A few years ago the pianist and composer Roberto Fonseca joined the organizing committee of the Jazz Plaza Festival. This year he returned as the artistic director of the event. Regarding his expectations, he commented to CubaSí:
“I’m very happy, because when I started as music director, the capacity was not what it is now. The Festival has always had interest, but it fell into a rut, it needs a little push, and I think the result will be seen today: the press conference is full, the interest of the musicians in wanting to do new things, even the formats for which it is forbidden to work with jazz things, they are very open and cooperate with one That has always been my intention: to make the Jazz Festival a laboratory where all styles meet and are welcomed.
“One of my demands is always that the musicians give their best, that they don’t take the Festival into account, but they prepare well, because the public deserves the best, they deserve that we give them the best concert of the year.
“It is a pride for me to be the general artistic director of the Festival. We make sure that Cuban jazz continues to give something to talk about and that people get closer. Every day we work to make it better. There we are in a difficult situation in the country now, but the goal is that it will continue to grow and fix any situations that may arise. “I am one of those who always say that it is better to be part of the solution and not the problem.”
—What is your participation in the Festival program?
—Particularly, my task is to close the Festival here in Havana, where a dream that I have always had will come true: to hold a concert where classical ballet is represented. We already had a very good, very good conversation in Viengsay, and we are working on it. It is unique because we want you to enjoy something unique.
—You mean that you ended the Festival in Havana. Is the Santiago headquarters maintained?
—The headquarters in Santiago remains, because Santiago deserves it: everything from Santiago, all the traditional music that put Cuba on the map.
—What can you tell us about foreign visitors?
—There are many people who are interested in coming: in Bulgaria there is a group called The New Bulgarian Voices, who want to come; American; French people who also want to come. I won’t mention the names to surprise you.
—As announced in the press conference, many artists and groups of traditional music, popular dance music will attend… Is this dialogue a purpose of Jazz Plaza?
—We owe a lot to Cuban popular music, because our sources are there and the codes of Afro-Cuban music are there, which is very important. That will not change, on the contrary, it will grow more.
“Last year we did something called tropical jazz: the jazz players started playing, the last one was me, and the Van Van closed behind them, and talking the other day with Samuel Formell, we agreed that it should be repeated.”
The famous Cuban pianist and composer declared himself “very happy to see so many people interested in what happens at the Jazz Plaza. That makes us keep trying to give you the best, because you deserve it for this, the people of Cuba deserve it. Thank you for the Festival; thank you, Cuba; thank you”.