Today in Cuban music: Cubafonía

How could you possibly sing to los santos without a Batá drum? Not a single tumbadora. Not even un chekere perdido made it on the stage during Daymé Arocena’s performance at the Skirball Center. And she didn’t need it. Her voice was more than enough. Nonetheless, she was accompanied by three equally talented Cuban musicians, a pianist, a bassist and a drummer … More Today in Cuban music: Cubafonía

Today in Cuban music: Albita

Que manera de esperar un disco, que manera. Albita released her new Big Band album that pays homage to pre-revolution Cuban music – and it sounds as if Machito got a face lift by a really, really great plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills. Homenaje a Benny Moré and Mis Congas are a master’s class in the genre, while Pais Tropical and Las Cumbias celebrates … More Today in Cuban music: Albita

Today in Cuban Music: Afro-Cuban Jazz Project

Every Saturday at 5 p.m. at Hancock Park, you can enjoy incredible performances  as part of the LACMA’s Latin Sounds series. Last weekend, tumbao and salsa enthusiasts were treated to a performance of the L.A.-based Afro-Cuban Jazz Project. The band is a who’s who of some of Cuba’s greatest jazz and dance bands. Founded by its former leader, the late, great … More Today in Cuban Music: Afro-Cuban Jazz Project

El primo

I often tell people that Pitbull is my cousin. This isn’t true, of course. But I have a gift for bullshitting people with my dead-pan delivery and expressionless cara de mierda. It’s not entirely too far fetched that Armandito and I could be cousins, both being Cuban-Americans that grew up in Miami, both randomly screaming dale and both with an … More El primo

Today in Cuban music: Yo Quiero Guarachar

¡A guarahcar se ha dicho!  Afro-Cuban Funk band PALO! released their third album, Yo Quiero Guarachar  and features standout guest performances by Descemer Bueno, Aymee Nuviola, Pedrito Martinez and Roman Diaz. PALO! is comprised of Latin Grammy-nominated vocalist Leslie Cartaya, Latin Grammy-winning saxophonist Dr. Ed Calle; leader/pianist Steve Roitstein, and virtuoso Cuban percussionists Philbert Armenteros and Raymer … More Today in Cuban music: Yo Quiero Guarachar

Today in Cuban music: Habana Dreams

The Pedrito Martinez Group released Habana Dreams today, their much-anticipated album recorded entirely in Havana, Cuba.  The album features a collection of Latin artists, including Descemer Bueno, Ruben Blades, Isaac Delgado, and Roman Diaz. The Pedrito Martinez Group’s first studio album was nominated for a Grammy and features special guests, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield and Steve Gadd. The album was chosen among NPR’s … More Today in Cuban music: Habana Dreams