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On Cuba News – Gonzalo Rubalcaba: “Denying my art to my own people is out of place” by Michel Hernández


Gonzalo Rubalcaba: “Denying my art to my own people is out of place”


Gonzalo Rubalcaba: “Denying my art to my own people is out of place”

Interview with one of the main exponents of Cuban jazz in the world, from his confinement in Miami

The news was a bombshell in Havana. Jazz star Dizzy Gillespie, visiting Cuba to participate in the International Jazz Plaza Festival in 1985, approached a young Gonzalo Rubalcaba on the stage of the Parisien hotel, to invite him to the concert he would give the following night. The musician, barely 17 years old, was surprised and after that a horizon of infinite possibilities opened up in his career.

Gonzalo is today, along with Chucho Valdés, one of the main exponents of Cuban jazz on the world circuit. The musician left Cuba more than 30 years ago and his career quickly rose to the pinnacle of jazz. With several Grammy Awards and major collaborations in the jazz world, Rubalcaba was preparing to embark on a new world tour with singer Aymée Nuviola, but the project was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

From his home in Miami, where he lives “just about 4 minutes away by car” from his colleague and friend Chucho Valdés, Rubalcaba has spent almost 3 months in confinement with his family. He has used this time to finish the album Viento y tiempo, which he recorded with Nuviola, and to carry out other priority projects in his career.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba at the Newport Jazz Festival, 2011. Photo: NPR

“There are many things in my way of life that have not changed. I have very specific customs when I’m at home and practically immovable hours. I have my time to get up, to work in the morning, and an itinerary of everything I’m going to do during the day, which is linked to projects I’m working on, either directly with the piano or in the field of composition. In the afternoon I go out to do my exercises. None of that has changed. Of course I have been at home because we lead a rather family life. There are things that have been lacking, such as socializing a little. Incidentally, it’s not that I’m the typical person who socializes a lot. But the possibility of going for a walk, going to a theater, to a restaurant, whatever you do as a family, disappeared,” Rubalcaba tells this journalist via online from Miami.

The musician analyzes the pandemic’s impact on many people and musicians around the globe. “The tours, concerts, all the professional commitments that I had agreed to disappeared. There was no talk in any case of canceling them, but of postponing them. Summer for us is the most important stage of the year because it’s when most work is done and all jazz festivals around the world are held. There are also concert cycles in theaters. All that has stopped. And that situation has multiple consequences for the artists, both economic, artistic, and psychological in some cases. There are people who the only thing they have done in their life is to go on stage and do their job. Now, after 50, 60 or 70 years they will be more than six months without doing this on a mandatory basis, not by their own decision. That brings disorders in many areas of human behavior. It’s not normal. Man is not designed to be caged. To be hidden. Even physical contact with people has had to be avoided. This has an impact that will vary according to the personality of each person, their spiritual state, their emotional capacities. Many people almost live at their workplace, they live on planes, traveling. In many cases, the family has taken a back seat. That is the way of life of millions of people in the world. Now they have to resume a way of life that was practically lost and bond more with the family, they have to resume communication with their loved ones. And I imagine that in some cases it has been dramatic because those things are not learned overnight.”

For Rubalcaba, the way in which the return of art is being approached after the hardest months of confinement is completely wrong. “For us music and arts professionals, it is a bit troubling how the reopening is being addressed. Culture is the last of the fields to open. I’m referring to the programming of the theaters, of everything linked to culture. I think it’s a mistake because I don’t believe culture has a decorative function in society, but an essential one. On the other hand, if the world of culture is the last to open, it will also be the last to recover from all the economic damage it is suffering. If artists don’t go on stage, they can’t live off their work. It is unfortunate that the economic aspect has to be mentioned so much, but it is a reality.

“I’ve heard comments that affirm that playing from home, and doing concerts online will be the way in which artists will be relating to the public, which will remain for the future. I think it is a mistake to think that way. That isn’t the foundation of what we know as a concert. It isn’t the natural way to establish a concerted relationship because for that there must be an audience. We can’t think that this is the only way that will exist. It seems absurd to me.”

