Aymée Nuviola doesn’t stop with the enjoyment from obtaining, last yr, a Grammy from the American Academy for her album A Journey Through Cuban Music. She won the award in the identical category as she saw Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan, two other women-symbols of Cuban music, win two years ago.
Aymée, based in Miami, doesn’t rest within the seek for her own truth and transcendence. She does it through the projects she has embodied even during this pandemic, of which she also felt the ravages in her own body. She recovered from the coronavirus together with her husband, producer Paulo Simeon, to proceed creating and occupying a privileged place within the island’s music.
In 2020 Aymée Nuviola won a Grammy within the category of Best Tropical Album together with Marc Anthony, who was on the list together with his album Opus. Nuviola made no secret of her surprise when she was named as a winner on the historic awards ceremony. Upon reaching the stage, she only managed to say: “Oh my God!” “I’m here representing Cuba’s music. It’s a terrific honor for me.”
Nuviola has engraved that memory in her memory. She assures me from her apartment, where she has just returned after an arduous day dedicated to her projects, accompanied by her husband and her producer. Paulo apologizes for being late for our conversation, while Aymée talks in regards to the eventfulness of the day. Paulo shows me some photos of Aymée’s recent presentation on the Ellas y su Música event organized by the Univisión television network and the Latin Grammys, which paid tribute to Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan. Aymée praised Estefan not just for her relevant profession (she was considered one of the forerunners of the so-called New Sound of Miami), but additionally her will.
“For me it was a pride and a privilege to share the bill with Gloria Estefan. She is an example of discipline, of discretion. She is a girl that everybody respects. She suffered an accident that practically disabled her and with willpower she retook her life and sang again. The reality is that she very much deserved that tribute,” says Aymée. “What we’re each doing is raising the name of our country.”
Throughout the organization of the International Jazz Plaza Festival in 2020, her participation was announced together with that of pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba within the opening of the event, with the premiere on the island of the album Viento y tiempo. Live at Blue Note Tokyo. They recorded this album together and have already presented it on different international stages. They might not defend the album in Cuba throughout the scheduled date, but they don’t stop evaluating the opportunity of doing so.
“We would really like to succeed in the entire world with Viento y tiempo. We have now proposals even for South Korea. Within the case of Cuba, doing so doesn’t depend solely on our intentions. There are other characteristics and conditions there,” explains Aymée.
“This album has been thought out to the last detail. From the start it has had the support of the identical musicians on stage, something that the artists haven’t considered changing because of the negative effect this might have when interpreting the songs live. It’s difficult to go to Cuba also because you might have to bring musicians from the US. Within the project we’re very jealous about all the time having the identical musicians. It isn’t a project with which you possibly can go anywhere and share with other musicians. There’s a complete series of things that turn into complications and that get out of hand.”
Aymée and Paulo respond resolutely once I ask them in the event that they could bring the album to Cuba if all of the conditions were guaranteed. “Viento y tiempo goes to go to Cuba sooner or later. Let’s hope that the conditions of the pandemic improve, and the human ones, to take it. It’s an obligation to present it to the Cuban public,” says Paulo. Aymée reaffirms his words while she asks me in regards to the situation on the island and the assorted conflicts of the national reality, to which she has all the time been very attentive.
“Gonzalo, for instance, is signed with Bosendorfer, a brand that is a component of the Living Legend program. It was difficult to search out a strategy to transfer to Havana that specific piano that he required,” says Paulo.
Viento y tiempo… was recorded live throughout the performances of each musicians in 2019 on the legendary Blue Note Club in Tokyo, Japan. The album, which can be a part of a trilogy, moves between Cuban music and jazz and includes representative themes from the island’s repertoire. It got here out under the Top Stop Music label and the music was produced by Gregory Elias and Gonzalo Rubalcaba; the overall production was carried out by Top Stop Music, Paulo Simeon and María González, Rubalcaba’s wife.
