SE LLAMA SABROSO (They Call it Tasty) by Zona Franka (a zona franca is a duty-free port) is an exciting introduction of a style called "Changüí con flow", a fusion of traditional rural changüí with rap and other urban Cuban music. As the name of the group implies, various musical styles from around the Americas are also featured. The songs are Cuban classics re-imagined in fresh, clever and innovative new arrangements that far differ from the original versions.
This 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 key purveyors of the Son Cubano. While completely dedicated to the performance of traditional Cuban music, Valera was exposed to jazz masters through cassette tapes while in school and those inspirations elevate the quality of his cuatro solos in subtle and wonderful ways. Joined here by childhood friend, renowned 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.
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.

View Past Articles

2015 FYC for Best Tropical Album - No Quiero Llanto: Tributo A Los Compadres

December 26, 2015

By Michael P. Lazarus, Founder LPM

Hello, cordial greetings from Santiago de Cuba. We, SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO, are very pleased to share with you our recording “Tributo a Los Compadres – No quiero llanto” (Septeto Santiaguero & JOSE ALBERTO EL CANARIO), nominated for 58th Grammy as Best Latin Tropical Album.

Message from Alden González Díaz (producer & manager of El Septeto Santiaguero):
Recorded in Cuba, this double record is a collaboration between singer José Alberto El Canario (originally from the Dominican Republic) and the Santiaguero Septet from the east of Cuba. With the help of my friends, special guests and engineers friends from Puerto Rico, the album has reached artistic heights I could not anticipate, and represents a significant alliance between the three Caribbean islands. I hope you will agree it offers the BEST that Tropical Music has to offer for this year.

This is a very dearly made recording and an absolutely indie production. Fortunately we count on the support of many great artists… a veritable All Star cast of the LATIN TROPICAL music like Oscar D’ León, Eliades Ochoa (from Buena Vista Social Club), Andy Montañez, Aymee Nuviola, Ismael Miranda, Tiburón Morales, Edwin Bonilla, la Conga de Los Hoyos, el Grupo Esencia, Estrellas de la Charanga, la Sinfónica de Oriente, el Orfeón Santiago and many others, paying homage to the great and legendary Cuban duo Los Compadres.

With your continued support, I can better realize my group's life-long dream, to tour in the United States for the very first time. The nomination has truly been a blessing, and with your help, we can go all the way and personally deliver this wonderful music to an area near you.

Thank you for your support and God Bless. 

Here's the full track listing for Disc 1 (click to listen on AllMusic):

Here's the full track list for Disc 2 (click to listen on AllMusic):

Here are some listening samples on SoundCloud...

Here's the video for the first track of the double-CD set....

Heres' the "Making Of" the album (most of it is in Spanish but it does include subtitles)....

Another track from the record... "El Lunar" (the birthmark)

Here's all the artwork as a free download: full double-CD booklet (click here to download pdf)