Jimmy Bosch is one of New York’s most reputable trombonists. He plays a music style that he calls Salsa Dura (Hard Salsa) a fiery and innovative style that goes beyond traditional salsa.
Jimmy Bosch was born in Jersey City and grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is the son of a Puerto Rican family with deep musical roots. His father was a notorious dancer his mother used to sing at parties back in Puerto Rico and his uncle Israel was really into flamenco cante (singing).
Bosch’s Salsa Dura is both a testament to and an evolution of Puerto Rican musical traditions. Bosch continuously re-invents the music of a culture with roots in Africa and Spain by drawing upon an eclectic repertoire: the plenas of an agrarian Puerto Rico; Cuban styles such as mambo, son, yambú, guaguanco, guajira and Mozambique; music by the Beatles, American folk tunes, and the New York Salsa of the 1970s informed by straight-ahead jazz and contemporary rock.
Bosch began playing trombone in 1970 at the age of 8 and at age 13 this prodigious talent taught him-self to play “monas” (musical riffs). Bosch frequented clubs in New York City with his trombone at hand confident that he would one day land a gig with a major New York salsa band. In 1978 while a student at Rutgers University his moment came to a realization when he was hired by Andy González to work with Conjunto Libre heralding the birth of a prolific career and extensive
Soneando Trombón (Ryko Latino, 1998)
Salsa Dura (RykoLatino, 1999)
El Avión de la Salsa (JRGR Records, 2004)
¡A Millon! (JRGR Records, 2009)
Bronx-born Bobby Matos has been playing Afro-Cuban rhythms for many years. He was there, in New York, when the Salsa boom was about to start and take over the minds and souls of a generation that was craving for a musical revolution that would bring them pride and happiness.
Born in a Puerto Rican family, Bobby Matos began playing music playing pots and pans in his grandmother’s apartment and went on to backstage informal lessons with conga drum masters Patato Valdés and Mongo Santamaria.
His first gigs were in the early 6s beat bohemian Greenwich Village Cafes, but he soon found himself playing in every type of venue; from Bronx dance halls to Carnegie Hall, to elegant supper clubs, Central Park Concerts, Off Broadway theaters, and After Hours clubs in El Barrio.
He was inspired and encouraged to play timbales by Willie Bobo and Tito Puente, and in the late 1960s attended the New School and Manhattan School of Music studying composition and arranging. Around this exciting time for Latin Music in New York, he recorded My Latin Soul, in 1968. This recording eventually became a much prized cult classic influencing many 197s and 8s Acid Jazz groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
After touring and recording with artists like Ben Vereen, Bette Midler, Fred Neil, Jim Croce, Ray Rivera, Joe Loco, Miriam Makeeba, and many others, Bobby moved to Los Angeles where he began experimenting with an Afro-Cuban Jazz band where he could blend (and twist) musical elements from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Palmieri, and the rich legacy of Afro-Cuban music.
In the 1980s and 90s, he recorded several albums, most notably 5 critically acclaimed CDs for Ubiquity Records’ Cubop label. He also produced CDs for Ray Armando, Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers, Dave Pike, John Santos, and Jack Costanzo.
Bio Ritmo (Biorhythm) is a remarkable Richmond, Virginia-based salsa band led by keyboardist Marlysse Simmons. Bio Ritmo’s sound is rooted in the great Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican salsa traditions.
It is their vision for bringing salsa “into the now” through skillful layering of jazz, urban, electronic and global sonic influences while maintaining the integrity of their foundation; and unusually profound and introspective lyrics.
Yomo Toro, a cultural icon for 50 years, was one of Latin music’s most beloved musicians. Victor Guillermo Toro was born on July 26, 1933 in the Guarnica province of Puerto Rico in Ensenada, where a statue of him now stands in the town square.
He began learning cuatro with his father and during his teens performed with many popular and folkloric groups. He moved to New York in 1956, and throughout the ’60s played with such groups as Ramito and Los Panchos.
