Omar Sosa’s Spirit of the Roots is a celebration of the hybrid African spirituality that developed in Cuba, Ecuador, Brazil, and the United States over the past several hundred years. It is a complex blend of many voice of the African Diaspora – in English, Spanish, and Yoruba – over a rhythmic base containing many layers of drumming also drawn from these cultures. Sosa absorbs from each culture that touches him – the energy and storytelling of hip-hop, the free-spirited experimentation of jazz, the heartfelt power of an AfroEcudorian choir, and the celebration of sensuality of Cuban popular music.
Like many other young Cuba musicians, Omar is also influenced by the dexterity and energy of jazz-fusion, and his conception of this music reflects his own meditative and inquisitive nature. It leads him to explore the styles of Bola de Nieve and Perruchin, and to consider the ways Cuban musicians have incorporated elements of their African cosmology into their music.
In seeking the roots of his own spirituality, Omar pays tribute to pianists Thelonious Monk and Lili Martinez, whose musical voices have influenced his own playing. In Thelonious Monk, Omar hears a kindred soul, questioning the dominant cultural and musical boundaries of the day.
Omar’s creativity brings together this wealth of experience and reflection in a beautifully crafted package blessed with ache. Take off your shoes, close your eyes, and allow the sounds to take you on a journey to the Spirit of the Roots.