Yesun: an espresso with Roberto Fonseca

Image Credits: Roberto Fonseca©Alejandro Azcuy

May 23, 2020


The pianist and member of Buena Vista Social Club, Roberto Fonseca has recently released “Yesun”, his ninth solo album. He spoke about it with Jazzespresso.

> Iug Mirti 

The title of the album is “Yesun”, a word pun on water: can you explain it? Why do you use water as a symbol?

YESUN is made from two words YEMAYA and OSHUN both are deities of my religion and both represent wather (Yemaya the sea and Oshun the river). Water is so important for the living and helps to purify, that’s something that somehow happens with music as well.
The album features guests like Lovano and Maalhouf: how and why have you chosen them?
I really like to collaborate with all kind of artists, but these two amazing musicians have all my admiration, I feel really proud for having them on my record and hope to keep doing things with them both.

It’s very important not to forget your roots and traditions because that´s what we were made of.

The record is a mix of different influences, including jazz, electronics, funk, rap … how do you work on your compositions? What about the arrangements?
Yes, I wanted to use all my influences on this álbum, it’s another step forward to a more modern Cuban jazz. My compositions are always stories that come very naturally.


How important is tradition in your music? And how much do you you believe it is important to transcend it by finding new paths?
It’s very important not to forget your roots and traditions because that´s what we are made of, but indeed each person grow with so many influences and that´s the beauty, to be able to incorporate your traditions with new experiences because that´s how music become fresh.

Can you tell us how one of your song usually is born? In the morning, In the evening, with or without the instrument… 
First and more important is to find the melody, this is the starting point. Once the melody is in your soul you just need to give it a shape….to me  it feels like a movie, first you have the idea and then you develop the storyline.
What is music for you today?
All my life.
Yesun: an espresso with Roberto Fonseca copyright Jazzespresso 2020.
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