From the late ’60s through the mid-’70s he hosted a TV show on Channel 41. In 1970, he joined Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe in recording the classic Asalto Navideño, a groundbreaking album that combined New York salsa with traditional Puerto Rican Christmas music and became one of the best-selling salsa albums of all time.
He was a member of the famed Fania All-Stars, which included such artists as Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentin, Roberto Roena, Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Cheo Feliciano, and Ismael Miranda, and toured with the band throughout the world.
He appeared on more than 150 albums, including over 20 solo albums for Fania, Island, Rounder and Green Linnet Records. He has recorded with such stars as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, David Byrne, and Marc Anthony, made several cross-cultural albums, and worked on the soundtracks of Woody Allen’s Bananas and Crossover Dreams.
In his last years he performed with Larry Harlow and the Latin Legends Band and appeared in the off-Broadway show Sofrito! In addition to performing, he was an accomplished songwriter, particularly of romantic ballads.
In 2012, several press releases came out in June, confirming that Yomo Toro was severely ill, suffering from kidney failure due to many years of high blood pressure.
Yomo Toro died on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at 11:40 pm after more than a month in a New York hospital due to kidney failure.
Trombone player, composer and bandleader Willie Colón is one of the pioneers of modern salsa and Latin jazz.
Colón holds fifteen gold and five platinum records, and has collaborated with celebrated artists such as Fania All-Stars, Hector LaVoe, Rubén Blades, David Byrne, Celia Cruz, and Yomo Toro amongst others. His music, which powerfully influenced modern Latin jazz, reflects both rhythmic and traditional lyrics.
His achievements in all his activities are widely recognized. He has created 40 productions, and as musician, composer, arranger, singer, and trombonist, as well as producer and director, Colón still holds the all time record for worldwide sales.
Born William Anthony Colón on April 28, 1950 in the Bronx, New York, and raised by his grandmother, her strong beliefs and personality, powerfully influenced his devotion to his cultural roots. Colón started playing trumpet at the age of 12, and switched to trombone two years later.
Colón’s album “El Malo” has become known as one of the first albums to feature the “New York Sound”, blending in jazz harmonies and jazz style soloing, Colón along with pianist and bandleader Eddie Palmieri, largely defined the sound of salsa”.
As a community leader, he has won both local affection and national recognition. In 1991 he was awarded the Yale University’s CHUBB fellowship, a political recognition he shares with the late John F. Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Moshe Dyane, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush to mention a few.
In November of 1999 he became Dr. William A. Colón through a doctorate he received from Hartford, Connecticut’s Trinity College for The Art of Courage, a recognition given to artists who have used their art to make political change.
Through his work and positive message he has developed into a national and internationally respected sociopolitical voice and artist.
* Guisando (Fania, 1969)
* Asalto Navideño (Fania SLPF399, 1972)
* The Big Break (Fania SLP394, 1976)
* Siembra (Fania, 1978)
* Solo (Fania, 1980)
* Canciones del Solar de los Aburridos (Fania, 1983)
* Top Secrets (Fania, 1989)
* Illegal Aliens (Fania, 1990)
* Color Americano (CBS, 1990)
* Honra y Cultura (CBS, 1991)
* El Malo (Fania, 1991)
* 49 Minutes (Fania JM00525, 1992)
* Altos Secretos (Fania, 1992)
* Corazón Guerrero (Fania, 1992)
* Deja Vu (Fania, 1992)
* El Baquine de Angelitos Negros (Fania JMCD00506, 1992)
* Last Fight (Fania, 1992)
* The Best (Sony, 1992)
* Grandes Éxitos (Fania, 1992)
* Super Éxitos (Fania, 1992)
* Hecho en Puerto Rico (Fania, 1993)
* Willie & Tito (Vaya, 1993)
* Best, Vol. 2 (Sony, 1994)
* Lo Mato (Fania, 1994)
* El Juicio (Fania LPCD00424, 1994)
* Trans la Tornenta (Sony, 1995)
* Brillantes (Sony, 1996)
* Fania All-Stars (Sony, 1997)
* Mi Gran Amor (Madacy, 1999)
* Idilio (Sony Tropical 83999, 2000)
* Best (Fania 689, 2000)
* Demasiado Corazón (Líderes Entertainment Group 950 036, 2000)
* Criollo (BMG Latin 93611, 2002)
* La Experiencia (2004)
* Colección de Oro (2005)
* OG: Original Gangster (2006)
* The Player (2007)
* La Historia: The Hit List (2007)
* El Malo Vol II: Prisioneros del Mambo (2008)
* Asalto Navideño Live/En Vivo (2008)
* La Esencia de la Fania (2008)
* Historia de la Salsa (2010)
* Selecciones Fania (2011)
* Serie Premium: Sólo Éxitos (2013)
Born in Santurce (Puerto Rico), Tito Rodríguez moved to New York City as a teenager in the 1930s. After various jobs singing with a number of top groups he formed the Tito Rodriguez Orchestra, the most danceable Latin band in the dance-fever era. It was built around the voice of its leader, a versatile performer of every style of Latin music.
