Award-winning pianist and composer Walter Gorra launches the worldwide distribution of his first CD that blends United States Jazz with Afro-Cuban Music, Brazilian music and the music of South America. It took Gorra two years to produce the CD, but the release on Aug. 1 is the culmination of his being true to all of these influences. Gorra calls it “a snapshot” of his life.
Denver jazz station KUVO/KVJZ 89.3 will air an interview and live performance with Walter Gorra and his quartet on August 17 at 2 p.m. hosted by KUVO’s music director, Arturo Gomez.
“The last composition on the CD entitled Rumba Pa’ Senen is a Cuban Rumba dedicated to my grandfather,” said Gorra. “It combines the effects my Cuban and Honduran heritage have had on my musical identity with my memories of my grandfather.”
Earlier this year, Gorra was recognized at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola/Jazz at Lincoln Center as the winner of the prestigious DownBeat magazine winner of the Student Jazz Award for original composition for small ensemble.
Originally from western Colorado, Gorra moved to New Jersey to pursue a master’s degree in jazz composition and arranging at William Paterson University. Gorra has performed with NEA Jazz Master and 15-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera at the KUVO Jazz studios in Denver. He has also played his original music and arrangements with his Colorado quartet at Denver jazz clubs, and performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival.
Gorra, 24, graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2017 with a master’s degree in structural engineering, along with bachelor’s degrees in jazz piano and civil engineering. He creates and performs music because he finds it an even more powerful way to connect with others than words.
The album features the Cuban Rumba, along with one Cuban Bolero and six original compositions played by Gorra and band members, Greg Tanner Harris, Gonzalo Teppa and Manny Lopez with guest artist Josh Quinlan on four of the tracks. As of Aug 1, the songs will also be available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and Google Play.