Heard on CultureShift

Musician Omar Sosa On How His Father’s Love of Nat King Cole and a Bootleg Herbie Hancock Cassette Influenced His Sound

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Image credit: Otá Records

CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire spoke with Sosa about the music that’s changed his life for WDET’s series ‘In The Groove.’

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Jazz pianist Omar Sosa is celebrated for his unique blend of global sounds with modern electronic elements. But it’s his Afro-Cuban roots that are truly at the heart of his music. 

Sosa’s fans have likened his performances to spiritual celebrations, and it’s easy to hear why when he speaks to you. 

His infectious hope and optimism for the world are ever-present, even in these difficult times of the pandemic.

It was announced this week that the Grammy-award-winning Cuban pianist will be part of this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival lineup, along with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter and many more artists.

Fans can catch him perform well before Labor Day weekend when plays the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe Thursday, April 8 through Saturday, April 10.

CultureShift’s Amanda LeClaire spoke with Sosa about some of the music that’s influenced his life for WDET’s series “In The Groove.”


Listen: Hear Omar Sosa reminisce about his father’s love of Nat King Cole and how a bootleg Herbie Hancock cassette changed his life as a young musician. 


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Amanda LeClaire, Host, CultureShift

Amanda LeClaire is Host of CultureShift and is a founding producer of both of WDET’s locally-produced daily shows. She’s been involved in radio and the arts in Detroit for over a decade.

amanda.leclaire@wdet.org Follow @amandalee_lec

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