Music Series at Berklee: Issac Delgado

By
Joyce Linehan
October 20, 2009
Issac Delgado will perform with students, faculty, and alumni at Berklee on November 12.

The 2009–2010 Music Series at Berklee continues with Issac Delgado: The Heart and Soul of Cuban Salsa. The Grammy-nominated vocalist is one of the most famous interpreters of Cuban salsa in the world. Delgado will be backed by his son, Issac Jr., on piano, and a group of more than 20 Berklee students, faculty, and alumni. Bass professor Oscar Stagnaro will direct the ensemble.

The performance takes place on Thursday, November 12, at 8:15 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. General admission tickets are $20–$25 and are available at the Berklee Performance Center box office, at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 617 931-2000. For information, call 617 747-2261 or visit berkleebpc.com.

Delgado was one of Cuba's most well-known musicians before defecting to the United States in 2006. A founding member of timba's seminal group NG La Banda, Delgado is famed for innovation, improvisation, impressive musicianship, and hard Afro-Cuban funk. He has received two Latin Grammy nominations (for Best Salsa Album and Best Tropical Song, "La Mujer Que Más Te Duele"). His solo recordings with Gonzalo Rubalcaba earned him a number of EGREM prizes, the Cuban equivalent of the Grammy.

Timba combines elements of traditional Cuban music with salsa, jazz, rock, and hip-hop. Though often described as a subcategory of salsa, it is much more complex, requiring technical mastery found only in musicians trained in theory as well as in classical, jazz, and traditional Cuban music.

Like other series artists, Delgado will spend the week leading up to the concert as artist-in-residence at Berklee. He will teach master classes during the day; in the evening, he and Stagnaro will rehearse top student vocalists and instrumentalists who will perform at the concert.

Stagnaro is the show's executive producer, and Matthew Nicholl, chair of the Contemporary Writing and Production Department, is the string arranger and musical director.