August 2005

Adonis Puentes
August 19, 2005Lula LoungeToronto
Adonis at Lula
by Joyce Corbett with photos by Roger Humbert

Adonis Puentes from Victoria, B.C. was in Toronto last week making a video for his new single “Comerciante”, promoting his new CD, Vida and wooing Torontonians with his Friday night performance at Lula Lounge.

Adonis of Artemisa (just south of Havana). What an evocative moniker this Cuban-Canadian carries. The mind starts to roam, the imagination browses. Temptation taunts the writer and traps await. Enough said.

This handsome young man with the weighty name moves through music with ease. He introduces his first tune playing bongos, then his smooth, solid voice flows forth naturally, like breathing. A performing musician from an early age, he is always reading the audience and reacting, inviting them into his sonic world, a world rooted in tradition, strong on Son with old-style boleros and rumbas — sensual, romantic and earthy.

But his sonic space expands into more modern urban sounds, as we hear when guest rapper Freddy Suarez comes on stage for a number. And Ignacio Cervantes, leader of the timba group Chispa y su Complices lays down some funky semi-acoustic bass on “Tu y yo”. He is the only member of tonight’s band still living in Cuba. The other bandmembers for the evening: Orlando Cardoso on piano; Mayito Delmonte drums; Alberto Suarez congas; Alexi Baro trumpet and background vocals and “Pappo” on guiro and background vocals are all originally from Cuba.

Adonis Puentes

Ignacio Cervantes & Alberto Suarez (in background)
The second set starts out with an up-tempo piece that delights the dancers. Then, Adonis and the band enthuse the audience with a rich and rousing version of the classic “Mandinga”. By this time, everyone is loose and limber and true descargas (jams) ensue as new players come and go from the stage — a second drummer and a trombone player, rapper Freddy Suarez, dancer Sarita, and Toronto conguero Luisito Orbegoso. At the end of the night there are certainly more people on stage than at the beginning.
We welcome your comments and feedback
Joyce Corbett
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Roger Humbert
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