Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa’s new large-ensemble recording Prietos continues to blaze new musical trails with its explosive mix of sounds from Cuba, Morocco, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and the United States. Voices and instruments from all of these cultures find joyful expression in this fresh, powerful, passionate CD.

Exploring Latin jazz beyond its traditional Cubop expressions, Omar Sosa juxtaposes folkloric melodies and rhythms with contemporary jazz harmonies. Yoruba (Cuba) and Gnawa (Morocco) chants are intertwined with hip-hop (U.S.) verses to create a modern, urban sound with a Latin jazz heart. Omar Sosa is a 21st century mix of Thelonious Monk back from the beyond and Eddie Palmieri in the full-blown and innocent spirit of his youth.

Prietos is World Music in its truest sense. Not “music to make you feel good”, but strong, uncompromising sounds – yet always welcoming, and above all honest. Throughout this recording we hear Omar’s genius as an arranger and his extraordinary inspiration at the piano.

Prieto is Spanish for black – really black. Omar uses Prietos as the title of this recording because he wants to put the music of many black cultures together on the same plate, giving expression to the fact that they are all children of the same Mother Africa.

On this recording you’ll find tongues in Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Yoruba, as well as instruments like the gimbri, oud and bendir from North Africa, djembe drums and balaphon from West Africa, and its sibling from Esmeraldas (Ecuador), the marimba.