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This is the ninth in a series of special Jazz on the Tube reviews of live stream performances.

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A major jazz keyboardist from Cuba, Roberto Fonseca was a professional musician by the time he was 15 when he debuted at the Havana International Jazz Festival.

He moved to the U.S. around 2001 after having worked with the Buena Vista Social Club and has since collaborated with such notables as Regina Carter, Anat Cohen, Michael Brecker and Wayne Shorter.

Fonseca, who sometimes punctuates his keyboard playing by singing along in unison, led ten CDs during 1999-2019 and shows equal skills on piano and electric keyboards, invigorating modern Afro-Cuban jazz music.

He was scheduled to perform at Joe’s Pub in New York; with the current lockdown, he still had an opportunity to play at the venue for this streamed performance.

Joined by bassist Yandy Martinez and drummer Ruly Hernández, Roberto Fonseca performs a full set of his originals, exploring a variety of moods (with Martinez taking a few outstanding solos including a bowed improvisation) that hold one’s interest throughout the spirited performance.

– Scott Yanow

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March 14, 2020

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