Q&A with Miguel de Armas
Ottawa Jazz: Tell us about the music for your Ottawa performance?
Miguel: The music you will be listening to during my show are all my original compositions. Some of the tunes are included in our most recent album "Continuous" to be released by the end of this year. We will also include some of the tunes from our first album "What's to Come" released in 2017. As a Cuban, my music is an expression of my identity, culture, and tradition. Also known as Afro Cuban, Latin, or Cuban jazz, I believe my music fuses the riches of African polyrhythm with the dazzling complexities of American jazz, blues, roots, and world music. Through rhythm and melody, which can be danzon, rumba, changui, songo, my music tells stories of love, immigration, long winters, and how to remain happy.
Ottawa Jazz: What inspires you right now?
Miguel: My source of inspiration is mainly my family: my wife and children. We never been so close and together. I think the positive side of being confined, is the opportunity we have to take a moment to reflect on those things we value the most, our love of life, good health, and the meaning of our relationships with others.
Marc Decho - bass
Michel Medrano Brindis - drums
Diomer Gonzalez - congas
Miguel de Armas - piano & compositions
In this production, presented by the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, one of the great Cuban pianists and masters of Afro-jazz Miguel de Armas together with Marc Decho (bass), Michel Medrano Brindis (drums) and Diomer Gonzalez (congas) will perform a program that enhances the cultural appreciation for Cuban music. Based in Ottawa and performing together since 2013, the Quartet carries on the rich tradition of Cuban-Canadian musical collaboration, creating a sound that is powerfully rhythmic with lovely melodies and harmonies. Miguel constantly challenges the Quartet with new arrangements and compositions, both his own and those of other composers. Fusing the riches of African polyrhythm with the dazzling complexities of American jazz, blues, roots and world music, Miguel’s work as a pianist/composer/arranger spans more than 35 years. Throughout his career, his performances have included solo works, international tours, and numerous recording projects.
Ottawa’s powerful and energetic Miguel De Armas Quartet (75-minute program). This pre-recorded performance will be streamed free Nov 15 at 7pm EST by the Festival (see website on the day of performance for links). It will also be presented as part of a national presentation of Canada’s top jazz talents for a unique collaboration between over a dozen festivals from coast to coast in a Canadian Online Jazz Festival (COJAZZ) produced by Calgary’s JazzYYC.