For several years, Rodríguez’s dance band starred at the legendary Palladium club and he had successful international career as a chart-topping singer of romantic songs.
In 1973, suffering from cancer at the age of fifty, he was rushed to the hospital after leaving the stage from a headline appearance at Madison Square Garden and died days later. Although he passed away, his legacy continues to burn bright through his recorded music as showcased on this new release.
In 2009, Fania released a double CD compilation, selected by the well-known New York discographer Harry Sepúlveda. Tito Rodríguez: The Man and His Music includes tracks that were digitally remastered from the original master tapes.
Tito Puente was born Ernest Anthony Puente, Jr. on April 20, 1923 in New York City. His parents had just arrived from their native Puerto Rico and young Tito was nurtured in East Harlem’s “El Barrio” neighborhood that served as a cultural crossroads for Hispanic youth.
Surrounded by the urban sophistication of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Puente and his friends were none-the-less strongly influenced by an island culture that maintained its love of tropical music and the mother tongue.
Puente’s father, Ernest Sr., was a foreman in a razor blade factory. His mother called her son “Ernestito”, Little Ernest, then shortened the name to Tito. “Ernestito” grew up with one ear tuned to boleros and rumbas while the other one strained to hear the great swing bands of the day and an emerging jazz tradition.
Puente’s mother noticed his musical talent and enrolled him in a piano class at 7. He studied drums for years before switching to timbales. His musical education began with twenty five cent piano lessons, followed by a study of the drum set.
Singing with a local barbershop quartet followed, as did dancing lessons. With his younger sister Anna, Puente performed in a child song and dance team in the early 1930’s. “I pride myself on being one of the few band leaders who really knows how to dance,” he said. The background in dance cemented his sense of rhythm. It also encouraged the development of the extroverted personality and flamboyant stage presence, for which he would soon be known, traits that helped lift him from the ranks of sidemen to star status by the late 1940s.
It was clear from an early age that percussion would become Puente’s dominant form of musical communication. He learned the basics from the Afro-Cuban drummer of a band called Los Happy Boys. His first big break came when the United States of America entered World War II and the regular drummer of Machito’s famous big band was drafted into military service, allowing Puente to take his place.
Tito’s skill and technical competency paid off right away. For perhaps the first time in Latin music history, the timbales were brought to the front of the bandstand, and Puente played the drums standing, not seated, as it had been the custom. That simple change of routine liberated the rhythm section and opened the door for the flashy style of performance that in time would become the norm.
Puente spent three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He returned to Manhattan (New York City) and studied conducting, orchestration and theory at the famous Julliard School of Music from 1945 to 1947 thanks to the G.I. Bill (a bill that provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans, who were referred to as GIs).
Prolific as he was famous, Tito Puente’s hit records and compositions became classic gems to Latin music aficionados. ‘Oye Como Va’ and ‘Para Los Rumberos’ have been recorded by the rock music legend, Carlos Santana. His albums Top Percussion, Dance Mania, Puente in Percussion, Cuban Carnival, El Rey and El Número Cien are essentials on any collectors list.
