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.
Carlos Padron is a Venezuelan percussionist, based in New York City. Since a young age this “Caraqueno” has demonstrated his skills inherited from his musical family in his native Venezuela. “Carlitos” has studied from the classrooms in the Conservatory of Music “Jose Angel Lamas” in Caracas, Venezuela to the School of Music Boys Harbor in New York City.
As the founder of “Los Rumberos del Callejon” from Venezuela the group released 2 productions, one "De la Nada" and the most recently “Se acabo el Silencio”, both to the delight of dancers worldwide. Carlito has had the opportunity to share the stage with great personalities such as: Gilberto Santa Rosa, Jerry Rivera, Tito Rojas, La India, Willie Colon, Oscar D'Leon and many more. Also credited as a featured percussionist for the Off Broadway show “Celia Cruz, The Musical”. Wynton Marsalis and Ruben Blades at Jazz @ Lincoln Center, and Ruben Blades meets Gustavo Dudamel and The Los Angeles Philharmonic at The Hollywood Bowl. Recording sessions include Steven Van Zandt and many more. Known for his ability to bridge the folkloric sounds from his native Venezuela to the grimy hardcore NYC sounds, "Carlitos" calls his swing "Salsa, Rhumba & Sabor."
The Quintero Project Tributo a la Dimensión Latina
Luisito Quintero was born in Caracas, Venezuela, where he was surrounded by Afro-Venezuelan and Afro-Cuban rhythm and music. His father, a respected percussionist in his native country, tutored and encouraged Luisito on timbales through his adolescent years. Luisito comes from a long line of outstanding musicians which includes his uncle, Carlos Nene Quintero and cousin Robert Quintero. Luisito studied at the respected Orquesta Simfonica de Venezuela (The Symphonic Orchestra of Venezuela), and his percussion technique soon garnered attention from his colleagues. He joined the popular music ensembles Grupo Guaco and Oscar D'Leon, where he enjoyed widespread worldwide exposure. Aside from his skillful timbale work, Luisito also plays congas, bongos, drum set, djembe, dundun and a wide variety of assorted percussion instruments. His technique on all of these instruments is masterful and unparalleled. Luisito has worked and recorded with, The Rolling Stones, Vanessa Williams, Paul Simon, Santana, Jack De Johnette, David Sanborn, George Benson, Tommy LePuma, Joe Sampler, Bill Cosby, the late Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Richard Bona, Ravi Coltrane, Claudia Acuna, Nathalie Cole, Diana Krall, Roy Agrove, Giovanni Hidalgo, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Spanish Harlem, Willie Colon and countless other high-profile music acts. Luisito is comfortable working in any genre of music from Symphonic to Jazz and from Latin to House. One of his recent projects finds him as musical director for Louie Vega and the Elements of Life Band as well as extensive work with Jack DeJohnettes Latin Project. He has also had the privilege to go on tour and record with the Tony Award & Grammy winner jazz artist, Dee Dee Bridgewater. Quintero has earned more than thirteen Grammy certificate awards for his participations in numerous recordings for re-known artists like: Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Diane Krall, Spanish Harlem, George Benson among others. Luisito' first solo project under Vega Records/BBE, "Percussion Maddness" and "Percussion Maddness Revisited" took him on a sold out European Tours spanning the entire continent with performances in NORWAY, SCOTLAND, GREECE, MOROCCO, SPAIN, BULGARIA, UNITED KINGDOM, THE NETHERLANDS, IRELAND AND GERMANY. The album "Percussion Maddness Revisited" feature great appearances with Anane, Chulius of Los Amigos Invisibles, Blaze, Milton Cardona, Jose Mangual, Jr & Claudia Acuna. Quintero is now preparing his new recording project which promises to be a very pleasant and exciting surprise to the music industry and worldwide fans alike. As one of the most sought after percussionist in the country at this time, Luisito Quintero will continue to build his legend as a skilled clinician who shares his limitless knowledge of music to younger percussionists around the world. Today, he is an established and respected musician, teacher, band director, and master percussionist, and continues to push the boundaries of his craft.
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