Interview With Salsa Musician Marlow Rosado

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During the pandemic’s darkest times, when clubs were shuttered and his performances were canceled, Marlow Rosado retreated to his Miami Lakes recording studio. He experienced classic salsa, a lifelong enthusiasm, and Zen, a longtime fascination, on his brain.

Rosado, 52, a Grammy and Latin Grammy winner, has emerged with two new recordings and a perception of peace. The albums, he suggests, symbolize a new stage in his musical occupation and a lead to for celebration.

Los Colores de la Salsa (The Colors of Salsa) is a present day just take on traditional Latin dance rhythms that he recorded with his longtime pal, veteran vocalist Frankie Negron. The official movie for the monitor, “Depende de Ti (It Is dependent on You)” has garnered additional than 1 million views on YouTube considering the fact that the album was introduced in early March.

Orun is a deeper, just about meditative recording and Rosado’s 1st Latin jazz album. (He interprets the Yoruba word as meaning a protective ancestral spirit.) The album also marks the first time the Puerto Rican musician has labored with Afro-Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés. The veteran musician is a guest artist on the monitor, “Marlow y Chucho,” which Rosado wrote.

“I was capable to generate two wonderful albums,” Rosado says. “They are quite exclusive mainly because they came from a area of despair — of what’s going to transpire, I’ve got very little to do, no work, nowhere to go — to a place of hope for the foreseeable future.”

Rosado is no stranger to beating the odds. His new music isn’t played on Latin commercial radio even though he has received two of the tunes industry’s most significant awards: a 2012 “Best Tropical Latin Album” Grammy for Retro, which he recorded with his band, Marlow Rosado y La Riqueña, and a 2015 “Best Children’s Album” Latin Grammy for Los Animales.

He is a person of salsa’s underground heroes.

“The too much to handle programming [on commercial Latin radio] is city audio,” claims Rosado, a pianist, arranger, songwriter, and bandleader. “There are thousands of ‘salseros’ with data out there, but there is no salsa on the radio.”

Zen has helped him offer with the ups and downs of the music market, he claims.

Rosado was first captivated to Eastern philosophies as a teenager when he picked up a duplicate of The Pocket Zen Reader. Immediately after checking out Nepal in 2007 to perform at a jazz competition, he was hooked. When the pageant finished, Rosado spent seven times in the money of Kathmandu, going to a Buddhist temple.

He has returned to the Himalayan place twice: “Nepal was a daily life-transforming working experience.”

It’s between the poorest nations in the globe, he suggests, “yet we have so considerably to discover from them.”

What Rosado learned was to check out to see options in life’s troubles, he says. His two new albums reflect this frame of mind.

Colores has Rosado’s trademark “salsa gruesa” (heavy) style — blaring horns, speedy-fireplace percussion, and lyrical piano solos — with shades of city audio. He recorded the album with Negron, a salsa and Latin pop singer of Puerto Rican heritage from New Jersey, who grew to become popular in the late ’90s with hits this sort of as “Con Amor Se Gana (You Win With Love).”

Rosado claims he and Negron, who moved to South Florida a several several years back, went into the studio jointly, not knowing what to expect.

“It was a exciting history to do for the reason that there was absolutely nothing else to do, we ended up in quarantine. So, we experienced a superior time performing this,” Rosado recollects. “It’s probably the only record I’ve accomplished that way. We ended up considering, ‘If things at any time get back to standard, we’re likely to launch this album,’ and we did.”

Rosado wrote most of the songs on the file, including the call-and-response “Depende de Ti.”

“It calls on youthful Latin city artists to ‘defend’ tropical Latin rhythms that initially arrived in the Caribbean on slave ships,” he claims. “We’re asking the young musicians who are warm proper now to regard this tunes, not to dismiss it as old people’s audio.

“The authentic rappers were being the ‘soneros’ (salsa vocalists), the rhymers — we invented that.”

Marlow Rosado is hard at work in his Miami Lakes recording studio.

Marlow Rosado is tricky at operate in his Miami Lakes recording studio.

Image courtesy of Deborah Ramirez

The much more melodic Orun with Valdés is a departure from Rosado’s “heavy metal” fashion of salsa.

In a new video for the album, filmed at his Coral Springs dwelling, Valdés had words and phrases of encouragement for Rosado.

“He has a fantastic expertise and a significant level of composition and a huge swing on the piano — an extraordinary vibe,” states Valdés, cigarette smoking a cigar on his patio. “All I can say to Marlow is what [jazz composer] David Brubeck when claimed to me: ‘Marlow, hardly ever cease.’”

Valdés is one of Rosado’s idols.

“Chucho is like royalty. He was anyone that I saw as untouchable, as way out there, like a Miles Davis,” he says.

Rosado’s appreciate affair with Latin tropical dance new music has never waned. He grew up in Puerto Rico listening to his salsa heroes on the radio — piano giants like Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, and Papo Lucca. As a youngster, he taught himself to engage in the piano by listening to his favourite salsa documents.

After shifting to Miami at age 14, Rosado ongoing to nurture his fascination in audio. This led to a full scholarship at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, where by he graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in music education and learning and jazz composition.

Following college, Rosado observed a protected working day task, as a audio trainer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Elementary University in southwest Miami-Dade County. He put in ten a long time in the classroom — by then he had a spouse and twin daughters — prior to getting a leap of religion to grow to be a full-time musician. He has survived by understanding to multi-task.

“I do everything: I’m a studio operator, I have a rehearsal hall, I’m a recording engineer, I’m an arranger, a pianist, I do events — like Christmas functions — I’m a songwriter and a producer,” Rosado claims. “I stopped being [mostly] a piano player when I became a businessman.”

His a lot of talents have helped him find steady work. Through a mutual good friend, in the late ’90s, he fulfilled powerhouse songwriter-producer Desmond Little one, whose hits incorporate “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” Little one, who also writes for and generates Latin artists, signed Rosado to his publishing business.

Via his association with Child, Rosado has written songs and generated albums for some of the largest names in the Latin songs business, including fellow Puerto Rican artist Ricky Martin, Mexican rock star Alejandra Guzmán and Puerto Rican pop diva Yolandita Monge.

In 2015, Rosado received a Latin Songwriters Corridor of Fame “La Musa” (The Muse) award, named just after Child’s mother, Cuban composer Elena Casals. Little one is a cofounder of the group.

“Desmond has been an angel,” Rosado claims. “He was the initial particular person to sign me as a songwriter. He’s been a complete pressure in my occupation.”

Rosado hopes additional people today will get to know his get the job done. “Orun” is scheduled to be unveiled on April 30, Intercontinental Jazz Working day, and will be out there on all electronic platforms.

Rosado wrote all the tracks for “Orun,” other than for the Rafael Hernández typical, “Capullito de Alelí,” which he performs with guest saxophonist Ed Calle. Rosado claims he feels a religious connection to the recording, which capabilities a babalao, a Santeria priest, chanting a prayer on the title keep track of.

“These are not just my latest information,” Rosado says. “They seriously mark a interval in life that influenced the complete world. They are what retained me sane and saved me active. They’re incredibly distinctive.”

For additional data on Marlow Rosado and his songs, check out his official site at

– Deborah Ramirez,

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