Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband
10th Annual Jazz Album Winner
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Record Label: Ota Records
Home Base: Oakland, California
Genre: Latin Jazz
Category Entered: Jazz Album
Work Submitted: Ceremony
Artists Featured: NDR Bigband, from Hamburg, Germany, and Jaques Morelenbaum, arranger, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Label: Otá Records
Influences: Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy
Describe your nominated work: Ceremony is a big-band collaboration with Brazilian arranger Jaques Morelenbaum and the NDR Bigband in Hamburg, Germany. It features arrangements for big-band of eight of my compositions from my previous CD’s Spirit Of The Roots, Bembón, and Afreecanos. I wrote a new piece to open the recording.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 10th IMA’s? Because it’s a unique project bringing together musical sensibilities from Cuba, Brazil, and Germany.
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? Arranger Jaques Morelenbaum is a cellist, so we included cello solos on a couple of the tracks.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? The CD was recorded in two sessions, in 2007 and 2008, at NDR’s Hamburg studio, with 23 musicians involved. We mixed the recordings in San Francisco.
Did fans help you fund this project? No
Who’s sitting in your audience? Adventurous music seekers, who like the confluence of jazz and world music.
What makes your fans unique? They appreciate an unorthodox approach.
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? Huun Huur Tu, a Tuvan throat-singing group!
What is your dream show lineup? My regular band!
Do you have any rituals before you go on stage? Yes, we do a spiritual centering ritual, so everyone is feeling connected.
Should music be free? No, music should benefit its creators and performers financially, as listeners enjoy it deeply.
How has digital affected your career? Faster and easier to mix the music! And iTunes has saved the day as far as music sales are concerned…
Finish this sentence: The music industry is… in a process of re-creating itself, with greater access and affordability for everyone.