It's a great honor to be featured as one of KUVO's 30 under 30 artists. I'm excited to share this feature with all of you! Check out the video below. Also go to KUVO's 30 under 30 webpage to see what talented young musicians are doing in Colorado.  "Pianist and composer Walter Gorra melds the music of Cuba, Brazil and South America with American Jazz. See Walter's full musician feature here: http://bit.ly/WalterKUVO30.

KUVO's 30 Under 30 Artist

By NATASHA PEPPERL & TRAVIS WILSON & KEVIN HARTLEY • SEP 4, 2015

Pianist, composer, and arranger Walter Gorra was introduced to jazz through a summer camp at Jazz Aspen Snowmass.

Delving into jazz pushed Walter to write his own music.

"I think it's really important as a developing musician to write your own music and come up with something new and fresh that's yours," Walter said. "[Composing] helps me play better, it helps me improvise better."

Born to a Cuban father and Honduran mother, Walter has been heavily influenced by Latin music. 

"I'm always trying to figure out the next place we can go with blending Cuban music, Brazilian music, and the music of South America with American Jazz," Walter said. "Being true to both places and being true to both traditions is not an easy thing to do."

"But if you can do it well, it sounds absolutely beautiful."

No stranger to KUVO, Walter's sextet performed a live-on air performance with 15-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D'Rivera last year. The Walter Gorra Trio also provided live jazz at KUVO's 30th Birthday Open House. 

To celebrate 30 years on the air and invest in the future of jazz, KUVO interviewed 30 local musicians under the age of 30. T

 
Colorado native Walter Gorra and his group perform in the KUVO Jazz Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio. Walter talks of the inspiration behind his songs, his life working on his Masters, and as a musician in New York City.
 
The Walter Gorra Quartet performs "The Things I've Been Given" at the Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio on August 17, 2018.
 

DAMAS DE BLANCO BENEFIT

In 2015, Walter Gorra Jazz, LLC put together a benefit concert to raise funds and awareness for Cuba's Damas de Blanco, featuring 16-time GRAMMY award winner and NEA Jazz Master Paquito D'Rivera with the Walter Gorra Sextet. 

From Fox 31 News - Channel 2, Denver

DENVER -- For Paquito D'Rivera, a 15-time Grammy Award winner, music is a conversation. "It's an act of communication," says D'Rivera, who is considered a "Jazz Master" by the National Endowment of the Arts.  "That is the greatness of music." The world-renowned saxophonist is playing a special concert Friday in Golden to raise awareness for human rights in his home country, Cuba. "I think it's very important to open the eyes of the people to the reality of that country," D'Rivera said. "It is a very cruel and violent system."

D'Rivera, who fled the island in 1981, says that recent talks between the Castro regime and American delegates -- hoping to normalize relations with the communist nation -- have yet to address some basic human rights. "It's something very shameful and very painful, too," said D'Rivera, citing new reports that more than 150 anti-Castro activists were arrested Sunday. More than 50 of the arrests were women belonging to the "Ladies in White" -- a group formed by the wives, mothers, and sisters of political prisoners and dissidents, jailed for opposing Castro.

The Ladies in White Benefit Concert, set for Friday, February 27 at the Mount Vernon Country Club will not only help the group financially, but D'Rivera says it will also help the world hear their story. "I think it is our duty to keep telling it."

 
The song "Essence" (by Walter Gorra) was performed by the Walter Gorra Quartet at the 2016 Five Points Jazz Festival in Denver, Colorado, and broadcast on Denver's Jazz 89 KUVO Radio.