Costa Rican capital stars in composer's musical odyssey

By Katherine Stanley

When I spoke with trumpet player and composer Etienne Charles outside the upper Manhattan club Smoke a few weeks ago, he told me about his latest project. It’s an unusual suite involving San José, Costa Rica; San Jose, California; and St. Joseph in Trinidad.

The three cities have more in common than just their names. Each has known colonization. Charles, who is from Trinidad, became interested in seeing how the people of each culture were affected by history and how “music helped people overcome adversities.”

The project, commissioned by the national organization Chamber Music America, has been a way to see “how music relates to a society and can tell the story of a society and a people,” Charles said. “Musicians are important in terms of telling people what’s going on. The common thread that I was working with was the theme of resistance from community in respect to conquest: how do these people deal with the advent of conquest, with people who come into their land to get money?”

“Conquest leads to new communities being formed,” the musician added. “When you get a community together, a real resistance can happen.”

Charles’ upbringing exposed him to various cultures, which allowed him to gain different … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times