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Omar Sosa (born April 10, 1965, in Camag√ľeymarker, Cubamarker) is a composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist.

Biography

Sosa began studying marimba at age eight, then switched to piano at the Escuela Nacional de Musica in Havanamarker, where he studied jazz. Sosa moved to Quitomarker, Ecuadormarker in 1993, then San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker in 1995. In San Francisco he became deeply involved in the local Latin jazz scene and began a long collaboration with percussionist John Santos. He also made a series of recordings with producer Greg Landau, including the ground-breaking Oaktown Irawo, featuring Tower of Power drummer Dave Garibaldi, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry and Cuban percussionist Jesus Diaz. Sosa and Landau recorded with Carlos "Patato" Valdes and Pancho Quinto and worked on several film scores. In approximately 1999 Sosa moved to Barcelonamarker, Spainmarker.

Musical style

He has played with a number of world musicians all around the globe, and often collaborates with those outside the jazz and Afro-Cuban traditions. Sosa mixes jazz influences alongside Latin rhythms, North African percussions and spoken word/rap lyrics. He also references Classical music. Deeply political and spiritual, he describes his music as an expression of humanism and Santeria. On various projects his sounds have ranged from pleasant and melodic, big Latin band, piano improvization, world music, to free jazz and avant-garde.

Current projects

Omar recently collaborated once again with Greg Landau for a CD with Peruvian singer Susana Baca, deconstructing the music of Cuban legend Bola de Nieve. His newest band, Afreecanos, explores African traditions in a powerful funky mixture that breaks many of the conventions of jazz and World music.

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