March 2006

Presented by Toronto Downtown Jazz & GMP Productions
March 6, 2006Opera HouseToronto
A Cuban Treasure
by Amanda Martinez with photos by Roger Humbert

Toronto’s Opera House was filled with excitement on Monday evening in anticipation of ¡Cubanismo!’s performance. The 15-piece orchestra from Havana started to heat up the room as soon as it took the stage. This was the last stop of their Canadian tour before heading back to Havana, yet no one could have told from the energy ¡Cubanismo! put out that evening that they had been on the road.

Jesus Alemañy, the band’s leader and trumpet player, originally founded the group as an all-star recording project but soon realized the band’s potential for live touring. ¡Cubanismo! achieved international recognition over 10 years ago and now has 5 recordings. According to Alemañy, a new one is in the works, set for summer release.

Apart from Toronto salsa and jazz fans, many Cuban-born musicians now residing in Toronto came out to see one of their favorite bands. As one fan remarked “I am here to see one of Cuba’s greatest treasures start to cook”.

¡Cubanismo!’s music is reminiscent of the big bands from the 1940’s with a modern twist — beautiful horn lines leading familiar cha chas and rhumbas with the influence of Cuba’s modern day timba.

Jesus Alemañy

Rollo Martinez
It had been 5 years since ¡Cubanismo! last brought its infectious music to Toronto and we hope that we don’t have to wait as long for their next visit.
We welcome your comments and feedback
Amanda Martinez
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report

Amanda Martinez is a singer and actress, she is the host and producer of Café Latino, heard on JAZZFM91 (Saturdays 4–6 p.m. on 91.1 FM)

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