Cuban pianist takes West Africa to the Caribbean. "It was my dream to work with African musicians", says top Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca. The dream has become reality with Fonseca’s third album Yo.
The virtuoso pianist, composer and producer, formerly with Bueno Vista Social Club, exlores his afro-Cuban roots and santeria faith with an eclectic mix of African percussion, piano and Hammond organ.
"This album is like a rebirth. It was a blessing to work with musicians like Assane Mboup (from Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab)."
Tracks like Bibissa literally send shivers down your spine – such is the dialogue between Fonseca’s keyboards, Diawara’s vocals and Kouyaté’s kora.
If proof were needed that music is a language of its own, here it is.
Fonseca also benefitted from the talents of British DJ and producer Gilles Peterson with whom he’d collaborated on the Havana Cultura project. Peterson produced two tracks on the album including Mi Negra Ave Maria.
Listen to the programme and make up your own mind.
But when Fonseca says he’s not making music for the sake of it but to make people feel better in a world full of "crisis, war and where people forget we’re all human", you suspect he’s onto something.
Roberto Fonseca plays at L'Olympia in Paris on 18 July.