Gypset Magazine is giving away tickets to Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club • Diego El Cigalaat the Hollywood Bowl August 19th!!! Courtesy of LA Phil.
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Legends of Cuban music Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club graces the Bowl stage one last time. With celebrated original stars, the dynamic ensemble lends its elegance and passion to the best ofson montuno, danzón, cha-cha, boleros, and more, plus material from Lost & Found, a new collection of unreleased recordings from the original Buena Vista Social Club sessions. In his Bowl debut, captivating flamenco singer El Cigala enters new territory, merging salsa and charanga rhythms with the drama of Argentine tango.
Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club® released its only studio album, produced by Ry Cooder, in 1997 and achieved instant success. The album, featuring a specially assembled group of veteran Cuban musicians, was further propelled by Wim Wenders’ acclaimed film and later by a series of international tours and albums by many of the featured musicians. Buena Vista Social Club® became a phenomenon and the band’s live performances have been praised for taking the atmosphere up to a breathless level (The Independent), leaving audiences “awestruck” (Financial Times).The group – which has been touring the globe in different forms, guises and combinations since 1997 – will take to the road one final time in 2014/15 with a series of concerts and related cultural events that will celebrate the Orquesta’s storied journey as ambassadors for Cuban music. The Adios Tour represents the distillation of more than a thousand shows over 16 years involving more than forty musicians. During that time the group has evolved into a customized, dynamic, multi-generational big band in which veterans and younger performers have combined to celebrate Cuban musical tradition with flair and élan.
At the forefront of the group are musicians who will be recognized from the Buena Vista Social Club® film: trumpeter Guajiro Mirabal, laúd virtuoso Barbarito Torres, band leader and trombonist Jesús “Aguaje” Ramos, vocalist and guitarist Eliades Ochoa and incomparable vocalist Omara Portuondo. A younger generation of Cuban musicians is represented by such talents as the renowned vocalist Carlos Calunga and virtuoso pianist Rolando Luna. Joining this lineup of Cuban players is vocalist Omara Portuondo, a member of the original Buena Vista Social Club®, whose 2008 recording Gracias (World Village/Montuno) won a Latin Grammy and scored a Grammy nomination. Portuondo has been singing and performing since she was a teenager in Cuba in the 1940s but, as The New York Times review of Gracias noted, the years have done nothing to mitigate her vocal prowess: “Her voice is rich, shapely, dynamic and still sultry.” The Los Angeles Times described her voice as a formidably potent and emotionally limber instrument, noted that “her 100 minute set in San Francisco showed that she‘s an even bigger talent onstage.”
Guajiro Mirabal‘s distinctive trumpet sound and the personality embodied in his playing have earned him the moniker “The Trumpet of Cuba”. His blistering tribute to the son conjuntos of the great Arsenio Rodriguez, Buena Vista Social Club® Presents Manuel Guajiro Mirabalf was nominated for a Grammy and Latin Grammy and its release was met with widespread praise: “Mirabal‘s stunning performances recapture the bonhomie and verve that endeared the son montuno style to all within earshot”. The Wire
Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos’ trombone has been an integral part of World Circuit‘s Cuban recordings for more than a decade and both his playing and bandleading skills have made him a key feature on tours by Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo. As musical director for Omara Portuondo and Ruben Gonzalez he gained attention on the international stage: “he understands how to truly make the trombone sing” Boston Globe.
Barbarito Torres was musical director for Celina Gonzalez’s Grupo Campoalegre and worked with many of the biggest names in Cuban music and for international stars such as Oscar de Leon. He has also played with the Afro-Cuban All Stars and his solo album “Havana Cafe” featured guest appearances by Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo.
The past few years have been tremendously successful for the orchestra. Playing sellouts in renowned venues including the Paris Olympia, London‘s Royal Albert Hall, Barcelona‘s Liceu, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Luna Park in Buenos Aires as well as prestigious festivals around the globe.
Each of the Orquestra’s artists has his or her own take on a wide range of Cuban music styles and has put an individual stamp on son montunos, danzon, cha cha cha, boleros, and Cuban jazz. Having honed their skills over many years, their passion for the music remains undimmed and this remarkable group of musical giants performs with an exuberance that is as vital as ever.
Diego El Cigala is, quite simply, the most exciting and innovative flamenco singer in the world today. Passionate, profound, and immensely proud of his Spanish gypsy heritage, El Cigala has been called “the Sinatra of flamenco.” His earthy and exultant and richly emotive voice marks him as one of the great singers of the last century. He is also one of those rare crossover artists who has stayed true to his musical heritage yet achieved name recognition with mainstream audiences around the world.
Born into a family of flamenco musicians, El Cigala began his solo career in 1997. A mere four years later he was at the Latin Grammys, his Corren Tiempos de Alegría nominated for Best Flamenco CD. That was just the beginning of much bigger things to come, as a small initial collaboration on that CD between El Cigala and legendary Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés led in 2003 to a duo CD, Lágrimas Negras (Black Tears), that became one of the most astonishing breakthroughs in the realm of world music. Aside from winning El Cigala his first Latin Grammy (he now has three), Lágrimas became a huge global hit thanks to a combination of killer live shows, rave reviews, and ecstatic word of mouth. This groundbreaking disc, with its fusion of gypsy fire and complex Cuban rhythms, sold more than a million copies worldwide. Aside from winning numerous awards, the CD was fawned over by Britain’s BBC Radio and hailed “record of the year” by the New York Times.
This was unprecedented success for a flamenco singer – and it was to prove just the beginning. El Cigala won his second Latin Grammy in 2006 for Picasso en mis ojos (Picasso in my eyes), which also became a bestseller. Then in 2010 El Cigala travelled to Argentina, land of the tango, to immerse himself in that country’s powerful musical traditions. After merging his own band with two of Argentina’s tango masters – bandoneonist Néstor Marconi and guitarist Juanjo Dominguez – the results were, once again, musical magic. Cigala & Tango won a Latin Grammy for Best Tango, and went on to generate fantastic sales, great reviews, and a sold-out tour that played to more than 160,000 awed fans.
El Cigala’s newest recording, 2013’s Romance de la luna Tucuman, offers a fresh take on the Argentinean tango tradition. Notable for the contributions of Mexico’s famed electric guitarist Diego Garcia, known as “The Twanguero” for his embrace of cowboy, Hawaiian, and surf music, Tucuman went on to triumph at the 2013 Latin Grammys, winning El Cigala a third Grammy, his second for Best Tango. It is this landmark CD that will be the focus for El Cigala’s upcoming tours through the United States, Europe, Australia, and South America.