From Kiki Valera’s new CD, Vivencias en Clave Cubana, released on the Origin Records label on Oct 18, 2019. (son) Composed by Coco Freeman & arranged by Kiki Valera; filmed in Santiago de Cuba, June 2019.
Kiki Valera – director y cuatro; Coco Freeman – cantante líder; Alain Garcia Bueno – cantante / claves; Carmen Rosa Alarcón – maracas; Ernesto Valera Alarcón – bongo; Emilio Rodriguez – congas; José Luis Losada – guitarra; Angel Caballito Beltrán (hijo) – trompeta; Angel Beltrán Contreras – trompeta; Adolfo Aguilera– Bajo.
MI SON is a tribute to the Son Cubano, crafted as the lyrics proclaim, with grace, poetry, rhythm and love. MI SON es un homenaje al son cubano, elaborado como se expresa en su texto con gracia, poesía, ritmo y amor.
Recorded & mixed at FVM Studio, Seattle WA by Kiki Valera & Michael Lazarus
Mastered by Michael Lazarus – www.LATINMUSICMASTERING.com
Produced by Naomi Bierman
Audiovisual by David Hernández of LCA
Mr Valera’s cuatro adds a breathtaking lusciousness to the son cubano, guaracha, bolero and trova music that is on this album. His range and idiosyncrasy of attack and colours is dazzling. The music is traditional. Almost all of it has been composed by the vocalist Mr Freeman. But clearly, for both Mr Valera and Mr Freeman, the inner dynamic of “tradition” is innovation and there is plenty of this on the recording which sets off with terrific swagger as the ensemble launches into “Mi Son”. – Raul da Gama
Grant Richards’ Live Performance of “Ballyhoo”
Grant Richards – a pianist deeply immersed in bebop and the blues – leads his music in a bold
and emergent new direction with Ballyhoo, an Afro-Cuban celebration of a previously unspoken
dream, finally realized in a tangible elation of musicianship, culture, and unbridled wonder.
Richards, like the great jazz composers throughout history, wrote the music on Ballyhoo not for
generic instruments, but for the specific and unique musical personalities of the musicians in his
“Ballyhoo is the title track from my new album, my first excursion into Latin jazz, combining
many elements that get me out of my comfort zone like intricate grooves, odd keys, and the
necessity for precise execution,” Richards shares. “The title implies an excited commotion and
with the crisp performance by my bandmates Damian Erskine, Reinhardt Melz, and Carmelo
Torres, I think this track embodies the exuberance and playfulness I intended for the project as a
What is Ballyhoo? The word embodies sensation, animation and enthusiasm, and the record at
its core presents all of the same. Ballyhoo was released on September 24, 2021.
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