Artist Profiles: Son 14

Founded in 1978 by Tiburon (The Shark), one of Cuba’s leading soneros, Adalberto Alvarez and Lázaro Rosabal, Son 14 was one of the most important acts in Latin America for cultivating son. Son 14 means there are 14 in the band and this is a pun on the genre known as ‘son’. The band recorded over 12 albums and have toured France, Great Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Monte Carlo and the USA. They headlined with Oscar_D’León, Grupo Niche, Fania All Stars and have reached number one in the charts in 11 Latin American countries (Colombia: 26 weeks at number 1). They have also won several music awards in their 21 years of existence.

Cubanía, Son 14’s second album for Tumi Music was a well timed album. When the appetite for Cuban music was just beginning, Cubanía delivered the perfect combination of uptempo big band son mixed with salsa elements, a strong horn section and some of Cuba’s best vocalists including Tiburon, whose distinctive hoarse voice, ingenious grace and clever improvisations all distil the true essence of son. Tiburon’s credentials can be obtained by the likes of Félix Valera Miranda who mentions Tiburon every time he talks about son and also Juan de Marcos as he is forever asking him to join his band!

La Máquina Musical, Son 14’s third album for Tumi was received to great acclaim during 1999 and the release was followed by a highly successful and well publicized British tour of 28 dates. Son 14 was a stunning big band with charisma and power.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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