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Special bond brings international musician Angel Soria Diaz to Jamaica for a second time, Saxophonist to perform at Xaymaca on December 4
Spanish Saxophonist Angel Soria
For Soría, making music means sharing with
“Music can help [you to be] to be more
generous. If you play without caring about the others the ‘magic’ of music
could never happen,” said the Spain-born music educator.
He is the featured performer at the Xamayca
concert by Peter Ashburn slated for Sunday,
Soría, last year hosted a classical music
workshop with the Alpha Institute, which was spearheaded by the Embassy of
Spain and the Spanish-Jamaican Foundation.
What is more, having discontinued its
classical music programme at Alpha, Soría’s sessions last year provided a much
needed boost to the learning experience of the students- many of whom had never
listened to classical greats such as Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi or Beethoven.
“When we first told Alpha that Angel was not a
reggae saxophonist, at the Embassy, we thought they were going to be
disappointed, but they saw it as a better opportunity to show the students
something different,” said Carmen Rives Ruiz-Tapiador, Chargee D’Affaires of
the Embassy of Spain.
This time around, Soría’s workshops at Alpha
will consist mainly of reading scores, conducting techniques and will see the
students work on two pieces, “Adestes Fideles” and “Ave Maria” by Franz
“In my opinion, this is the most profitable
workshop I can bring to Alpha,” Soría said.
The musician, who has two Masters of Arts in
musical performance and music education, believes that children who play
musical instruments are likely to have higher self-esteem, confidence,
discipline, concentration, and emotional intelligence than kids who don’t play
According to Soría, “last years’ experience
was so enriching for everyone that we all felt that a second opportunity would
enable us to build on the work that we had done last year and improve it.”
“In my opinion, one of the most important
activities of a musician is travelling. While travelling, you can meet another
culture, another society, and, of course, another way to feel the music,” Soría
said. “I’m a classic-contemporary musician from Spain, and for me, the main
objective of my visit to Jamaica is to share my experience with the country as
much as to learn from the local people and the students I’m going to work
He said he has been working with musicians who
he met last year for several months to organise the classical concert to be
held at Sts Peter and Paul Church at 2pm.
At Xayamca, Soría will conduct the National
Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, showcase the results of the workshop at Alpha,
premier the new piece for saxophone and orchestra by Jamaican composer Peter
Ashbourne with the Samuel Felsted Chamber Orchestra.
“Definitely the premier of the Peter
Ashbourne’s new piece will be one of the most amazing things I’ve done as a
musician,” Soría shared, adding that classical saxophone with a World premier
by a Jamaican composer is going to be a very interesting mixture.
“Peter is one of the most renowned Jamaican
composers and he has written a very interesting piece for alto saxophone and
Soría is imploring Jamaicans to support the
“The church can sit 600 people, so we are
hoping Jamaicans come out with their families to experience this musical
marriage between Jamaican and Spain,” added the saxophone professor at the
Conservatorio Superior de Castilla y León, Spain.
Soría will also host a workshop at Kingston
College with the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica to rehearse for the final
concert. He will also participate in the ‘Jamming 4-Alpha’ at the Constant
Spring-Golf Course on Thursday, December
The aim of The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation is
to give back to Jamaica.
“The visit of Angel is also an opportunity to
give thanks to the country that hosts us, both the Embassy and the investments
of companies from Spain in Jamaica,” said Rives. “He is a generous and humble person;
he doesn’t only come to teach, but to learn.”
Soría studied with Marcus Weiss at the
Musik-Akademie Basel, where he finished his Master of Arts in musical
Performance (2012) and Master of Arts in Musikpädagogik (2014).
He won several artistic scholarships, which
have enabled him to grow up as a musician. Some of these came from Ministerio
de Educación, Instituto Valenciano de la Música, Hochschule für Musik der Stadt
Basel, Kiefer Hablitzel Stiftung, Nicati Stiftung, Kultur Rahn Founds, Lyra
Stiftung or Juventudes musicales de España. He was winner of the I Concurso de
Interpretación Ramón Guzmán, Juventudes Musicales de España and Concurso Yamaha
de Cuarteto de saxofones.
He is member of Sigma Project, a quartet whose
driving force is based on a strong commitment towards contemporary musical
creation and research through their close collaboration with composers.