Opening the evening program is pianist/composer Aldo López-Gavilán Junco. Aldo is a shining new star in the world of Cuban music. He studied at the Amadeo Roldán Music School. At the age of 17 he made his debut with Cubas National Symphony Orchestra, playing Prokofievs Third Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Tonight he played his own rich compositions. He plays his own flavour of jazz fusion, lots of classical in the blend of course and more than a dash of latin folklore. On some of the pieces he accompanied himself with wordless vocalizations very haunting. He received a well deserved thunderous round of applause for his performance.
Next on the bill was Wagner Tiso from Brazil. He is a composer, conductor and arranger, whose creations are imbued with a vigorous Brazilian sound expression. The fusion of several musical elements, which shape his compositions from the gypsy sentimentalism to the baroque style of Minas Gerais gives this musician a sense of exceptional musicality. After a few solo numbers he was joined by Victor Biglione on the guitar. They played the same tunes they had played during the opening gala, although this time Wagner was sitting at a grand piano.
The third pianist of the evening was Ernán López-Nussa. Born in Havana, Ernán studied classical piano at the prestigious Cuban Institute of Arts. His performing career started when he joined the legendary ensemble Afrocuba, with whom he participated in several recordings. After leaving Afrocuba, he formed Cuarto Espacio with other former members of that ensemble. After that experience, he embarked on a solo career. His performance this evening owed much to his classical training. Flawless technique.
The last pianist to play for us this evening was Robert Mitchell from England. He was joined by Omar Puentes of Cuba on the violin. Theirs was a marvelous program of original compositions that brought the evening's music decidedly back to jazz. It showcased their incredible talent and sensitivity.
One concert, four world-class pianists another memorable evening!