An intense desire to experiment

An intense desire to experiment has led Manuel Obregón down the paths of theater, cinema, and dance. Jazz has been his platform for musical ideas, and the best vehicle for connecting with nature and with traditional musicians.

Simbiosis and the Papaya Orchestra are two of Obregón’s greatest achievements in a career replete with concerts in Europe and America, research, recordings and the creation of the Papaya Music label.

Born in San José, Costa Rica, on October 4, 1961, Obregón began playing piano at the age of seven. After graduating from the University of Costa Rica Conservatory, he went on to study at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, in Barcelona, Spain, and at the Swiss Jazz School in Berne, Switzerland.

Obregón has been successful at achieving a synthesis between academic formation, tradition and experimentation, an evolution that can be traced in his 14 solo recordings and in the various music groups he has formed, including Afro Cosmos, Cahuita, the Sporadic Jazz Quintet, Gospel Caribe, the Papaya Orchestra and Malpaís.

His introduction to international acclaim, the DVD production of Simbiosis with images by moviemaker José Cortés (2004) creates a profound impact, both as video and as live concerts in which Obregón’s piano appears in the midst of the forest.