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Friday, March 15: Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita with Gustavo Ovalles at Salle Jean-Despréz (Gatineau City Hall)

Cuban born-and-trained and seven-time Grammy nominee Omar Sosa will stop in Gatineau on Friday – as part of a tour that just visited NYC, plays through Québec this week, and then continues to California before wrapping up in Europe, where Sosa now lives.

He''ll play with his Transparent Water Trio: Sosa on jazz piano, Seckou Keita from Senegal on kora and vocals, and Gustavo Ovalles from Venezuela on percussion.

Keita plays the kora, a 21-string African harp, in a blazing flurry of notes to more contemplative runs. Both he and Sosa draw experiences from Cuban, African and jazz improvisation. Long-time collaborator Gustavo Ovalles performs on a variety of hand drums and percussion.

Sosa has released more than 22 albums in his career. He received a lifetime achievement award from the Smithsonian Associates in Washington, DC in 2003 for his contribution to the development of Latin jazz in the United States. He was nominated twice in the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, in 2004 and 2006, both in the ‘Americas’ category. in 2009, he was commissioned by the Barcelona Jazz Festival to present a tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue recording, featuring Afro-Cuban interpretations of the seminal Davis work on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. He has recently recorded albums with Italian trumpet player Paolo Fresu, and the NDR Bigband in Germany.

Transparent Water, which includes Ovalleson and other notable guests across its tracks, received a 4-star review in the May 2017 Downbeat, which praised its “dreamlike and spiritual state”.

Watch a video of the Transparent Water Trio [YouTube]

Watch a video of a performance by and interview with Omar Sosa and Gustavo Ovalles [YouTube]

Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita with Gustavo Ovalles perform in the intimate Salle Jean-Despréz theatre in Gatineau City Hall / Maison du citoyen on Friday March 15 at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $40 ($15 for students) and available at the Ville de Gatineau box office, or by phone at 819-243-8000. Map of City Hall [pdf]

The theatre is at 25 rue Laurier, one block west of the Canadian Museum of History, also on Rue Laurier.
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