Jazz Pianist Omar Sosa Returns Home to Oakland for Shows

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Seckou Keita, Omar Sosa and Gustavo Caballos dancing at a concert in Paris. The trio play Yoshi's in Oakland March 9 & 10 (Photo: Courtesy of Omar Sosa)

Omar Sosa lives in Barcelona now, but the Cuban born pianist used to live in Oakland, and he says playing Yoshi's is like coming home for him. For Sosa, the long-running Oakland jazz club is a place where he knows "the people, the trees, the city's rhythms and energy." Sosa plays gorgeous, ethereal Afro-Cuban jazz, and his 2017 album, Transparent Water, is like a deep meditation session by a meandering river, where occasional waterfalls add intermittent excitement. On the album and this tour, Sosa is playing with Senegalese kora master Seckou Keita (the kora is like a cross between a sitar, harp and guitar) and Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles.

"Most of the time," Sosa told me in an phone interview from his home in Barcelona, "we all end in singing and dancing. It’s not a complex music. It’s just soulful music."

Details for this deeply spiritual artist's shows at Yoshi's in Oakland March 9 and 10, and at Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz March 12 are here.