The World Music Institute will continue their World to Brooklyn series with Colombia to Brooklyn: Gregorio Uribe Big Band at Roulette.
Cuban singer José “Pepito” Gómez will kick off the World Music Institute's third season of the dance-party series “World to Brooklyn." Gómez is a Cuban vocal sensation with humble beginnings. He started by playing with local bands in his hometown of Camagüey, Cuba, and has grown to become lead singer of Maravilla de Florida, the Charanga Latina Orchestra and Habana Ensemble. He has toured with the late Compay Segundo of the Buena Vista Social Club, and was a lead singer of the Cuban mega-band Pupy y Los Que Son Son before moving to the U.S. His vocals range from heart-wrenching romantic ballads to high-octane timba arrangements, replete with torrents of improvisations and frenzy-inducing call-and-response.
Vocalist Emil Zrihan will perform for the World Music Institute's standout series Around the World, Around the City at the Peter Norton Symphony Space. Zrihan’s power and range as a countertenor have earned him the names "The Voice of the Mockingbird" and "The Moroccan Nightingale." Born in Rabat, Morocco, he is now cantor at the main synagogue in Israel's Ashkelon, one of the oldest cities in the world, situated along the Via Maris which joins Egypt and Syria. Accompanied by oud, violin, kanoun and darbouka, Zrihan has used his multi-octave countertenor vocals to inject new life into a rich mixture of Moroccan and Judeo-Andalusian folk music, expressing the emotional intensity of North African religious songs and the vivacity of Andalusian music. His vocal prowess is demonstrated through his “mawals” — improvisations — and enhanced through his instrumental usage. The upbeat rhythmic tempo with its Mediterranean flavor alternates with passages imbued with the languor of the Orient, a mix which evokes the family gatherings, songs and dances of the Sephardic culture.