Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano w/ John Santos | SFJAZZ
Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano
When Omar Sosa talks about his formative influences, he always starts with Camagüey, the inland bastion of Afro-Cuban culture where he was born and raised. Before moving to Havana as a teenager to study piano at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Música, he devoted himself to percussion and marimba at Camagüey’s rigorous conservatory. He’s traveled far and wide over the past three decades, but always seems to find his way back home. His celebrated Quarteto AfroCubano, a virtuosic electro-acoustic ensemble he introduced on 2013’s Real Live (Otá Records), features fellow Camagüeyanos Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones, flute and vocals, and Ernesto Simpson on drums and vocals (with Mozambique native Childo Tomas providing the elastic pulse on electric bass, kalimba and vocals). The quartet’s lush, mercurial sound takes on new rhythmic dimensions with special guest percussionist John Santos, an invaluable creative catalyst on the Bay Area scene since the 1970s. He and Sosa connected deeply during the pianist’s East Bay residency, touring together internationally and recording the revelatory duo albums Nfumbe: For the Unseen and La Mar.
Omar Sosa piano, Fender Rhodes
Leandro Saint-Hill saxophone, flute
Childo Tomas bass
Ernesto Simpson drums
John Santos percussion