Nestor Torres: Dances, Prayers & Meditations for Peace

Nestor Torres image 0
Brian Soergel

Nestor Torres

In 1990, Nestor Torres was critically injured in a boating accident, but the flutist regained his health-physical and spiritual-with the help of Buddhism. On September 11, 2001, Torres was to receive a Latin Grammy for his CD This Side of Paradise, but the terrorist attacks forced the ceremony’s cancellation. More recently, the Miami resident, born and raised in Puerto Rico, led a group of protestors against U.S. military bombing exercises on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

Those three events help explain the title of Torres’ latest CD, which also happens to be his best. He says he created the CD because he was moved by the events of September 11, the war in Iraq, the hurricane damage to New Orleans and other instances of global unrest in the new century. He hopes to create a revolution of the spirit. Considering that the majority of the 13 original tunes offer chunky and thick beats, it’s a revolution you can dance to.

There’s a mix of world beat, salsa, jazz and R&B expressed in selections such as “Human Revolution” and “House Call.” Marching drums mark the beginning of “Let There Be Light,” but there’s also a softer side to the revolution as expressed through the reverential “Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law” and “A Widow’s Meditation (Lamentoso),” a gentle duo between Torres and pianist Julio Reyes.