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Alexander Abreu & HAVANA D'PRIMERA
May 31-Jun 1, 2013
Cuba's hottest band!
Open Dance Floor!
Friday-Saturday, May 31-Jun 1
Friday, May 31
- 8pm $32
- 10pm $24
Saturday, Jun 1
- 8pm $32
- 10pm $28
Cuba produced at least 20 classic albums in the first eight years of the 21st Century, but very few people would deny that the amazing creative momentum of the 1990s had run into a brick wall by early 2001. Attesting to the decline in the Havana scene is the staggering list of brilliant musicians who left the island: Manolín, Issac Delgado, Danny Lozada, Yoel Páez, Joel Domínguez, Alain Pérez, Melón Lewis, Juan Carlos González, etc. Havana d'Primera was formed by a collective of the best musicians of the 1990s -- those who refused to throw in the towel -- in an attempt to rekindle the magic of timba and create a better working environment for musicians. Their debut album, Haciendo historia, and a string of riveting live performances, caused more buzz than any new band since Pupy y Los Que Son Son and as of 2013 they have risen to the top echelon of Cuban touring bands.
Havana D'Primera - Alexander Abreu
The band is directed by Alexander Abreu, widely recognized as the greatest Cuban trumpeter of his generation -- a key part of Paulito FG's Élite during its glory years and the first call studio trumpeter for everyone from Juan Ceruto to Juan Formell to Issac Delgado. There had always been rumors of Alexander's behind-the-scenes creative contributions in the form of coros and mambos, but in Havana d'Primera he's come front and center as a dominant and iconic lead vocalist and songwriter. His voice is reminiscent of Los Van Van's Robertón but with the added melodic sophistication of a skilled instrumentalist. His writing and arranging are brilliant, but what sets Havana d'Primera apart is the emotional honesty and gravitas with which Abreu delivers his heart-felt lyrics.
The band lives up to its name, which translates roughly to "the cream of the crop of Havana". Every musician is an all-star -- from pianist Antonio Rodriguez to conguero Güillermo el Toro to corista Enrique "El Gordo" Pérez to trombonists Amaury Pérez and Carlos Álvarez.
To put it simply, if I were arriving at Havana Airport tonight, Havana d'Primera would be the first band I'd be searching for. ~Kevin Moore
Click here for Kevin Moore's review of Havana d'Primera historic first US Concert at Yoshi's in 2012.