New Omar Sosa Big Band CD “Ceremony”

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New Omar Sosa Big Band CD “Ceremony”

We are pleased to announce the Omar Sosa-NDR Bigband CD “Ceremony”, set for worldwide release in February and March 2010.

NDR Bigband plays Omar Sosa
Arranged by Jaques Morelenbaum

Ceremony is a major new project, the fruit of pianist-composer Omar Sosas first big-band collaboration with composer-arranger-cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, Hamburgs 18piece NDR Bigband (North German Radio / Norddeutscher Rundfunk), and the Omar Sosa Quartet, featuring Julio Barreto (drums, Cuba), Childo Tomas (electric bass, Mozambique), and Marcos Ilukn (Afro-Cuban percussion, Cuba). Sosa himself plays piano and marimba.

Recorded in two sessions (2007 and 2008) at NDRs Hamburg studios, under the direction of Morelenbuam and Sosa, Ceremony features Morelenbaums brilliant arrangements of selections from Omars Spirit Of The Roots (1999), Bembn (2000), and Afreecanos (2009) CDstogether with two new Sosa offerings, Llegada Con Elegba (the introductory track) and Salida Con Elegba (the closing piece).

Rooted in the Quartets Afro-Cuban percussive traditions, Sosas finely textured compositions enable Morelenbaum to summon forth a broad palette of sounds, fully mobilizing the NDR Bigbands sonic potential and its brilliant soloists, while leaving ample space for Sosas own luminous improvisations.

Ceremony takes something of the structure of a sacred bat ceremony, invoking a panoply of Yoruba deities, while also delving into the Cuban son, danzn, and cha-cha-cha. Reflecting Sosas own spiritual grounding, Ceremony opens in sacramental veneration of Elegba, the divine messenger and guardian spirit, the all-powerful medium and diviner of human fate. Chang En Esmeraldas is an extended tribute to the deity of thunder and lightning, fire and moral retribution, and a reflection upon Sosas musical sojourn in the Afro-Ecuadorian community of Esmeraldas. Yemaya En Agua Larga honors the great mother and goddess of the sea, the moon, creation, and female mystery. In keeping with Yoruba tradition, Ceremony exits with a final ritual salutation to Elegba.

Ceremony acknowledges the majesty of the legendary Afro-Cuban big bands of Frank Machito Grillo, Chico OFarrill, and Dizzy Gillespie, while extending those revered traditions in a contemporary salute to the expansive universe of world jazz, wherein Sosa himself continues to reign as a joyous, generous, abundant, and essential creative spirit.

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

The NDR Bigband is an ensemble of accomplished soloists whose talents have been highlighted through the work of such noted arrangers as Steve Gray, Colin Towns, and Michael Gibbs. Over the years, the NDR Bigbands artistic collaborations have comprised a virtual Whos Who of world jazz: including Chet Baker, Paquito DRivera, 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 will have its international debut at NDR in Hamburg on March 1819, 2010, and at the Banlieues Bleues festival in Paris on March 17, 2010.

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