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Afro Cuban All Stars

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The Afro-Cuban All Stars
The Afro-Cuban All Stars is a Cuban band led by Juan de Marcos González (formerly tres player for Sierra Maestra). Their music is a mix of all the styles of Cuban music, including bolero, chachachá, salsa, son montuno, timba, guajira, danzón, rumba and abakua. They are known internationally for their 1997 album A Toda Cuba Le Gusta, which was recorded at the Buena Vista Social Club sessions. Members have included Rubén González, Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Raul Planas, Pío Leyva, Manuel “Puntillita” Licea, Yanko Pisaco and more recently Caridad Hierrezuelo and Pedro Calvo.

The Afro-Cuban All Stars is a unique orchestra that has always been devoted to promoting the full range of Cuban music, one that embraces several generations and all musical styles. Over the years many of the band’s musicians have become international stars, including brilliant performers such as Rubén González, Ibrahim Ferrer, Guillermo Rubalcava, and Manuel “The Guajiro” Mirabal.

The genesis of the Afro-Cuban All Stars has its roots early in the 1990s. At this time the son ensemble Sierra Maestra, headed by Juan de Marcos, received a lot of international exposure. As a consequence, de Marcos was introduced to Nick Gold, president of World Music Records (at that time a small independent world music label). That encounter led to a couple of very successful tours in Europe. Later the group went to London and recorded Dundumbanza, considered one of the jewels of the world music scene of the early ‘90s. (In retrospect, this recording opened the doors to the further incredible boom of the traditional Cuban music of the period.)

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