MONTEVIDEO – Singer-songwriter Ruben Rada will perform with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ecuador this Friday and Saturday, when he will fill the Adela Reta National Auditorium with candombe, jazz, rock and roll, samba and ballads in a full-scale remembrance of his career.
The conductor of the concert will be Diego Naser, who originally had the idea of integrating Rada’s voice with the instruments of his 60-piece orchestra.
“Naser’s idea is to bring classical music to the people, as it was in the beginning. Classical music was played on the streets,” Rada told EFE, adding that in his opinion Johann Sebastian Bach, with his improvisations on the organ, was the creator of jazz, while the waltz of Johann Strauss was the cumbia of those days.
For Rada, 75, playing with an orchestra doesn’t mean there’s no place for improvising.
“I create music to be played as written but also for musicians to improvise,” he said, adding that this is the reason why the concert will also have solos on piano, saxophone and clarinet.
Rada, who in his usual fashion decorated his outfit with bits of color (such as different pins and a fishing cap with a military print), said that when he got the news about the concert he was “astounded.”
“I said to myself, ‘Let’s see if I’m good enough to do something with the Symphony Orchestra... If I was able to play with all those musicians in the world like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Hugo Fattoruso, Hermeto Pascoal, Milton Nascimento... why can’t I do it with the Symphony Orchestra?” he said.
His two daughters, Julieta Rada and Lucila Rada, will also go onstage to accompany their dad in a couple of songs. He will, of course, have to lower the pitch so they can all harmonize better.
With regard to the numbers that will make up the concert, Rada said – vocalizing the refrains – that he will sing “Mejor Me Voy” by Eduardo Mateo, “Cacho Muchacho” and “Terapia de Murga.”
“I’ll also pay tribute to Stevie Wonder and sing ‘Isn’t She Lovely,’ and I’ll sing the Ray Charles number ‘Georgia on My Mind,’” he said, intoning the well-known lyrics.
But above all, he said, “I’m not going to stop being Rada just because I’m in a theater singing with the Symphony Orchestra. I’m going to be the same as ever.”