Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano featuring Omar Sosa and Greg Landau on Creative Collaboration
In this Literary Dialolgs video of my La Raza Chronicles (KPFA-FM) interview, you can see, hear, and feel the bonds of friendship and creativity that bind together these musicians, Omar Sosa, internationally renowned Cuban pianist/composer and his collaborator and music producer, my son, Greg Landau. The video interview explores their decades long process of international collaboration in the world-music genre, breaking traditional boundaries with its combination of sound, instruments, rhythms, and concepts. It is the basis of Greg and Omar’s work.
In this On Creative Collaboration interview, Omar spells out the deep rooted family feeling that bonds Greg and Omar over the decades. They first met by lucky coincidence in revolutionary Nicaragua in the early 1980’s when they were musicians with different bands who were booked on the same concert tour circuit. They reunited ten years later when Omar visited San Francisco with hopes of making a record. By chance he entered a San Francisco record store where Greg’s son, Sebastian, was working. Sebastian invited Omar to his family’s home to meet his musician father who produced records in his garage studio. Greg and Omar reunited.
When Omar mentioned “Oaktown Irawo”, one of their first big projects together, Greg reminded me that the album cover for the record was a painting by Omar’s ex-wife Shira Guayajasmin of the view from my Oakland living room at that time. In the “Oaktown Irawo” recording they combined African diaspora instruments with Oakland funk which was then highly controversial and unorthodox, but assembled a community of like minded musicians that continues to this day.
Omar says when they are editing music they barely have to talk because “We feel the music in the same way. … We are family.” Both Greg and Omar believe that it is their world view, values, and brotherhood that underlies their music and its message of hope, love, internationalism and an end to racism.
Watch the video to learn more about how new technology has made their collaboration easier and instantaneous with Greg based in Alameda, California and Omar in Barcelona, Spain. Among the new projects they discuss is a tribute to Floyd George integrating many musicians from around the world. Currently they are finishing back burner projects.
Learn more about Omar Sosa here.