Europe Fall Tour 2002; Symphony Debut

Omar Sosa’s Fall Tour 2002 gets underway in the U.K. this weekend (October 12), and continues over 30 cities in ten European countries. Joining Omar in an ensemble he’s calling “Manos Derechas” (Right Hands) will be:

Martha Galarraga (Cuba) vocals
Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuela) percussion
Javier Campos (Cuba) percussion
Miguel Rios Morales (Cuba) percussion
Childo Tomas (Mozambique) bass
Eric Crystal (San Francisco) saxophones
Sub-Z (Washington, DC) hip-hop lyricist/rapper

Tour dates include:

October 12 Warwick Arts Center – Coventry, England
October 13 Queen Elisabeth Hall – London, England
October 16 Nancy Jazz Pulsations – Nancy, France
October 17 Enjoy Jazz – Ludwigshafen, Germany
October 18 Spielboden – Dornbirn, Austria
October 19 Quasimodo – Berlin, Germany
October 20 Pavillon – Hannover, Germany
October 22 Theater – Russelsheim, Germany
October 23 JVC Jazz Festival/Melkweg – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 25 L’Aeronef – Lille, France
October 26 Festival de Rive de Giers, France
October 27 Jazz Contrebande – La Ferney Voltaire, France
October 30 Pavillon Theater – Brighton, England (TRIO w/Martha & Gustavo)
October 31 Cuba Si! Festival – Glasgow, Scotland
November 1 Jazz Velannet – Lavelannet, France
November 2 Arenberg Theater – Antwerp, Belgium
November 3 Redoute – Passau, Germany
November 4 Cankarjev Dom – Ljubljana, Slovenia
November 8 Leverkusener Jazztag – Leverkusen, Germany
November 9 Verden I Norden – Oslo, Norway
November 11 Concert Hall – Aarhus, Denmark
November 12 Thtre Duchamp Fleuri – Rouen, France
November 14 Salle Victoire II - Montpellier, France
November 16 MJC Picaud – Cannes, France
November 19 La Coursive/Scne Nationale – La Rochelle, France
November 20 Le Moulin de Roc – Niort, France
November 21 La Blaiserie – Poitiers, France
November 23 Le Cap – Aulnay-sous-Bois, France (near Paris)
November 28 Jazz Reims, France

For more information please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar’s first work for orchestra, “From Our Mother”, will debut on Friday, January 24, 2003 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California with the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of Michael Morgan. “From Our Mother” is a co-commission of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Oakland East Bay Symphony. For tickets please call 510-444-0801 or visit www.oebs.org.

Yoshi’s Concert; Europe Fall Tour 2002

Dear Friends,

We’d like to convey a final reminder that Omar Sosa and his band will be at Yoshi’s in Oakland, CA (510 Embarcadero West, Jack London Square) on Monday and Tuesday, September 9 & 10. This will be Omar’s first time at Yoshi’s as a leader,and an opportunityfor him to showcase material from his recent Latin GRAMMY nominated CD, “Sentir”. Tickets are $16.00 and are available by calling Yoshi’s at 510-238-9200, or by visiting www.yoshis.com. There are two shows nightly at 8:00 PM and 10:00 PM.

Joining Omar for these special performances will be Martha Galarraga (from Cuba) singing Yoruba chants (FBI willing); Gustavo Ovalles (from Venezuela) playing batas, congas, bongo, and several Venezuelan percussion instruments (including culo e puya and quitiplas); Yassir Chadly (from Morocco) singing Arabic chants; Eric Crystal (San Francisco) playing saxophones; Brutha Los (Oakland) providing the hip-hop lyrics; and Geoff Brennan (now in Chicago) playing acoustic bass.

Other Northern California dates include:

September 7 Merced Multicultural Arts Center
September 12Fresno State University
September 14Sonoma Valley Jazz Society
September 16Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz

Please see www.melodia.com for details…

The Omar Sosa Octet will tour in Europe this Fall:

October 12 Warwick Arts Center – Coventry, England
October 13 Queen Elisabeth Hall – London, England
October 16 Nancy Jazz Pulsations – Nancy, France
October 17 Enjoy Jazz – Ludwigshafen, Germany
October 18 Spielboden – Dornbirn, Austria
October 19 Quasimodo – Berlin, Germany
October 20 Pavillon – Hannover, Germany
October 22 Theater – Russelsheim, Germany
October 23 JVC Jazz Festival/Melkweg -Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 25 L’Aeronef – Lille, France
October 26 Festival de Rive de Giers, France
October 27 Jazz Contrebande – La Ferney Voltaire, France
October 30 Pavillon Theater – Brighton, England (TRIO w/Martha & Gustavo)
October 31 Cuba Si! Festival -Glasgow, Scotland
November 1Jazz Velannet – Lavelannet, France
November 2Arenberg Theater – Antwerp, Belgium
November 3Redoute – Passau, Germany
November 4Cankarjev Dom -Ljubjana, Slovenia
November 8Leverkusener Jazztag – Leverkusen, Germany
November 9Verden I Norden – Oslo, Norway
November 12Thtre Duchamp Fleuri – Rouen, France
November 16MJC Picaud -Cannes, France
November 19La Coursive/Scne Nationale – La Rochelle, France
November 20Le Moulin de Roc- Niort, France
November 21La Blaiserie – Poitiers, France
November 23Le Cap – Aulnay-sous-Bois, France (near Paris)
November 28Jazz Reims, France

