Jazz pianist Omar Sosa and kora player Seckou Keita will celebrate the release of their second CD ‘SUBA’, by taking to the road on an eleven-date UK tour, calling at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds on 23 November.
The Atlantic Ocean separates Cuba and Senegal, the respective birthplaces of Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita, a distance diminished by their shared ancestral connection to Africa. In the summer of 2012, they were invited to perform together in London by their mutual friend, the drummer Marque Gilmore.
“Seckou arrived just before the gig, took out his kora and started playing,” Omar remembers, “and I clicked with him like we had been playing together all our lives.” Seckou loved Omar for his “high level of musical spirituality.”
Omar saw in Seckou a rare ability to blend and collaborate but never lose his identity. By the end of the night, the inevitable “hey man, let’s do a record” had been voiced. By the end of the year, they had begun work on their debut CD Transparent Water.
Sosa has released over thirty albums during an incredible career that has included nominations for seven Grammy or Latin Grammy awards, whilst Keita is a multi-award winner, most recently as the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year (2019).
The duo have a rich global heritage that spans Jazz, Latin and African music, and the new album brings together influences from across the world in a captivating dialogue of serenity and gentle elation.
SUBA means ‘sunrise’ in Mandinka, Keita’s native language. Written and recorded in 2020 during the global lockdown, SUBA is a hymn to hope, compassion and real change in a post-pandemic world.
For Omar, the album is a heartfelt reiteration of humanity’s oldest prayer: “The concept of the record is peace, hope and unity. We try to give hope through music and tell people that we can be together.”
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita are joined by Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello and Dramane Dembélé on flute to deliver the full live experience of their beautiful new album.
Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita are at The Apex on Tuesday 23 November at 7.30pm. Ring the box office on 01284 758 000 or see the website, www.theapex.co.uk for details.