Billboard – Argentina – Gonzalo Rubalcaba y Aymée Nuviola presentan “Viento y Tiempo Live at Blue Note Tokyo”

Gonzalo Rubalcaba y Aymée Nuviola presentan “Viento y Tiempo” en vivo desde Blue Note Tokio

Gonzalo Rubalcaba y Aymée Nuviola presentan “Viento y Tiempo” en vivo desde Blue Note Tokio

Por: Billboard Argentina | miércoles, 12 agosto, 2020

A pesar de la pandemia, la artista decidió continuar con la promoción de su último álbum, Viento y Tiempo. Fue grabado durante seis noches agotadas en vivo en el Blue Note Tokio.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba y Aymée Nuviola se conocieron en La Havana, Cuba. Amigos de la infancia, ambos recibieron reconocimientos por sus trabajos individuales. Hoy se unen para presentar “Viento y Tiempo – Live at Blue Note Tokyo”. La grabación fue realizada en vivo durante seis noches de fechas agotadas en el prestigioso Blue Note de Tokio el pasado agosto de 2019.

La nueva entrega “Viento y Tiempo – Live at Blue Note Tokyo” incluye canciones como “El Manisero”, “Bemba Colorá” y “Lágrimas Negras”. “Viento y Tiempo – Live at Blue Note Tokyo”. A la vez, presenta una nueva canción, “Rumba Callejera”, escrita por Aymée Nuviola e interpretada junto a su hermana, Lourdes Nuviola, bajo el sello Top Stop Music.

Ganador de dos premios GRAMMY® y dos Latin GRAMMY®, Rubalcaba es un virtuoso considerado una de las figuras líderes en el jazz afrocubano y uno de los mejores pianistas del siglo 20.

Nuviola, apodada “La Sonera del Mundo”, mezcló timba, jazz, son y salsa y ganó un GRAMMY® al mejor álbum de música tropical en 2020 por su más reciente lanzamiento A Journey Through Cuban Music. En el 2018, ganó el Latin GRAMMY® por el mejor álbum tropical de fusión, por su disco Como Anillo Al Dedo.

A pesar de dar positivo de Covid-19 , la cantautora ha decidido continuar con la promoción de su más reciente álbum Viento y Tiempo. Siguiendo todos los protocolos de seguridad, Aymée Nuviola, quien ha estado apoyando la campaña #QuédateEnCasa desde el inicio de la pandemia, continuó la promoción en la que entre otras iniciativas, llevó a sus seguidores a un viaje virtual por Tokyo a través de su Instagram, se adaptó para hacer las entrevistas vía zoom o skype y a otros felices ganadores les regaló la experiencia #VientoYTiempoEnCasa haciéndoles llegar una sorpresa con detalles representativos de Tokyo.

Esta nueva producción bajo el sello Top Stop Music, ha sido el bastón en el que la cubana se ha apoyado para salir adelante durante los difíciles momentos que ha vivido junto a su esposo, también contagiado.

London Jazz News – Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola “Viento y Tiempo Live at Blue Note Tokyo.

 Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola – “Viento Y Tiempo: Live at Blue Note Tokyo” 


Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola – “Viento Y Tiempo: Live at Blue Note Tokyo”

Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola – Viento Y Tiempo: Live at Blue Note Tokyo 
(Top Stop Music. CD Review by Lavender Sutton)

It may seem like light years have passed since live gigs were allowed but it was only just a year ago that lifelong friends Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée Nuviola got together for a six-night sold out run at the Blue Note in Tokyo. Both originally from Havana, Cuba, they are acclaimed artists in their own right, but this collaboration together sounds as natural as can be.

The gig starts with a Nuviola composition called Rumba Callejera (Street Rumba) and it settles everyone into their roles nicely, with lots of call and response between vocals and piano, and percussive improvisation breaks. Before long it falls into a groovy rhythm and sets the tone for the show.

These tunes seem to be standard latin jazz favourites, some from as far back as the 1930s as with the Moisés Simons song El Manisero(The Peanut Vendor). It’s a playful melody with a staccato sort of nature to it. But this is where Rubalcaba’s jazz chops shine through. After a conventional montuno, his solo steps out of the box harmonically and adds even more flavour to the music. His skill and ideas confirm his exceptional talent.