2002 Latin GRAMMY Nomination for “Sentir”

Omar Sosa was recently nominated for a Latin GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for his most recent recording, “Sentir” (OTA1009). “Sentir” combines Omar’s Afro-Cuban roots with Latin jazz, Gnawa ritual music, hip-hop, and music from Afro-Venezuelan folkloric traditions. Writes Robert Leaver in The Beat magazine, “Sentir is a truly groundbreaking recording that fuses Afro-Cuban and Moroccan folklore with jazz attitude and a rap overlay.”

The 3rd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, to be held on September 18 in Hollywood at Kodak Theatre, will present awards in 40 key categories covering many genres and sub-genres of Latin music. A complete list of nominees can be found at http://press.grammy.aol.com/3latin.pdf.

Following two special shows this month with saxophonist David Murray (one on August 23 in Rocella Jonica, Italy; the other on August 25 in the Azores, Portugal), Omar heads back to the United States in September for several small ensemble dates in Northern California,as well as a brief tour in the mid-West with his Octet:

Saturday, September 7 Merced Multicultural Arts Center, Merced, CA (Quartet)

West Coast Live radio broadcast, 10 AM PST (see www.wcl.orgfor affiliate stations & schedule)
Monday, September 9 Yoshi’s, Oakland, CA (Sextet)
Tuesday, September 10Yoshi’s, Oakland,CA (Sextet)
Thursday, September 12Fresno State University, Fresno, CA (Quartet)
Saturday, September 14 Sonoma Valley Jazz Society, Sonoma, CA (Trio)
Monday, September 16Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA (Quartet)

Thursday, September 19 Music Hall, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (Octet)
Friday, September 20Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, WI (Octet)
Saturday, September 21 World Music Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (Octet)
Sunday, September 22World Music Festival, HotHouse, Chicago, IL (Octet)

For further details on times and ticket prices, please visit www.melodia.com. Also on the program at the Museum of Contemporary Art on September 21 is the JUBA Quartet (from Chicago); and on the program at HotHouse on September 22 is Tama (from Mali).

Featured in the small ensemble on September 7, 12 and 16 will be noted saxophonist and professor of music, Hafez Modirzadeh.

The Yoshi’s line-up will include vocalist Martha Galarraga (Cuba), percussionist Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuela), vocalist Yassir Chadly (Morocco), saxophonist Eric Crystal (San Francisco), and hip-hop lyricist/rapper Brutha Los. Rounding out the line-up for the Octet performances will be drummer Elliot Kavee (New York) and bassist Geoff Brennan (Chicago).

Details of Omar’s 26-city European tour this Fall (October and November) can also be found at www.melodia.com. The premiere of Omar’s work for symphony orchestra remains January 24, 2003 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA, by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Michael Morgan conducting.

Association of Jazz Journalists Award – June 19, 2002

We are pleased to announce that Omar Sosa received the award for Afro-Caribbean Jazz Album of the Year from the Jazz Journalists Association for his latest CD release “Sentir” (OTA1009). Presented on June 19, 2002 at the Jazz Standard in New York by JJA president Howard Mandel, Omar’s award was one of 39 categories acknowledged by the association. For complete JJA Jazz Awards winners, please visit www.jazzhouse.org.

In his review of Omar’s sold-out show at the Blue Note in New York on June 24, Ben RatliffofThe New York Times, under the headline “Votive Candles and Wild Riffs”, writes: “The Cuban-born pianist Omar Sosa has a nearly feral sense of showmanship: at the Blue Note on Monday night, performing for the first time in New York, he came to flatten the crowd, and he did. By far the greatest joys of the evening came inrhythmic vamps and breakdowns, when Brutha Los free-styled a rap about riding with Jesus in a Cadillac or when Ms. Galarraga intoned Yoruba chants and the band just worked out. But Mr. Sosa also furnished meticulously arranged parts to open and close his tunes. He played an astonishing piano solo, drenched in floridly classical, superanimated Cuban piano technique. He even plunged into astringent free improvisation with bass and drums, in the Cecil Taylor mode. But the set held together, and proved Mr. Sosa’s charismatic, large-canvas imagination” (June 28, 2002).

For the complete New York Times review, please visit http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/28/arts/music/28SOSA.html.

