Al Di Meola & Gonzalo Rubalcaba
Two undisputed “heroes” of Jazz unite forces in an unforgettable concert
At Rialto Theatre on December 17
World renowned guitarist Al Di Meola and the breathtaking pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba in the context of their world tour perform in Limassol.
Combining passion, intelligence and outstanding technique, Al Di Meola is one of the most virtuosic guitarists in contemporary jazz. Di Meola’s rhythmically-charged flamenco and tango inspired originals showcase advanced harmonies along with simple, beautiful, alluring melodies. He has had collaborations such as The Guitar Trio composed of Di Meola, Mc Laughlin and De Lucia.
With 15 Grammy nominations, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, constitutes today a contemporary chapter of world jazz, having incorporated traditional and folkloric elements of Cuban tradition into classical and world music.
Al Di Meola
A great star, an authentic guitar virtuoso composer and world famous musician Al Di Meola is in the forefront for thirty years with more than 20 personal albums and collaborations with such famous musicians such as Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, John McLaughli, Paco de Lucia, Chick Corea and many others. He subsequently recorded with the likes of opera superstar Luciano Pavarotti, pop stars Paul Simon and Dave Matthews, classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco and Japanese jazz pianist Yutaka Kobayashi.
A pioneer of blending world music and jazz, going back to early Latin tinged fusion outings like 1976s Land of the Midnight Sun, 1977s Elegant Gypsy and 1978s Casino, the guitar great continues to reflect the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian and African music on more recent outings like 1998s The Infinite Desire, 2000s The Grand Passion, 2006s Consequence of Chaos and 2008s La Melodia, Live in Milano. His earliest role models in jazz included guitarists Tal Farlow and Kenny Burrell. But when he discovered Larry Coryell, whom Al would later dub The Godfather of Fusion, he was taken with the guitarists unprecedented blending of jazz, blues and rock into one seamless vocabulary on the instrument.
Di Meola's ongoing fascination with complex rhythmic syncopation combined with provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmony has been at the heart of his music throughout a celebrated career that has earned him critical accolades, three gold albums and more than six million in record sales worldwide.
He began rehearsing new music in 2008, with his New World Sinfonia band in preparation for a coast to coast tour of the States in the early part of 2009, followed by whirlwind tours of Europe and the Middle East. Di Meola calls his band mates in the New World Sinfonia "the best group of musicians so far in my career." He once said about this World tour, “I’m more interested now in moving forward with the New World Sinfonia, which has really developed into something beautiful. For me, its the most rewarding thing I’ve done in a long, long time, all the way around. You don’t have the overbearing volume with this band. Instead you have a rich harmonic kind of music with lots of improvisation, you have a music that is emotional, which really reaches far beyond the almost head banging male crowd that electric fusion attracts.”
With the March 2011 release of Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody, Al's main focus remains his New World Sinfonia. “I'm just totally involved with the new group,” he says. “Everybody's happy and totally into the music. The RTF reunion tour was fun and it was great for the fans, but it was more of a nostalgic thing. I'm more interested now in moving forward with the New World Sinfonia, which has really developed into something beautiful. For me, it's the most rewarding thing I've done in a long, long time, all the way around. What I'm doing now is just completely satisfying, like a phenomenal meal and a great glass of vintage wine.”
Clearly, there are many chapters yet to come in the story of Al Di Meola. But so far, in his 35 years as a professional musician, he’s already established a rich legacy that has secured a place for him in the Gallery of Guitar Greats.
With eight Grammy nominations under his belt, including four for Jazz Album of the Year, Gonzalo Rubalcaba has undoubtedly proven himself as established force in the modern Jazz world. Rubalcaba has received the SFJAZZ Leaders Circle Laureate Award and performed as Artist in residence at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
In whatever idiom he works, Rubalcaba’s future musical creations will be melodious, rhythmic and exciting. He continues to transform the daily routines of our lives into something more beautiful and significant.
Gonzalo Rubalcaba born 47 years ago in post-revolutionary Havana he absorbed culture as well as the traditional and folkloric Cuban forms of song and dance from his early environment. His father (pianist and composer) and two brothers (pianist and bassist), and in family gatherings American jazz, world classical music plus the local sounds made up the entertainment.
Despite the diversity of this background Gonzalo’s formal training was entirely classical, and he graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana with a degree in musical composition. On the other hand from his mid-teens he was working as a drummer and pianist in the city’s hotels, dance halls jazz clubs. Following graduation he stepped right into the life of the popular musician, touring Cuba, Europe, Africa and Asia with jazz group, first as a sideman, then, in 1984,with his own Grupo Proyecto. These years are documented in a series of recordings by EGREM Studios of Havana and Messidor Studios of Frankfurt, Germany. Three superb recordings with his Cuban Quartet on the latter label include “Mi Gran Pasion”, “Live in Havana”, and “Giraldilla”
Meanwhile, encounters in Havana with Dizzy Gillespie (1985), Charlie Haden and Blue Note Record’s president, Bruce Lundvall (1986), eventually led the Rubalcabas to move to Dominican Republic in 1991 and Miami in 1996. He began an international recoding career with a series of recordings which has resulted in fifteen Grammy nominations and four trophies over the last fourteen years.
Gonzalo continues to tour world-wide, with concert engagements showcasing his work as a solo pianist, with small jazz groups, chamber and full symphonic orchestra settings. His active repertoire has expanded from “straight-ahead”, bop and Afro-Cuban jazz to traditional ballades and boleros of Cuban and Mexico, and now beyond that even into the world of Cuban classical works.
In addition to four Grammys Awards Rubalcaba has been awarded with the Palmar D’Or of the Music Academy in Paris( 1991), Best Instrumentalist and Keys of the City holder in Lugano, Switzerland(1991), Best Performer Award (1991 and 1993), for his albums “Suite 4y20” and “Rapsodia” from the Art Critics Association in Japan-given to the same artist twice in a row for the first time . In Recognition of his extraordinary contributions to jazz, the Leaders Circle of the San Francisco Jazz Organization hereby proclaims Gonzalo Rubalcaba “2001 Leaders Circle Laureate”. The ASCAP Foundation, (2008) “ Vanguard Award” for Composer and Pianist, whose innovative an distinctive music is charting new directions in jazz.
Rubalcaba’s art continues to evolve and will continue to draw inspiration from his Afro-Cuban heritage. On February 2009 released his latest album “Avatar” which is a collection inspired originals with contributions from his young and talented New Quintet.
Rialto Theatre, Monday 17 December, at 20.30
Information/ reservation: 77 77 77 45