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 News Jazz 22/03/2018

NPR First Listen: Daptone Records' Cuban Mambo Big Band 'Orquesta Akokán' Streaming Now Ahead Of March 30 Release

NPR First Listen: Daptone Records' Cuban Mambo Big Band 'Orquesta Akokán' Streaming Now Ahead Of March 30 Release

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Daptone Records' 'Orquesta Akokán' is out March 30 and is now featured on NPR Music's First Listen. Orquesta Akokán is a brand new and feisty ensemble of Cuba's finest musicians - both young and old - breathing fresh life and magical, beckoning new grooves into the golden age of Cuban mambo. The album features all original music and was recorded in Havana at the legendary state-run Estudios Areito over a 3-day session. It has already been met with raves from NY Times, Billboard, NPR, KCRW, WNYC and more. The band will perform in the U.S. in Summer 2018 and Daptone is hosting an album release party at Brooklyn's Union Pool on March 30 (details below).

"It is a loving tribute to the sax and brass-driven orchestras of the past that operated like one giant rhythm machine...'Orquesta Akokán' is a joy. Listeners who are not aware of the history behind the music will enjoy it simply because it is a damn good record." - NPR Music

Tomorrow, the third single from the album will also be released. "La Corbata Barata" is a perfect showcase for all that Orquesta Akokán has to offer: José "Pepito" Gómez's captivating lead vocals, relentless percussion, exploratory horn orchestrations and a dynamic band that is both effortlessly loose and locked in.

The band's previous single and video were featured as a New York Times Playlist pick last month. "Un Tabaco para Elegua" is a mystical and sensuous video that follows Pepito as he makes an offering of tobacco to the Santería god Elegua in a sacred forest and other historic Havana sites. Watch it now.

'Orquesta Akokán' was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth, and written by Pepito, Plasse and Eckroth together in New York City.

On March 30, Daptone Records will host a Latin-themed, all-vinyl dance party at Brooklyn's Union Pool to celebrate the album release. Free entry/ 8pm start.

Pre-order 'Orquesta Akokán' on all platforms.
"The vocalist Pepito Gómez has a siren sound that reaches right back into the 1940s...'Un Tabaco para Elegua' [is] a slow, snaky tune paying tribute to the wily Santería god of roads and pathways. " - New York Times (playlist pick)

"The groove is as intense as a runaway train…I can't wait for the rest of this album!" - NPR Music

"'Mambo Rapidito' explodes with passion!" - KCRW (Today's Top Tune)
"A slow, sexy groove." - WNYC New Sounds
"It's the strength of the artists, with their confident timba and Latin jazz stylings, that makes this high-energy album stand out among recent recording excursions in Cuba." - Billboard

"There's something about the force of the staccato horn section, the hot glow of the tones, and the pulsing beats all blended together…the layered and colorful orchestrations of Duke Ellington come to mind." - Relix

"The all-star Orquesta race through a series of infectious melodies and sun-baked-stucco grooves…Uplifting and upbeat; it's the sharp-suit Saturday night to Buena Vista Social Club's Sunday morning." - Uncut

"Anyone who has listened to 1997's eponymous Buena Vista Social Club album will likely have been captivated by the energy and vibrancy that the room at EGREM's Areito Studios in Havana adds to the recordings. Twenty years later, the signature sound of Areito's Estudio 101 infuses the grooves of Daptone Records' first Spanish-language release." - Pro Sound News

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