Arts & Culture, Music

Top Cuban Musicians: Roberto Carcassés

Celebrated in popular and jazz circles in Cuba and far beyond, Roberto Carcassés’ spirited, innovative style is on full display at Havana’s Corner Café in Vedado.

43-year-old Roberto, whose roots are jazz, has collaborated with musicians from diverse backgrounds, such as singer songwriter Santiago Feliú, percussionist Jose Luis Quintana (Changuito) and the world famous songwriter Silvio Rodríguez . Roberto has also collaborated with international jazz stars like trumpet virtuoso Wynton Marsalis and the dexterous alto sax Steve Coleman.

Roberto’s restless musical nature has led him to play in absolutely every thinkable format, but he is best known in Cuba for his project Interactivo, consisting of a group of Cuban musicians. The band serendipitously started in the early 2000’s after doing a recording with famed bass player Yusa. Struck and excited by the result, the two musicians began inviting other musicians to join what finally morphed into Interactivo.

The band’s format can be compared to a large funk ensemble – but it has no definite arrangement. Guests are a permanent part of the band. The music, while intrinsically Cuban, merges hip-hop with funk, as well jazz and Afro-Cuban music. The result, while showcasing the immense talent and technique of its musicians remains, fun and accessible to everyone.

Roberto’s father, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Bobby Carcassés, is a revered figure in the world of Cuban music, known for his exceptional vocal improvisation. This was a great backdrop for Roberto’s musical formation. He began playing piano as a child at home, then continued his studies at the Alejandro Garcia Caturla conservatory, and finally at the National School of Art, the national reserve for gifted musicians.

You can see Roberto Carcassés and his band Interactivo at Corner Café theatre every Wednesday after 10 PM.

Address: 1ra Y B, Vedado, La Habana, Cuba

Tel: +53 7 8371220