Omar Sosa’s concert schedule for July and August includes the following shows:

July 6 Bagnols Blues, Bagnol-sur-Ceze, France (Trio with Martha Galarraga and Gustavo Ovalles)
July 7 Park Jazz, Kortrijk, Belgium (Quintet)
July 15Messina (Sicily), Italy (Octet)
July 16Marsala (Sicily), Italy (Octet)
July 19Tondefestas, Tondela, Portugal (Septet)
July 22Blue Note Tokyo, Japan (Octet)
July 23Blue Note Tokyo, Japan (Octet)
July 24Blue Note Tokyo, Japan (Octet)
July 25Motion Blue, Yokohama, Japan (Duo with Gustavo Ovalles)
July 27Les Nuits des Suds, Vence, France (Octet)
July 30Angers l’Ete, Angers, France (Octet)
July 31Festival de Jazz, Aix-en-Provence, France (Octet)
August 3Jazz a Vannes, Vannes, France (Octet)
August 4Jazz in Marciac, Marciac, France (Octet)
August 5Fiesta Latina, Sete, France (Octet)
August 6Fitou (near Perpignan), France (Duo with Gustavo Ovalles)

Later in August, Omar Sosa will collaborate with renowned saxophonist David Murray in two special projects. The line-up will include Hamid Drake on drums; Jaribu Shahid on acoustic bass; Gustavo Ovalles, Miguel Rios Morales “Puntilla Jr.”, and Javier Campos on bata drums; and Martha Galarraga on vocals. The dates are as follows:

August 23 Rocella Jonica, Italy
August 25 Azores, Portugal

Omar Sosa’s Fall Tour 2002 will kick off with his first ever concert in London at Queen Elizabeth Hall on October 10.

NYC Debut at Blue Note – June 24, 2002

We are pleased to announce that Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa and his band will perform at the BLUE NOTE in New York City on Monday, June 24. Two shows: 8 PM & 10:30 PM. $10.00 for seating; $5.00 for the bar area. Reservations recommended. For tickets, please visit www.bluenote.netor call 212-475-8592. The Blue Note is located at 131 West 3rd Street (between 6th Avenue and McDougal).

Joining Omar at the Blue Note will be vocalist Martha Galarraga (Cuba), percussionist Gustavo Ovalles (Venezuela), drummer Elliot Kavee (New York), bassist Geoff Brennan (San Francisco), saxophonist Eric Crystal (San Francisco), hip-hop lyricist/rapper Brutha Los (Oakland), plus special guests.

Reviewing a recent show at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Don Heckman of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Sosa’s performance was an extraordinary example of state-of-the-art world jazz, splendidly illustrating how entrancing the music can become when it is open and receptive to global input and interaction” (April 18, 2002).

We are also pleased to announce that Omar Sosa’s new CD “Sentir” has been nominated for Afro-Caribbean Jazz Album of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association, along with recent recordings by Charlie Haden, David Sanchez, Jane Bunnett, and Michel Camilo. Winners in 39 categories will be announced at a cocktail party on Wednesday, June 19, 4-7 PM at Jazz Standard, New York City, 116 East 27th Street. Jazz industry representatives and the general public are invited to attend for $100.00 per ticket to benefit the Jazz Foundation of America’s Musicians Emergency Fund. Please visit www.jazzhouse.org or call 718-625-2026.

Additional Omar Sosa performances on the East Coast include:

Saturday, June 22 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Wilmington, DE
Sunday, June 23Summer Arts Festival, Huntington, NY (Long Island)
Friday, June 28 Spectrum, Montreal International Jazz Festival, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

For interviews or press materials, please contact OTA Records at 510-339-3389 or for more information please visit www.melodia.com.

Europe Spring Tour 2002

Following a series of successful dates in the western United States, Omar Sosa continues his Spring touring in France, Germany, Austria, Turkey, and Reunion Island. The band features Geoff Brennan on acoustic bass; Elliot Kavee on drums; Gustavo Ovalles on percussion; Martha Galarraga on vocals; Eric Crystal on saxophones; Sub-Z on vocals; and for May and June dates in Europe marked Omar Sosa Octet, Moroccan vocalist El Houssaine Kili will join the ensemble. Mr. Kili is featured on Omar’s latest CD release, “Sentir”, along with Gustavo Ovalles, Martha Galarraga, and Sub-Z.

Saturday, May 11 Festival de jazz en pays du Luberon Banieux, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Tuesday, May 14 New Morning Paris, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Wednesday, May 15 Ninkasi Lyon, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Thursday, May 16 Jazz Balade, Lo Bolegason Castres, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Saturday, May 18 Le Florida Agen, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Monday, May 20 Moers Festival Moers, GERMANY Omar Sosa Octet

Friday & Saturday, May 24 & 25 Theatre de St. Gilles Reunion Island (France), Indian Ocean Omar Sosa Septet

Saturday, June 1 Amphitheatre de Chateauvallon Ollioules, FRANCE Omar Sosa Septet

Monday, June 3 Porgy & Bess Vienna, AUSTRIA Omar Sosa Septet

Wednesday, June 5 Jazz It! Salzburg, AUSTRIA Omar Sosa Septet

Thursday, June 6 Innsbruck, AUSTRIA Omar Sosa Septet

Friday, June 7 Tubingen, GERMANY Omar Sosa Septet

Saturday, June 8 Odeon Goppingen, GERMANY Omar Sosa Septet

Sunday, June 9 Theaterzelt Recklinghausen, GERMANY Omar Sosa Octet

Monday, June 10 Bielefeld, GERMANY Omar Sosa Septet

Wednesday, June 12 Kassel, GERMANY Omar Sosa Septet

Tuesday & Wednesday, June 14 & 15 Babylon Istanbul, TURKEY Omar Sosa Septet

Summer touring dates include:

