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Se llama sabroso - ZONA FRANKA

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 03:14 PM

Azúcar Negra Planning March in Miami

Leonel Limonta tells us that the band is planning to be in Miami in March but they are still waiting for a  concrete date. When the first concert is confirmed we will post the information here. In a piece of trivia, Azúcar Negra has a long history with and it was largely because of the Azúcar Negra US Tour of 2000 that developed from being an odd assortment of audio samples scraped together by Kevin into what we are today. Even as has developed over the years, so has Azúcar Negra been through several changes having had  important female vocalists such as Haila Mompie, Monica Mesa, Tanya Pantoja, Biunaikis Marquetti and the current leading lady the lovely Ailyn Dalleras.

Ailyn was only 17 when she joined the band and 19 when she shouldered the role of lead female vocalist. She has always had a beautiful voice but with the years she has also developed a professionalism and a charismatic stage presence. Now at the ripe old age of 23 she will be hitting "El Yuma" for the first time. But Ailyn isn't the only singer. The ladies will enjoy Dayan, ex-Charanga Forever, who has a great voice and is an excellent dancer. He adds a shot of testosterone-loaded energy to the band. Speaking of Ailyn and Dayan, Gabriel from Yemayá's Verse in her 2009 Havana Report said: "Limonta must have two of the most charismatic singers in Havana in those two", and Gabriel is one of the most hard-to-impress people I know, so don't miss it when Azúcar Negra hits the States.

Azúcar Negra - "Con un canto en el pecho"
from the CD "Exceso de equipaje"

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Monday, 18 January 2010, 05:37 PM

Lily y Su Sonora Clásica

Concert Début in Stockholm

Lily y Su Sonora Clásica gave their début concert 18 January at Mosebacke in Stockholm. Lily Hernández is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lead singers in Europe, having performed with a variety of bands throughout Europe and in the United States. She is a versatile singer who is at home singing jazz, timba, salsa or son. For examples of her work you can see La Recompensa, Latin Train, Didara Band, La Liga Habanera, Richard Ortega y La Jugada, Latin Jazz Ensemble (USA 2006), and El Mena y Su Eyeife Band (Italy).

But now Lily has taken a step out on her own forming her own group, Lily y Su Sonora Clásica. Having her own orchestra allows Lily to express her passion for son but with a modern take or as she puts it: "traditional son with the energy of timba". The band is a septeto with an impressive list of musicians: Lily Hernández, Calixto Oviedo, Pepe Espinosa, Oldrich Gonzalez, Ramon Rodriguez, Oslen Ceballo, and with Yarién Oviedo and Whitney Hernández on vocals. You can check out a fan video from the first performance below.

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Sunday, 17 January 2010, 11:13 AM

Pepítin con El Trabuco

Está Pegando Bien

Pepitín with Salsa Mayor in FranceThe one constant on the Havana music scene is change. José Antonio "Pepitín" Rodríguez has recently joined Manolito y Su Trabuco replacing his ex-bandmate from Salsa Mayor, El Noro, who recently left the Trabuco for Pupy y Los Que Son Son. Pepitín makes a good addition to the Trabuco, which is known for being one of the timba bands that keeps closely to son. Since the departure of El Indio, the band hasn't really had a sonero style singer. The addition of Pepitín restores the original balance of voices: sonero (Pepitín), R&B (Amaray) and rap (Lázaro)

Maykel Blanco "discovered" Pepitín singing traditional son in a bar in Old Havana. Pepitín has also performed on Cuban television with Jóvenes Clásicos del Son, and in our last Pepitín update, we reported that he has been working on some demos of traditional music. Word from Havana is that the audience is happy with Pepitín's addition to the band. I am looking forward to seeing him on the Trabuco's next European tour!

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Saturday, 16 January 2010, 04:17 PM

José Torres y Salsa Tropical Add Juanky to Roster

Juan Carlos Hechavarría Ex-Klímax Now in Poland

New Video and Demos

Juan Carlos HechavarriaJosé Torres y Salsa Tropical have scored a major coup. They have added ex-Klímax singer Juan Carlos "Juanky" Hechavarría to their line-up. Juanky is one of few young singers today with the ability to sing like a true sonero. He's also in touch with the youth culture as witnessed by the recent Klímax repertoire. His addtion brings a shot of fresh Havana energy to this already established band.

Since their formation in April 2000, Salsa Tropical, based in Wroclow, has built-up their name in Europe having performed at congresos in Germany and Poland  as well as on many Polish television programs. In addition bandleader José Torres is commited to Cuban music and  organized Poland's first salsa congress, which has now become the annual Torres Salsa Carnival. He has brought artists such as Manolito y Su Trabuco and Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor to Polish fans.

José Torres y Salsa TropicalJosé comes from a musical family. His cousin Alina Torres is well-known as a composer of hits for groups such as  La Charanga Habanera, Los Van Van and Pupy y Los Que Son Son. His son is the band's drummer and recently Salsa Tropical has expanded it's repertoire with new songs written by yet another Torres, 18-year old Fernando Torres of La Habana. The catchy and danceable tunes "Dándole la vuelta al mundo" and "Tiki Tiki" were both written by this talented young composer who happens to be José's nephew.

José Torres y Salsa Tropical are in the process of recording their new material. The instruments are finished and now the vocal tracks, mix and master remain. But you don't have to wait, you can already listen to a good live recording of "Dándole la vuelta al mundo" with Juanky on radio. And below is a video of the live performace. Stay tuned because we will soon be adding "Tiki Tiki" to the radio as well. Click on the link below that says "Continue reading" for a video of "Dándole la vuelta" al mundo and the list of bandmembers.

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