Del Bosque and Gonzalez Encourage Cambridge to Explore the Boundaries of Cuban Music

Del Bosque and Gonzalez Encourage Cambridge to Explore the Boundaries of Cuban Music

Sheila Del Bosque and Nacho Gonzalez are two of the most promising young musicians in the Latin American music scene & both have big goals.

Two weeks ago, at the weekly Harvard Common Concert Series, Latin American duo Sheila del Bosque and Nacho Gonzalez took the stage to introduce their audience to the kind of music that first inspired them. Both artists came to the U.S. to study at Berklee College of Music but despite the artistic similarities that allow them to play together so smoothly, the pair have followed different paths.

Del Bosque, who is now an accomplished flutist began to pursue music at age 10 when she was introduced to it at school. She later started her education at the University of Cuba and simultaneously began her professional career, joining a dance company that traveled to perform for audiences across the world. Del Bosque, however, has always been interested in exploring more than just the surface layer of her art form. She says that she has a background in ancient music which, in Cuba, has an especially rich and far reaching history. “It is very interesting,” She muses, “because when you think about Cuba or some Latin American Country you think about just popular music but we have like a later Baroque.”

Once she completed her undergraduate work in Cuba, del Bosque auditioned to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and was awarded a full tuition scholarship to the school. So far, she says it is, “actually going pretty well”. She started a trio with a pianist and percussionist and the three have been invited to play at many prestigious music halls.

Currently, school and her work with the trio are her top priorities, “Now I am doing mostly my project (trio). I’m recording an EP this summer, and I’m doing a double major at Berklee.” She made time to perform at the Harvard Music Series, however, because she believes that it is important for the city to experience her culture. “I think it’s a nice idea to bring music to the community and to share this kind of music...Cuban music is really well known, but we don’t have many...Cuban players here so I think that experience is nice.”

Del Bosque’s partner, Nacho Gonzalez was also introduced to the musical community at a young age but got his professional start a bit later. He began studying communications and worked in the non-profit sector of journalism for 8 years before, at age 27, accepting a scholarship to Berklee and leaving his job to pursue composition. Gonzalez made this switch 6 years ago and now works scoring films and video games.

Gonzalez says that his current work fuses his love of both music and modern innovation, “I love the intersection between art and technology and that’s why I have been experimenting a lot with that.” It is this passion that has carried him to where he is now as he says much of his current skill set came from hands on experience, “I am self taught, I studied jazz composition at Berklee and when I finished Berklee I almost didn’t know how to produce music and I learned all by myself. I got hired to score a video game and that’s how I learned with a computer system.”

Even today Gonzalez strives to learn all he can on his own as he says he is always looking to appreciate what others in his field are creating. “I try to go almost every week to a concert. I just love the power and the deepness and...all the colors you can get from an orchestra and the possibilities that an orchestra gives you to express emotional content.”
Currently, Gonzalez is working on the score for a nature film and an extension of a previous track he created for a video game as well as managing ULab, an online platform he founded to connect people and ideas through music. Like del Bosque, he has high hopes for his future, explaining that he is “basically trying to push the boundaries of music using technology without forgetting what it’s all about.” And what is it all about? This he states with conviction, “It’s about emotions and about telling stories.”