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Roberto Fonseca: A Life in the Spirit

By Published: March 10, 2010
AAJ: Brazil and Cuba are in the absolute forefront of the music of the 21st Century. How do you account for that? I have a theory. I believe that Brazilian and Cuban artists have discovered a new connection between their African roots, their colonial past and the new Europe... Care to comment?

RF: Yes, you're right. But you know, I always believe that when you don't forget where you come from, and you are really connected spiritually to your folk music, you will always be welcomed wherever you go.

Our traditional music is linked to emotions and passion for life and all the gratitude that we give for all blessings that we received through life on Earth...through land, sea and air... and you know that you can feel that with music. This willingness to live, surrounded by love is reflected in all bands that take music in a very serious way. You know what I mean...

AAJ: Yes I could not agree more. Moving on, If you had the opportunity to travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go? What place on earth beckons you musically?

RF: I would really like to go to Nigeria [this is the heart of Yoruba culture] and also to Egypt. There is something here that is exerting a strong pull on me. You know, I really feel the strength of that land, its culture and its legacy to the civilizations of the world.

AAJ: Now is your chance... Say anything you want to about your music...

RF: Okay, here goes... I try to stimulate some feelings that in some people are asleep; I don't want to be seen as a musician that worries about being technically great or being gifted...all that stuff you know.

With love, passion and willpower, I try to draw listeners to me and my music. This is how I and my listeners feel too. I believe that they want and do see me as a romantic musician who decided to use the piano as a tool to connect the material world with the soul... and to do it through music. That's what makes me want to live everyday and I am sure that others do too.

Selected Discography

Roberto Fonseca, Akokan (Justin Time, 2009)
Maria Bethania/Omara Portuondo, Maria Bethania & Omara Portuondo (Biscoito Fino, 2008)
Roberto Fonseca, Zamazu (Enja, 2007)
Ibrahim Ferrer, Mi Sueño (MCD World Music, 2007) Roberto Fonseca, Temperamento (Yemaya (Spain), 2004)
Roberto Fonseca, Tiene Que Ver (Egrem, 2002)
Roberto Fonseca, Elengo (Egrem, 2002)

Photo Credits

Yann Renoult

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