Kool Kats feat. Rei Alvarez (Miramar, Bio Ritmo)
Miramar (Barbés Records), aims to capture poetry through their music. Using a somewhat traditional instrumentation that includes organ, piano, guitar, bass, percussion and an occasional string quartet the group’s arrangements distill the essence of the golden age of boleros while adding touches that reveal the band’s scope and diversity.
In addition to his curated playlist, we caught up with Miramar singer Rei Alvarez to ask him about his music-listening habits and of course, coffee.
Fresh Pots: So, why boleros?
Rei Alvarez: Being a Latino, for me the purest and most eloquent musical expression of love and its pain is the bolero.
FP: Do you remember that first record or song that made an impression on you?
RA: The Trio Vegabajeño bolero version of "Nostalgias", an old tango by Enrique Cadícamo.
FP: I can’t say that I’ve seen this style of music being performed live much in the west coast. Is there a boleros community of bands in the east coast?
RA: There is more bolero here than there. I imagine it's because there are more Caribbean musicians in the east. Even so, I don't think the bolero is popular enough in the US for there to be any communities of bolero musicians. If anywhere, I'd say in places like Miami, New York or Chicago.
FP: The Miramar Tiny Desk concert is easily one of my favorites. Yes you guys sound great, but you also almost go into a type of trance when you sing the songs. What type of imagery or emotions does performing these songs conjure in your head?
RA: For me it's about reaching the point where I'm able to let go of my voice and surrender it to the emotion being expressed.
FP: I understand some of the Latino music was maybe passed down from parents and grandparents but how do you find some of the obscure Greek and Russian singers?
RA: I'm a lover of romantic music, in all of its forms and genres. No matter the origin, the pain and longing are the same. My love of world music is my gateway to discovery.
FP: Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
RA: Black and fresh, gracias.
Listen to his playlist below.
- Felipe Rodriguez y Los Antares de Puerto Rico - Sigue Lloviendo
- Maria Victoria - Mi Ultimo Fracaso
- Duo Irizarry de Puerto Rico - No Pienses Mas
- Julio Jaramillo - Sombras
- Duo Irizarry de Puerto Rico - Adios, Adios
- Celio Gonzales - Vendaval Sin Rumbo
- Kazantzidis - I Do Not Believe You
- Orera - Cisfertvaleba
- Bienvenido Granda - Nostalgia
- Sylvia Rexach y Tuti Umpierre - Es Tarde Ya
- Tito Lara - Mascara
- Майя Кристалинская - Нежность
- ΑΥΤΗ ΤΗΝ ΩΡΑ ΣΕ ΖΗΤΩ -ΠΟΛΥ ΠΑΝΟΥ
- Maria Bethânia — Negue
- Hilda Murillo - Es Lamentable
- Walter Wanderley - It Hurts To Say Goodbye
- Duo Irizarry de Córdova - Enamorado
- Ilhame Quliyeva - Bir Xumar Baxishla
- Trio Vegabajeño – Nostalgia
- Tito Rodriguez - En La Soledad