Manuel Valera

Jose Marti en Nueva York (GRE-CD-1080)

Jose Marti en Nueva York Agrandir l'image

Jose Marti en Nueva York

Manuel Valera

Greenleaf Music


GRL 161234




CD 14,03 €



Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Manuel Valera, presents the dynamic debut of his New Cuban Express Big Band. Inspired by José Martí, the famed Cuban writer and independence hero, José Martí en Nueva York features Valera’s song cycle of original music based on nine poems from Martí’s seminal 1891 collection, “Versos Sencillos.

Addressing a range of political and societal issues that are relevant even today, the texts are set for two unique vocalists, Sofia Rei and Camila Meza. Valera uses the broad palette of the big band to express a wide breadth of moods and emotions, touching on traditional Cuban music styles (Danzón, bolero) as well as modern Latin jazz to give Martí’s poetry new life.

The album’s large ensemble features some of New York’s best creative musicians, including standout soloists Michael Rodriguez, Roman Filiu, Joel Frahm, and Mauricio Herrera. Produced by Kabir Sehgal and Doug Davis, the album is modern big band jazz with a message. Born out of the crisis of Valera’s loss of his wife to cancer last year, Jose Marti en Nueva York is a personal cry for freedom, justice, and an expression of passion.


  • Voice:
  • Camila Meza (1, 3, 4)
  • Sofia Rei (2, 5, 6, 7)
  • Trumpets:
  • John Walsh (Lead on 1, 3)
  • Brian Pareschi (Lead on 2, 4-7)
  • Michael Rodriguez
  • David Smith
  • Alex Norris
  • Reeds:
  • Michael Thomas (Lead Alto & Soprano Sax, C and Piccolo Flutes)
  • Roman Filiu (Alto & Soprano Sax, Flute and Alto Flute)
  • Joel Frahm (Tenor & Soprano Sax)
  • Charles Pillow (Tenor & Soprano Sax, Clarinet)
  • Andrew Gutauskas (Baritone Saxophone and Bass Clarinet)
  • Trombones:
  • Matt McDonald (Lead)
  • John Yao
  • Andy Clausen
  • Jeff Nelson (Bass)
  • Rhythm Section:
  • Manuel Valera (Piano, Celeste and Keyboards)
  • Alex Goodman (Guitar)
  • Ricky Rodriguez (Bass)
  • Jimmy Macbride (Drums)
  • Samuel Torres (Percussion on all except 2, 5)
  • Mauricio Herrera (Percussion on 2, 5)

Recorded at Big Orange Sheep Studios on December 9-10, 2019.


  • 01. Odio La Mascara Y El Vicio
  • 02. Es Rubia, El Cabello Suelto
  • 03. Por Sus Ojos Encendidos
  • 04. Yo Quiero Salir Del Mundo / Yo Pienso Cuando Me Alegro
  • 05. El Enemigo Brutal
  • 06. Tiene El Leopardo Un Abrigo / Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca
  • 07. Si Quiere Que De Este Mundo