Although pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba and vocalist Aymée Nuviola have been friends since childhood, they had never worked together on a musical project until 2019. That August, the two Grammy winners shared the stage for a six-night engagement at the Blue Note Tokyo. Those shows were recorded, and selections from them saw the light of day on an album, Viento y Tiempo – Live at Blue Note Tokyo, released last May by Top Stop Music and currently in the running for a(nother) Grammy, for Best Latin Jazz Album.
JazzTimes is honored to premiere the video for one of the tracks on that album, a rendition of José Claro Fumero’s “Bemba Colorá.” Besides Nuviola on vocal and Rubalcaba on piano, the lineup here consists of alto saxophonist Kazuhiko Kondo, bassist Cristobal “El Profe” Verdecia, drummer Reinier Guerra, percussionist Neiger “Majito” Aguilera, and backing vocalists Lourdes Nuviola and Alfredo Lugo.
Other tracks on Viento y Tiempo include “El Manisero,” “Lágrimas Negras,” and an original composition by Nuviola, “Rumba Callejera.”
Rubalcaba comments: “It brings me joy, satisfaction, melancholy, and pride to hear this project. It’s brought on by many things: the grandness of Aymée, the place and its inhabitants, the band, the loved ones and business partners present, and the awakening of memories now converted to a wish to see my mother & other loved ones dance to this music that had already existed then and continues to flourish now. Thanks to the music!”
Nuviola’s most recent solo release, A Journey Through Cuban Music, took home a Grammy Award in 2020 for Best Latin Tropical Album. Rubalcaba has two Best Latin Jazz Album Grammys on his shelf, one from 2001 for Nocturne and the other from 2004 for Land of the Sun.