Spanish saxophonist Angel Soria Diaz performs at Xaymaca tonight
Spanish musician Angel Soria Diaz has had a love affair with Jamaica since his first visit last year.
For Soria, making music means sharing with others.
"Music can help (you) 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 Xaymaca concert by Peter Ashbourne slated for later this evening.
Soria, 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, Soria'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, chargÈ d'affaires of the Embassy of Spain.
This time around, Soria'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 Schubert.
"In my opinion, this is the most profitable workshop I can bring to Alpha," Soria said.
The musician, who has two Master 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 instruments.
According to Soria, "Last year's 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," Soria 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 with."
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 2 p.m., today.
At Xaymaca, Soria will conduct the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica, showcase the results of the workshop at Alpha, premiere the new piece for saxophone and orchestra by Jamaican composer Peter Ashbourne with the Samuel Felsted Chamber Orchestra.
"Definitely, the premiere of Peter Ashbourne's new piece will be one of the most amazing things I've done as a musician," Soria shared, adding that classical saxophone with a world premiere by a Jamaican composer is going to be a very interesting mix.
"Peter is one of the most renowned Jamaican composers and he has written a very interesting piece for alto saxophone and string orchestra."
Soria also implores Jamaicans to support the concert.
"The church can sit 600 people, so we are hoping Jamaicans will come out with their families to experience this musical marriage between Jamaica and Spain," added the saxophone professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Castilla y Leon, Spain.