He already has two Grammys. In addition, “Viento Y Tiempo” was nominated for “Best Latin Jazz Album” in 2020 and this year “Live in Marciac” for “Best Traditional Tropical Album”. Gonzalo Rubalcaba recorded Both Live with Aymée Nuviola. Friends through the ages, the pianist and singer not only share the same mother country Cuba, but also share a similar childhood with loving parents who are full of music.
Although Rubalcaba actually wanted to be a drummer, he revealed to Billboard magazine. When he was six, he wanted a drum set. However, there was not just a music store in the Havana neighborhood at the time, but his father found a man who made musical instruments. At the entrance exam to the music school three years later, little Gonzalo failed the first time, made it the second time, but there was no place for such young drummers. So he advised him to try the violin or the piano. “It was the saddest moment of my life at the time,” he recalls.
Bad luck for him, good luck for the world. Because Rubalcaba developed tremendously on the keys, how brilliantly he learned to weave classical and popular music was noted in 1985 by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who was the first North American to play with. Anyway, Piano & Keyboard Magazine voted him in 1999, along with legends like Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich and Bill Evans, as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. But even without these superlatives, rubalcaba is such an exceptional instrumentalist, particularly rhythmically, that he eventually sees the piano – see above – “as part of the percussion family”.
You can soon hear his voice in Istanbul and Tokyo, among other places. Or on Saturdays at the Leibniz Cultural Center. On the 10th anniversary of the Leibnitz Jazz Festival, impresario Otmar Klammer wasn’t stingy as Cuban spotlights four days of Francophile influence. Mucha Gracias!
Leibniz Jazz Festival. From today to Sunday. Leibnitz, Seggau, Flamberg. Details and maps: Tel. 0664 99 60 56 01, www.jazzfestivalleibnitz.at
“Travel aficionado. Certified problem solver. Pop culture guru. Typical writer. Entrepreneur. Coffee trailblazer.”