Havana Maestros are key players in the growth of Cuban music in the United States. The legendary artists, including members of the original Buena Vista Social Club, have come together for their first official album, Americuba. Slated to hit retailers on May 26, they have already released Cuban versions of Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” from the LP.
“This is a very interesting project because it has the original singers of the songs and Cuban instrumentation with very traditional instruments like mine, the laud,” Barbarito Torres tells VIBE. “Our music is varied and always somehow related to American music, so it was very interesting to undertake this project and capture it on a record.”
Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning duo the Berman Brothers, the album was created with the cross cultivation of musical cultures in mind. We also hear H.M. collaborating with the likes of Missy Elliott, Otis Redding, Jason Derulo, Chic, B.o.B & Hayley Williams and more on Americuba.
“The idea really came from the Cuban musicians and arrangers, because they are such big fans of the American catalog,” Frank Berman added. “There are so many ways we can collaborate socially, politically, and creatively. We want people to be inspired to see more and know more of Cuba.”
The album was recorded in Havana’s Abdala Studios with authenticity driving their creative minds. Even the songs with late musical legends were recorded as if the artist was right there with the group
After letting their rework of Missy’s classic , “Get Your Freak On,” rack up numbers on the World Wide Web, Havana Maetros debut their pop mashup, “Whatcha Say,” with Jason Derulo on VIBE today (May 24).