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Music Events (more headlines) 06-25-2002

The 2002 Green Music Festival At Sonoma State University Presents Cuban Jazz & Salsa On The Green

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GONZALO RUBALCABA and ALBITA
AUGUST 4, Sunday — Sonoma State University lawn

(Rohnert Park, CA, JUNE 12, 2002)— The Green Music Festival at Sonoma State
University, a summer-long celebration of music, arts and ideas, presents a
sizzling double bill concert on Sunday, August 4, featuring superstars of
Cuban jazz and salsa, GONZALO RUBALCABA and ALBITA — delivering the soulful
music of Cuba with total passion and full-on sizzle. Bring a picnic, relax
on the lakeside lawns, and take in the exciting sounds of jazz piano
virtuoso GONZALO RUBALCABA. Then, put on your dancing slippers for salsa
dancing on the green to rootsy Cuban Son singer ALBITA, the "Cuban diva" of
Miami's South Beach club scene.

Gates open at 2 p.m. for picnicking, fine wine and food. GONZALO RUBALCABA
and his trio perform at 4 p.m. Dance instructors lead the crowd in salsa
dance lessons beginning at 5:30 p.m., to warm up for ALBITA's hot appearance
at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $6–$35, available by calling (707) 546-8742. For
information, see www.greenmusicfestival.org

GONZALO RUBALCABA

"Gonzalo Rubalcaba is the greatest young jazz pianist in the world." —
PopMatters
"A thunderous, passionate player with approximately 800 fingers." — Jazz
52nd Street Review

Composer/pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, nominated for three GRAMMY® awards this
year, brings astonishing richness to his music, a blend of Afro-Cuban dance
rhythms with jazz virtuosity and classical training. A captivating
performer, accomplished composer, and gifted player with amazing technique,
Rubalcaba explores the orchestral potential of the grand piano, combining
elements of 19th-century romanticism, Yoruba religious beats, swing, bebop,
modal jazz and spontaneous improvisation. He embraces the full world of his
Cuban musical roots, integrating folkloric strains with the vanguard of
musical expression.

Rubalcaba was born in Havana in 1963 with musical greatness in his blood,
his father a pianist (who helped introduce the "cha-cha-cha") and his
grandfather a well-known danzon composer. He began piano lessons at age 8,
and received classical music training at the Havana Institute of Fine Arts,
where he earned a degree in musical composition. An inventive musician and
young prodigy, he quickly gained renown and began touring internationally in
1980. By the 1990s he had strong ties to jazz giants including Dizzy
Gillespie, Charlie Haden, Joe Lovano, and Jack Dejohnette. He met Haden in
1986 at the Havana Jazz Festival and was invited to appear with him and Paul
Motian at the 1989 Montreal Jazz Festival, participating in what became
known as the Montreal Tapes. He made his breakthrough at the 1990 Montreux
International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, again performing with Haden and
Motian, where his appearance created a sensation and catapulted him into the
consciousness of the international jazz audience. Signed by Blue Note in
1990, Rubalcaba is now one of their top artists. He has toured
extensively,appearing at prestigious festivals from Mount Fuji to Montreux
to Jazz at Lincoln Center. Since 1996 Rubalcaba has lived in Florida.

ALBITA

"…spicy salsa with conga beat" — New York Times
"…extraordinary musicianship…" — Newsday
"…a powerful blend of old organic Cuban with a few modern twists…" — The
Heral

Cuban Son singer-songwriter ALBITA is an international superstar whose
soulful vocals are steeped in the poetry and rhythms of traditional Cuban
music. The rootsy singer from Havana's La Víbora barrio became the toast of
Miami through her shows at the Centro Vasco. Albita continually explores
the rich diverse history of Cuban musical forms, from smoky ballads to
pulsing dance tunes. She has released seven distinctive albums (one in
Cuba, two in Colombia, and four in the U.S.) that sound like no one else in
American—or Cuban—music, and has just released her eighth, Hecho a Mano
("Hand Made," Silva Screen/Times Square).

Born in 1962, Albita Rodríguez first learned music at home. Her parents
were poetistas repentistas —poetic improvisers—in the traditional Cuban
country style of punto guajiro, who did comic duets in live performances, on
radio and on television. Albita feels a particular closeness with guajiro,
the authentic Cuban music of her youth. The style of Son, which goes back
to Cuba's fight for independence from Spain, combines African and European
elements in a polyrhythmic indigenous musical art form—the basis of today's
salsa.

Albita started writing songs as a small girl (seven years old), was given a
guitar on her fifteenth birthday, and by sixteen was playing her own music.
She grew up in Cuba at the beginning of the era of the nueva trova—the
nationalist singer-songwriter movement that generated Cuba's biggest
international stars of the 70s. And there was dance music, above all the
son. Her early music incorporated all these influences, taking the
traditional song poetry of her parents as a basis, and the neglected
heritage of guajira music. Self-taught, she learned by doing, spending her
time with musicians and playing gigs wherever she could.

Albita left Cuba for Colombia, where Cuban guajira music is hugely popular,
and stayed three years before moving to Miami in 1993. She began performing
at the Centro Vasco restaurant and soon became a local legend, as nostalgic
Cuban exiles rubbed shoulders with the beautiful people of South Beach
crowding to hear her hip and sultry vocal style. In the rush of celebrity
that followed, Albita became not only a music star but a style icon, sought
out by the South Beach jet set—Madonna, Quincy Jones and Gianni Versace—and
performing all over Latin America, Europe, and the U.S., including at
President Clinton's second Inaugural Ball.

With her new CD Hecho a Mano, Albita takes her place as a startlingly
original singer-songwriter, with passionate, rhythmic interpretations of
lyrics that come from deep down inside her remarkable life. Intimate and
reflective, sexy and poetic, the album pulls together the different
experiences of a lifetime, her clever and economical lyrics and compelling
vocal style telling a complex story with few words and full emotion.

GREEN MUSIC FESTIVAL TICKETS & INFORMATION

The annual Green Music Festival, now in its third year, presents a
summer-long program of music, arts and ideas in a beautiful wine country
setting by the lakes at Sonoma State University. This year's festival,
under the artistic leadership of Jeffrey Kahane, is focused around the
theme, "On Common Ground: Evolving Landscapes in Music, Arts and Ideas,"
explored through concerts, lectures, programs for children and youth, and a
special Ansel Adams Centennial Exhibition in the University Art Galllery.
Buy tickets to two or more music events and enjoy a $3 discount per ticket!

All events take place at the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park,
1801 E. Cotati Ave., 40 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Tickets are available at (707) 546-8742. For information, see
www.greenmusicfestival.org.

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