CUBAN BRIDGE FESTIVAL 2017
Date(s) - 01/08/2017
Doors at 12pm
Juan Carlos Formell Son Radical
Playing with his trio, in song after song, Brazilian sensibility and tasteful jazz virtuosity eventually erupts into a hearty Cuban songos worthy of the more famous 14 piece band he plays with. While collaborations amongst legends like Paul Simon or Cesaria Evora, a Grammy nominated album, and his current gig as bass player for the legendary Cuban band Los Van Van stand out, multi talented virtuoso guitarist, “tumbao” bass groove specialist, and singer Juan Carlos Formell is first and foremost a master songwriter. In his amazingling powerful trio Song Radical, Formell freely to explores and creates a masterful show that is never the same twice.
With a hauntingly beautiful alto voice reminiscent of Omara Portuondo or Cesaria Evora, Danae Blanco is quite possibly Cuba’s next great Bolero diva. After honing her sound and interpretive skills in an extensive career which included has recording 2 albums for Tumi Records, was a featured singer for British pop sensation Simply Red, and toured worldwide with various groups, Danae Blanco has found her niche in the expressive power and intimacy of the Bolero. The Havana based singer recently teamed up with Grammy nominated singer songwriter and current Los Van Van bassist Juan Carlos Formell to form a duo. They have been recording demos with producer Jose Conde in Brooklyn and in Havana with plans to record and album in 2017.
The Cuban Bridge Festival is the brainchild of Jose Conde, who has long been making strides connecting to the culture and music of his dispalced Cuban heritage. The festival is representative of the growing collaborative work between Cuban musicians on the island and New York, and Conde’s own work as a producer, composer, and now film maker. A showing of Conde’s Puente a Mi Gente (Bridge to My People), a short music video filmed, recorded and edited by him, featuring numerous Cuban musicians, dancers, and artists, several years in the making, will preceed a solo performance by Conde who is working on his second solo album.
A Cuban American singer, songwriter, arranger, multi instrumentalist, and producer based in Brooklyn, NY Jose Conde leads the genre bending Latin band OLA FRESCA and his own solo project, and delves into numerous projects in various musical guises.
In Ay!Que Rico, his 2004 OLA FRESCA debut, he adopted and employed traditional Cuban music with a deep roots sensibility, along with his first experiments in the fusing of funk and rock. His follow-up record, (R)Evolucion, won the 2008 Best Latin Album Independent Music Award with a sound that, according to The New York Times, created a new “Cuban music that is good for dancing and thinking.” Conde’s 2015 Ola Fresca album, ELIXIR, was called “one of the best albums of the year” by Songlines UK. His 2011 solo self titled album departed from salsa and Cuban dance music opting for diverse world roots influences and colors from South Africa to Brazil to Peru with songs containing provocative lyrical stories and themes and rock and electronic elements. The album spent 12 weeks in the top 5 of the CMJ world music charts and was positively reviewed worldwide.
Jose Conde is a dynamic and electryfing performer who most recently was featured in Green River Festival 2016, Chicago World Music Festival, Charlotte Cuban Festival 2016, Lula World 2016, Darling Harbor Latin Festival in Sydney Australia 2015, Montreal Jazz fest, Santa Monica Pier, NY Central Park Summer Stage etc.
Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros
Gerardo Contino is a party onstage. The gritty former lead singer of the Cuban mega-group NG La Banda has developed a world wide following devoted to his urban contemporary Cuban Timba music which he creates along with his NYC based band Los Habaneros that also features top Latin players Axel Tosca Laugart, Luisito Quintero, and John Benitez.
Gerardo has toured in Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, and Canada and has played international festivals of salsa and jazz such as: Toulouse Festival, France; Latin American Festival of Milan, Italy; Festival Fiesta, Rome, Italy; Festival of Múnich, Switzerland, Copenhagen Festival, Denmark; Salsa Festival of Verona, Italy; and, Afro-American Roots of Maracay, Venezuela, He has shared the stage with such artists as Max Weinberg, Oscar de Leon, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, El Gran Combo, La India, Los Van Van and other top tier world music artists.