When it comes to dance music, percussion is king. And what could be more fun thank to listen to the organic playful beats of Gabriele Poso? The multi-instrumentalist and percussionist from Carbonia Sardinia in Italy takes his musical cues from jazz, soul, and Afro-Latin music, having spent his formative years in Puerto Rico and Havana. Since 2008, he’s produced 10 LPs with labels like Yoruba and BBE Records, and even performed a live segment with the legendary Gilles Peterson. The effervescent talent most recently launched ‘Awakening‘ in March this year, a spiritual collection of soul and Afro-Latin music glued together by his distinctively layered percussion sounds.
Hi Gabriele! How’d you describe your music?
“Honest” is probably the word that describes it best.
You have a love for Afro-Cuban percussion. What’s so fascinating about it?
The drums makes us feel human, allowing us to have a deep connection with our spirituality and inner soul. It’s also the most ancient way to communicate and persists to this day. Afro-Cuban percussion is the highest expression of it, in my opinion.
Is it something that’s catching on, or still something quite niche?
The tropical music culture is growing for sure, for audiences all around the world. We are living in the digital era now, so more than ever it’s necessary to go back to the roots.
You actually went to study percussion in Rome when you were younger. What was the experience like?
I had the privilege to study at the Timba Institute with Roberto Mamey Evangelisti, one of the most renowned percussionists and a master of Afro-Cuban culture in Italy. It was an extraordinary musical and life experience, and formed the foundations for my music education and vision.
What is your composing and producing process like ? Do you work on all your music alone?
I don’t follow a standard process. During the creating process, I try to be focused on just the music and nothing else. I usually don’t have any departure point and no end in my mind, but the music always knows where I should go next and how to bring me there. I just follow her without question.
Where was your favourite place to perform so far?
The Jazz Café in London, where I played live with The Yoruba Soul Orchestra. It was totally unbelievable.
Tell us about some of the upcoming shows that you’re excited for.
I have some special shows coming up in Asia. It’s the first time ever performing with my band in this part of the world – check out my social page for all the details and dates. Highly recommended shows include one on 30 November in Seoul, and 2 December in Singapore for the first edition of an incredible inter-disciplinary festival called Tropika. I can’t wait to perform there!