Saturday, June 22 Clifford Brown Jazz Festival Wilmington, Delaware, USA Omar Sosa Octet

Sunday, June 23 Summer Arts Festival Huntington, New York (Long Island), USA Omar Sosa Octet

Friday, June 28 Montreal Jazz Festival Montreal, Quebec, CANADA Omar Sosa Octet

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, July 22, 23 & 24 Blue Note Tokyo, JAPAN Omar Sosa Octet

Thursday, July 25 Motion Blue Yokohama, JAPAN Omar Sosa Duo w/Gustavo Ovalles

Saturday, July 27 Les Nuits du Sud Vence, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Tuesday, July 30 Angers l’Ete Angers, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Wednesday, July 31 Festival de Jazz Aix-en-Provence, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Saturday, August 3 Jazz a Vannes Vannes, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Sunday, August 4 Jazz a Marciac Marciac, FRANCE Omar Sosa Octet

Reviewing the Omar Sosa Octet at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Don Heckman wrote in the April 18, 2002 issue of the Los Angeles Times, “Sosa’s performance was an extraordinary example of state-of-the-art world jazz, splendidly illustrating how entrancing the music can become when it is open and receptive to global input and interaction.” “His visceral understanding of the full range of Cuban rhythms never went away, investing his piano playing with a rich stylistic diversity and a passionate emotional expressiveness.”

U.S. Spring Tour 2003; David Murray Collaboration

Following the release March 12 of his latest recording, “Sentir”, Omar Sosa begins an eight-city tourof the western U.S. with a special concert at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Saturday, April 6:

Saturday, April 6
8 PM, $15.00/$12.00 members
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts FORUM
701 Mission at 3rd Street, San Francisco
For advance tickets call 415-978-2787 or visit www.yerbabuenaarts.org

Joining Omar for the first time in the U.S. will be vocalist Martha Galarraga from Cuba and percussionist Gustavo Ovalles from Venezuela, both members of Omar’s regular touring and recording ensemble. Ms. Galarraga is a leading figure in the performance of Yoruban song and dance associated with Santeria, the spiritual practice of Cuba originating in West Africa. Mr. Ovalles brings with him a number of percussion instruments native to Venezuela, including the “culoepuya” and quitiplas. Hosted by journalist and KCSM music director, Chuy Varela, the concert will begin with a discussion/demonstration of the second movement of Omar’s work-under-construction for orchestra, entitled “From Our Mother”. The piece is a co-commission of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of Michael Morgan, and has been made possible through a Wattis Artist Residency at YBCA, with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. “From Our Mother” will receive its premiere by the Oakland East Bay Symphony at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on Friday, January 24, 2003.

Prior to their arrival in the U.S., Omar, Martha and Gustavo will join saxophonist David Murray for a special concert at the Musee Dapper in Paris on Wednesday, April 3, entitled “Cuba, the Sanctuary of Rhythms”. Also featured will be Ishmael Reed, poetry; Hamid Drake, drums; and Miguel Rios Puntilla and Xavier Campos, bata drums. Tickets for this event are available at FNAC, Musee Dapper (01 45 00 01 50), or visit www.3dfamily.org.

April/May 2002 U.S. tour schedule for the Omar Sosa Septet:

April 11 Unity Church, San Luis Obispo, CA
April 13 On The Boards, Seattle, WA (Earshot Jazz)
April 14 Richard’s On Richards, Vancouver, BC (Coastal Jazz & Blues Society)
April 16 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 17 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 18 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 19 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 20 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 21 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 26 OneWorld Theatre, Austin, TX
April 27 Houston International Festival, Houston, TX
April 29 Outpost, Albuquerque, NM
May 3Hidden Barn Studio (benefit concert), Big Sur, CA (Omar Sosa Quartet)
May 4SF JAZZ presents at the Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
(with the Anthony Brown Asian American Orchestra)
May 5Big Sur Jazzfest, Big Sur, CA

For details on tickets and locations of these shows, please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar’s new CD, “Sentir”, has been receiving widespread critical acclaim. Selecting it as Album of the Week (February 15), Ben Ratliff, jazz critic for the New York Times, writes that Omar “is a versatile pianist with a big sound, especially strong in the extreme registers, and his fast fingers dig into montunos and Herbie Hancock jazz chords”. In The Washington Post (March 13), Fernando Gonzalez writes that Omar’s “is a music in which concepts of time (conveyed in various meters), grooves, instruments and textures from disparate traditions overlap, blend and collide. The results are both familiar and fresh – and always illuminating”.