Throughout his illustrious career Tito Puente was awarded 5 Grammies as well as 8 nominations. In addition, Puente received a Presidential Commendation for his tour of duty in World War II, the Eubie Blake Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the ASCAP Founders Award and the Washington D.C.’s Hispanic Heritage Committee Award for the Arts.
Puente had the honor of performing for 4 Presidents of the United States and countless foreign heads of state. In July 1996, Tito performed before the largest gathering in history of the International Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
Puente has a “Star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and four honorary doctorate degrees, one from each of the following: State University of New York at Old Westbury, Long Island University, Bloomfield College in New Jersey and Hunter College in New York City. The Caribbean division of the United States Postal Service put out a cancellation stamp in honor of Puente in response to requests made by the Unión De Músicos De Puerto Rico.
The Smithsonian National Museum presented Tito Puente with the Medal of Honor and their Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony entitled “Oye Como Va” on October 9, 1996. During this ceremony, Tito donated the timbal he used at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta to the museum. His instrument is displayed with their collection of Cultural History.
On September 29, 1997, Puente was awarded the Medal of the Arts by the National Endowment For The Arts of the United States of America. This ceremony took place at the White House where President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton presented this prestigious award to the “King of Latin Music.” Jane Alexander, Chairperson of the National Endowment For The Arts, said: “The individuals we honor today, have enlightened us with their vision. They have uplifted us with their art, music, dance, and theater, and strengthened America with their extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
On November 20, 1997 Tito Puente was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame. Among the elite inducted during the ceremony were: Nat King Cole, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, and Anita O’Day.
To the general public, Tito Puente was well known for his various television and motion picture appearances. He was featured on television programs like: The Bill Cosby Show, The Simpsons, The Late Show with David Letterman, New York Undercover and Sesame Street. He also appeared in the feature film based on the award winning novel by Oscar Hijuelos, “The Mambo Kings” and in Woody Allen’s “Radio Days.”
After reaching his 50 year career milestone, which was rewarded with proclamations from New York Governor George Pataki, Mayor Rudolph Giulianni and Borough President Ruth Messinger, and achieving an endless list of recognitions and awards, Tito Puente showed no signs of creative fatigue.
Puente’s last concert appearance was in Puerto Rico, on April 29, 2000, completing the last of his series of performances with Puerto Rico’s Orquesta Sinfónica. After finishing that show, he was rushed to a nearby hospital due to breathing problems. Puente left the hospital and returned to New York to continue his treatment. He died May 31st, 2000.
* Abaniquito (1949)
* El Timbral (1949)
