Omar Sosa New AfroCuban Quartet Continues Harris Center's FOUR SLICES OF CUBA Tonight

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Omar Sosa New AfroCuban Quartet Continues Harris Center's FOUR SLICES OF CUBA Tonight

A musician extraordinaire--composer, arranger, pianist, percussionist, improvisator, and communicator-Omar Sosa has performed numerous concerts all around the world. He's winner of the 10th Annual Independent Music Awards in the Jazz Album category, and the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, D.C. for contribution to the development of Latin jazz in the United States. Omar Sosa brings his amazing talents to Harris Center for the Arts as part of the Four Slices of Cuba series, a Cuban music festival.

The New AfroCuban Quartet marks a homecoming for Omar to the influences of his formative years at the Escuela Nacional de Música in Havana and later at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, where he savored the music of Pancho Quinto, Lázaro Ross, Rubén González, Machito, Benny Moré, Ismael Rivera, Arsenio, Cachao, Lili Martinez, Peruchin, Chucho Valdés, and Irakere. Joining him on this adventure are three musicians with whom Omar shares a very close relationship: fellow Camagüeyanos, Ernesto Simpson on drums, and Leandro Saint-Hill on saxophones and flutes, and Mozambican bassist and longtime collaborator, Childo Tomas. These musicians speak the same musical language, and use their Cuban and African traditions as a springboard for creative freedom.

Omar Sosa New AfroCuban Quartet will perform tonight, July 18, 2014 at 8 pm. Tickets are priced at $19-$29; Premium $39; Students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Omar's New AfroCuban Quartet will explore contemporary interpretations of some of the classic Cuban musical styles the world has come to enjoy: Danzón, Cha-Cha-Cha, Bolero, Changui. All of the material is informed by the powerful African traditions of Santería, Abakua, Makuta, Ñongo, and Palo Monte. The group's repertoire will include a number of Mr. Sosa's signature compositions, including "Toridanzón," "Mis Tres Notas," and "Iyawo." Popular and religious chants will be arranged with contemporary harmonies and African rhythms, resulting in a musical journey into the ensemble's personal vision of various AfroCuban traditions.

Composer-pianist-bandleader Omar Sosa was born in 1965 in Camagüey, Cuba's largest inland city. At age eight, Omar began studying percussion and marimba at the music conservatory in Camagüey; in Havana, as a teenager, he took up piano at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Música, and completed his formal education at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana. Among his influences, Omar cites traditional Afro-Cuban music, European classical composers (including Chopin, Bartok, and Satie), Monk, Coltrane, Parker, Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Chucho Valdés, and the pioneering Cuban jazz group Irakere. Moving in 1993 to Ecuador, Omar immersed himself in the folkloric traditions of Esmeraldas, the northwest coast region whose African heritage includes the distinctive marimba tradition. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1995, and soon invigorated the Latin jazz scene with his adventurous writing and percussive style. In 1999 Omar relocated to Barcelona, Spain.

Mr. Sosa's recording career began in 1997 with the release of his first solo piano recording, "Omar Omar" on the Oakland, California-based record label, Ot Records, and has continued with the release of multiple CDs as a leader, resulting in seven GRAMMY nominations. These include a 2002 GRAMMY nomination and Latin GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for the CD Sentir; a 2005 GRAMMY nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album for the CD Mulatos, featuring Cuban saxophone and clarinet master, Paquito D'Rivera; and the two nominations for Across The Divide in 2009. As of 2014, he has a total of over 20 albums recorded.

Annually performing upwards of 100 concerts on six continents, Omar has appeared in venues as diverse as the Blue Note (New York, Milan, and Tokyo), Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Walker Art Center, the Getty Center, London's Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall, and Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt; festivals including Monterey Jazz, JVC Jazz, Montreal Jazz, Marciac Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Helsinki, Grenoble Jazz, Montreux Jazz, Naples Jazz, Ravenna Jazz, Roma Jazz, Spoletto, WOMAD, and Cape Town International Jazz.

Four Slices of Cuba, a Cuban music festival, includes Tributo a las Divas Cubanas - A Tribute to The Cuban Divas, Conjunto Chappott?n y Sus Estrellas and Piloto Y Klimax. For further details visit www.harriscenter.net.

Originally named Three Stages at Folsom Lake College in 2011, the facility has been renamed to honor Brice Harris, Chancellor Emeritus of the Los Rios Community College District, for his many contributions to the capital region, including the vision and leadership he provided in opening this regional arts center. Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College presents touring artists from around the world; partners with the best regional arts organizations, and supports productions by FLC students and faculty.

The Harris Center is a $50 million facility built with a combination of state, regional, local and private funds. Harris Center has three intimate theaters, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a state-of-the-art performing arts venue.

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