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Omar Sosa Update, "Tales from the Earth"

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New CD Release, Tales from the Earthfeaturing: Mark Weinstein: concert, alto and bass flutes; Omar Sosa: vibraphone, marimba, piano, percussion; Jean Paul Bourelly: guitar; Aly Keita: balafon; Marque Gilmore: drums; Stan Michalak: bass; Aho Luc Nicaise: lead vocals, percussion; Mathias Agbokou: vocals, percussion.

Tales From The Earth: A thoroughly cosmopolitan outlook rooted in the rhythmic intensity and improvisatory, call-and-response spirit of Africa writ large. Artists of Cuban, Haitian, West African (Bnin, Ivory Coast), European, African American and Jewish American heritage, entering a Berlin studio for two days of intensive recording, without music or a predetermined conception, only a shared commitment to the communal, celebratory character that embodies the expressive riches of Mother Africa.

Flautist Mark Weinstein's groundbreaking Cuban Roots (1967) melded the influences of Mingus, Machito, Puente, Tjader, and Palmieri, carried forward into the present with his recent collaborations, Cuban Roots Revisited, Algo Ms, and now, Tales from the Earth. Weaving a musical lineage of a thousand strands, if Tales from the Earth recalls something of the creative spirit of M'Boom, the inventive all-percussion octet founded by Max Roach in 1970, it captures the global ecumenical spirit of the present.

Accordingly, Tales from the Earth resounds with the Afro-Cuban traditions of Omar Sosa - best known as a pianist and composer, but here primarily on marimba and vibraphone, which Sosa studied in Cuba's conservatories before switching to piano. It features the eclectic guitar talents of Jean Paul Bourelly (Miles Davis, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson); the resonant balafon of Aly Keita's Ivory Coast; the insistent drum'n'bass sensibilities of Stockholm-based Marque Gilmore (Roy Ayers, Steve Coleman, Graham Haynes, Toumani Diabate, Vernon Reid, Joe Zawinul, MeShell Ndegeocello, Susheela Ramen, Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh); the subtlety of acoustic bassist Stan Michalak; the vocal and percussive vitality of Aho Luc Nicaise and Mathias Agbokou; and the fresh, ever-surprising turns of phrase that each artist invests in this pioneering project.

Tales from the Earth weaves a musical narrative that can be read as a journey to the source of the human spirit - with all the playfulness, celebration, contemplation, historical awareness, compassion, reverence, and gratitude manifest in a life consciously lived.

Co-produced by Mark Weinstein, Omar Sosa, and Jean Paul Bourelly, Tales from the Earth embraces the radical challenge laid down by Monk long ago: “Jazz is freedom, so I play music. If I ever play the same thing twice, I'll stop making music." This ensemble never plays the same thing twice, and Tales from the Earth expresses a revelatory message, deeply grounded in tradition, yet thoroughly contemporary and innovative in realization, an expression of human freedom, and a celebration of the Diaspora, alive in our times.
-- Michael Stone

Upcoming Omar Sosa US Tour Schedule Fall 2009
October 17: Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
October 18: Highline Ballroom, New York, NY
October 21: Earshot Jazz / The Triple Door, Seattle, WA
October 22: SFJAZZ / Herbst Theatre, San Francisco, CA
Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet, featuring: Childo Tomas: electric bass, kalimba, vocals; Marque Gilmore: drums, electronics; Mola Sylla: vocals, m'bira, xalam, kongoman.

For concert details, please visit www.melodia.com

Oda Africana, a work by Omar Sosa for combined Orchestra and Jazz Quintet, Thursday, September 17: Mercat de Msica Viva de Vic; Plaa Major de Vic, SPAIN
Featuring: Jove Orquesta Athenea, conducted by Llus Caballera; Omar Sosa: piano; Mola Sylla (Senegal): vocals; Childo Tomas (Mozambique): bass; Leandro Saint-Hill (Cuba): saxophones; Marcos Ilukn (Cuba): percussion.

Omar Sosa International Tour Schedule Fall 2009
September 12: Espace Charles Vanel, Lagny-sur-Marne (Paris), FRANCE
September 17: Mercat de Msica Viva de Vic, SPAIN
September 23: Bielskie Centrum Kultury, Bielsko-Biala, POLAND
September 24: Kino Komeda, Ostrow Wielkopolski, POLAND
September 26: Kieleckie Centrum Kultury, Kielce, POLAND

ALBACETE TOUR
October 29: Casa de la Cultura, Caudete, SPAIN
October 30: Teatro Regio, Almansa, SPAIN
October 31: Saln de Actos, Higueruela, SPAIN
November 1: Centro Social, Casas Ibaez, SPAIN

KIND OF BLUE TRIBUTE, with special guest Jerry Gonzalez and featuring Peter Apfelbaum, Dafnis Prieto, Leandro Saint-Hill, Childo Tomas: November 6: Auditori, Barcelona, SPAIN

EAST AFRICA TOUR Featuring Childo Tomas and Mola Sylla
November 25: Centre Culturel Albert Camus, Antananarivo, MADAGASCAR
November 27: Centre Culturel Francais, Windhok, NAMIBIA
December 2: Alliance Francaise de Lusaka, Lusaka, ZAMBIA
December 4: Jardins de l'Alliance Francaise, Addis Abada, ETHIOPIA
December 7: Centre Culturel Francais, Khartoum, SUDAN
December 9: Centre Culturel Francais, Bujumbura, BURUNDI
December 12: Alliance Francaise, Nairobi, KENYA
December 16: Centre Culturel Francais Charles Baudelaire, MAURITIUS
December 18: Saint Denis, RUNION

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