NY Times “Sentir” Preview; April 2002 U.S. Tour Schedule

For those interested in a sneak preview of Omar Sosa’s next recording, “Sentir”, set for release on March 12th, please check out the audio samples and commentary by New York Times Jazz Critic, Ben Ratliff, at:

www.nytimes.com/arts

U.S. tour dates for the Omar Sosa Septet this spring include:

April 11 Unity Church, San Luis Obispo, CA
April 13 Earshot Jazz at “On The Boards”, Seatte, WA
April 14 Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver, BC
April 16 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 17 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 18 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 19 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 20 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 21 Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles, CA
April 26 OneWorld Theatre, Austin, TX
April 27 Houston International Festival, Houston, TX
April 29 Outpost, Albuquerque, NM
May 4SF JAZZ at Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
May 5 Big Sur Jazz Festival, Big Sur, CA

March dates for the Omar Sosa-John Santos Trio include:

March 8 Mills Hall, University of Wisconsin School of Music, Madison, WI
March 9 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL

For more information please visit www.melodia.com or contact:

Duo Tour with Gustavo Ovalles – January 2002; John Santos Dates and “Sentir” CD Release Date Announced

Omar Sosa will perform this month in France as a Duo with Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles:

January 19 MJC, Romans/Isere
January 24 La Coupe d’Or, Rochefort
January 25 Musee Dapper, Paris
January 26 Musee Dapper, Paris
January 29 Jazz Club, Charleville Meziere
January 30 Le Cheval Blanc, Schiltigheim

(Quartet with Ovalles, vocalist Martha Galarraga, and bassist Machanguela)
February 1 Le Mediator, Perpignan

In addition, an Omar Sosa ensemble will perform in Girona, Spain on February 21st.

Between March 7 and March 10, Omar will perform with percussionist John Santos in Madison and Milwaukee, WI, and in Chicago. Details to follow in our next newsletter.

March 12, 2002 is the release date for Omar’s next CD, entitled “Sentir”. In this recording, Omar brings together the guembri, a traditional stringed instrument from the Gnawa culture of North Africa, with Cuban bata drums, Afro-Venezuelan percussion instruments, and voices from all three cultures. “Sentir” is infused throughout with a sense of freedom and spontaneity – the result of Omar’s first-time meeting in the studio with Moroccan vocalist and multi-instrumentalist El Houssaine Kili, Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, and Cuban vocalist Martha Galarraga.

Omar Sosa’s first tour in the United States with his Septet is slated for April and May of this year. Highlights so far include the Houston International Festival on April 27, an SFJAZZ performance at the Herbs
t Theatre in San Francisco on May 4, and the Big Sur Jazz Festival on May 5. Additional shows are shaping up in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Seattle, Vancouver, and Albuquerque. Full tour schedule and details to follow in our next newsletter.

Or for more information please visit www.melodia.com or reply to music@melodia.com.

Strictly Mundial; Rockefeller Grant; Winter 2002 News

Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa will perform December 7, 2001 at Strictly Mundial in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, a four-day World music conference and cultural event bringing together artists, producers, festival directors, distributors and record companies to exchange views and listen to new music. Accompanying Omar will be Gustavo Ovalles (percussion) and Martha Galarraga (vocals), both members of Omar’s current touring and recording ensemble.

We are also pleased to announce that Omar Sosa has received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York to support the development and production of “From Our Mother”, Omar’s work for symphony orchestra and folkloric ensemble, scheduled for debut in early 2003 with the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of conductor Michael Morgan. The new grant comes in association with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Omar’s ongoing sponsor of the work.

In January 2002 Omar will tour in France with percussionist Gustavo Ovalles in a series of Duo performances. Paris concerts include two nights at the Muse Dapper, January 25 and 26. Full schedule to follow in our next newsletter, or check www.melodia.com.

Omar’s next recording project will be released worldwide on March 12, 2002. Entitled “Sentir”, Omar continues his genre-expanding fusion of traditional voices and rhythms from Cuba, Morocco and Venezuela together with contemporary jazz harmonies and spoken word. Omar brings together the guembri, a traditional stringed instrument from the Gnawa culture of North Africa, with bata drums, Afro-Venezuelan percussion instruments, and singing from all three cultures. Featured on the CD are Moroccan vocalist and multi-instrumentalist El Houssaine Kili, Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, and Yoruba (Cuban) vocalist Martha Galarraga. The result is a World Jazz sound infused throughout with a sense of freedom and spontaneity.

Omar’s first tour in the United States with his Septet is scheduled for April2 to May 8, 2002. Venues interested in presenting the band can contact OTA Records at 510-339-3389 or email music@melodia.com.

For more information please visit www.melodia.com or email music@melodia.com.

Latino USA Interview – September 28, 2001

Beginning Friday, September 28, an interview with Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa will be featured on Latino USA, a nationally syndicated, English-language radioprogram of news and culture, produced from a Latino perspective. Latino USA is distributed by National Public Radio and the Longhorn Radio Network toover 170 stations in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.The program is also distributed by Radio Bilingue. Latino USA is a production partnership of KUT Radio and the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

The schedule for a partial list of radio stations carrying the program appears below. For more information on Latino USA and a complete list of radio stations carrying the program, please go to www.latinousa.org.

