Monte-Carlo Jazz Festival

Jazz & Cuba - Bona/Rodriguez - Rubalcaba

Jazz & Cuba Bona/Rodriguez - Rubalcaba
Thursday, 24 November 2022 (CONCLUDED)

Jazz & Cuba on November 24: with the concerts of Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodriguez feat Michael Olivera and Gonzalo Rubalcaba featuring Matt Brewer & Eric Harland!

  • Date: 24 November 2022
  • Venue: Opéra Garnier Monte-Carlo
  • Concert type: Seated concert
  • Opening doors: 08:00 pm
  • Beginning of the concert: From 08.30 pm
  • Dress code: Jacket required – Proper attire required
  • Minimum age: 7 years
  • Mail: [email protected]
  • Official website:
  • Official website:

Richard Bona & Alfredo Rodriguez feat Michael Olivera

Born in 1967 in the village of Minta in eastern Cameroon, bassist and singer Richard Bona grew up in a family where music is king. His grandfather was a renowned singer and percussionist. His mother, also a singer, noticed very early that her son had great potential. Resourceful and diligent, the child soon made his own balafon with scraps of wood gleaned from around the village, and practiced playing his new instrument 8 to 12 hours a day. Richard Bona performed for the first time in public at the age of 5, in his village church, singing with his mother and 4 sisters. As it was quite difficult to get musical instruments in the village, he often had to make them himself. But the lure of the big city was quickly felt. So he moved to Douala with his father and immediately found work as a musician. His life took a turn in 1980 when a Frenchman opened a jazz club in one of the city's hotels and hired the young local prodigy to form a band. At the age of 22, he left Africa for Paris. During his seven-year stay in Paris, Bona took lessons. In New York at the end of 1995, he reconnected with Joe Zawinul, with whom he had played in Paris, and participated in the recording of his album My People and the world tour that followed. Back in New York, he multiplied his engagements in all the downtown clubs. It was in one of these clubs that Jake Holmes, who had written many songs for Harry Belafonte, heard him. The reputation of this extraordinary bass player with a bewitching voice spread. His unique style, at the crossroads of a host of influences (jazz, bossa, pop music, afro-beat, traditional songs, funk...) gave a new dimension to so-called African music, as yet unexplored.

After meeting Quincy Jones at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2006, Alfredo Rodriguez, whose talent is inspired as much by Bach and Stravinsky as by his Afro-Cuban and jazz roots, left Cuba and his family to move to the United States to pursue his dream.

Grammy-nominated Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez, became aware of each other's talent through their common mentor, Quincy Jones. The result of a long friendship, Rodriguez's album Tocororo (2016), was produced by Quincy Jones. On this opus, the two artists produced two tracks, "Raíces (Roots)" and "Ay, Mamá Inés," revealing the relevance of uniting their musical backgrounds to create inspiring sounds.

They are also joined on stage by Michael Olivera.

With a long career as a drummer, producer, composer and arranger, the Cuban recorded his first work as a conductor: "Ashé". After this success, Olivera presents "Oasis", the result of a meeting of the best Cuban artists.

Closely linked to the jazz scene, he is one of the most important drummers in the current music scene, with more than 50-recorded albums and hundreds of projects, including participations in such important festivals as Jazz à Vienne, Marciac, Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Fest and many others.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Matt Brewer & Eric Harland)

Grammy-winning pianist and composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba was already a young phenomenon with a burgeoning career in his native Cuba when he was discovered by Dizzy Gillespie in 1985. Since then, he has been compared to Glenn Gould, Martha Argerich or Bill Evans. He has won three Grammys and two Latin Grammys, all of which contributed to make him a household name in the jazz world.

Born into a musical family in Havana, his father is a pianist, composer and conductor; his grandfather is a composer and his two brothers are also musicians. Gonzalo, a child prodigy, was already playing drums in his father's orchestra (Guillermo Rubalcaba) at the age of 6. He began his traditional training two years later, with the piano as his main instrument. He graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Havana and, in his teens, worked as a drummer and pianist in hotels, concert halls and jazz clubs in the capital. He then began touring Cuba, Europe, Africa and even Asia with the legendary Orquesta Aragón. In 1984, he formed his own Afro-Cuban jazz-rock fusion group: Grupo Proyecto.

In 1986, meetings with Gillespie, Charlie Haden and Bruce Lundvall, then president of Blue Note Records, helped to bring Rubalcaba's talent to the attention of jazz audiences in the United States. His international career includes an extensive series of recordings, with titles such as "Discovery - Live at Montreux", "Live at Mt. Fuji, The Blessing", "Rapsodia" and many others that earned him 17 nominations, including Grammys and Latin Grammys.

Opéra Garnier

Stay up to date with news & get the best offers


Join My Monte-Carlo for free and benefit from tailor-made offers and personalised assistance. You'll earn points for every expense you make at the Resort as soon as you become a member.