Roberto Fonseca is a Cuban pianist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and bandleader. Havana-born and based, he has released nine solo albums, collaborated across genres, been nominated for a Grammy Award and toured the world several times over. Along the way he has achieved the aim with which he began his professional career in the early 1990s: “Wherever people are, I want them to hear my music and say, ‘This is Roberto Fonseca’.” Born in Havana in 1975, the son of a drummer father and dancer/singer mother, Fonseca started playing drums aged four and the piano aged eight. His tastes were always eclectic: hard rock, American jazz, funk and soul, music made in Africa and Brazil, classical music, reggaeton, electronica, hip-hop and the music of Cuba. Fonseca’s deep AfroCuban roots underpin a sound that builds bridges between the ancient and modern and takes Cuban music – all music – forward. In 2012 came his Grammy-nominated masterwork Yo, a turbocharged album aided by 15 musicians from Cuba, the US and Africa. Among them, Malian singer-songwriter and guitarist Fatoumata Diawara, with whom Fonseca embarked on an acclaimed live collaboration that resulted in 2015’s At Home, also recorded live at the Jazz in Marciac festival. Released on 18 October 2019, Yesun features guests including Grammy-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano and lauded French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf. Having long proved himself exceptional, Fonseca is making the music he has always wanted to make.
24 October National Opera and Ballet, 20:00 NOB, 20:00