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Wednesday, 09 July 2014, 10:53 PM

Get Ready for San José Jazz

AC Jazz Project - An Exciting New Group out of LA

Havana d'Primera Aug 1 & 2 at Yoshi's

The San José Jazz Festival has by far its best lineup ever this year, with Pedrito Martínez, Conjunto Chappottín, Calixto Oviedo, Jerry González and the Fort Apache Band, Jimmy Bosch, Wayne Wallace, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Pasión Habanera, Jesús Díaz y su QBA ... it goes on and on.

Meanwhile, trumpeter/musical director Josiel Pérez and promoter Peggy Jo Oliva have created a new group called AC Jazz Project that - its name notwithstanding - sounds like very hot timba to me. Josiel and bassist Yosmel Montejo played the US several times with Maraca y Otra Visión, and the drummer is none other than the great Calixto Oviedo, of NG La Banda and Beyond Salsa fame (all right - mostly of NG La Banda fame ...).They're already booked for Yoshi's on August 30. The band also features Fermin Sifontes, Joel Núñez, Santiago Santiuste, lead vocalist Julio César Bouza Hernández and Christian Arturo Gutiérrez .

Also, Havana d'Primera is confirmed for Yoshi's SF on Aug 1 and 2. We'll have much more on this soon. Also, Roberto Roena has put together a group to replace Pupy y Los Que Son Son at Stern Grove on July 20. [Kevin Moore]

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Saturday, 05 July 2014, 11:08 PM

Afro Cuban Soul Rebels World Premiere

Concert in NYC at SOBs July 10


Several months ago, we did a few pieces about Dayramir González, the leader of the phenomenal Afro Cuban Jazz project Habana enTRANCE, which won a Cubadisco for their album of the same name..  Dayramir went on to study at Berklee College of Music and won their Wayne Shorter award for most outstanding Jazz composer in 2013. (You can see more of his resume as of 2013 here.)   He is now resuming his performing career in earnest and has teamed up with Edrey aka Ogguere, also a Cubadisco winner, Jazz poet and a key member of Gilles Peterson's Havana Cultura, to lead The Afro Cuban Soul Rebels, a 9-piece ensemble that is about to release its first single (also called Afro Cuban Soul Rebels)

This writer has had his ears peeled for new things by Dayramir since first hearing Habana enTRANCE (which came out before he started writing reviews here.)   Havana Cultura, Edrey aka Ogguere's associates, is also very impressive.  The style of this new project will be different, but we think you'll want to check this out:

Key Links:
Concert info: SOBs, Thursday, July 10   The Afro Cuban Soul Rebels Facebook Page
Ogguere's website

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Tuesday, 01 July 2014, 04:42 AM

¡ Aquí viene el SALSANIMAL !

Reseña por Bill Tilford

CD Review: Salsanimal by Marlow Rosado & La Riqueña (Big Label Records July 2014)
Review by Bill Tilford, All rights reserved

Download the SALSANIMAL Intro (Track #1) here
Descarga gratis del primer tema Intro SALSANIMAL aquí


This newest release by Marlow Rosado & La Riqueña, whose last album Retro won the GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album in 2012, is a Salsa Dura album with an interesting blend of Cuban, New York and Puerto Rican Styles. As was the case with Retro, there is an impressive supporting cast of guest artists, and this album branches out a little more stylistically.  There are a few touches of Timba piano phrasing and Cuban Descarga in the opening track, Intro SalsanimalAsi Son brings in Cuban Sonero and Timba legend Mayito Rivera for a turn at Salsa Dura.  Quiero Que Me Quieras has a very Puerto Rican (but uptempo) vibe. No Me Interesas has a New York Salsa Dura feel with an unusual (and pretty cool) brass section arrangement.  Cataño opens with some street sounds and is an homage to the municipality that is known as "La Antesala de la Capital", San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Como Te Extraño Nena is also a hard-driving Salsa Dura piece.  Yo Se Que Un Día is a soulful, richly orchestrated bolero/guajira.  Puertas Del Jardin, which give a shout-out to Cartagena and Medellin, incorporates some Cumbia passages in one of the more laid-back songs in the album. Todo Se Lo Llevo is one of two Salsa Romantica tracks in the album. 88 Mil Teclas brings in Larry Harlow and Richie Ray for a piano duel.  It would be a lot of fun to see this live. The album cools down at the end with the tasty Todo A Tus Pies. The one English-language song in the albumn is Ok, Here Is The Truth, which features Pop / R & B star Jon Secada in a very heartfelt Salsa Romantica number (the lyrics are heavier than you typically hear in this style, but I won't include any spoilers here). 

