Orquesta Akokán – Un Tabaco para Elegua

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From the self-titled debut album Orquesta Akokán, out now on Daptone Records. Recorded in Havana, Daptone Records taps into the soul of Cuba with this 21st Century Mambo Masterwork.

Akokán is a Yoruba word used in Cuba meaning “from the heart,” and indeed, every song on the self-titled debut album (March 30/Daptone Records) by Orquesta Akokán feels like a heartfelt gift from the band to the listener. Assembled and led by Cuban vocalist José “Pepito” Gómez, Orquesta Akokán is a big band collective of the finest musicians on the island, both young and old. It features all-original music and was cut live to tape over a three-day session at Havana’s hallowed state-run Estudios Areito. Areito is one of the longest operating studios in the world and where important Cuban records have been made. The album was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth.

Starring: Juliet de la Caridad Del Monte Muñoz, José “Pepito” Gómez, José Miguel Gómez Directed by Joel Pront Produced by Jacob Plasse.

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Straight out of Havana, Cuba comes Orquesta Akokán – a blazing presentation of deeply soulful mambo reminiscent of Benny Moré and banda gigante of the 1940’s and 50’s. The album boasts all original songs and was recorded at the historic state run Areito Studio with Cuba’s finest players, young and old, led by the venerable and dynamic singer José “Pepito” Gómez, produced by Chulo Records’ Jacob Plasse, with arrangements by Michael Eckroth. The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups including Irakere and Los Van Van. Robust, time-tested musical architectures of son cubano and mambo are honored and futurized through a synthesis of grammatical and compositional styles of Havana, New York, and beyond. Spring 2018 will find this brand new project released on Daptone Records; their first Spanish language album, one recorded outside of Daptone’s studios, yet bursting with the label’s innate sense of soul, fine-tuned attention to sonic detail, and songcraft that’s timeless and immaculate.

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