Today I present you a review of a Cuban-Swiss Salsa & Timba band, who has been flying under the radar of most salsa fans fro over 25 years now!
The band was founded in Basel, Switzerland, in 1985, and almost immediately started touring Europe.
News of the band’s success quickly reached Latin America, and in 1987 the band was invited to participate at the “festival del son” in Cuba, and appear at Habana’s hot tropicana club.
They also appeared on Cuban TV; the audience, both musicians and common folks were amazed to see a non Cuban band play Cuban music so well, and their concerts received much attention and support on the island.
The crowds liked the band so much that a year later Picason (the name, BTW, is composed of the words “picante” – spicy \ hot and “son”, the original genre they played) was invited to tour Cuba once more, spending most of its time at the Oriente province at the east of the island.
Their 1st almum, “Picason”, came out the same year.
After their initial success, the band turned to a jazzier approach, under the leadership of jazz pianist Christoph Bauman.
During the early 1990’s the band was joined on their European tours by such stars as trump player Arturo Sandoval, Juan Mungauia of Irakere and Jose Luis Cortes & Calixto Oviedo of NG La Banda.
Their 2nd CD, “Son De Los Alpes”, also came out during that time (1990).
During the mid 1990’s, while touring Latin America again, the band met talented Cuban flute player, composer and later, band leader, Orlando Valle “Maraca”, who was so impressed by the European band, that he offered them a collaboration.
But even before that, yet another Cuban talent, saxophone player and composer Tony Martinez, joined the band, writing all the songs fro their next album, “Un Estilo Diferente”, which was released in 1995.
Later, after some successful concerts with Maraca, and a joint show with Ray Barretto from Puerto Rico, the band received yet another boost in the form of ex Klimax lead singer, Ernesto Manuitt, which lead to their entry to the realm of Timba, something which only a few non Cuban bands have done to date.
With their new, modern, Cuban voice, the band released 2 great Timba albums named “Timba” (2001) and “Que Felicidad” (2005), and will be releasing their new, 6th album, “Echando Candela” later this year (2013).
So, here is the wonderful song… ¡Disfruten!