Spectacular Omar Sosa

Omar Sosa - Ceremony
Omar Sosa – Ceremony
Omar Sosa

Ceremony (Ota Records, 2010)

Two brilliant minds joined forces on Ceremony, the new album by Cuban pianist and composer Omar Sosa, who is one of the most exciting musicians in the current international jazz scene. The album is the result of the collaboration between Omar Sosa and renowned Brazilian cellist, composer and arranger Jacques Morelenbaum.

Ceremony features the reputable 18–piece NDR Bigband (North German Radio / Norddeutscher Rundfunk) from Hamburg, and the excellent Omar Sosa Quartet, featuring Cuban drummer Julio Barreto, Mozambican bassist Childo Tomas, and Cuban percussionist Marcos Ilukán. Sosa himself plays piano and marimba. Sosa’s impressive body of work has deep Cuban roots, including the music batá ceremonies, Cuban son, danzón, and cha cha chá, as well as elements from Pacific Coast Afro-Colombian and Afro-Ecuadorian traditions, featuring the use of various traditional rhythms and marimbas. 

The album was recorded in two sessions (2007 and 2008) at NDR’s Hamburg studios, under the direction of Morelenbaum and Sosa. Ceremony includes Morelenbaum’s masterful arrangements of musical pieces from Omar Sosa’s recordings Spirit of the Roots (1999), Bembón (2000), and Afreecanos (2009) . In addition, two new compositions by Omar Sosa are featured, “Llegada Con Elegba” (Arrival with Elegba, the introductory track) and “Salida Con Elegba” (Departure with Elegba, the closing piece). Elegba is a Yoruba deity worshipped by some Cubans, the divine messenger and guardian spirit, the all-powerful medium and diviner of human fate.

Ceremony grew out of a conversation with Hamburg producer Stefan Gerdes of NDR, who brokered the connection with Jacques Morelenbaum, who is much sought after as an arranger, reflecting his signal work with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa, Cesária Evora, and Mariza, among many others.

The NDR Bigband is an ensemble of accomplished soloists. Jörg Achim Keller is the musical director. The orchestra includes trumpeters Thorsten Benkenstein, Ingolf Burkhardt, Claus Stötter and Reiner Winterschladen; saxophonists Fiete Felsch (alto), Peter Bolte (alto), Christof Lauer (tenor), Lutz Büchner (tenor) and Frank Delle (baritone); trombonists Dan Gottshall, Klaus Heidenreich, Stefan Lottermann and Ingo Lahme; keyboardist Vladyslav Sendecki; guitarist Stephan Diez; bassist Ingmar Heller; and percussionist Marcio Doctor.

The NDR Bigband has worked with such noted arrangers as Steve Gray, Colin Towns, and Michael Gibbs. Over the years, the NDR Bigband has recorded with the biggest names in jazz,  including Chet Baker, Paquito D’Rivera, Pee Wee Ellis, Joe Gallardo, Lionel Hampton, Dave Holland, Abdullah Ibrahim, Pat Metheny, Joe Pass, Maria Schneider, Wayne Shorter, Oscar Brown, Jr., Al Jarreau, and Bobby McFerrin.

Ceremony is a new masterpiece by one of the powerhouses of jazz and Afro-Cuban music.  The album will have its international debut at NDR in Hamburg on March 18–19, 2010.

Omar Sosa Winter-Spring 2010 Tour Schedule

January 15 & 16, 2010
Athens, Greece

January 24, 2010
Carib’n Jazz Festival
Paris, France

January 26, 2010
Le Cheval Blanc
Schiltigheim, France

January 28, 2010
Caveau Jazz
Fort du Bruissin
Lyon (Francheville), France

January 29, 2010
Club Pannonica
Salle Paul Fort
Nantes, France

January 30, 2010
Le Vauban
Brest, France

January 31, 2010
Theatre de Cornouaille
Quimper, France

February 6, 2010
La Mamisele
Saubrigues (Biarritz), France

February 26, 2010
Festival Jazzellerault
Nouveau Theatre Accord
Chatellerault, France

February 28, 2010
Musica en la Villa
Teatro Fernan Gomez
Madrid, Spain

March 5, 2010
Teatro Garibaldi
Santa Maria Capua Vetere (CE), Italy

March 6, 2010
Teatro Comunale Giancarlo Siani
Marano di Napoli, Italy

March 18 & 19, 2010
"Ceremony" CD Release Celebration
Omar Sosa-NDR Bigband
NDR Studios
Hamburg, Germany

March 21, 2010
Teatro Donizetti
Bergamo, Italy

April 10, 2010
South Florida Jazz Presents
Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.

April 14, 2010
Mount Vernon Country Club
Golden (Denver), Colorado, U.S.A.

April 15, 2010
Outpost Performance Space
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A.

April 16, 17, & 18, 2010
Yoshi’s Oakland
Oakland, California, U.S.A.

April 21, 2010
Tri-C JazzFest
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

April 23, 2010
Detroit Institute of Arts
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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