Costa Rica Nature and Music mixed by extraordinary musician Manuel Obregon
by Ivo Henfling
Many of you might remember Catalina, who was my assistant for quite some time. When I hired Catalina, I didn’t know that she is Manuel Obregón’s sister.
Manuel is one of Costa Rica’s most talented musicians and Laura Chinchilla’s government’s Minister of Culture and Art. Manuel Obregón is a verty talented artist who found a way to combine Costarican nature and Costarican music. Simbiosis, piano and rainforest, is just one of many of his cd’s that are worth listening to.
About 10 years ago, Dany and I were invited Cora and Marianela to a piano concert by Costarican musician and composer Manuel Obregón and we were surprised by how good he was. If you are not really involved very much in the Costa Rican cultural life, you don’t realize that Costa Rica does have great musicians and artists because they are not very well advertised.
This is a very small country and most good artists can’t make a living here so they leave for Mexico or the US and most never come back.
Manuel left, educated himself and came back. Manuel was born in 1961 in a political family. His father was an ambassador for Costa Rica in many countries, which gave Manuel the opportunity to live in other places. Manuel started his Jazz and Flamenco studies with Jean Luc Vallet in Barcelona, Spain in 1982 and later at the Swiss Jazz School of bern, Switzerland. At the same time, he was a cultural attaché for the Costarican government in Europe.
Manuel Obregón is the author of more than 20 “solo” cd’s and the same amount as an invited musician and composer. He has concentrated his creativity over the past 10 years on Central American music and his relation to the natural environment.
On January 2002 Manuel accomplished to get 14 musicians of 7 central American countries together and with this starting the first regional band “La Orquesta de la Papaya” which means “The Papaya Band”). Through the Papaya music, they found a great way of making the Central American music known to the general public.
In 2000, Manuel received the “best concert of the year” award in New Orleans and was declared an International Honorary citizen of New Orleans.
Obregón has also accomplished a synthesis between academic formation, tradition and experimentation, which can be traced through the different music groups he has formed: Afro Cosmos, Cahuita, El Cuarteto Esporádico de Jazz, Gospel Caribe, La Orquesta de la Papaya and the biggest hit to my opinion “Malpaís”.
Manuel Obregón’s music can be bought in most music stores in Costa Rica and also on Amazon.com. Check the YouTube video’s I am including in this blog and you will see that is an incredible artist and has been able to combine the fabulous nature we have in Costa Rica with even more fabulous music.
Check it out, I’m sure you’ll love it and make the guy some money by buying his music.
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