Where was Raúl Paz?

After a quieter time with family, study and composition of the new, fresher and colorful album

“On April 5 we start again! After a while without much work, just behind the stage doing a new CD that is coming out in May and another for the summer that will be implicit in the next Cuban soap opera. It is a very interesting product with many surprises including the participation of music greats such as Pancho Céspedes. I have been long out … out of orbit. We make the first concert of 2014 on April 5 in El Sauce, where I haven’t played in three years, which is a place I’m happy because they have restored it and are doing very cool things .

“We are restructuring our accompanying orchestra here in Cuba: New music, new musicians. I ‘m betting on young, talented big team that will contribute a lot to me in this preparation. “

¨ Number 10

The new album is my tenth album, although we have not yet decided whether to title it as such. It is a very colorful disc and in which we worked a lot. It takes the music up and marks a different time. From it comes another period of my music that pleases greatly. My universe is quite external; I tell stories that can be mine or others. The rest is for you to listen to but I guarantee there is a lot of dancing and good energy coming from it.

Part of it was recorded in the EGREM of Cuba studios and the rest plus the electronics in the Paris studios; I’ve surrounded myself with a mix of musicians and French technicians who usually play with me and those accompanying me here, but all contributed great current sound to this music mixed with the music I always do, between the Cuban who I am inside and all my experience outside.

Fusion then?

I hate the word fusion, although I come with it … I think the term fusion detracts, “you put everything there and it fits.” It is contemporary Cuban music, the sound of today. Very cheerful ! High up ! I try to express what I feel about this new society that is beginning to change, or to want to change things. There is ebb and flow, the album reflects that.

“My Two Lives”

For years with the disc ¨ Mulata ¨ in the early 2000s, I was in New York with the record label RMM and explained to Rafi Mercado we had to do discs for different markets , I still had the French influence and was not the same public in two places. Where a single stuck in one place was different in another. At the end two albums came out: one in New York for the Americans in general and another in Europe. From that moment I began my myth of the two lives, of being a little here and a little there. There is some imbalance in Cuba because sometimes things work differently, they are otherwise very slow parallel to my music and tours outside. I always try to find a compromise between these two lives or circuits. I think in this last work we have managed to almost tie the two worlds. The launch is on May 5 in Paris, by contract songs should be released there first, but then we will release it by all means: web and normal mechanisms. I nurture the hope that someday it will be Cuba , but I think it will be spread in the pirate fashion in Cuban houses before my hope becomes a reality.

Disk details ? Cover design? ? songs ? ?

On 5 April in El sauce, I hope , I think, I know what you ‘ll hear two or three new songs from the new thing (laughs ) There are eleven fresh baked songs and while we do this interview I am downloading photos to choose for the cover as a result of a session in Miami with a brilliant Filipina photographer. I think we found the right formula and color. This disc goes with flowers, half hippie, something from the seventies updated; I already passed the time to pose for a picture. Today I am looking for showing more on the cover; through the cover give information on the disk. The exact order of the songs is pending, which takes you to the magic of the final preparation.

Guests ?

That’s another very Cuban word, on disk there are artists who go or come but I do not use that concept either in concert or on disc, we are simply cooperating with each other. There are ideas that are friends I will not say who yet but will be in versions of songs I recorded solo. I was lucky enough to record with great musicians who have accompanied me for a while like Pity Cabrera in the piano, Nicholas Dacunha on drums, in bass Julio Rakotonanahary, and Frank Rubio also made other base then there are some younger as Andy Duval who made arrangements for metals, great Cuban musician Nan Fong Sam on guitar, and all equipment with metal saxophonist Thompson and members of Manolito Simonet and his group, who are my friends . We cannot forget the participation of David Swini, my brother Santiago and great trumpet solo by Alexander Abreu, as he alone can do, a very important theme of the album: Ven Ven .

Upcoming tours?? Do they include Cuba?

New album involves new movement. We started hot enough, the disc comes out on May 5 and on the 21 we will start the tour in Europe where we have the honor of opening a very important festival in France: Festival of Santini . World musicians from both classical and popular are invited and do concerts together. I will be opening the festival with a very special concert accompanied by a string quartet from the Paris Philharmonic School. We will wrap it up in the Basilica of Santini but with full philharmonic orchestra, plus my repertoire. They have me very busy and moved me a little towards the beginnings when I was studying classical music. In the summer I would like to extend my tour for the rest of Europe trying to keep both my dates in Cuba, I long to see someone ” authorizing ” me to give a national tour someday because I know there are some of my people waiting for me and who I’m crazy about playing to but the mechanisms are so complicated that if anyone knows how I ask him please to tell me.

Upcoming video clips??

This is an album when at the very least we will have four videos it is a product of rich visually. Just before you arrived I was here with Alejandro Perez who will be the director of one of the videos. There is another in cartoons now in development and are part of new projects that will be ready in a month or two along the disk.

Photo: Havana Cultura

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