PhoenixKMJK-FM106.90Saturday, September 298:00PM
San DiegoKPBS-FM89.50Sunday, September 307:30PM
San Francisco KQED-FM88.50Sunday, September 306:00PM
Denver KUVO-FM89.30Monday, October 1 5:00AM
Washington WAMU-FM88.50Saturday, September 297:00AM
Tampa WMNF-FM88.50Sunday, September 307:30PM
Atlanta WRFG-FM89.30Thursday, October 410:00 AM
Chicago WBEZ-FM91.50Sunday, September 307:30 PM
Detroit WDTR-FM90.90Saturday, September 296:30 PM
MinneapolisKFAI-FM90.30Monday, October 13:00 PM
Kansas CityKKFI-FM90.10Monday, October 110:30 AM
Newark WBGO-FM88.30Tuesday, October 26:30 PM
Albuquerque KUNM-FM89.90Monday, October 18:30 AM
Brooklyn WNYE-FM91.50Wednesday, October 38:00 PM
New YorkWNYC-AM 820Saturday, September 29 5:30 AM
Portland KBOO-FM90.70 Friday, September 286:30 PM
PhiladelphiaWHYY-FM90.90Saturday, September 29 5:00 AM
San JuanWOSO-AM1030Sunday, September 3010:30 AM
MemphisWQOX-FM88.50Thursday, October 4 8:30 AM
Austin KUT-FM90.50 Friday, September 283:30 PM
DallasKERA-FM90.10Sunday, September 306:30 AM
Salt Lake CityKRCL-FM90.90 Friday, September 286:30 AM
SeattleKUOW-FM94.90Sunday, September 306:30 PM

For Omar Sosa’s current concert schedule, please go to www.melodia.com.

Fall Tour 2001 Preview; Meet The Composers Grant

The Omar Sosa Octet will perform at Festival International de la Ville in Creteil, France (near Paris) on Friday, September 21. The ensemble will include Elliot Kavee, drums; Gustavo Ovalles, percussion; Martha Galarraga, vocals; Sheldon Brown, saxophones; Sub-Z, vocals; Jose Julio Tomas, bass; and special guest Lansine Kouyate, balafon. The concert takes place at Maison des Arts et de la Culture in Creteil. Also on the program, from Cuba, are Las Hermanas Faez.

The following day, September 22 at 16h30, Omar Sosa and ensemble will do a showcase at the St. Lazare FNAC store in Paris. Featured will be material from Omar’s recent large-ensemble recording, “Prietos”. Reviewing in the current issue of CMJ New Music Monthly, Steve Ciabattoni comments that “Prietos emerges as Sosa’s most ambitious work, gathering ideas and musicians from his native Cuba, North and South America, and North and West Africa to turn a cultural tower of Babel into a tongue of fire. Amid the deep Afro-Latin polyrhythms of ‘Mother Africa’, angelic brass arrangements, shimmering somewhere between Gillespie and Masekela, are rocked in the bosom of a Yoruba prayer.”

Omar has two shows in California during the first week of October with percussionist John Santos:

Friday, October 5
The Omar Sosa-John Santos Trio
Friday Nights at the Getty
Getty Center for the Arts
Harold Williams Auditorium, 7:30 PM
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles
Concert information: 213-365-0605

Sunday, October 7
The Omar Sosa-John Santos Trio
BayJazz presents Jazz at the Presidio
The Main Post Chapel
130 Fisher Loop, The Presidio
San Francisco
Concert information: 415-461-3180

On Friday, October 12, the Omar Sosa Septet will appear at the 11th Annual Akbank Jazz Festival in Istanbul, Turkey. The concert takes place at Babylon, a multi-purpose performance space/club, which hosts an ongoing series of international jazz, Latin, Brasilian, reggae, world music and electronica.

The band’s Fall tour in Europe, October 25 to November 17, includes a JVC Jazz Festival date at the New Morning in Paris on Sunday, October 28, and a series of concerts in Spain. Full schedule for the Fall tour to follow in our next newsletter, or please visit www.melodia.com.

Omar Sosa recently received a grant from Meet The Composer’s “Commissioning Music/USA” program to collaborate in a project with Dimensions Dance Theater of Oakland, California. Dimensions Dance Theater returned last month from a tour and exchange visit to Zimbabwe. The theme of Omar’s work with the company will center around expressions of music and dance in the African Diaspora today.

Concert with Yassir Chadly – July 21, 2001

During a break in his summer Septet touring schedule, Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa will offer a special concert with Moroccan vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Yassir Chadly:

Saturday, July 21 * 8:30 PM
at the Main Post Chapel in the Presidio
SAN FRANCISCO

Mr. Chadly is featured on Omar’s current CD, “Prietos”. He will also participate in Omar’s next recording project, “Sentir”, scheduled for release in Spring 2002. Fernando Gonzalez writes in the July issue of “Down Beat” that the results of this collaboration “have a consistent musical coherence and emotional integrity”, where “the sum is greater than the parts”. Sosa’s world jazz “uses global sounds to tell his own personal story.”

The July 21 concert is presented by BAJAS in association with KCSM. Tickets are available at the door, or in advance by calling 415-461-3180. For directions call 415-561-6873.

The remainder of Omar’s summer Septet touring schedule includes:

*July 24 Les Fenals, Fitou, France (Duo with percussionist Gustavo Ovalles)

*July 26 Festival des 5 Continents, Marseilles, France

*July 28 Festival de Cornouaille, France

*July 29 Tempo Latino, Vic Fezensac, France

*August 1 l’ete Frappe, Grenoble, France

*August 2 Spoletto Festival, Spoletto, Italy

*August 3 Avignon Jazz Festival, Avignon, France

*August 5 Evora, Portugal

*August 8-12 Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany

*August 24-25 TLG, Tokyo, Japan

For updates on Omar’s concert schedule, please see www.melodia.com. Or for additional information contact:

WGBH National Radio Interview – June 13, 2001

Wednesday, June 13, the nationally syndicated WGBH radio program, THE WORLD, will feature an interview with Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa during the final ten minutes of the one-hour segment. Omar will be speaking about his newest large-ensemble recording, “PRIETOS” (OTA1008).

