Roberto Carcassés November 2009

Roberto CarcassésRoberto Carcassés


Ricky Sebastian and David Pulphus

The CubaNOLA Arts Collective and Snug Harbor presented renowned Cuban jazz piano player Roberto Carcassés in concert with Louisiana legend Ricky Sebastien on drums and local jazz stalwart David Pulphus on bass. 

The audience enjoyed one of Havana’s top jazz funk musicians during his first visit to New Orleans.  Roberto Carcassés is the popular and inimitable leader of a new movement in Cuban music, better known as the fun and funky ever evolving jazz, timba, rumba, trova, party band Interactivo.   During his one night of performances at Snug Harbor, Carcassés performed jazz and of course brought us some of the fun that Interactivo is so famous for. 

Carcassés, 37, a pianist, composer, producer and arranger, is at the forefront of a new style of Afro-Cuban jazz fusion from Havana’s contemporary music scene. Considered one of the best and most creative musicians in Cuba today, Carcassés’ July 2007 concert in Miami was billed as “one of the most interesting exhibitions of Cuban talent to come along in a long time”. During his return to Miami in July 2008 he was heralded as “one of the driving forces in a new style of fusion dominating the Havana music scene”. He has also toured and played in jazz festivals in Europe, Japan, Canada, Mexico and South America. His collaborators include such celebrated musicians as Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Harper Simon, Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Changuito, his father Bobby Carcassés, and more.

In addition to his solo work, Carcassés leads Interactivo, a 14-to-36-piece band that plays a blend of timba, the high energy Cuban style of salsa, and novísima trova, the latest incarnation of Cuban style troubadour songs, with funk, jazz, R&B and hip-hop.  Whether solo or in his group work, Carcassés’ sound crosses cultural and generational boundaries, paying tribute to jazz and Cuban music legends such as Emiliano Salvador, Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Juan Formell, Jose Luis Cortés, Silvio Rodriguez, Santiago Feliú, Pablo Milanés, Arsenio Rodriguez, Beny Moré and Pedro “Peruchín” Justiz, at the same time as incorporating such diverse and unexpected influences as Kool and the Gang, Ruben Blades, the Beatles, Chick Correa, Bill Evans, Keith Jarret, Sting and Led Zeppelin.

Born in 1972 to Cuban Jazz legend Bobby Carcassés, Roberto, also known as Robertico, studied piano and percussion at the Escuela Nacional de Arte, graduating in 1992.  He has released more than eight albums as a solo artist and band leader. His most recent releases include his solo album “Matizar” (2008) and his latest work with Interactivo, “Cubanos Por El Mundo” (2009). In addition to his performing work, Carcassés taught over two summers (1998-99) at Stanford University’s Jazz Workshop.

To listen to some of Roberto’s music and watch videos please check out –