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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series
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Timbera Mayor

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Friday, 24 October 2014, 11:47 AM

Laritza Bacallao on Carnival Cruise

November 21-22

Laritza Bacallao on Carnival Cruise Scandinavia

Bar Brasil's annual Carnival Cruise Stockholm is fast approaching. Every year the Baltic Sea goes Caribbean for 23 hours with dancers, bands, percussionists, and DJs. This year over 100 artists will take part, including Laritza Bacallao - one of the most popular young artists in Cuba. 

Laritza comes from a family of singers. Her grandfather Rafael "Felo" Bacallao and her father Ernesto Bacallao were both singers of the legendary Orquesta Aragón. It seems natural that Laritza would also study music - choral direction and piano - and become a singer. She has a versatile voice and can sing a bolero as well as cha-cha-chá a son or a reggaeton. But the style for which Laritza has become known is the pan-Caribbean dance music that swept her to the top of the charts in Cuba where she has remained for the past couple of years. The arrangements mix everything from samba to salsa to merengue to rumba and conga...you get the idea. She has collaborated with many Cuban artists, such as Pablo FG, Candido Fabré, JG, and Los 4 to name a few. Her infectious party music caught the attention of Puerto Rican salsa star Victor Manuelle, who will soon release a salsa version of her hit "Que suenen los tambores" by composer Osmany Espinosa.

Although she has toured Europe before, this will be Laritza's first Scandinavian performance. She will be backed by an eight-piece band. If you will be in the area, book your cabin now and get ready to rock the boat with the Scandinavian carnival elite. A YouTube search will give you a number of videos with Laritza, but in honor of the Carnival Cruise, I leave you with her hit "Carnaval".

Every year

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Sunday, 19 October 2014, 03:15 PM

Tribute to Bebo

Calixto Oviedo & His Latin Train

Homenaje a Bebo - Calixto Oviedo

Mark this date in your calendar: Wednesday November 26, 2014. Calixto Oviedo & His Latin Train will offer a Thanksgiving Eve performance of their Tribute to Maestro Bebo Valdés at Catalina Jazz Club on Sunset Boulevard. The Master Percussionist honors the Master Pianist with a night of Afro-Cuban Jazz. Calixto took time from his busy schedule to talk to Timba.com about the concert. Click here to book your tickets now! For more information check out the event at Facebook.

How did the idea arise to do a tribute to Bebo Valdés?

The idea came from my producer Guido Herrera. We decided to use my first presentation at the prestigious jazz club Catalin to honor the great musician Bebo - also utilizing my experiences with him in Stockholm, Sweden where we both lived for many years.

For you personally, what did Bebo Valdés mean to Cuban music - what is his legacy?

I met Bebo Valdés in Stockholm when we both lived there. One day he called me at home and asked me to give drum lessons to his younger son Rickard. From that moment every Wednesday for two years was spent at his home. A great friendship blossomed between our families. Now the opportunity has been presented for my Latin Train Band to perform at the prestigious Catalina Jazz Club. I decided to dedicate my debut show to one of the most important and influential pianist of Cuba. Bebo is a very important part of the history of Cuban music. He trained great artists who later became world stars and his legacy will remain for life. Bebo is Cuba. 

What other news can you give us about your band?

Well my band - I finally found the musicians I needed and who have very similar interests to mine. They are very young musicians but with a high musical level. They come from great bands and carry a large baggage of work. Yosmel Montejo on bass was formerly with Maraca and is a very accomplished musician and also an excellent person, which is very important to do a good job. He is a great connoisseur of the Latin Jazz genre and also an excellent Timbero. He is helping a lot with his compositions and arrangements. 

Joel Nunez is a tremendous saxophonist/pianist who also plays the EWI electronic instrument that brings colors and tones which I love. He has tremendous talent. Nathaniel Molina is a boricua with tremendous BOMBA who plays piano, composes, sings - he is a great all-around musician. Studious 100 x 100, he is a connoisseur of drumming and he knows all the styles. Santiago is a brother from Matanzas with a great history in Cuban music. He is very responsible my brother of the old guard - a great person. The singer Lily D Oviedo continues captivating audiences and rising to the top. She can move between "feeling", samba and ballads with incredible ease. She is very versatile in addition to singing in English or Portuguese. Lily is great. 

This is my band  - Latin Train Band - and we are now preparing our first album. It includes songs by Yosmel Montejo, a few standards and some of my songs.

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Friday, 10 October 2014, 08:30 AM

Maykel Blanco & Su Salsa Mayor to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

Gala Concert October 11 @ Teatro Lázaro Peña

Maykel Blanco & Su Salsa Mayor 10th Anniversary

The place to be in Havana this weekend is Teatro Lázaro Peña for the 10th anniversary celebration of Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor. Maykel has been keeping most of the plans to himself to maintain the air of mystery, but he has stated that in addition to the guest musicians, a number of plastic artists are invited.  Fans from around the world have been sending the band video greetings that Maykel will be incorporating into the anniversary AV show.

The popularity of Maykel Blanco y Su Salsa Mayor, both in Cuba and abroad, is indisputable. Maykel's hard work with both the music and the audiovisual aspects of the show has made their matinee one of the must-see concerts for timberos visiting Havana. If you're in Havana, don't miss it!

During a recent appearance on Donde si no, the band performed three new songs that they will be doing at the anniversary gala, and each bears the unmistakable Salsa Mayor sello. Maykel himself classifies his music as son with songo. Over the past decade he has faced criticism for similarities to Van Van and Pupy, but there is no longer any question that Salsa Mayor has its own sound that is as recognizable as the great bands of the classic timba era. Click here to watch the video interview (in Spanish) and see all three of the new songs.

Te Escapaste - Yordys Larrazábal

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014, 01:27 PM

Mayito Rivera & The Sons of Cuba @WOMEX 14

Santiago de Compostela Oct. 22-26

Mayito RiveraThe 14th World Music Expo - WOMEX, will take place from October 22-26 in the beautiful, historic city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Last year Los Van Van was given the Artist Award at WOMEX 13. This year Mayito Rivera & The Sons of Cuba have been selected as part of the Artist Showcase. They will perform on October 23rd. Click here to purchase your tickets for the October 23rd showcase.

For those of you unfamiliar with WOMEX, it is a world music trade fair where artists, promoters and labels can meet and network. It also includes showcase performances each night open to visitors, as well as awards for excellence presented at events only open to attendees. 

Mayito's selection for the WOMEX showcase is an affirmation of his recent solo work as represented by the album "Invéntate una historia". All arrangements and lyrics on the new album are by Mayito. With this album he is mixing Cuban music with a broader range of world musical traditions. Check out the electronic press kit below to hear more about Mayito's latest project from the man himself. And if you can't make WOMEX, you can still catch Mayito performing with Soneros de Verdad tomorrow, September 25th in Brussels at Moliere, Friday the 26th in Utrecht at Rasa and Saturday the 27th in The Hague at Korzo

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