"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.

Raul Lara

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
Gotemburg, Sweden 1983 1 0 0
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Cubano Soy
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Son $7.99 Buy_now
Cuban singer, percussionist, composer and leader of the Swedish musical group "Raúl Lara y sus Soneros". Raúl's musical experience in his island homeland included an extended period of study with master percussionist José Luis Quintana "Changuito".

About Raúl Lara: Raúl was born on Valentines Day, February 1965, in the quarters of San Martín, El Cerro, just behind the Plaza de la Revolution in Havana, Cuba. In a family of dancers and musicians, music came natural to Raúl. For as long as he can remember, he has loved, listened to and played Cuban music.

In the 80's Raúl was playing with different groups at Casa de Cultura in Cuba. He was tutored by José Luis Quintana, also known as Changuito, one of the world's top percussionists. At the same time Raúl started off his professional career with different groups playing mainly the large hotels in Havana, for example the Hotel Itabo and Hotel Mar Azul.

Raúl Lara y sus Soneros - primer álbum como solista de Raúl Lara In 1990 Raúl packed his bags and moved to Sweden. Since then he has continued playing with different groups like Timba Odara, Rey Changó, Son Entero and Laroye. Always cherishing the collaboration with his brother Rolando Lara, Raúl has toured the northern parts of Europe, where his expertise with latin rhythms has not limited him to explore jazz, different kinds of African music, Caribbean, Pop, and European Folk Music. But his soul is, and always will be, steadily rooted in the Afro-Cuban tradition.

Since the early years in Sweden Raúl has evolved as a composer, with his own unique sound and influences from the different iconic sounds of Cuba: Rumba, Bolero, Danzón and Son. Raúl also has his own way with the lyrics of his songs. They tend to contain references to everyday life on Cuba, as well as the African Cuban religion, Santeria, which plays an important part of his life. He has also been recognized as a composer on different occasions. Raúl has formed a number of salsa and son groups of his own, but never has he been so close to his preferred sound as with his new group, Raúl Lara y sus Soneros.

About Raúl Lara y sus Soneros: The awarded composer, singer and percussionist, Raúl Lara, has formed a dream team of ten Cuban and Swedish Son musicians - one of Europe's absolute top Cuban groups.

Raúl Lara y sus Soneros - primer álbum como solista de Raúl Lara

The group relies on the traditional son configuration - a couple of vocalists, two trumpets, piano, bass, tres, timbales, congas, and bongos combined with other typical Cuban percussion such as claves, maracas and güiro. All music and lyrics are written by Raúl himself. The musicians Raúl has gathered are all well-known and have touring experience with some of the biggest stars of Cuban music, such as Buena Vista Social Club, Omara Portundo, Afro-Cuban All Stars, Azucar Negra, Adalberto Álvarez and Soneros All Stars.

The result is pure Cuban joy. Raúl Lara y sus Soneros has been touring Scandinavia since 2009. Be sure to check out Raúl's first release as a solo artist: Raúl Lara y sus Soneros CUBANO SOY.