The musicians gave the ending touches to the album throughout the peak period of the pandemic. Aymée gratefully remembers that Gonzalo received them for that recording process that always led to a peaceful family atmosphere. “We value very much that Gonzalo and María opened the doors of their home to us because not everyone seems to be willing to achieve this during a pandemic. It’s a risk that they were taking and by chance they never got infected. They did it with deep faith, identical to us. Not only was it like this with the recordings, but later we stayed as a family, sharing, talking, reflecting on what was happening. Those moments also helped us to understand that human beings are usually not prepared to experience the sort of confinement,” reflects Aymée.
Aymée has a deep connection to Latin American music. She has demonstrated this in numerous trips and projects which have led her to know first-hand various cultures of the region and artists with very different proposals from one another, but anchored in the popularity of the common features of their identity. That’s the reason she participated within the recording of the album Ancestras, in tribute to the Afro-Colombian singer Petrona Martínez, one of the vital authentic voices of the culture of that country.
She shared the album with musical legends reminiscent of the Peruvian Susana Baca and the African from Benin, Angélique Kidjo. On the phonogram, she sang “Dolores tiene un piano,” considered one of the classics of Colombian music.
She doesn’t discuss that album as just one other project. She gives strength to her words and for her it has a vital creative and spiritual meaning. The singer has shared her artistic and private interests on various fronts within the recording and music scene. This Friday she released a new album with salsa version songs that were popularized in Colombia. It’s Sin salsa no hay paraíso and it includes songs by Jorge Luis Piloto, Amaury Gutiérrez, Polo Montañez, amongst others.
“The songs were popularized by Colombian singers like Carlos Vives, whose songs I even have on the album. We made the salsa versions of them. I just like the result. We have now Fanny Lu, Majida Issa, Maia and Paola Arena. I even have published singles with the Septeto Carey, of a song that I recorded with Jorge Luis Piloto. I had released other singles with José Aguirre, musical director of the group Area of interest,” she explains and remembers her participation in a record by the well-known Puerto Rican musician.
“He did a superb job with the Big Band on a duet album called Gente con alma, with musicians like Diego el Cigala, Gilberto Santa Rosa. On that album I sang with my sister Lourdes.” Aymée can also be not indifferent to the context of criticism and offenses that marks on social networks a component of the links of Cubans living in numerous countries. She herself has received offenses by posting comments on her Facebook profile. The singer attributes the tensions, amongst other aspects, to “misunderstandings” and “wounds.”
“Cubans normally all the time embrace controversy since it is a component of our day by day life and our character. After we’re talking, individuals who are usually not Cuban think we’re killing ourselves. And it isn’t like that. That is reflected in social networks also by way of the discussion on political and non secular issues. There’s quite a lot of susceptibility and wounds on one side and the opposite. There’s quite a lot of misunderstanding. People never wish to go to the center terms, but to the extremes. That’s considered one of the the reason why I often refrain from making any type of comment in regards to the social or political reality of Cuba. What I post on the networks isn’t to satisfy anyone. I do it for a similar purpose that I make music: to heal myself, to let off steam, to precise something that I actually feel in my heart, to maintain being authentic, not out of fashion.”
Along with her comments on networks, she seeks the identical thing as with music: “It’s about creating links, bridges, scenarios of understanding amongst Cubans.” “Cubans in exile are attentive to how one can help their family, their friends. Straight away in Cuba there aren’t any medicines and it is rather difficult to send them from abroad. All the things adds up and folks get exhausted and explode. And once you look to the opposite shore there’s an identical scenario and a few are offended by the expressions of Cubans from Florida. It’s a fight of contrasts and positions. You are trying to know that as much as possible because ultimately we’re all the identical. I need to create ways to assist us, understand us, create lights,” says Aymée.
The singer tells me about her friends in Cuba and her followers. She would really like, she says, to have thousands and thousands of Cubans living on the island near her profession. And he or she assures that when she will, she’s going to again bring her music to Cuba, to also show that “without salsa there isn’t a paradise.”