Monthly Archives: April 2013

26.04.13 : Frank Veliz – Guajirita Bella

Today I present you a new salsa song about nature and love!
Our artist of the week is Frank Veliz, a Cuban singer living in Madrid.

Frank Veliz was born in the city of Encrucijada in the province of Santa Clara in Cuba on February 6th 1983.
His father destined him to be a singer, and Frank gladly accepted.
He graduated from the EVA Olga Alonso art academy, then going to the national academy of arts, and later the Santa Clara de Cuba music school, achieving graduation there as a pianist and a singer.

Frank has been performing with various groups all over the Santa Clara province, and later all of central Cuba, singing, playing a writing & composing titles of his own quite a lot.
At 17 Frank traveled to Spain, and performed with various great artists and orchestras that visited the country at the time, such as Celia Cruz, El Gran Combo and Oscar De Leon.
Becoming successful and well known in European musical circles, Frank decided to stay in Spain.
Later, Frank worked with several artists in the Dominican Republic, and became one of the lead singers of the band DLG.

In 2009 Frank released his 1st CD, named “Encrucijada“, after his home town.
The song I present you here is a typical example of Frank’s music; romantic in sound and lyrics, it also retains love of the Cuban homeland and culture, glorifying both the beauty of the people and of nature with a passionate yet energetic rhythmic drive.


19.04.13 : Robert Armas y Los Conquistadores de la Salsa – Enamorando En La Habana

Hi there girls y boys!

Today I present you a not so known band that made news lately when their 4th CD came out a week ago… Robert Armas y Los Conquistadores de la Salsa, who’ve been making some very nice Timba.

This Cuban-Peruvian band was formed back in spring of 1998 at Habana, and gained immediate success, performing at concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the city.
Several months later the band left for Lima, Peru, for a 6 month tour… but seeing the newly emerging and flourishing salsa scene at the city, decided to stay, and make Lima their base of operations.

Since then the band became one of the hottest non Cuba based salsa bands in Latin America, released 4 CDs to date, toured Latin America, the USA and Europe with concerts, even winning some European music awards.

The song I present you here today is from their latest album “Cubano Natural”, which was released exactly 1 week ago, on April 12th, and IMO is the best track of the album.
It is a hit on the dance floors, and also has a very nice, colorful and energetic video clip ๐Ÿ™‚


12.04.13 : Tirso Duarte y La Mecanica Loca – Te Lo Agradezco

Hello folks!
Our subject for today is a very talented singer, pianist and songwriter, who was once a major figure in Charanga Habanera, and today has started anew in France…

Tirso Duarte was born in Habana on April 12, 1978.
He started playing piano at an early age, attending the Roldan music academy in Habana, where he also took lessons in singing and songwriting, although specializing in forte-piano.

His first career break was in 1997, when he played piano and was coauthor of several songs on the album “Una Salsa en Paris” of Pachito Alonso y Sus Kini Kini, one of the band’s albums cherished most by Timba fans.

In 1998 Charanga Habanera had its 1st break \ split, with several members leaving to form “La Charanga Forever”, David Calzado recruited Tirso as the band’s new pianist, but soon Tirso becabe a leading figure in the band, writing, arranging, playing piano and percussion, singing, and doing whatever feels good, whatever satisfies, even if only temporarily, his creative urge.
Tirso is the man behind “Charanguero Mayor”, one of the most regarded Timba numbers of all times, and many other great songs on the “Charanguero Mayor” album of La Charanga Habanera from 1999.

In 2000, before living, and 2001, after leaving La Charanga Habanera, Tirso sang and played with NG La Banda, and with the newly formed Pupy y LQSS, but it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for… He wanted to form a band of his own, and so he did!

In 2003 Tirso formed his own band (using just his name as a label).
Since then he released 5 albums of his own, and also appeared as a guest in live shows and studio recordings with “Los Ases De La Timba”, “La Charanga Forever” and even the Afro-Cuban All Stars band.

In 2012 Tirso left Cuba, moving to Europe, like most Cubans leaving their motherland from 2005 and onwards.
1st he lived a short while in Scandinavia, performing in Norway, Finland and Sweden, but the relocated to France, where he Recorded his latest album, “Luchare” (also known as “se unen Cuba y Francia”) with the French salsa band “La Mecanica Loca”.

The song I present you here today is from that new album, and is a very interesting Timba piece called “Te Lo Agradezco”.
What I live about this song is that approximately half of it is Rumba, resembling Yambu the most, making it romantic, yet energetic, and also in touch with the Afro-Cuban roots of salsa music.


04.04.13 : Pupy y Los Que Son Son – A La Italiana

Well, I’m back!
The Remeneate salsa festival was amazing, so is the Ukrainian salsa scene.

Anyway, today’s subject is Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso, one of the greatest Latin pianists out there…

Born Cesar de las Mercedes Pedroso Fernandez on September 24th 1946, in Habana, Cesar’s musical talent became apparent during his childhood, playing percussion at age 6.
By the age of 12, Cesar started playing the piano, and with his immense talent, proceeded to the Amadeo Roldan conservatory, from which he graduated with honors.
Cesar comes from a long line of musicians, with his grandfather, father, and some of his uncles playing with such bands as Chapottin y sus estrellas, orquesta sensacion and Arcano y sus maravillas.

From 1957 until 1964, Cesar played together with his father (Cesar sr.) at Chapottin’s orchestra, and 1964 until 1966 with orquesta fascinacion.
In 1966 Cesar was discovered by Elio Reve, quickly becoming Pianist and band leader.
His career at Orquesta Reve did not last long, though; he became good friends with Bassist Juan Formell, and in 1969 they left the band to form a new musical style, Songo, and a band of their own, Los Van Van.

During his 32 years with Los Van Van, Pupy wrote and composed many of the band’s hit songs, such as Azucar, El Buenagente, El Negro Esta Cocinando, Seis Semanas, Temba Tumba Timba, La Bomba Soy Yo, and many more.

At 2001, Cesar left Los Van Van to create a band of his own, calling it Pupy y Los Que Son Son (Pupy y LQSS).
Since then the band released 5 hit albums, and keeps releasing new hits today…

The song I choose to present is, for some reason, quite an underdog, and doesn’t get played to often, although, IMO, is one of the best songs released by Pupy since leaving Los Van Van.
It got a very nice, flowing, tranquil, groove, if you ask me.
Also, to some extent it relates to things I went through during my recent visit to the salsa festival in Italy; so, I dedicate the following phrase to all the nice Italian girls I danced with ๐Ÿ™‚

Ay mamacita me muero de ganas
Por verte bailando italiana mรบsica cubana