21 APRIL 2016
INTERO € 25,00
RIDOTTO € 22,00
ALFREDO RODRIGUEZ • piano
REINIER ELIZARDE • double bass
MICHAEL OLIVERA • drums
Each recording by Cuban pianist and composer Alfredo Rodríguez tells a story. His albums are not collections of musical pieces but tales told in a distinctive voice, with a distinct point of view and purpose. His 2011 debut, Sounds of Space, served as an introduction, as a way of saying “here are the people, the places, and the sounds that have surrounded me and made me who I am,” he explained then. In The Invasion Parade, his 2014 follow-up, Rodríguez revisited various Cuban musical traditions, seen through the prism of time, distance, and his new personal and musical experiences.
Now, in Tocororo – his new album on Mack Avenue Records – Rodriguez’s story is represented by the national bird of Cuba. The Tocororo is a bird that if caged dies of sadness, reflecting not only the desire for liberty, but the necessity of it. Beyond that, though, is the story of everything else the bird represents: freedom, travel, and cross-pollination. In Rodriguez’s case, it represents the cross pollination of his Cuban culture with all of the cultures he has experienced throughout his musical journey. “What I wanted to do in this recording was to open myself up to the world, while honoring my roots at the same time,” he says. Rodriguez did just that and assembled an international band, representing the unique cultures of Ibrahim Maalouf from Lebanon, the French-Cuban duo Ibeyi, Cameroonian vocalist and bassist, Richard Bona, flamenco style singer Antonio Lizana, and Indian vocalist Ganavya Doraiswamy.
Born in Havana in 1985, son of a singer, conductor and showman carrying the same name, Rodriguez began his musical training at age 7, starting from percussions to reach piano at the age of 10. Rodriguez graduated at the Conservatory Amadeo Rolda HAVANA, then attended Instituto Superior de Arte. He received a strictly classical musical education and learned popular styles on stage, playing in the orchestra of his father since the age of 14. He joined the world of jazz and improvisation at the age of 15, when his uncle gave him the disc The Köln Concert by Keith Jarrett. “Until that moment – he says – I had only listened Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. I knew nothing of improvisation: that album changed my life.” In 2006, he was chosen to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival and invited to a meeting in the house of the founder and artistic director Claude Nobs, who asked him if he wanted to play for Quincy Jones. He was so witched by his talent that he decided to co-produce him.