Salsanimal is aimed squarely at dancers - the songs are all dance-floor length, and outside of 88 Mil Teclas, the focus is on section work and vocals rather than instrumental solos.  BUT, the arrangements and section work are excellent and at times innovative - Marlow's extensive musical resume is put to very good use here, and this won't bore musicians either.  Highly recommended for Salsa fans.  

Tracks:

Intro Salsanimal
Quiero Que Me Quieras (vocal: Javier Merino)
No Me Interesas (Vocal: Jose Arroyo)
Asi Son (Featuring Mayito Rivera)
Cataño (Featuring herman Olivera)
Yo Se Que Un Dia (Vocal: Jose Arroyo)
Como Te Extraño Nena (Featuring Alex Matos)
Puertas Del Jardin (Featuring El Checo Acosta)
Todo Se Lo Llevo (Featuring Domingo Quiñones)
OK Here Is The Truth (Featuring John Secada)
88mil Teclas (Ffeaturing Larry Harlow & Richie Ray)
(Bonus Track) Todo A Tus Pies (Featuring De La Torre)

Personnel in Salsanimal

Role - InstrumentName
Piano, Keyboards, Director Marlow Rosado
Lead Vocals & Coros Jose Arroyo, Javier Merino
Trumpets Julián Cifuentes, ivan Odio, Todrigo "Moña" Escobar, Mario Ortiz
Trombones Somar Poveda, Guillermo Cobiellas
Bass Luis Rodriguez, Jose Velazquez, Michael Lazarus, Ricardo Martinez
Timbales/Bongo/Campana, Percussion Director Gamalier Reyes
Bongo/Campana Luis Reyes
Conga Daniel Peña
Additional vocals in Cataño Arianna Rosado, Bivianna Rosado, Adriana Rivera, Edgar Rivera, Michael Rodrigues, Rayme Marrero, Chris Marrero
Guest Artists Alex Matos, Mayito Rivera, Jon Secada, Larry Harlow, Richie Ray, Herman Olivera, El Checo Acosta, Domingo Quiñones,  De La Torre
Musical Producer, Recording Engineer Marlow Rosado
Executive Producers Marlow Rosado, Eddie Mandel
Mixing Engineers Gamalier Reyes, Michael Lazarus
Assistant Engineer Immanuel Ramirez
Mastering Engineer Michael Lázarus

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Saturday, 28 June 2014, 02:51 PM

Interview with Maykel Blanco

Europe and the Future

Maykel Blanco / Su Salsa Mayor @Electric BrixtonMaykel Blanco @Electric Brixton
Photo courtesy of Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor

Maykel Blanco & Su Salsa Mayor are winding down what has been an outstanding tour here in Europe. They are performing tonight in Bayonne, France and still have concerts in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium. They are closing out the tour in style with special guest Maykel Fonts at the Latinoamericando concert in Milan on June 30th and at the Geneva concert on July 5th. If you have any vacation time coming, make sure you don't miss these rare opportunities to see the Maykel x 2 live performance of their hit "Dale lo que lleva". Click here to see the tour dates.

Maykel took time out of his busy tour schedule to answer a few questions about the tour and the future as well as to comment on the passing of Juan Formell. Click here to read the interview in English.

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