Deborah De La Torre, Cuban-American Latin Jazz Pianist Composer
The Crocodile, like the Island it symbolizes, is a strong and surprising creature, a creature that lays low for a while, but violently fights back when cornered and confined. This music sure breaks a few rules and purposely "does it wrong" on some occasions. It's postmodern and disruptive. Crocodiles live in the water and on land at the same time. Being a Miami native of Cuban and multicultural heritage, my music lives on many hyphens as well.
Her album title’s first word means “Damn!” in Cuban Spanish, a word you might say as you try to dance to some of the tunes when the rhythm breaks your ankles. However, one of the of the best things about living in Denver, Colorado since 2005 is the hot sunshine and being able to hike in the mountains surrounding the Mile High City. I've met some great musicians here who've helped make this album possible. Thomas A. Blomster, master percussionist, who has worked with giants such as Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, and Krystof Penderecki, conducted numerous orchestras, and also writes and plays with jazz and rock bands, as well as the renown Ron Bland on bass, who has performed with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Doc Severinson, and Earth Wind and Fire, Linda Ronstadt, Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, and numerous symphony orchestras. Also many thanks to Patricia Surman (flute), Dave DeMichelis (electric guitar), Rodney Farrar (cello), Randy Runyan (trumpet).
Special thanks to recording engineer Tyler Reed Hayden and mastering by Justin Davis at Rocky Mountain Recorders, which has graciously offered to host the album's release party.
My first instrument wasn't the piano. My dad used to keep his Marching Band cornet hidden away but when I was four years old I found it and figured out how to play a scale. Soon enough my parents found me an old piano and I was playing tv show themes and commercials by ear. My 2nd grade teacher arranged for an audition with a university professor, and my first composition won a good-sized cash prize for a kid. I later studied composition with Dennis Kam at the University of Miami, where I founded the student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI). My passion for all things Latinx has been expressing itself through performing Latin American/Caribbean and Spanish classical music in solo concerts, founding an international Latino art and film festival, and producing a documentary on our nation's immigration crisis. Album number two is in progress.