional folk materials
with modern jazz harmonies using a classical symphony orchestra and combined
folkloric ensemble. Sosa’s premise is that the varied musical elements of
the cultures of the African Diaspora are united by common roots. From Our
Mother is a reflection of Sosa’s search for this underlying unity of musical
expression.

For tickets, please visit www.oebs.org or click:

https://ticketing.ticketmaster.com/cgi/purchasePage.asp?event_id=1C0035147BF4230E&artistid=806636&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=203

OMAR SOSA DUO*/TRIO** TOUR SCHEDULE

Duo – January 3 – 19th Annual Int’l Jazz Festival – Munster, Germany***
Trio – January 30 – L’Atelier Volant – Lausanne, Switzerland
Trio – January 31 – Moods – Zurich, Switzerland
Duo – February 1 – La Cave a Musique – Macon, France
Duo – February 4 – CC JJ Rousseau – Seyssinet, France
Duo – February 5 – Les Trinitaires – Metz, France
Duo – February 6 – Le Chabada – Angers, France
Duo – February 7 – Le Noctambule – Albi, France
Duo – February 8 – Barbican – London, England
Duo – February 14 – Clamores – Madrid, Spain
Duo – February 15 – Clamores – Madrid, Spain
Trio – February 21 – Croydon Clock Tower – London, England
Trio – February 27 – Espace Senghor – Brussels, Belgium
Duo – March 8 – 6 Festival de Jazz de la Universidad – Sevilla, Spain
Duo – March 14 – Theatre Municipal – Fontenay Le Comte
Trio – April 10 – Jazz Commercy, France

*All dates with Gustavo Ovalles (except January 3)

**Trio with Martha Galarraga

***Duo with Miguel “Anga” Diaz (January 3 only)

Europe Fall Tour 2002; Symphony Debut

Omar Sosa’s Fall Tour 2002 gets underway in the U.K. this weekend (October 12), and continues over 30 cities in ten European countries. Joining Omar in an ensemble he’s calling “Manos Derechas” (Right Hands) will be:

Martha Galarraga (Cuba) vocals
Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuela) percussion
Javier Campos (Cuba) percussion
Miguel Rios Morales (Cuba) percussion
Childo Tomas (Mozambique) bass
Eric Crystal (San Francisco) saxophones
Sub-Z (Washington, DC) hip-hop lyricist/rapper

Tour dates include:

October 12 Warwick Arts Center – Coventry, England
October 13 Queen Elisabeth Hall – London, England
October 16 Nancy Jazz Pulsations – Nancy, France
October 17 Enjoy Jazz – Ludwigshafen, Germany
October 18 Spielboden – Dornbirn, Austria
October 19 Quasimodo – Berlin, Germany
October 20 Pavillon – Hannover, Germany
October 22 Theater – Russelsheim, Germany
October 23 JVC Jazz Festival/Melkweg – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 25 L’Aeronef – Lille, France
October 26 Festival de Rive de Giers, France
October 27 Jazz Contrebande – La Ferney Voltaire, France
October 30 Pavillon Theater – Brighton, England (TRIO w/Martha & Gustavo)
October 31 Cuba Si! Festival – Glasgow, Scotland
November 1 Jazz Velannet – Lavelannet, France
November 2 Arenberg Theater – Antwerp, Belgium
November 3 Redoute – Passau, Germany
November 4 Cankarjev Dom – Ljubljana, Slovenia
November 8 Leverkusener Jazztag – Leverkusen, Germany
November 9 Verden I Norden – Oslo, Norway
November 11 Concert Hall – Aarhus, Denmark
November 12 Thtre Duchamp Fleuri – Rouen, France
November 14 Salle Victoire II - Montpellier, France
November 16 MJC Picaud – Cannes, France
November 19 La Coursive/Scne Nationale – La Rochelle, France
November 20 Le Moulin de Roc – Niort, France
November 21 La Blaiserie – Poitiers, France
November 23 Le Cap – Aulnay-sous-Bois, France (near Paris)
November 28 Jazz Reims, France

For more information please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar’s first work for orchestra, “From Our Mother”, will debut on Friday, January 24, 2003 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California with the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of Michael Morgan. “From Our Mother” is a co-commission of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. For tickets please call 510-444-0801 or visit www.oebs.org.

Yoshi’s Concert; Europe Fall Tour 2002

Dear Friends,

We’d like to convey a final reminder that Omar Sosa and his band will be at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA (510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square) on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 & 10. This will be Omar’s first time at Yoshi’s as a leader,and an opportunityfor him to showcase material from his recent Latin GRAMMY nominated CD, “Sentir”. Tickets are $16.00 and are available by calling Yoshi’s at 510-238-9200, or by visiting www.yoshis.com. There are two shows nightly at 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

Joining Omar for these special performances will be Martha Galarraga (from Cuba) singing Yoruba chants (FBI willing); Gustavo Ovalles (from Venezuela) playing batas, congas, bongo, and several Venezuelan percussion instruments (including culo e puya and quitiplas); Yassir Chadly (from Morocco) singing Arabic chants; Eric Crystal (San Francisco) playing saxophones; Brutha Los (Oakland) providing the hip-hop lyrics; and Geoff Brennan (now in Chicago) playing acoustic bass.

Other Northern California dates include:

September 7 Merced Multicultural Arts Center
September 12Fresno State University
September 14Sonoma Valley Jazz Society
September 16Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz

Please see www.melodia.com for details…

The Omar Sosa Octet will tour in Europe this Fall:

October 12 Warwick Arts Center – Coventry, England
October 13 Queen Elisabeth Hall – London, England
October 16 Nancy Jazz Pulsations – Nancy, France
October 17 Enjoy Jazz – Ludwigshafen, Germany
October 18 Spielboden – Dornbirn, Austria
October 19 Quasimodo – Berlin, Germany
October 20 Pavillon – Hannover, Germany
October 22 Theater – Russelsheim, Germany
October 23 JVC Jazz Festival/Melkweg -Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 25 L’Aeronef – Lille, France
October 26 Festival de Rive de Giers, France
October 27 Jazz Contrebande – La Ferney Voltaire, France
October 30 Pavillon Theater – Brighton, England (TRIO w/Martha & Gustavo)
October 31 Cuba Si! Festival -Glasgow, Scotland
November 1Jazz Velannet – Lavelannet, France
November 2Arenberg Theater – Antwerp, Belgium
November 3Redoute – Passau, Germany
November 4Cankarjev Dom -Ljubjana, Slovenia
November 8Leverkusener Jazztag – Leverkusen, Germany
November 9Verden I Norden – Oslo, Norway
November 12Thtre Duchamp Fleuri – Rouen, France
November 16MJC Picaud -Cannes, France
November 19La Coursive/Scne Nationale – La Rochelle, France
November 20Le Moulin de Roc- Niort, France
November 21La Blaiserie – Poitiers, France
November 23Le Cap – Aulnay-sous-Bois, France (near Paris)
November 28Jazz Reims, France

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