ABUC | New Album From Cuban Jazz Pianist Roberto Fonseca

Grammy award nominated Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca, formerly of Buena Vista Social Club™ and current bandleader for legendary singer Omara Portuondo, teams up with the gems of the Latin-diaspora Jazz World on his eighth studio album ABUC. Released on Impulse! / Verve on November 11th, 2016, this new album features guests artists such as Trombone Shorty, Eliades Ochoa, Rafael Lay, and Manuel ‘Guajiro’ Mirabal.

Roberto Fonseca


 ABUC is the 8th album by ROBERTO FONSECA released under his own name and the first to appear on the Impulse! label. Ranging from contradanza and mambo to cha-cha-cha, danzon and bolero, and infused with the spirit of the descarga jam and hip-hop, ABUC tells the story of Cuba from the past to the future.

The album opens and closes with the same theme, orchestrated as an overture and then transformed into a simple piano piece as the epilogue: Cubano Chant, a composition by American jazz pianist Ray Bryant (1931-2011).

“He dedicated this very beautiful tune to Cuban song, so I wanted to express my gratitude to him by beginning the album with that tune. American jazz, but re-created with the soul of the guaracha,” says Roberto.“The union between jazz and our music in Cuba is very significant with regard to the history of music in general.” In inviting trombone player Trombone Shorty to play on this title, he wanted, he says, “to show everything that binds Cuba to New Orleans.”

Many remarkable guests add their personal colors to this album including vocalists Daymé Arocena, Carlos Calunga, Rafael Lay and Roberto Espinosa Rodríguez from the Orquesta Aragón, trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal, and the famous guajiro singer from the province of Santiago de Cuba, Eliades Ochoa.

“Three singers are my heroes, apart from my mother,” says Roberto, “Omara Portuondo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Eliades Ochoa, who I was fortunate to work with on the title Tumbao de la Unidad”.

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Photo Credit: Arien Chang