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World On Your Street: The Global Music Challenge
Lino Rocha
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Musician: Lino Rocha

Location: Edinburgh

Instruments: voice / composition

Music: Salsa / World Fusion / Fado


Listen  Listen (6'03) to 'Flores', sung by Lino Rocha from his solo album, Lino Rocha, produced by Andy Koy Production (www.dkoy.com)

Listen  Listen (29'19) to Lino Rocha and his Latino Celtic outfit, Rumba Caliente, perform live from Glasgow for Radio 3's World Music Day, introduced by Lucy Duran, Andrew McGregor and Dj Ritu.

'Musically I'm always driven to be as creative as possible so I can work with beauty in all its guises.'

How I came to this music:

Although I grew up surrounded by Venezuelan folk music as a child, I actually only started playing myself in 1985. My parents are Portuguese but I was born in Laguaira near Caracas. We moved first to Portugal when I was a young boy and finally to the UK.

The UK Salsa scene was thriving in the mid-eighties and I was naturally drawn to it. Salsa comes from the Cuban dance rhythm 'son' which wound its way to New York. There the emigrant Cuban, Venezuelan and Columbian communities added horns and timbales and increased the tempo. This created a big-band jazzy sound.

I perform with a couple of salsa outfits including Salsa Celtica and occasionally with Rumba Caliente which is a smaller off-shoot of the latter. It's a combination of Latin sounds from South, Central America, Cuba and New York.

Nowadays, I'm also very interested in collaborating musically across cultures. I work with artists like Loreena McKennitt, Nitin Sawhney, Matt Bianco, the Petshop Boys and the flamenco guitarist, Pepe Avichuela. Musically I'm always driven to be as creative as possible and work with beauty in all its guises so that I can keep on living and loving life to the full. Why not mix some Indian tabla with funky bass and flamenco? It'll always lead to great music provided you do it sensibly and with respect to the traditions involved.

Where I play:

Lino Rocha I play all over the UK, Europe and the US with Salsa Celtica and Rumba Caliente. I also occasionally perform with Orquesta Dinamita which mixes salsa with hip-hop, rap, funk and a sprinkle of drum & bass. One of my favourite venues is The Barrowlands in Glasgow. It's renowned for its live music and the atmosphere is always brilliant and spirited.

Every now and then, I also get together with friends just to jam and play around with ideas for the sheer pleasure of playing.

A favourite song:

'Flores' is one of my own compositions. It's a love song full of passion and softness. There's a message too but it's more poetic than a mere, 'Baby I love you' type of song. It sings of the subtleties of love and the specific details of a person in the way that the person in love is like a flower opening up. It's more of a ballad than a samba because of the slow tempo.

Click here for Hande Domac's storyClick here for Mosi Conde's storyClick here for Rachel McLeod's story


Linor performed as part of Radio 3's World Music Day on 1st January 2003



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