Afreecanos. Rooted in Africa. Omar Sosa’s new studio album brings together musicians from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and France to celebrate the rich heritage of African music in jazz and Latin music. Mr. Sosa’s approach takes folkloric elements from Africa and the Americas, combines them with his Afro-Cuban roots, and brings them all forward into a contemporary jazz expression. For the first time since his arrangements on Spirit Of The Roots and Prietos, Mr. Sosa uses a horn section, and Afreecanos features a variety of traditional and modern flute sounds. The recording also features kora, ngoni, guitar-sitar, and a variety of folkloric percussion instruments, including batá, timbales, kongoman, m’bira, and talking drum.
Featured on the recording are Cuban drummer Julio Barreto, Mozambican electric bassist Childo Tomas, Senegalese vocalist Mola Sylla, Cuban folkloric master Lázaro Galarraga, Cuban woodwind player Leandro Saint-Hill, French trumpet player Stéphane Belmondo, and French multi-instrumentalist Christophe Disco Minck. Also featured are Cuban timbal master Orestes Vilató, Malian percussionist Baba Sissoko, Malian flute player Ali Wague, and Senegalese kora player Ali Boulo Santo, et al.
Mr. Sosa has taken Afro-Cuban musical forms, like the rumba, and arranged them for African musicians and African instruments… releasing these forms from the traditional Afro-Cuban clave… and opening them to innovative interpretations… combining the fokloric with the contemporary, the ancestral with the urban. Throughout the album we hear folkloric elements infusing a modern jazz idiom, including spirit vocals and percussion from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil. The sound is lush and orchestral.
Afreecanos is produced by Paris-based drummer Steve Argüelles, who also produced Mr. Sosa’s 2004 GRAMMY-nominated recording, Mulatos. Afreecanos was recorded at Fattoria Musica in Osnabrück, Germany, with additional recording in Paris and San Francisco.
The recording is dedicated to the late Cuban percussion masters, Pancho Quinto and Angá Diaz.