Gonzalo Rubalcaba was a guest musician on Al Di Meola’s latest release “Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody.” A guest artist with Di Meola’s World Sinfonia, these two virtuosos are playing a select few duo shows. The fusion of world class guitarist Al Di Meola and exceptional pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba promises to be a breathtaking event.
Combining passion, intelligence and outstanding technique, Al Di Meola is one of the most virtuosic guitarists in contemporary jazz. Di Meola’s rhythmically-charged flamenco and tango inspired originals showcase advanced harmonies along with simple, beautiful, alluring melodies.
Upon graduating from the Berklee School of Music, Al gained a large following for his contributions to fusion supergroup Return to Forever. Embarking on a solo career, his albums ‘Land of the Midnight Sun’, ‘Elegant Gypsy’ and ‘Casino’ quickly became some of the biggest selling instrumental records of the 1970s (“some of the finest jazz fusion guitar-based recordings ever” -All Music). Recent decades have reflected Di Meola’s continued interest in Latin and flamenco styles, making each new project closer to World music than jazz. The formation of the Al Di Meola World Sinfonia is the culmination of this, which Al has been touring with for over 10 years.
Few jazz pianists are better equipped to augment Di Meola’s flamenco grooves than Havana-born Gonzalo Rubalcaba. The conservatory-trained master has integrated huge swaths of the European classical and jazz traditions, while maintaining bone-deep ties to the rhythmic currents of Cuba.
Rubalcaba quickly gained fame on the American scene in the early ‘90s through the efforts of famed bassist Charlie Haden, who was blown away by the young virtuoso. At first Rubalcaba distinguished himself with his bravura technique and hair-raising rhythmic prowess, but over the past decade he’s rigorously honed his approach, delivering dazzling passages that seem to careen through the entire history of Cuban music. Creatively, everything the pianist touches turns to gold. He’s earned 15 Grammy nominations and won two Grammy Awards for his ravishing collaborations with Haden on Verve, Nocturne and Land of the Sun, and two Latin Grammy Awards for Solo and Supernova (both on Blue Note).
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“…he freely mixes prog-jazz intricacies—multiple-meter structures, rapid-fire unison lines—with an underlying melodic romanticism.” -Jazz Times
“a pianist of almost supernatural abilities” -New York Times
“…fast and nimble and forceful in ways that other piano players only dream about.” -Pop Matters