|MUSIC OF DEPARTURES AND RETURNS (2014)
1. Paquito’s Choro 01_Paquito’s Choro
2. Rabo de Nube
4. Paco 04_Paco
5. The Everyday Struggle 05_The Everyday Struggle
6. Etude No. 1
8. Cançó No. 6
Almadraba, (2018) is an intriguing new composition where the jazz, classical and popular driven styles, interact with Iberian traditions composed by guitarist Oscar Peñas.
Oscar Peñas performed Almadraba accompanied by pianist Frank Carlberg and the 2015 Grammy Nominees chamber students ensemble Solistas de la Habana, conducted by Ivan Valiente at Teatro Martí in November 2016.
“Almadraba” provided Peñas with the opportunity to work and share experiences with a classical ensemble, for the first time, as well it also help raise the awareness of an environmentally friendly trap-fishing method, which is one of the oldest in the world that has not changed since its inception.
Contributions to the recordings of Almadraba’s CD is a tax-free donation through Fractured Atlas, our fiscal sponsor organization.
European Project: Orilla Un Niari, Music from the shores of the Mediterranean
Orilla Un Niari, literally (do not deny the shore), is a shared co-led project bringing together the musical and human experiences of three musicians that are bound together by the thread of Mediterranean culture.
The name of the band comes from two different languages, Orilla (the shore) is a Spanish word and Un Niari (do not deny) is a Sicilian expression.
Spanish guitarist Oscar Pena, guitarist Francesco Guaiana and bassist Luca Lo Bianco, both Sicilians, share a common musical idea deep-rooted in the spirit of tolerance and hospitality that mark the people who grew up by the sea. So this is a humanistic idea, but also a musical thought. The shores of the Mediterranean refer to the contemporary topic of emigration that Spain and Italy and in particular Sicily know very well.
The repertoire consists of the band members’ original compositions bringing together dance, lyricism, irony, a taste for melody and unpredictability. The music of the band speaks many musical languages (Jazz, Classical, popular and traditional music) because, as it is for human beings, diversity is a resource to understand the world.
Oscar Peñas’ Crossroads, (2016) Crossroads is the new jazz-fusion project lead by guitarist Oscar Peñas. It premiered at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in NYC on Feb. 1st, 2016 and it features Gregoire Maret on harmonica, Moto Fukushima on bass, and Richie Barshay on drums.
Crossroads’ sound captures Peñas’ consistent technique, a rare sensibility seen in jazz. His lower intensity facilitates him to shade tunes with meaning and subtlety, a refreshing musical approach in today’s over-amplified jazz world.
Oscar’s cultural mixing and crossover melodies are clearly represented in this varied repertoire of originals.
” Spanish guitarist Oscar Peñas has attracted a wide variety of fans through his unique combination of classical, Spanish folk music and Brazilian grooves over an American jazz base.” – SiriusXM, Real Jazz channel
” Music of Departures and Returns is an enjoyable collection of styles and sounds from around the world presented with heartfelt joy and clarity. The music will certainly leave the listener with a joyful and playful feeling; Peñas’ focus on making good heartfelt music is a breath of fresh air.” – H. Allen Williams, JazzTimes
“…the album displays Peñas’s confident and clear phrasing, which is cast into high relief through interplay with Caswell’s violin.” – Tim Wilkins, WBGO
“Peñas practices economical simplicity, displaying astute prowess commendable for its modesty and ease.” – Bob Gendron, Downbeat Magazine (4 stars)
Peñas is a gifted writer, composer and a band leader…” Steven Rosenfeld, ASCAP
Mr. Peñas, a crisp Catalan guitarist, has a new album, “Music of Departures and Returns,” that suggests a personal spin not only through the music of his heritage but also that of Cuba and the Americas.” – Nate Chinen, NY Times.com
From Press Relase:
Catalan-American guitarist, composer and bandleader Oscar Peñas´ fourth album and second release in the United States, Music of Departures and Returns, includes a Brazilian choro and a tribute to flamenco master Paco de Lucia; a jazz standard and a classic from the Cuban Nueva Trova songbook; and music by the great Catalonian composer Frederic Mompou. Yet this is neither a music sampler nor a showcase of Peñas´talents in different settings and styles.
“This is more or less who I am. I’m not trying to push boundaries, prove anything or show off in any way,” explains Peñas. “It’s a collection of pieces, some mine, some by other composers that I have always admired, that I felt had a common mood, a certain sound that reflects my personality and where I come from.”
Music of Departures and Returns features his quartet, comprised of his long-standing rhythm section featuring six-string electric bassist Moto Fukushima, drummer Richie Barshay, and violinist Sara Caswell. The band is augmented by special guests such as bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, reedman Paquito D’Rivera and pianist, producer and arranger Gil Goldstein who appears on accordion.