Los Hacheros, modern-day torchbearers of the Golden Age of Latin music, recorded their second album Bambulaye (February 26 / Chulo / Daptone Records) live to an old tape machine, following dates throughout New York City at Lincoln Center, P.S. 1 MOMA, quincaneras and strip clubs in the Bronx. (Their debut Pilon was released on Daptone in 2012).
“Bambulaye is gritty and demanding and you better be willing to dance,” says producer / guitarist Jacob Plasse, also founder of the Daptone-distributed Latin revival label, Chulo Records. “I wanted this record to feel and sound the way it does when we play our final sets at 3am, exhausted in East Harlem dives. Suddenly the band comes to life and all the old dancers are at it like it was 1970 again. In those moments, we feel like we could play all night.”
Los Hacheros revives folkloric styles like son montuno, guaracha and salsa, and often combine them with Bomba, a fiery rhythm from the mountains of Puerto Rico. “Los Hacheros has the magic of group improvisation,” adds bassist William Ash. “We play in a style that is swing oriented and emphasizes the Cuban clave like great ones of old: Arsenio, Reve, Ritmo…”
A band of only 6 musicians, Los Hacheros can sound like a conjunto of 12. Eddie Venegas (Marc Anthony, Orquestra Broadway), who plays violin and sings chorus, improvises mambos on the trombone, Itai Kriss (Edmar Castaneda, Grupo Latin Vibe) sings, plays flute, campana, and guiro, while Papote Jimenez is in charge of lead vocals, soulful soneos (improvised verses) and Carlos Padron is in charge of congas. William Ash (Alfredo de la Fe, Brenda K Starr) holds down the tumbaos on baby bass while Jacob Plasse plays the tres, a guitar-like instrument originating from the Oriente Province in Cuba.
“There are a million tiny cues on Bambulaye that let you know it is a live band,” describes Plasse. “It feels like it could both fall apart and explode at any moment.”
Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros
"A joyful, gyratory salsa celebration" - Time Out New York
"The individual playing on the album is superb and the rhythm section displays a level of comfort with all the styles contained within the album with fluidic ease. From the Timba perspective, “Somos latinos” is a treasure trove of state of the art bass, piano and percussion work laid down by some the very best instrumentalists in the genre." -Ian Stewart, Timba.com
"Somos Latinos is a very refreshing sound," Vicki Sola, "Que Viva La Musica" Radio Host, 89.1FM.
"Somos Latinos has great arrangements, vocals, musicianship, quality and versatility, or what [Gerardo Contino y] Los Habaneros call 'Sentimiento con Sabrosura.'" - George Velez, Jr. (Grupo Arcano).
"Gerardo’s music is refreshingly authentic and original...The music in this CD [Somos Latinos] is superb, anchored in the strong rhythm (piano, bass) and percussion (conga, bongo, timbal) sections. This CD showcases Gerardo Contino’s talent as a singer and as a producer..." -- Hector Aviles, Latino Music Cafe.
Gritty, witty and streetwise, the Havana-born Gerardo Contino, "El Abogado de la Salsa," is a Cuban singer and songwriter. This former lead singer of the Cuban mega-group NG La Banda is a party onstage: he loves to improvise, to pull the audience into call & response, and to provoke fans into hip-shaking abandon.
Since moving to New York City, Gerardo started his own band, "Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros," with Axel Tosca Laugart, Luisito Quintero, and John Benitez. They released their debut album, Somos Latinos, in 2013 to very high critical acclaim. He has toured all over the world and in his new hometown, NYC, he has performed in Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sounds of Brazil (SOBs), BB King Blues Club, Le Poisson Rouge, the Bronx Museum, Live at the Gantries, Roulette, Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Taj, and many others.
With his own project, as well as with NG La Banda, and his other bands, Son Yoruba, and Charanga Forever, Gerardo has toured in Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, and Canada. He has played in international festivals of salsa and jazz such as: Toulouse Festival, France; Latin American Festival of Milan, Italy; Festival Fiesta, Rome, Italy; Festival of Múnich, Switzerland, Copenhagen Festival, Denmark; Salsa Festival of Verona, Italy; and, Afro-American Roots of Maracay, Venezuela.
Gerardo has also shared the stage with such artists as Oscar de Leon, Roberto Roena, El Gran Combo, La India, Los Van Van, Xiomara Laugart, Carlos Varela, Alexander Abreu, Frank Fernandez, Osdalgia, Giovanni Hidalgo, Kelvis Ochoa, David Torrens, and Jose Armando Gola.
Gerardo is a recipient of the 2014 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant for Manhattan Community Arts Fund. Gerardo is endorsed by Gorilla Ears, is an active member of Musicians on Call, and was an invited speaker and performer for TEDMED 2014 in the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, DC.
Gerardo received his education in Law at the University of Havana and his Master's in Law (LLM) at Cardozo School of Law in the prestigious Intellectual Property Program.
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