"Vivencias en Clave Cubana" is the debut solo album of Cuban cuatro master Kiki Valera, a member of the Familia Valera Miranda, a century-old group and one of the most important purveyors of the Son Cubana. While completely dedicated to the performance of traditional Cuban music, Valera was exposed to Pat Metheny, Wes Montgomery and Chick Corea through cassette tapes while in school and those jazz inspirations elevate the quality of his cuatro solos in subtle and beautiful ways. Joined here by childhood friend, reknowned Cuban vocalist Coco Freeman, Valera and his exciting ensemble pair 12 original songs with beautiful instrumental work in ways that will make you dance, laugh, and possibly shed a tear. Cuba's traditional music has a history of constant evolution from its very beginnings. With "Vivencias en Clave Cubana," Kiki Valera continues in that spirit.
Beyond Salsa Piano is a history and anthology of the role of the piano in the Cuban rhythm section – from its first appearance to the present. In a broader sense, it’s a study of the tumbao – the art of creating music from layers of repeating rhythmic and melodic phrases. Whether these syncopated figures are called tumbaos, guajeos, montunos, riffs or vamps, this Afro-Cuban concept lies at the heart of nearly every popular music genre from salsa to rock , funk, R&B, hiphop and jazz.

While presented as a set of method books, the series doubles as a history course and record collecting guide for listeners, dancers, and players of instruments other than the piano.

Perhaps the most important goal of the series is to provide a comprehensive understanding of how tumbaos are constructed, their central role in the texture of Latin music of all eras, and the endless possibilities they provide for creative composing and arranging.
Contact us to license Latin music for tv & film.

Virgen de la Caridad

Artist:   Anthony Blea

Style Released Album Tracks Charts
Salsa 2004 8 0


© 2004 Hopping Mad Productions. All rights reserved.
Audio album download includes album tracks, liner notes and cover art.
All audio tracks in MP3-VBR format. About LPM album downloads.
# Name Play Time Info
01  Virgen De La Caridad
Alternative text
5:28 salsa, pregones by O.Torriente, trombone solo,
02  Que Vida
Alternative text
4:55 listen to the classical influences in Anthony's solo
03  Pa Eso
Alternative text
5:33 salsa, pregones by E.Herrera, flute solo
04  Las Cosas De Mi China
Alternative text
3:25 danzón, cha-cha-cha, piano solo
05  La Cintura De Maria
Alternative text
4:26 rico son, smoking bone solo by Jimmy Bosch
06  Disfruta La Vida
Alternative text
4:10 cha-cha and swinging coro/pregón
07  Tumba Randy
Alternative text
7:39 guaguanco intro, guest: Alfredo de la Fé (violin)
08  Cero Guaperia
Alternative text
7:15 red-hot descarga, guest: Karl Perrazo (timbales)
Master violinist and bandleader Anthony Blea shines in this debut. Jimmy Bosch & Alfredo de la Fé are featured guests.

Musicians who performed on Anthony Blea's 'Virgen de la Caridad':

Anthony Blea (violin) Alfredo de la Fé (violin)
John Calloway (flute) Juan Ceballos (flute)
Julius Melendez (trumpet) Bill Ortiz (trumpet)
Raul Navarrette (trombone) Jimmy Bosch (trombone)
Abel Figueroa (trombone) John Santos (guiro)
Saul Sierra (bass) Steve Sfendt (bass)
Marco Diaz (piano) Bob Karty (piano)
Javier Navarrette (congas) Karl Perrazo (timbales)
Julio Areas (timbales) Carlos Caro (timbales)
Orlando Torriente (vocals) Eduardo Herrera (vocals)

Anthony rapidly developed his own voice and is unquestionably one of the finest soloists in the field today. In San Francisco’s Mission district barrio, he is a local hero who has represented us grandly in Europe and the Americas with his unique sabor.

From 1980 to 1984 most of the above mentioned folks were part of another group I directed, called Orquesta Batachanga. Bay Area stalwarts Susan King, Chris Cooper, Juan Ceballos, Rebeca Mauleón, David Belove, Michael Spiro and Ismael Rodríguez were also part of that band. Anthony stood out as a virtuoso whose ‘guajeos’ (ostinato rhythms) lit fires under the dancers’ feet. His departure for New York in 1984 had much to do with the disbanding of Batachanga. Although we were sad to see him go we were and will always be proud of the wonderful work he did in countless clubs and on great recordings with some of the Big Apple’s finest, namely Cachao, Charanga Sensual, Charlie Rodriguez, Charanga America, Son Primero, Típica Novel and the Fania All-Stars.

Anthony returned so SF in the late 80’s with a Bachelors’ Degree form the Manhattan Scholl of Music and went on to earn a Master’s Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has become a dedicated teacher of music in public schools in the Bay Area, sharing his vast experience with inner city youth. In addition, he has recorded with Boz Scaggs, Wild Mango, Lichi Fuentes and also been featured in several tasty guest spots live and on records with my group, the machete Ensemble.

I’m also quite impressed with Anthony’s skills as a producer in the studio, honed from extensive recording experience on both the East and West coasts. He has directed this ‘orquesta’ in SF since 1995. They never fail to delight the dancers who seek them out for their famous charanga-style swing. Charanson’s (the original name of the band) members are also among the Bay Area’s best players. The solos by Anthony and his special guests –Jimmy Bosch (El Trombón Criollo) and Alfredo de la Fé (El Violín de Sazón) show why these musicians are so highly respected in the field. The excellent original compositions are deeply rooted in the contemporary charanga style while the creative arrangements will raise the eyebrows of the most discerning interviews. The result is 100% danceable, a lot of fun, and delivered by a young seasoned veteran with his formidable crew, from whom you’ll be hearting much more. If you are one of those who appreciate and seek out ferocious groove, you’ve come to the right place.

John Santos
Oakland, CA. Feb 2004