Sierra Maestra

Sierra Maestra

Sierra Maestra

Wednesday, April 4, 7:30pm
at YBCA Forum

Sierra Maestra

Sierra Maestra

Decades before Juan de Marcos Gonzalez served as music director and guiding spirit behind the Buena Vista Social Club, he founded Sierra Maestra, a Cuban roots band dedicated to the Afro-Cuban son style that influenced musicians around the world. Launched in 1976 by a group of University of Havana students, Sierra Maestra took its name from the mountain range in eastern Cuba where the genre was born. Along with trumpeter Jesús Alemañy, a Cuban child prodigy, De Marcos went on to form the popular band Cubanismo!, modernizing instrumentation by using more percussion and electric bass. With brisker tempos, Sierra Maestra added a jolt of new energy to the sensuous guaracha rhythms, a sound that seized the imaginations of a new Cuban generation. Hugely popular at home, the band gradually built up an international following with a series of celebrated albums, culminating in 2010’s World Village release, Sonando Ya. The delicate nature of U.S. and Cuban relations has presented few opportunities for stateside performances, and this is the band’s first American tour in several years.

Artist Personnel

Yelfris Valdés Espinosa trumpet
Jesus Bello Díaz vocals, guitar
Luis Eduardo Pino bass guitar
Emilio Ramos Batista tres
Carlos Puisseaux Mansfarroll güiro
Ñico Rico Menéndez
    congas, bongo, cowbell
Alejandro Súarez Galarraga
    claves, cowbell
Barzaga Sosa vocals, claves
Virgilio Valdés Decalo vocals, maracas

"Artful custodians of a tradition and brilliant innovators as well. " — AllMusic
"If son is indeed the soul of Cuba, then Sierra Maestra are the heartbeat at the center of that soul. " — World Music Central