Omar Sosa, musician extraordinaire — composer, arranger, pianist, percussionist, improvisator and communicator— will perform at the Harris Center for Arts in Folsom on Friday, July 18 at 8 p.m. as part of the Four Slices of Cuba series, a Cuban music festival.
Sosa has performed numerous concerts all around the world. He’s winner of the 10th annual Independent Music Awards in the Jazz Album category, and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, D.C. for contribution to the development of Latin jazz in the United States.
Sosa’s New AfroCuban Quartet will explore contemporary interpretations of some of the classic Cuban musical styles the world has come to enjoy: danzón, cha-cha-cha, bolero, changui. All of the material is informed by the powerful African traditions of Santería, Abakua, Makuta, Ñongo and Palo Monte.
The group’s repertoire will include a number of Sosa’s signature compositions, including “Toridanzón,” “Mis Tres Notas” and “Iyawo.” Popular and religious chants will be arranged with contemporary harmonies and African rhythms, resulting in a musical journey into the ensemble’s personal vision of various AfroCuban traditions.
The New AfroCuban Quartet marks a homecoming for Sosa to the influences of his formative years at the Escuela Nacional de Música in Havana and later at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, where he savored the music of Pancho Quinto, Lázaro Ross, Rubén González, Machito, Benny Moré, Ismael Rivera, Arsenio, Cachao, Lili Martinez, Peruchin, Chucho Valdés and Irakere.
Joining him on this adventure are three musicians with whom Sosa shares a very close relationship: fellow Camagüeyanos, Ernesto Simpson on drums, and Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones and flutes, and Mozambican bassist and longtime collaborator, Childo Tomas.
Composer-pianist-bandleader Omar Sosa was influenced by traditional Afro-Cuban music, European classical composers (including Chopin, Bartok and Satie), Monk, Coltrane, Parker, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Chucho Valdés and the pioneering Cuban jazz group Irakere. Moving in 1993 to Ecuador, Sosa immersed himself in the folkloric traditions of Esmeraldas, the northwest coast region whose African heritage includes the distinctive marimba tradition. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995, and soon invigorated the Latin jazz scene with his adventurous writing and percussive style. In 1999, Sosa relocated to Barcelona, Spain.
Omar Sosa’s New AfroCuban Quartet will perform at Harris Center, 10 College Parkway in Folsom.
Tickets are priced at $19-$29, premium $39 and students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center ticket office at 916-608-6888 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket.