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Omar Sosa: Building Bridges Not Walls

Read "Omar Sosa: Building Bridges Not Walls" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Cuban-born pianist, Omar Sosa is a passionate man. Music, religion, family, his relationship to the planet—all these are inseparable to an artist whose musical world is steeped in the Afro-Cuban heritage that he draws upon so personally and individually in his work. Spinning culinary metaphors to describe the processes of music-making, he sings the praises of the musicians from so many different cultures with whom he collaborates. But most of all, he is passionate in his concern for the environment ...

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Omar Sosa & Yilian Cañizares: Aguas

Read "Aguas" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Omar Sosa is an artist whose music is always in flux. With each new album, Sosa presents new aspects of himself and brings in new collaborators to expand his Afro-Cuban-rooted music. Aguas is no exception to this, as it sees Sosa moving in an opposite direction from his explorations in 2017's fantastic Transparent Water, which, at its core, is a roots music record, with Sosa, and Senegalese Kora virtuoso Seckou Keita, blending Afro-Cuban tradition with the West African. Aguas a ...

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Omar Sosa: Es:sensual

Read "Es:sensual" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Cuban-born pianist Omar Sosa's music, be it presented in solo performances or conjured by a small-or medium-sized group, has always drawn on confidential mysticism. But that's not to say that his work doesn't lend itself to large-scale interpretation. With Ceremony (Otá Records, 2010) Sosa came out of the candlelit realms and shadows, bringing his music into full light by teaming up with Brazilian cellist-arranger Jaques Morelenbaum and Germany's NDR Big Band to stretch his worldly designs onto larger canvases. Now, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ

Read "Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ" reviewed by Walter Atkins

SFJAZZ, Miner AuditoriumOmar Sosa TourSan Francisco CAApril 21, 2017 Acclaimed pianist Omar Sosa quietly took the unlit stage with only a single candle providing limited illumination. He silently started his show with a solemn keyboard solo. Respected SF Bay Area percussionist and educator John Santos then entered from the opposite side and joined in. The process continued until the last group member was onstage, contributing to the percussive mix. The full lineup consisted of: Sosa, ...

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Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ

Read "Omar Sosa Residency at SFJAZZ" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

Omar Sosa Residency SFJAZZ Spring Season San Francisco, CA April 21-23, 2017 “You don't really listen to an Omar Sosa concert so much as experience it. The Cuban-born pianist's overall demeanor exudes a sense of calm and deep reflection, while a spiritual connection to music and his ancestors comes through in his piano playing." --NPR Music At the commencement of each evening of his four-night residency at SFJAZZ, Omar Sosa, clad ...

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Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita: Transparent Water

Read "Transparent Water" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Omar Sosa would make an excellent global ambassador. He seems to make friends and erase boundary lines wherever he goes. Back in 2012, the Cuban pianist connected with Senegalese kora guru Seckou Keita through a mutual musical associate--drummer Marque Gilmore. Sosa and Keita struck up a quick friendship at that initial meeting, ultimately leading to the creation of this radiant collaboration. They laid down the basic tracks for the project in 2013 and added some other worldly (and otherworldly) voices ...

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Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita: Transparent Water

Read "Transparent Water" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Cuban Pianist Omar Sosa and Senegalese kora player and vocalist Seckou Keita have assembled an extraordinary album seamlessly melding Latin American and West African music. Additional guest instrumentalists bring with them a host of other sounds predominantly emanating from the Far East. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed instrument whilst the sheng is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. The bawu is a Chinese wind instrument and the geomungo is a traditional Korean type of ...

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Paolo Fresu & Omar Sosa featuring Natacha Atlas & Jaques Morelenbaum: Eros

Read "Eros" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While the connection between Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu was established back in 2006, their partnership truly blossomed with Alma (Ota Music, 2012), a beauty of an album with a soft sell approach. That record--quite possibly the most moving item in either man's discography--prioritized heart over all else, and this follow-up date follows suit. Eros--the god of love--serves as muse and sculptor on this easygoing outing. Sosa and Fresu are both in fine ...

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Joo Kraus/Omar Sosa/Gustavo Ovalles: JOG

Read "JOG" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

You have to hand it to pianist Omar Sosa. With the exception of some return trips to the solo piano format, he never really repeats himself. Over the past two decades, Sosa has worked alone, gone the duo route with Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, shared billing/leadership duties with flutist Mark Weinstein, worked with Germany's NDR Bigband, paid tribute to Miles Davis' iconic Kind Of Blue (Columbia Records, 1959) in unique fashion, mingled with Moroccan musicians, worked the Afro-Cuban seam in ...

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Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano: ilé

Read "ilé" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

"The word ilé, from the Lucumí tradition of Cuba, means home, earth." That single sentence, which gets the ball rolling for Omar Sosa's self-penned liner notes, says all that needs to be said about this return-to-roots project. Or does it? Ilé finds Sosa looking back to Camagüey, Cuba. He populates this album with musicians who hail from said locale--drummer Ernesto Simpson, multi-reedist Leandro Saint-Hill, and guests like Eladio “Don Pancho" Terry and Yosvany Terry--but listeners shouldn't be ...

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Omar Sosa: Senses

Read "Senses" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Omar Sosa seems to have a split personality: He's the extroverted dazzler who exudes vivacity and leads the charge, but he's also the introverted-and-contemplative pianist who muses and meditates with fingers on keys. Much of his work allows for both aspects of his artistry to shine; Senses does not. This one is all about the thoughtful and sensitive Sosa baring his soul. Senses is essentially a (by)product of the pianist's time spent at the Experimental Media ...


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