You can tune into THE WORLD in these cities and at these times:

a.. Boston WGBH-FM 89.7 M – F 4:00 PM to 4:59 PM b.. Chicago WBEZ-FM 91.5 M – TH 7:00 PM to 7:59 PM c.. Los Angeles KCRW-FM 89.9 M – F 12:00 PM to 12:59 PM d.. Miami WDNA-FM 88.9 M – F 6:00 PM to 6:59 PM e.. New York WNYC-AM 820 M – F 3:00 PM to 3:59 PM f.. San Francisco KQED-FM 88.5 M – F 2:00 PM to 2:59 PM g.. Washington WAMU-FM 88.5 M – F 10:00 PM to 10:59 PM

For a complete carriage report go to: http://www.theworld.org/carriage.htm

“Prietos” Reviews and Summer 2001 Tour Schedule

Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa released his new large-ensemble recording “Prietos” (OTA1008) last month in the United States (May 2001). Distributed by Harmonia Mundi USA (Los Angeles), Prietos is an explosive mix of sounds from Cuba, Morocco, Esmeraldas (Ecuador), Venezuela, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and the United States.

Writing for The Washington Post (May 20, 2001), Fernando Gonzalez observes that Sosa’s “pan-African, pan-Latin sound has grown both more expansive and more sharply drawn. The results have not only musical coherence but also intellectual and emotional integrity. Prietos is a candidate for record of the year in Latin jazz.”

Billboard (June 9, 2001) describes Prietos as a “wild ride that careens through Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz, gnawa and Esmeraldeno chants, funk, and post-bop forms. Certainly one of the most passionate and eclectic world jazz titles in recent years.” (Philip Van Vleck)

Nils Jacobson of allaboutjazz.com (April 2001) writes that Omar “integrates an incredibly broad variety of styles without sounding forced or pretentious. When the music of Morocco collides with the music of Cuba, Sosa finds enough in common to unite them into a seamless whole. The secret is grounded respect for the African and post-African traditions. Prietos is more a recognition of common ground than any kind of post-modern pastiche.” As Sosa puts it in his liner notes: “We are all children of the same Mother Africa”.

Prietos features over 30 musicians, including Omar’s core ensemble: ELLIOT KAVEE (drums), GUSTAVO OVALLES (percussion), MARTHA GALARRAGA (Yoruba vocals), SHELDON BROWN (saxophones), and GEOFF BRENNAN (acoustic bass). On tour with the band this spring and summer is Washington, DC-based spoken word artist SUB-Z. Special guests include Yassir Chadly (Arabic vocals), Robbie Kwock (trumpet), John Santos (percussion), and Maria Marquez (vocals), et al.

Distribution in continental Europe (EEU) except Germany, Austria, and Switzerland is by Night & Day Distribution, Paris (Karonte in Spain and Portugal). Distribution in GAS is by Skip Records/Edel Contraire, Hamburg. Distribution in Japan is by Music Camp, Inc. (Tokyo). Distribution in Canada is by Night & Day Canada (Montreal).

The touring schedule for the Omar Sosa Septet this summer includes:

*July 4 Atlantis, Basel, Switzerland

*July 6 Lugano Estival Jazz 2001, Lugano, Switzerland

*July 7 Traumzeit Festival, Duisburg, Germany

*July 9 Nuits d’Afrique, Montreal, Canada

*July 10 Atlantic Jazz Festival, Halifax, Canada

*July 11 Festival d’ete International de Quebec, Canada

*July 12 Festival d’ete International de Quebec, Canada

*July 14 Palatia Jazz, Landau, Germany

*July 24 Les Fenals, Fitou, France (Duo with Gustavo Ovalles)

*July 26 Festival des 5 Continents, Marseilles, France

*July 28 Festival de Cornouaille, France

*July 29 Tempo Latino, Vic Fezensac, France

*August 1 l’ete Frappe, Grenoble, France

*August 2 Spoletto Festival, Spoletto, Italy

*August 3 Avignon Jazz Festival, Avignon, France

*August 5 Evora, Portugal

*August 8-12 Tempodrom, Berlin, Germany

*August 24-25 TLG, Tokyo, Japan

Watch for our next newsletter with an update on Omar’s summer and fall touring schedules.

Comments? Questions? Please reply by return email. You’ll find more information on Omar Sosa and his recordings on our website, www.melodia.com.

