Home New York Report Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita release SUBA

Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita release SUBA


SUBA, the second album by virtuoso pianist Omar Sosa (Cuba) and kora teacher and singer Seckou Keita (Senegal), will be released worldwide on October 22, 2021. This recording is the next after the duo’s debut album, Transparent Water (2017), hailed by (World Music Central) as “beautiful, rhapsodic… spiritual” and “fascinating, evocative and sophisticated”.

The album was written and recorded in 2020 during the global pandemic. SUBA is a hymn to hope, to a new dawn of solidarity and real change in a post-pandemic world, and a moving reminder of humanity’s constant prayer for peace and unity.

The Atlantic Ocean separates Cuba and Senegal, the birthplaces of Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita, a distance diminished by their shared ancestral connection with Africa. When the two artists first met in 2012, Seckou admired Omar for his musical spirituality, while Omar saw in Seckou a special ability to collaborate but without losing his identity.

Sosa has released more than 30 albums during an incredible career that has included nominations for seven GRAMMY or Latin GRAMMY awards. Keita has also won several awards, most recently BBC Radio 2’s prestigious Folk Musician of the Year (2019).

In the new recording, the combination of their talents is joined by the inimitable Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, who also appears in all the duo’s live performances, as well as Jaques Morelenbaum (cello), Dramane Dembélé (flute), and Steve Argüelles (sequencing). , effects, percussion).

SUBA means “sunrise” in Mandinka, the native language of Seckou, and sunrise is his favorite time of the day, a moment of freshness and hope. “Even if you are facing some difficulties, you reset your brain to normal. You see the sunrise as a new day, a new peace, something new, good or bad, something exciting. That was the feeling I had when I wrote with Omar ”.

And while Seckou calls the pandemic “a high-level university to see the world in a different way,” it wasn’t because of COVID that he and Omar decided on the album’s name. “It was SUBA for many things: music, art, human beings, compassion, change.”

For Omar, the album is a heartfelt reiteration of humanity’s oldest prayer. “The concept of the album is peace, hope, and unity. In this moment that we are living, when everything is falling apart little by little, the only thing we have within ourselves is a divine connection with our inner voice, with our spirit and light, and with our ancestors. We try to give hope through music and tell people that we can be together. “

Two fundamental principles guided the company: less is more (or minimalism as Omar likes to call it) and collaboration. “The project is Africa,” says Omar, “done our way. We present our own traditions, but we always respect and listen to each other, with great humility. Nobody is the boss. The boss is the music. The boss is the message ”.

“If there is something that Africa can teach the world, it is spirituality in each one of the things,” says Omar. “We are often slaves to our crazy and humiliating society, where everyone needs to be ‘successful.’

The eleven tracks that make up SUBA are linked by common themes that interweave throughout the recording. The songs speak of friendship and spiritual connection, of travel and loss, of hope and optimism, of dance and the sea… and, of course, of a new dawn.

SUBA is the sound of two musicians from different continents and traditions, coming together and really getting together. Offers a rare type of magic. Between Africa and Cuba, a vast expanse of ocean. The kora scatters handfuls of light on the waves, the piano opens its groove. Here, there, the dignity of gentle grace. Protected eyes in a new morning. A new sunrise. A new day.



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