Experience Omar Sosa’s fusion of jazz, world music, hip-hop, and electronic elements with his Afro-Cuban roots. Grammy-nominated 7 times.
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita, ‘Transparent Water’, at Yoshi’s Oakland on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and March 10, with folkloric Venezuelan percussionist, Gustavo Ovalles. See below for a video excerpt from ‘Transparent Water’ called ‘Fatiliku’.
Tickets at 510-238-9200 or visit www.yoshis.com
Omar Sosa lives in Barcelona now, but the Cuban born pianist used to live in Oakland, and he says playing Yoshi’s is like coming home for him. For Sosa, the long-running Oakland jazz club is a place where he knows “the people, the trees, the city’s rhythms and energy.” Sosa plays gorgeous, ethereal Afro-Cuban jazz, and his 2017 album, Transparent Water, is like a deep meditation session by a meandering river, where occasional waterfalls add intermittent excitement. On the album and this tour, Sosa is playing with Senegalese kora master Seckou Keita (the kora is like a cross between a sitar, harp and guitar) and Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles.
When Omar Sosa talks about his formative influences, he always starts with Camagüey, the inland bastion of Afro-Cuban culture where he was born and raised.
Before moving to Havana as a teenager to study piano at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Música, he devoted himself to percussion and marimba at Camagüey’s rigorous conservatory. He’s traveled far and wide over the past three decades, but always seems to find his way back home.
His celebrated Quarteto AfroCubano, a virtuosic electro-acoustic ensemble he introduced on 2013’s Real Live (Otá Records), features fellow Camagüeyanos Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones, flute and vocals, and Ernesto Simpson on drums and vocals (with Mozambique native Childo Tomas providing the elastic pulse on electric bass, kalimba and vocals). The quartet’s lush, mercurial sound takes on new rhythmic dimensions with special guest percussionist John Santos, an invaluable creative catalyst on the Bay Area scene since the 1970s. He and Sosa connected deeply during the pianist’s East Bay residency, touring together internationally and recording the revelatory duo albums Nfumbe: For the Unseen and La Mar.