BEETHOVEN IN HAVANA
Classical Music re-imagined with Afro-Caribbean Rhythms
featuring the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and special Caribbean guests.
When Classical meets Afro-Caribbean music. Virtuoso American pianist and film composer Joachim Horsley’s ambitious goal is to make the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin dance to Afro-Caribbean rhythms, like Rumba, Son Montuno, Zouk, Bachata, and many others. His second album, “Caribbean Nocturnes”, was recorded over 3 years with an international team from the Classical and Caribbean world, including Jeanine De Bique, Charlie Siem, Damian Nueva-Cortes, Pedro Barrios, Orito Cantora, Jenn del Tambo, Natascha Rogers, Thomas Bellon, The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra and Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble. Two timeless musical worlds are braided together in this unique, joyous and inspired rendez-vous.
Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger Joachim Horsley is an exceptional American pianist who uses his favorite instrument to take the audience beyond musical barriers. Having recently created original scores for Film and Television shows like HBOMax’s “Gordita Chronicles” Warner Brother’s “Batman: Soul of the Dragon” and the hit Disney Channel Show “Big City Greens,” Horsley continues to scores his own story: a tale where the great composers of classical music infused their works with Afro-Caribbean rhythms. “It’s an alternate universe: one where Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart are channeling Havana more than Vienna,” says Horsley. “To me, this is a way to meet old friends in a fresh context, giving our audiences a new take and a renewed appreciation for both the Classical world and the Caribbean cultures.” The idea for this project started in 2015, after studying music in Cuba with his good friend and mentor Aldo Mazza, through his KOSA Cuba workshop. Cuban Rumba music, both in sound and the attitude of the rumba musicians, made a lasting impression and inspired the first pieces in this series. In 2016, “Beethoven In Havana” an arrangement of Beethoven’s 7th symphony in a Cuban style performed entirely by Horsley using the piano itself as a percussion instrument, was a viral hit gaining international attention and leading to his debut album “Via Havana.” His new album “Caribbean Nocturnes” takes a deeper dive in to the fusion concept, including guest artists such as Soprano Jeanine De Bique, Violinist Charlie Siem, Afro-Colombian percussionists Orito Cantora y Jenn del Tambó, The Nu Deco Ensemble, The Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Many composers, musicians and fans in the classical and Afro-Caribbean worlds share a mutual interest in the opposite sides of this genre divide. It’s Joachim Horsley’s hope that his merging of these two worlds opens minds, expands audiences and encourages exploration.
CLASSIC FM (United Kingdom) « If there ever was a truly extraordinary cover of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, this is it! » Amy MacKenzie
FRANCE INTER (France) « Spectacular and jubilant, Joachim Horsley is an open-minded musician » André Manoukian