Kazuhiko Kondo plays a beautiful soprano solo over the only ballad on the album, El Ciego (The Blind). The lyrics share a list of metaphorical sad occurrences that happen, explaining the composer’s own despair. Nuviola performs this role as successfully as she does the fiery, latin diva, and the audience-engaging hostess. It’s nice to hear her bring the mood down and engage so eloquently.

Latin music always seems to celebrate collaboration: drums and percussion, piano and synthesizers, horns and voices; and this collection of songs is no exception. These musicians are like family — as though they’ve all just sat down for a traditional meal and everyone has brought their flavour (instrument) to the table, and of course it all just goes perfectly together.

Near the end of the night, Nuviola gets the audience participating in the pure fun of Bemba Colora(Red Lips). The bolero groove of Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) is a nice variation to the clave rhythm that threads through the rest of the album, and the final title track, Viento Y Tiempo (Wind and Weather), is like dessert with a cherry on top. Imagine the Blue Note, with the chairs pushed back, and people salsa dancing in their spots!

For the band, this must be a very special memory to recall during such a difficult time in our world. If you need something to soothe your soul, look no further.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée Nuviola “Viento y Tiempo Live at Blue Note Tokyo

Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymee Nuviola "Viento y Tiempo”

This is the video of worldwide premiere of the new project of Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymee Nuviola called "Viento y Tiempo”.They performed at BLUE NOTE TOKYO on August 16,17 & 18 presenting this amazing project that will available for touring all 2019/2020.In Tokyo they recorded all shows to make a new album that will be released in 2020. Don't miss this band!

Posted by The European Music Agency on Monday, 19 August 2019


El Nuevo Herald – Rubalcaba y Nuviola ofrecerán concierto online


Rubalcaba y Nuviola ofrecerán concierto online

El público del pianista Gonzalo Rubalcaba y la cantante Aymée Nuviola disfrutan de magistral concierto desde Madrid a La Habana live a través de sus canales de Facebook sin tener que salir de casa.

El pianista Gonzalo Rubalcaba y la cantante Aymée Nuviola brindarán este Domingo un concierto live a través de sus canales de Facebook. “Queremos que la gente tenga un poco de entretenimiento sin tener que salir de su hogar”, comunican ambos artistas. “Es un deber ciudadano mantenernos tranquilos en casa, cooperando con disciplina y madurez para salir de esta crisis. Para nosotros es un verdadero placer poder contribuir con un rato de esparcimiento para nuestro público”.

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Rubalcaba y Nuviola en concierto en Japón

Gonzalo Rubalcaba y Aymee Nuviola disfrutaron de exitosas presentaciones en el club Blue Note y el Cotton Club de Tokio, Japón.

Los consagrados artistas que tienen una relación amistosa entrañable, llevan haciendo presentaciones juntos desde el pasado año con su espectáculo Viento y Tiempo. El proyecto que ha reunido a los dos destacados músicos cubanos es una idea que se ha materializado después de muchos años de complicidad.

Gonzalo y Aymée se conocen desde muy pequeños y pertenecen a una generación de profesionales que aprendió a reconocer y apreciar el verdadero valor de nuestros ritmos de manera similar.

Rubalcaba -que ya tuvo un concierto online el pasado domingo acompañando al piano a los cantantes Alejandro Sanz y Juanes-, es considerado por muchos el músico cubano mas valioso de su generación y se ha establecido como uno de los pianistas de jazz más importantes del mundo, desarrollando una brillante carrera basada en su especial virtuosismo y su capacidad interpretativa.

Por su parte Nuviola, -artista galardonada con un premio Grammy este año y un Latin Grammy en el 2016-, se ha afianzado, con su elegante y sofisticado estilo a la hora de cantar, como una de las mas importantes exponentes de la música cubana, ocupando los primeros lugares de popularidad.

Aymée y Gonzalo: unidos podemos hacer que nuestras preocupaciones se vayan con el #VientoYTiempo!

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