"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.

Bamboleo (1995-2000)

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
Havana, AF 1995 2 0 0
This artist has albums available.
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Album Name Preview Style Price
Ya No Hace Falta
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Timba $12.99 Buy_now
Yo No Me Parezco A Nadie
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Timba $10.99 Buy_now
Powerhouse Cuban Timba from one of the defining bands of this musical genre. From its inception bandleader and keyboardist Lázaro Valdés blended modern jazz with Cuban tropical music.

Led by composer, arranger & pianist Lázaro Valdés, Bamboleo was one of the key and iconic Cuban timba bands of the late 1990's. A powerhouse combination of good writing and arranging, virtuoso performance, sophisticated vocals, and sex appeal, Bamboleo was a band definitely ahead of its time. Those who did hear them live will never forget it. With strikingly beautiful shaved heads, Vannia Borges with her sultry smooth singing style, and Haila Mompie, who is often compared to a youthful Celia Cruz, became two female stars in the male dominated world of salsa.

Yo No Me Parezco a Nadie (1998), their second release, was the most anticipated record to come out of Cuba in its time. The type of music delivered by this innovative 14 piece band was part of a revolutionary new sound emanating from Cuba that mixes jazz, salsa and Cuban "timba". The album also features the collaboration of Leonel Limonta -considered one of the more prolific composers of the island- so every song on possesses a contagious hook while featuring guest performances by NG La Banda's arranger, Jose Miguel El Greco, on trombone, and Mario Hernandez (from Irakere) on lead trumpet. The result tears up the audience, be it in Europe, the Caribbean or the Lincoln Center in New York, where they played to a standing ovation.

Ya No Hace Falta (1999), their third release, is a culmination of Bamboleo's aggressive while classy style. In the english dominated media, most notably musician magazines, it is sinful to note how incredibly under the radar this album continues to be. For example, any piano and bass player on the planet, no matter what kind of music they play, will be amazed at both the compositional and performance level of the music on this record. The music is just so damn kick-ass that the immediate questions are 'why haven't I heard of them before' and 'why aren't they more famous'? If you LOVE the low frequencies and want to put your sound system to the test this is THE RECORD for you. Note: Be sure to listen for their trademark break, 1-2 then 4-1 into the next measure.

Bamboleo @ The Copa Room

Bamboleo Live in 1998