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Omar Sosa and Yilian Canizares at Aretha's Jazz Cafe, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Omar Sosa is not one to stay in the same musical place for a particularly long time.

The Cuban-born jazz pianist has created a diverse body of work since he began releasing music during the mid-90s, receiving several Latin Grammy Award nominations along the way, as well as an Independent Music Award for his 2010 album "Ceremony." He's also collaborated with a number of artists, including Deckou Keith, Adam Rudolph, Paolo Fresu and Xiomara Laugart.

Sosa's latest project is "Aguas," which teams him with singer-violinist Yilian Canizares. Their live show as the AGUAS Trio features Gustavo Ovalles, and despite his musically nomadic ways, Sosa, 54, sees more on the horizon for this particular configuration...

Sosa says by phone the met Canizares two years ago, when she opened for one of his concerts. "I was quite impressed wither and her violin and the way the played and the way she has her own musical world -- basically the same as mine. When she finished the concert I talked to her and said, 'Yeah, maybe one day if you want do do a project together, please let me know.' She said, 'Not one day -- let's do it now!' 'What?!' And after that we started working on the music. It was that simple."

It didn't take long for Sosa and Canizares to figure out what they wanted their collaboration to sound like. "The idea of ('Aguas') is to present a contemplative side of Cuban music. Most of the time when people talk about Cuban music it's always upbeat and dance music, muscular music. We said, 'Let's present the feminine side of Cuban music without losing the identity and the groove...and add that female kind of energy.' I've done that before in my career, but this time with a singer and violin player, you need to treat it in a different way. I was very happy with the result."

Sosa says he'd like to continue working with Canizares but already has a couple of projects in motion -- including an east African-themed album due out in September, which he recorded with traditional musicians, and a jazz album he recorded in South Africa. "I go with the flow. There are too man things to do in this world, in this life, to repeat yourself. So when you ask me, 'Are you gonna do another thing (with Canizares)? the answer is maybe, but it's gonna take longer -- maybe 2030 or 2027. I live in the present. I want to enjoy very minute 'cause life is short and I want to do as much as I can while I'm here."

Omar Sosa, Yilian Canizares and the AGUAS Trio perform at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 11 at Aretha's Jazz Cafe inside the Music Hall Center, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit. $30. 313-887-8501 or jazzcafedetroit.com.

Web Site: www.jazzcafedetroit,com

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