Cuba seems to produce pianists the way Brazil produces soccer players.
The quality and quantity of jazz pianists from Cuba, all seemingly raised in the most exacting classical school yet all seemingly just as fluent in the popular and jazz traditions, is just astonishing.
Consider Cuban jazz pianist and composer Harold López-Nussa, 34. He was born, and grew up, surrounded by music. His father, Ruy Francisco López-Nussa is a well-known drummer, his uncle Ernán, is an influential pianist, composer and arranger, founder of the groups Afrocuba and Cuarto Espacio and his late mother, Mayra Torres, was a piano teacher and a critical influence on his playing and outlook. “90% of what I am today I owe to my mother,” he once said. “When I was a child she was always on my side. She taught me the piano and also […] to know that it’s not the end of the world to make a mistake. That’s something you have to learn as well.”
López-Nussa and his trio, featuring his younger brother Adrián Ruy López-Nussa on drums and Julio César González on bass, play at the Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center on the Nova Southeastern University campus, presented by South Florida Jazz, Saturday at 8 p.m.