On February 3, superstar Elton John will be performing in San Jose, Costa Rica with a very special opening act: Minister of Culture and Youth, Manuel Obregon. Appointed to the position by President Laura Chinchilla in 2010, Obregon is arguably Costa Rica’s most accomplished musician, and would have earned the honor of appearing on stage with one of the world’s foremost artists, even without an official title.
Obregon began studying piano at the age of seven, and went on to study music in Spain, Switzerland, and elsewhere around the world, at times serving as Costa Rica’s cultural attaché. He has recorded more than 14 solo albums and produced dozens more, many of them through the union of Costa Rican artists known as the Orquesta de Papaya, with its own local label. Obregon has also performed with Costa Rica’s iconic Grupo Malpais – easily the nation’s most important act over the past two decades – among many other popular groups.
Obregon will be performing selections from his most famous, and natural, release next month, Simbiosis. A “relaxing and fresh concert for the piano and rainforest,” the groundbreaking album includes not only Obregon’s remarkable piano playing, but also the noises of the jungle: frogs, howler monkeys and songbirds.
The concert will take place at Saprissa Stadium in San Jose; tickets are still available from www.specialticket.net and at Servimás outlets and La Barbería and Bansbach stores for ₡19,000-₡74,000 ($38-$148).