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Kiki Valera - Vivencias en clave cubana - New Cuban Son album - Traditional Cuban Music

Tom Ehrlich - 6-2013-Yoshi's Oakland



JUNE 26, 2013


A smaller version of Mezcla from Havana, Cuba played to a sold out crowd at Yoshi's in Oakland, California.

Left to right - Pablo Menéndez, Julio Valdez, Octavio Rodríguez and Roberto Smith "El Capitán"

The show started with a prayer lead by babalao Octavio Rodríguez with the three bata players shown above and included some songs by a trio of guitar, bass and drums, some songs by a quartet adding a piano/violinist and the complete group of five musicians, with one song having a guest vocalist, Nina Menéndez, Pablo's sister and accomplished flamenco performer and producer.  El Capitán is a one man rhythm section using both feet to play maracas, bells, bass drum and block while he uses his hands and sticks to play timbales/drum set, congas, bongos and güiro, while he sings back up vocals.

If you are anywhere near Chicago, do not miss the chance to see this group of all star Cuban musicians on June 29, 2013.


Pablo "Mezcla" Menéndez - guitar, vocals, leader

Octavio Rodríguez - batas, congas, vocals

Roberto Smith "El Capitán" - percussion, vocals

Julio Valdez - piano, violin and vocals

José Hermida - bass and vocals

Nina Menéndez - guest vocalist

What follows are a small sampling of the photos I took of the concert.

Octavio Rodríguez

Julio Valdez

José Hermida

Pablo Menéndez

Pablo guitar and El Capitán percussion

José Hermida

El Capitán

Julio Valdez piano

Nina and Pablo Menéndez

Wednesday, 10 July 2013, 04:21 PM