Home Puerto Rico Project Maestro Alfonso Fuentes releases “Improvisaciones Para Piano”

Maestro Alfonso Fuentes releases “Improvisaciones Para Piano”

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One pleasure of writing about music and the artists who create it is discovering talent deserving of broader recognition. Recently, thanks to Puerto Rican icon William Cepeda, I “discovered” maestro – pianist, composer, arranger, educator – Alfonso Fuentes, who, for reasons unknown, escaped me.

Fuentes, who is best known for his work with chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras draws from a broad variety of influences and expresses his “Puerto Ricanness” through classical music, North American jazz, Third-Stream, Tropical music, Puerto Rican folklore, and international influences.

PLENA, IMPROVISACIONES PARA PIANO, marks a significant step in Fuente’s musical evolution. The title refers to the popular folkloric rhythm known as Plena, also El Periodico Cantado (the sung newspaper).

With the exception of the popular tune, Cortaron a Elena, popularized by Manuel Jimenez ‘Canario’ and Cortijo and his Combo, the album was recorded spontaneously at Puerto Rico’s Conservatory of Music in sessions dating back to 2009.

MONTUNO 1 AND 2 contrasts elements of Salsa and Latin Jazz; MEMORIAS CAMPESINAS (Countryside Memories) fuses Puerto Rican Celines and Milonga; PLENA POR PENSAMIENTO (Plena for Critical Thinkers) is self-explanatory.

Fuentes has participated in television, soap operas, and jingles and performed with Nydia Caro, Placido Domingo, Ednita Nazario Yolandita Monk, Iris Chacon, Danny Rivera, and Andy Montanez among others.

PLENA is not “typical” Puerto Rican music, nor is it meant to be. It is unclassifiable, memorable, and destined to excel in the history of Puerto Rican music. Highly recommended!

ARTIST WEBSITE http://alfonsofuentes.com

A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

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