“Prietos” CD Release and Spring 2001 Tour Schedule

Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa releases his new large-ensemble recording, “Prietos” (OTA1008), in the United States on May 8, distributed by Harmonia Mundi USA. “Prietos” is an explosive mix of sounds from Cuba, Morocco, Esmeraldas (Ecuador), Venezuela, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and the United States. You’ll find vocals in Arabic, Portuguese, Spanish, English, and Yoruba, as well as instruments like the gimbri, oud and bendir from North Africa, djembe drums and balafon from West Africa, and marimba from Ecuador. Omar juxtaposes folkloric melodies and rhythms with contemporary jazz harmonies, stretching Latin jazz beyond its traditional Cubop expressions. It’s a fresh, powerful, passionate recording.

“Prietos” features over 30 musicians, including Omar’s core ensemble: Elliot Kavee (drums), Gustavo Ovalles (percussion), Martha Galarraga (Yoruba vocals), Sheldon Brown (saxophones), and Geoff Brennan (acoustic bass). Joining the tour this Spring is Washington, DC-based spoken word artist Sub-Z.

“Prietos” was released last month in Europe by Night & Day Distribution (Paris) and Skip Records (Hamburg), in Japan by Music Camp (Tokyo), and in Canada by Night & Day Canada (Montreal).

Celebrating the release of “Prietos”, the Omar Sosa Septet Spring Tour 2001 begins this week:

March 30Cully Festival Jazz, Cully, Switzerland
April 1Moods, Zurich, Switzerland
April 3 Centre Culturel Agora, Boulazac-Agora, France
April 4Festival Banlieues Bleues, Epinay sur Seine, France
April 7AGHJA, Ajaccio Theatre Point, Corsica, France
April 8 Theatre du Terral, Saint Jean de Vedas, France
April 10 Salle Paul Fort, La Bouche d’Air, Nantes, France
April 14Le Moulin, Brainans, France
April 16Karlstorbahnhof, Heidelberg, Germany
April 18 L’Arsenal, Metz, France
April 24Centralstation, Darmstadt, Germany
April 25 Teatro Comunale ‘A Ponchielli’, Cremona, Italy
April 27 Saal der Stadtsparkasse, Syke, Germany
April 28Pavillon, Jazzwoche Hannover, Hannover, Germany
April 29 Jazzkaar Festival, Sakala Center, Tallinn, Estonia
April 30Bayerisher Hof, Munich, Germany
May 1Redoute, Passau, Germany
May 4 Muziek-O-Droom, Haselt, Belgium
May 5Jazzclub, Minden, Germany
May6Stadtgarten, Cologne, Germany
May 9Pozitif Jazz Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
May 10Pozitif Jazz Festival, Istanbul, Turkey
May 11 Centre Culturel Paul Baillart, Massy, France
May 16 Barcelona, Spain
May 17 Cedac de Cimiez,Nice, France
May 18 Theatre de Nimes, Nimes, France
May 19Casablanca, Morocco
May 24 International Jazz Festival, Murcia, Spain

Questions, comments? Please reply via return email.

Omar Sosa to Workshop Symphony Composition

Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa returns to the San Francisco Bay
Area in February. The main focus of his visit will be an “open
rehearsal” presentation of his first work for orchestra entitled “From
Our Mother”, made possible by a grant from Yerba Buena Center for the
Arts in San Francisco. The new piece will be performed by the Oakland
Youth Orchestra, conducted by Oakland East Bay Symphony music director
Michael Morgan. Accompanying the 40-piece orchestra will be Omar on
piano, John Santos on bata, Sheldon Brown on saxophone, and Elliot Kavee
on drums. Omar’s symphony piece incorporates musical elements from
Afro-Cuban and Afro-Ecuadorian folkloric traditions.

This very special event will begin at 8 PM on Saturday, February 17 in
the Forum at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, corner of
Mission and Third Streets. Tickets ($15/$12) are available by calling
the box office at 415-978-2787. Tickets will also be available at the
door.

Following the orchestra presentation, Omar will perform with his own
ensemble, including Elliot Kavee on drums, Geoff Brennan on bass,
Sheldon Brown on saxophones, John Santos on percussion, John Calloway on
flute, and introducing Moroccan singer and multi-instrumentalist Yassir
Chadly. Omar’s concert will feature material from his
soon-to-be-released large-ensemble recording “Prietos”.

Omar’s Bay Area stay also includes the following shows:

Thursday, February 8
Bruno’s, San Francisco
with Elliot Kavee, Geoff Brennan, and Sheldon Brown

Friday, February 9
Oakland Asian Cultural Center, Oakland
Gathering of Ancestors Productions
in association with Asian Improv aRts
and Asia Pacific Cultural Center
present an evening of music with
John-Carlos Perea, electric bass, voice, flute
Elliot Humberto Kavee, drums
Negmeddin Shaheen, darbukah, voice
Omar Sosa, piano
Melody Takata, taiko
Francis Wong, winds

Saturday, February 10
ODC, San Francisco
Underground Jazz Cabaret
Hosted by Idris Ackamoor & Rhodessa Jones
Featuring Omar Sosa & Elliot Kavee, John Tchicai, India Cooke,
Daria Nile, Robert Henry Johnson, Fred Harris, Art Hirahara
Devon Hoff, Baba Duru, and more…

Friday, February 16
Noe Valley Music, San Francisco
The Original Omar Sosa-John Santos Duo

For more information on these shows or on Omar’s new CD release, please
contact omar@melodia.com

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