Cuban piano phenom Alfredo Rodriguez is to release ‘Tocororo,’ a musical representation of the exuberance and colours of the World as he sees it.
Cuban piano phenom Alfredo Rodriguez is to release ‘Tocororo,’ a musical representation of the exuberance and colours of the World as he sees it. The record features guests including trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf and Cameroonian jazz bassist and vocalist Richard Bona. Rodríguez revisited various Cuban musical traditions, seen through the prism of time, distance, and his new personal and musical experiences.
The Tocororo is the national bird of Cuba, a bird that if caged dies of sadness. In this new album Rodriguez represents the cross pollination of his Cuban culture with all of the cultures he has experienced throughout his musical journey. “What I wanted to do in this recording was to open myself up to the world, while honouring my roots at the same time,” he says.
Rodriguez moved from Cuba to California in 2009, taking just a suitcase filled with music, a sweater, and a pair of jeans, after performing privately for Quincy Jones at the home of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s founder and director, Claude Nobs. Jones now produces and manages him.
"It wasn't that I would've given up on music if I stayed in Cuba. I definitely would've continued to do what I love, but it just wasn't the right environment for my music to flourish. Just as the Tocororo needs room to fly, my music needed the platform and opportunity to be heard by more people than would otherwise have been touched if I stayed. Because of its many restrictions, Cuba was my cage and it didn't allow me to spread my wings and do what I love on a larger scale." Poetic stuff from Alfredo Rodriguez. 'Tocororo' comes out March 4th 2016 via Mack Avenue Records.