* The Best of Tito Puente: El Rey del Timbal! (1949)
* Babarabatiri (1951)
* Mamborama! (Tico LP-1001, 1955)
* Goza Mi Cha Cha Cha (1955)
* Dance the Cha Cha Cha (1955)
* Cuban Carnival (1955)
* Cha Cha Cha, Vol. 3 (1955)
* Puente in Percussion (1956)
* Puente Goes Jazz (1956)
* Top Percussion (RCA Victor LSP-1617, 1957)
* Night Beat (1957)
* with Puente (1957)
* Basic Cha Cha Cha (1957)
* Tito Puente Swings/Vicentico Valdes Sings (1958)
* Puente’s Beat/Herman’s Heat (1958)
* New Cha Cha/Mambo Herd (1958)
* Dance Mania, Vol. 1 (RCA, 1958)
* Cha Cha Cha at the El Morocco (Tico, 1958)
* Puente in Love (1959)
* Mucho Cha Cha (RCA Victor LSP-2113, 1959)
* Mambo with Me (Tico LP-1003, 1959)
* Dancing Under Latin Skies (RCA Victor LSP-1874, 1959)
* Tambo (1960)
* Revolving Bandstand (1960)
* The Exciting Tito Puente Band in Hollywood(1961)
* Pachanga con Puente (1961)
* Dance Mania, Vol. 2 (1961)
* Vaya Puente (1962)
* Tito Puente y Parece Bobo (1963)
* Tito Puente Bailables (1963)
* More Dance Mania (1963)
* In Puerto Rico (1963)
* Excitante Ritmos (1963)
* El Rey Bravo (1963)
* Mucho Puente (RCA Victor LSP-1479, 1964)
* Latin World of Tito Puente (1964)
* El Mundo Latino de Tito Puente (1964)
* De Mi Para Ti (1964)
* Tú Y Yo (1965)
* Tito Puente Swings/The Exciting Lupe Sings (1965)
* The Best of Tito Puente (RCA, 1965)
* Homenaje a Rafael Hernandez (1965)
* My Fair Lady Goes Latin (Roulette 25726 , 1965)
* Combinacion Perfecta (1966)
* Carnaval en Harlem (1966)
* Cuba y Puerto Rico Son (1966)
* What Now My Love (1967)
* El Rey y Yo (1967)
* 20th Anniversary (1967)
* The King (El Rey) (1968)
* Etc, Etc, Etc (1969)
* Tito Swings, The Exciting Lupe Sings (Tico, 1969)
* Tito Puente en el Puente (On the Bridge) (1969)
* Ti Mon Bo (1969)
* Quimbo Quimbumbia (1969)
* Mambos by Tito (Palladium PLP 121, 1969)
* Lo Mejor de Tito Puente (1969)
* Bossa Nova (Roulette 25193, 1969)
* Pa’lante! (1970)
* Presenta a Noraida (1971)
* En España (1971)
* Tito Puente and His Concert Orchestra (1972)
* Algo Especial Para Recordar (1972)
* Para Los Rumberos (1972)
* Grandes Exitos de Tito Puente (1975)
* Los Originales (1976)
* La Pareja (1978)
* Homenaje a Beny Moré (1978)
* The Legend (Tico, 1978)
* Homenaje a Beny, Vol. 2 (1979)
* Ce’ Magnifique (1981)
* The Concord Jazz Heritage Series (1982)
* Oye Como Va: The Dance Collection (1982)
* On Broadway (Concord Picante, 1982)
* Puente Now! The Exciting Tito Puente Band (1984)
* El Rey (1984)
* Mambo Diablo (1985)
* Hits Candentes (1985)
* Un Poco Loco (Concord Picante, 1987)
* Sensacion (1987)
* Salsa Meets Jazz (Concord Picante, 1988)
* Goza Mi Timbal (Jazzyvisions, 1989)
* Out of This World (1990)
* The Mambo King: His 100th Album (1991)
* Mambo of the Times (1991)
* The Best of Tito Puente, Vol. 1 (1992)
* No Hay Mejor (1992)
* Lo Mejor de 12 Exitos (1992)
* Live at the Village Gate (1992)
* Dance Mania 80’s (1992)
* Cuando Suenan Los Tambores (1992)
* Royal ‘T’ (1993)
* Nuevo Mambo (1993)
* Night Beat/Mucho Puente Plus (1993)
* More Spanish Songs That Mama Never Taught Me… (1993)
* Master Timbalero (1993)
* Mambo Gozon (1993)
* Blue Gardenia (1993)
* Top Percussion/Dance Mania (1994)
* Tito Puente’s Golden Latin Jazz All Stars (1994)
* Barbarabatiri (1994)
* The Best of Dance Mania (1994)
* Mambo Y Cha Cha Cha (1994)
* Mambo Beat: The Progressive Side of Tito… (1994)
* Cubarama (1994)
* 3 Grandes Orquestas E Interpretes de La… (1994)
