Cuba has a long jazz tradition. And its annual Havana Jazz Festival attracts musicians from all over the world. At this year's festival, though, one of the biggest attractions was a unique Cuban-African collaboration.
Roberto Fonseca is a Cuban jazz pianist who first found fame touring the world with the Buena Vista Social Club. Now, he's made his own mark fusing American jazz with Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Fatoumata Diawara is a Paris -based African singer from Mali with an international following for her mix of traditional Mali music with jazz, pop and funk. They first teamed- up for a world tour two years ago, but this is the first time, they have brought their unique combination to Cuba.
What was it that had made them want to do this musical collaboration?
"Oh my god he brings a lot of things to my music. You know like it's what they play here in Cuba, its afro music, it's the same sound. Fonseca is very open-minded he is looking for this mixture into music and that's my way too I like to share music to collaborate with people," Diawara said.
"This is a really unique, we live really far away but at the same time we are really close, I teach her a lot of Cuban influence, a funky different things. At the same time, she brings me a lot of influence, which is beautiful, because we both connect our worlds and then we just create new songs and new sounds too," Fonseca said.
They've already released one live album, now they are trying to find time in their busy separate schedules to get into a recording studio together.