Chembo Corniel: a man with many hats: but will the sweet smell of success inadvertently channel him into a career change?

Author:Alvarez Peraza, Chico


I recently had the pleasure of listening to Wilson "Chembo" Corniel's latest musical endeavor, as well as the honor of being asked to write a few lines about the absolutely formidable musical ensemble that he has put together. I actually heard the music before I even sat down and began to outline anything. It's simply great!

While the magic was still fresh in my mind, I took a few minutes to ask Chembo about his own feelings toward this new project, attempting to extract from him a reaction about his new roles as executive producer, musical director and business entrepreneur. Here's what the young titan had to say about that aspect of his life ...

Chico Alvarez Peraza: Chembo, it's so nice to see you finally taking your place among the emerging breed of musician-producers. It is a relatively new role for you, although you are certainly not brand-new to the workings of the recording and music industry, correct? Chembo Cornieh Yes Chico, It's a relatively new role for me, as far as starting my own record company is concerned. In 2004, I formed Chemboro Records, Inc., in order to release my music for the world to hear, in a way that I wanted it to be heard. This coincided with the formation of "Grupo Chaworo." Our first CD, Portrait in Rhythms was released that same year with various guests, such as Steve Wilson, Carla Cook, Ray Vega and Mario Rivera.

In 2007, we released our follow-up album, For the Rest of Your Life. This time around, I invited Grady Tate as my special guest vocalist. What an honor that was! Now in 2009--with the help of my good friend, photographer and co-executive producer Jerry Lacay--I was able to release our latest CD, Things I Wanted to Do. The guests on this brand new production are Dave Samuels, Ludovic Beier and Jimmy Bosch, among other luminaries. I am extremely proud of all my productions because they represent a return to the true and honest sound, sans the gimmicks. This is my own personal vision of music, the way I see and hear it.

CAP: Would you have even attempted such a thing, let's say, thirty years ago?

CC: No, not really. Thirty years ago the music industry was quite different, record companies had a monopoly on the market and the airwaves were virtually shut out to most of us. It would have been extremely difficult for someone like myself to get his product distributed throughout the (North) American mainstream, much less played on radio. It's actually much easier today because of...

To continue reading