* Yambeque: The Progressive Side of Tito Puente (1995)
* Tito’s Idea (1995)
* The Complete RCA Victor Revolving Bandstand… (1995)
* Tea for Two (1995)
* More Mambos on Broadway (1995)
* Mambos with Puente (1949-51) (1995)
* Mambo Mococo (1949-51) (1995)
* Jazzin (1995)
* Fiesta Con Puente (1995)
* Fania Legends of Salsa Collection, Vol. 3 (1995)
* 20 Mambos/Take Five (1995)
* The Very Best of Tito Puente & Vincentico.. (1996)
* Special Delivery (1996)
* El Rey del Timbal (1996)
* El Rey de la Salsa (1996)
* Cha Cha Chá: Live at Grossinger’s (RCA Victor LSP-2187, 1996)
* Jazz Latino, Vol. 4 (1997)
* Greatest Hits (1997)
* Percussion’s King (1997)
* Selection of Mambo & Cha Cha Cha (1997)
* 50 Years of Swing (1997)
* Tito Meets Machito: Mambo Kings (1997)
* Cha Cha Cha Rumba Beguine (1998)
* Dance Mania ’98: Live at Birdland (1998)
* The Very Best of Tito Puente (1998)
* Timbalero Tropical (1998)
* Yambeque (1998)
* Absolute Best (1999)
* Carnival (1999)
* Colección original (1999)
* Golden Latin Jazz All Stars: In Session (1999)
* Latin Flight (1999)
* Latin Kings (1999)
* Lo mejor de lo mejor (1999)
* Mambo Birdland (RMM, 1999)
* Rey (2000)
* His Vibes & Orchestra (2000)
* Cha Cha Cha for Lovers (2000)
* Homenaje a Beny Moré. Vol. 3 (2000)
* Dos ídolos. Su música (2000)
* Tito Puente y su Orquesta Mambo (2000)
* The Complete RCA Recordings. Vol. 1 (2000)
* The Best of the Concord Years (2000)
* Por fin (Finally) (2000)
* Party with Puente! (2000)
* Obra maestra (2000)
* Mambo Mambo (2000)
* Mambo King Meets the Queen of Salsa (2000)
* Latin Abstract (2000)
* Kings of Mambo (2000)
* Cha Cha Cha for Lovers (2000)
* The Legends Collection: Tito Puente & Celia Cruz (2001)
* The Complete RCA Recordings, Vol. 2 (2001)
* RCA Recordings (2001)
* Puente caliente (2001)
* The Best of the Concord Years, double CD (Concord Picante 4391, 2001)
* King of Mambo (2001)
* El Rey: Pa’lante! Straight! (2001)
* Cocktail Hour (2001)
* Selection. King of Mambo (2001)
* Herman Meets Puente (2001)
* Undisputed (2001)
* Fiesta (2002)
* Colección Diamante (2002)
* Tito Puente y Celia Cruz (2002)
* Live at the Playboy Jazz Festival (2002)
* King of Kings: The Very Best of Tito Puente (2002)
* Hot Timbales! (2002)
* Dr. Feelgood (2002)
* Carnaval de éxitos (2002)
* Caravan Mambo (2002)
* Tito’s Idea (Verve, 2005)
* We Love Salsa (2006)
* Tito Puente: When the Drums Are Dreaming
* Tito Puente’s Drumming With the Mambo King
* Tito Puente – King of Latin Music
* Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music
* Recordando a Tito Puente
La Excelencia was founded by Julian Silva and Jose Vazquez-Cofresi who in 2005 formed the orchestra in New York City. The orchestra was created with the intention to bring a new outlook to salsa music by being hip, young, writing about social issues, and breaking the mold yet not losing the true roots of salsa.
The hard life of the barrio is reflected in La Excelencia’s music through their hardcore salsa sounds known as “salsa dura”. The music of La Excelencia has been referred to as fresh, original, danceable, contagious, and bringing social awareness to all.
In 2006 La Excelencia released their primary project ‘Salsa Con Conciencia’ to critical acclaim.
The album ¿Donde Están? (En Grande Music) by Jose Lugo & Guasábara Combo is the winner of the Best Tropical Latin Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.
