"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.

Vission Latina

Home Base Established Albums Charts PTracks
San Francisco (CA), United States 2003 2 0 0
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Album Name Preview Style Price
Sonando Como Un Cañon
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Afro-Cuban $9.99 Buy_now
Kitikimba Pa Ti
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Salsa $10.99 Buy_now
San Francisco's best Latin rhythm section debuts its original compositions with an all start cast of Bay Area vocalists.

CARLOS CARO (percussion) was born in Guanajay, in the Havana province of Cuba. Musical talent runs in his family from his mother playing maraca to his maternal grandfather playing guita (bagpipes from Spain) to his paternal grandfather "Caruchín" who is a great singer/songwriter and poet in his own right. Carlos received his training at world renowned Escuela Nacionle des instructores de arte (ENIA) in Havana. Carlos has been playing for almost 20 years with such Cuban groups as Clave and Paulito FG y Su Elite. Carlos’ favorite bands include Ruben Blades, Sonora Poncena, Septeto Nacional, Orquesta America, Orquesta de Enrique Jorrin and Los Van Van. Carlos plays bongo and he was recently honored with the title of "Best bongo Timba Player of All Time" by the popular website www.timba.com. He also plays timbales, guiro, congas and hand percussion instruments. Kitikiba Pa Ti marks his first effort as a composer. Came to Bay Area 8 years ago.

SAUL SIERRA (Bass). Saul, born in Mexico City, started playing rock music while still in in high school. At an early age he was exposed to Latin music from his father's extensive collection of Mexican folkloric music and Cuban music. After high school Saul came to US and studied at the prestigious Berkelee School of Music in Boston. Saul’s favorite American bands include Sting and the Police, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Carlos says “I like all kinds of music that groove and I think those bands groove really well. But there is no kind of groove like the Cuban groove. In Cuban music I listen to a lot of Cachao, Cachaito, Los Van Van and folkloric Mexican styles like banda music, mariachi music and son veracruzano."

MARCO DIAZ (trumpet, piano). Marco is a San Francisco native who remembers hearing his uncle play classic piano in concert halls in Guatemala. He took his first lessons in trumpet and piano at age 14. “I like the character of the trumpet. It can have an ‘in your face’ personality or it can be ‘not in your face’ You can make it sound really beautiful. I thought that this is a good description of me and the trumpet lets me really express myself.” Marcos was trained at the Community Music Center, private school on Capp St. in San Francisco where he studied classical,jazz and pop music.