Cuarteto de Cuerdas Amadeo Roldan y su disco Collage

Cuarteto de Cuerdas Amadeo Roldan y su disco Collage

Colibri Productions, 2014

With the music of some Cuban contemporary masters, the Amadeo Roldan String Quartet takes a four-hundred-year-old concept  and spins it into a fresh and new Jazz paradigm for their  debut.

Chamber music is defined as “music composed for small instrumental ensembles, traditionally intended for performance in a room, a Concert Hall or a reception hall, often solely for the performers, but this is not the case of the ARSQ, an ensemble that has toured around their island of  Cuba, Brasil, ……. or

The idea for the foundation of the Quartet came out from Guitar Master and composer Leo Brouwer, who has been speaking and convincing several musicians of the importance of the String Quartets.

Violinists William Roblejo and …. have been playing together since ….

they have a special guest in this debut album, clarinetist Ernesto Camilo Vega who was in charge of arranging and soloing on a composition of piano master Chucho Vlades : “Las margaritas”.

This composition has a story, and it was written specially for saxophonist GERMAN VELAZCO,  who came to the legendary Irakere to sub for Paquito D’Rivera in 1982.

Chucho Valdes was inspired to write this masterpiece after the band took a trip to Venezuela. “Las margaritas” is and island in the Caribbean Sea located in ……

Other composers in the album Collage are Guido Lopez-Gavilan, …. and Leo Brouwer.

Collage is a Chamber Music album – entirely Cuban !

There is no drums or bass,  but there’s a lot of rhythm. A full and rich sound is created here that perfectly suits the Quartet emotive voice and musical vision.

COLLAGE is a truly collaborative effort of kindred spirits who have performed together in various combinations since their early days,  since their school days.

COLLAGE is an irresistible offering from a formidable Jazz, Classical  and Fusion ensemble.

In many  mighty fine  days, I was really closer to some of them. Remember William Roblejos playing his violin with TRAZA – a Quartet of four young lads who I had the pleasure to invite to my radio show SONOGRAMA in Radio Cadena Habana to play their music live, memories of which I keep in my office archives, and keep on listening once in a while. In those days, they were listening, mostly, The Turtle Island String Quartet, Apocaliptica and countless others, so their background is undoubtedly universal. .

Clarinetist Ernesto Camilo Vega is one of my favorite JOJAZZ  Contest Winners, and I feel really glad that he is joining forces with his longtime friend ….. – who is the director of THARSQ. The other two members are new for me but I’ll follow them pretty soon in my next visit to Cuba.

The producer of COLLAGE is an old friend, classically trained musician, a graduate at The Amadeo Roldan Conservatory of Music in Piano and Organ, ROBERTO CHORENS DOTRES also  director of several educational institutions in the island, and Adjunt Director of The National Symphony Orchestra, and a TV host,   for just mentioning a few of his responsibilities.

The sound engineer is  Alfonso Pena – renowned for his abilities in live shows and in the recording studios. Pena has an abundant discography under his belt and also accumulates several awards  in the Cuba Disco Summits  with the likes of La Familia Lopez-Nussa and La AfroCuban All-Stars.

Toni Basanta

DJ / Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and the television in Vermont USA


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