The other finalists were:
Conexión – Fonseca (Sony Music Entertainment US Latin)
La Fantasia Homenaje A Juan Formell – Formell Y Los Van Van (EGREM)
35 Aniversario – Grupo Niche (Niche Business Enterprises)
La Sonora Santanera En Su 60 Aniversario – La Sonora Santanera (Sony Music Entertainment México)
Born in January 28, 1974, in Las Tunas, eastern province of Cuba, daughter of a singer father and a stylist mother, Haila Maria Mompie Gonzalez felt passionate about music since her early years and although she started dancing first, she always felt a deep passion for singing.
After many years studying dancing, as legend says, in 1991, a young dancer raised her voice with an amazing tuning and a very special melody in such a way that Yaquelin Castellanos, famous Cuban singer, was astonished and proposed that this girl, named Haila, be part of her group. In this way, Haila a singer of Tradition Septet, cultivating Cuban traditional music.
A year later, she debuted as solo artist at ”Las Avenidas” Cabaret and later on, she became a member of Habana Son, a group directed by saxophonist ”El Chino Lam”. Also that year, she was requested to participate at the ”Guajira Habanera” show, touring Mexico for the first time.
On September 1994, she joined the renowned band Bamboleo. There, she rose to the top thanks to her excellent vocal qualities and high improvisation level, becoming one of the greatest soneras of her generation.
As vocalist of Bamboleo she recorded two CDs, Te Gusto O Te Caigo Bien and Yo No Me Parezco a Nadie, performed internationally and achieving great popularity in Cuba.
After that experience, she decided in 1998 to join the project of musician and composer Leonel Limonta, known as Azucar Negra. With this successful group, Haila topped the Cuban radio charts. The song “Andar Andando,”from the album Andar Andando, became an hymn not only for dance lovers but also for many others.
On 2001, after returning from a tour around Europe, Haila decided to start a new stage of her artistic career, as a solo artist. She recorded a solo album conducted and musically produced by the famous Cuban musician Issac Delgado.
Haila appeared as a singer on various albums by outstanding Cuban musicians and in the famous record La Rumba Soy Yo, winner of Latin Grammy Awards in 2001, she demonstrated her huge versatility.
2002 was a great year for Haila. Besides touring the United States with Issac Delgado and his orchestra, she was selected as guest figure of Tropicana Cabaret. She also toured various European countries as part of ‘Festival Son Cuba and as member of Cuban Grammys Project together with Eliades Ochoa, Juan Formell, Vocal Sampling, Chucho Valdes, Los Papines and Ernan Lopez-Nussa.
Copa Room Cabaret witnessed in April 25, 2003 at Riviera Hotel various remarkable events in Haila’s artistic life. That night, the ”Diva del Son” featured her orchestra with high-quality musicians in a concert attended by special guests from Culture Ministry, Artex, Musicalia, Bis Music, E-Commerce Agency, journalists, T.V and radio directors, critics and the general public.
In this concert, full of surprises, Haila unveiled her contract as exclusive artist with the Musicalia booking agency, her Haila Live CD on Bis Music, with a concert she made the previous year at National Theater of Cuba, having the notable appearance of Chucho Valdes, Issac Delgado, Mayito Rivera, David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera. The CD was under the musical production and direction of Juan Manuel Ceruto.
In June of the same year, Haila made an important tour around European countries and in July and August, she performed along with David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera in various Japanese cities.
La Diva del Son, as she is well-known in Cuba, gave priority to the national and international promotion of her new recording in 2005. Haila joined Charanga Habanera at some live performances.
Haila was also part of the Cuba le Canta a Serrat CD, recorded in Havana at the Abdala, Ojala, PM Record and Frank Fernandez studios to honor the peerless Spanish singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat. This set, previously conceived for 12 tracks ended up a double album.
Haila’s Diferente CD, under the production of the notable David Calzado showed a new stage in Haila’s professional career, popular not only among young fans, but also with people of all ages.
Haila Maria Mompie is considered one of the great Cuban contemporary soneras.
Edited from an original article by Marianela Dufflar.