The Jazz of Cuba’s Roberto Fonseca

By Zahrah

Roberto Fonseca. Photo: Cape Town Magazine

HAVANA TIMES – Roberto Fonseca is a multitalented Cuban jazz musician, composer and bandleader. Born into a musical family, he first started out with percussion before switching to piano when he was 8 years old.

This initiation with percussion influenced his piano playing style and Fonseca went on to mix Afro-Cuban rhythms with US jazz, thus forming a bridge between the old and new. He performed at the Havana International Jazz Festival when he was just 15 years old, opening the world’s eyes to his talent.

Today, with many an album under his belt, as well as scores of tours across the world with the Buena Vista Social Club alumni Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo, and his own band, Fonseca continues to marvel audiences with his fusion of jazz, Afro-Cuban and traditional Cuban sounds.

His ambition? “I want my music to reach people who don’t know me, and I dream of one day becoming a point of reference for my audience.”


The Havana Times Music playlist can be accessed on all of our pages both in English and Spanish.

Roberto Fonseca Playlist:

  1. Igbae
  2. Cubano Chant
  3. Triste Alegria
  4. Contradanza del Espiritu
  5. Siete Potencias
  6. Tumbao de la Unidad
  7. Clandestino
  8. Llego Cachaito
  9. Lo que me hace vivir

3 thoughts on “The Jazz of Cuba’s Roberto Fonseca

  • June 18, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Chucho is also a nice guy. And a legendary pianist.
    Best Cuban pianist ever….?
    Not gonna put down that point of view…..
    But best ever is a big call.
    Jazz is a truly great art form and there ain’t nothin wrong with a bit of good ol’ national pride.

  • June 18, 2019 at 8:20 am

    The most accomplished Cuban jazz artists seem to be those that have managed to hone their talents abroad while remaining tethered to their Cuban roots. Jazz, one of the few truly American inventions, survived Castro’s early purge of all things American and Cuba and the world have benefited from this ever since. By the way, Chucho Valdes is the best Cuban pianist ever but this young man is pretty good.

  • June 17, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Met this guy one time. He went to the same school as a dear friend of mine.
    Seemed like a nice fella. Definitely a damn good jazz pianist.

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