CD Review Jazz: Omar Sosa & the NDR Big Band

Omar Sosa & the NDR Big Band Ceremony (Ota) By Fernando Gonzalez Cuban pianist, percussionist, composer and arranger Omar Sosa has a distinct musical vision: a pan-African sound that connects African and neo-African cultures in Europe and the New World. Over nearly the past two decades, Sosa has pursued it with remarkable clarity and consistency,… Read More CD Review Jazz: Omar Sosa & the NDR Big Band

CD Jazz Review: “Frankly” by Paquito Hechavarria

Paquito Hechavarría Frankly (Calle54/Sony Music) By Fernando Gonzalez You may not know who he is, but you have heard Miami-based Cuban pianist Francisco “Paquito” Hechavarría. He´s the one who played the exacting, driving tumbao (a repeated  pattern) in Gloria Estefan’s monster hit “Conga.” And well before that he played on Mongo Santamaría´s classic Our Man… Read More CD Jazz Review: “Frankly” by Paquito Hechavarria

Live Jazz: The Jazz Baltica Festival in Salzau, Germany

By Fernando Gonzalez Salzau, Germany.  This year’s edition of Germany’s Jazz Baltica Festival was billed as “The Battle of the Big Bands,” and included the Jazz Big Band Graz, the Bohuslan Big Band with Steve Swallow, the NDR Big Band directed by Maria Schneider, and The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Still, as good as some of… Read More Live Jazz: The Jazz Baltica Festival in Salzau, Germany

Q & A: Larry Rosen — music entrepreneur, producer and musician, Part II

By Fernando Gonzalez This is the second part of a conversation in Miami Beach with music entrepreneur, producer and musician Larry Rosen. Part I addressed the state of the music business. This second and final installment focuses on Rosen’s work as a live jazz producer in Miami. Rosen, who has been living in Miami since… Read More Q & A: Larry Rosen — music entrepreneur, producer and musician, Part II

Q & A: Larry Rosen — music entrepreneur, producer and musician, Part I

By Fernando Gonzalez For more than 20 years, music entrepreneur, producer and musician Larry Rosen has shown an uncanny sense to be one step ahead of the changes in the music business. In 1982, when the industry was still debating CDs, Rosen and partner Dave Grusin founded GRP, a record company predicated on a then-groundbreaking… Read More Q & A: Larry Rosen — music entrepreneur, producer and musician, Part I