CLASSICALLY CUBAN - A Musical Journey
Cuban music origins date back to the 19th century. From Manuel Saumell (1817-1870) to René Touzet (1911-2003), this CD encompasses the music of 16 composers in a vast repertoire surveying the evolution of Cuba's music from its inception in "Contradanzas", continuing with "Danzas", Habaneras", "Romanzas", "Canciones" and "Boleros".
The "Contradanza" -a figurative dance with French origins in which couples danced while facing each other, as opposed to the back-to-back style common in the 18th century- arrived to Cuba by way of the French immigration escaping the slave revolt in Haiti (1791). It was quickly accepted, evolving into the Cuban Contradanza, embraced by 19th century composers who were Cuban of Spanish descent. This gave way not only to the musical genres previously listed, but to many other rhythms and dances throughout the Americas.
The CD includes a 16-page booklet with the biographies of the composers featured in the CD and a brief history of the origins of Cuban music.
Note: Track #6 "Guantanamera" - Accompanied by Tony Sala Jr., Spanish Classical Guitar.
Tony Sala - Biography
Tony Sala, pianist and composer: Born in Havana, Cuba in 1935, Tony started piano lessons at age 6. "My music loving family inspired a passion within me from the earliest years to today." he says. Consistently placing first among his peers during formal competitions, Tony ultimately completed piano studies at age 17 at the Peyrellade Conservatory in Havana. In 1958, he graduated from Villanova University's branch in Havana with a B.S. in Accounting.
In 1961, Tony left Cuba and settled in Philadelphia where he embarked upon a sucessful career in accounting and finance spanning over 40 years. In 1986 Tony volunteered his talents to the members of the St. Mary of the Lakes Church Community in Medford, NJ, serving as organist to this day. All throughout this period, Tony continued his love for music, maintaining a focus and diligence towards piano playing.
After retiring in 2003 from a full-time professional life in acounting and finance, Tony embraced his passion for delivering inspiring live performances on a full-time basis. The following discography highlights the acoustical journey to date:
2004: "Havana Dreams" Tony releases his first CD, a romantic and touching array of 14 original piano compositions. 2006: "Classically Cuban", a stirring chronological journey showcasing music from 16 Cuban composers ranging from
the early 19th century to the late 1950's.
2007: "Best-Loved Christmas Carols" An ultimately inspiring collection of glorious carols from around the world, adapted
for classical piano.
2008: "Tony Sala Plays Cocktail Piano" Tony's polished classical piano style is a delicious compliment to well-known
Broadway and other celebrated melodies written by the most famous of popular composers.
Tony lives with his wife Mercedes, in Marlton NJ, close to his two children and four grandchildren.