Habana Ensemble, Cuba’s Supergroup

César López y Habana Ensemble - Todo incluido
César López y Habana Ensemble – Todo incluido
César López y Habana Ensemble

Todo incluido (Latin World Productions/Universal Music Latino 851 720 001-2, 2005)

Even though numerous Cuban recordings have made it to North America, very little timba is available. Timba is the current form of popular dance music in Cuba. Some may confuse it with salsa, but timba is more creative, featuring jazz and rock. Thankfully, one of the hottest timba groups from Cuba is now available in the US.

Habana Ensemble is a group created in 1977 by former musicians of some of Cuba’s top bands: Irakere, Afrocuba, Rumbavana, Bamboleo and Son 14. The group uses dual lead vocalists, José Gómez Martínez and César López Martínez.

Musically, Habana Ensemble combines radio friendly ballads and mambos with scorching timba and chá-chá-chá, featuring a top of the line rhythm section (drums, bass and two percussionists) and outstanding solos on the electric guitar, saxophone and piano.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.