Harold López-Nussa’s Afro-Cuban Sound

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Acclaimed Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa brings his Afro-Cuban Latin jazz — and view of the world — to our studio.

Jazz pianist Harold Lopez Nussa in the WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Jazz pianist Harold Lopez Nussa in the WBUR studios. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Havana, Cuba, is the hometown of jazz pianist and composer Harold López-Nussa. But his music goes very wide — global — with an African flavor, of course. It’s at the heart of so much Cuban music. But then all over: Latin America, France, the America of Thelonious Monk. And into Cuba’s own rich musical history. It’s beautiful. It’s irresistible. This hour On Point, the Afro-Cuban-Latin-and-more jazz of Harold López-Nussa. — Tom Ashbrook


Harold López-Nussa, Cuban jazz pianist. His new album is "El Viaje." Other albums include "New Day," "Herencia," "Sobre el Atelier" and "Canciones."

Felix Contrerasco-host of NPR's Alt.Latino. Part-time percussionist who regularly plays Afro-Cuban music. (@felixatjazz)

From Tom’s Reading List

San Jose Mercury News: Cuban pianists pour into Bay Area — "It’s both an indictment of the communist system’s failures in Cuba and a testament to its successes that the nation’s most consequential exports are doctors and pianists. The U.S. isn’t directly affected by the island’s medical missions, but the American jazz scene would sound very different without a steady flow of outrageous keyboard talent arriving from Cuba."

Quincy Patriot Ledger: Cuba's Harold Lopez-Nussa bringing his jazz virtuosity to Boston — "We all know how hard it can be for Cuban athletes – baseball players, for example – to bring their talents to the United States, since Cuba is often reluctant to let their stars leave the home island, and is ever wary of defections. But because Lopez-Nussa’s mother is French, he and his brother Rui, who plays percussion in his group, both have French passports as well as their Cuban papers, they’ve been able to prove themselves trustworthy to their government. They’ve been doing European tours for years."

Boothbay Register: Cuban Jazz  -- "The release of López-Nussa’s music stateside is a significant postscript to President Obama’s recent trip to Havana. The conservatory-trained pianist is the first Cuba-based musician (he has dual citizenship in both Cuba and France) to release an album internationally since the lifting of many of the restrictions associated with the longstanding trade embargo."


Harold López Nussa Plays "Me Voy Pa Cuba"

Harold López Nussa Plays "Lobo's Cha"

Harold López Nussa Plays "Timbeando"

Watch Video Of Harold López Nussa In The WBUR Studios From June 2013

This program aired on October 11, 2016.


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