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Cubana All Stars Official Video 'Preparate Pa' Lo Que Traigo'

 

A Dream is born

This project, from the beginning, has been very close to our hearts. The idea of the Cubana All Stars…of an orchestra comprised of the most elite Cuban artists and musicians, both past and present, spanning three generations, is a dream for so many.

While on a trip to Cuba when Jeannie and I were exploring the possibility of the Puerto All Stars performing a live concert in Cuba, my dear friend and Grammy nominated recording artist Issac Delgado told me about his idea of the “Cubana All Stars”. Shortly thereafter, he introduced me to Orlando Vistel, the Vice Minister of Culture in Cuba. That was the first time I envisioned the possibilities. Both Issac Delgado and Richie Viera “Our Compadre” who we had invited to travel with us were resolved that we had to bring the Cubana All Stars to life. Together, they were determined to show me Cuba, its magnificent culture and history, and their vision. What finally convinced me was a fateful night while walking down a cobblestone road in Old Habana, Cuba. To my surprise, Pio Leyva was singing El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico’s “El Menu”, a song I produced with EL Gran Combo many years earlier. It was at that moment that I knew the hearts and spirits of Puerto Rico and Cuba were one, and the Cubana All Star dream must become a reality.

The rest is history. Over the next following year, countless hours were invested in preparing for a successful collaborative recording between Viva Combo Music and Musicalia. Issac recruited many of the artists, musicians and arrangers. Our dear friends Hector & Vilma Rivas set up meetings with Musicalia, and what was supposed to be a five-minute meeting turned into a reunion of friends. Martha Frejomil of Musicalia remembered me from a trip to Spain where we met many years earlier. She and director Oscar León Morales gave their blessing and all of their support to the project and to securing all of the artists and musicians we requested not only from Cuba, but from around the world, making this recording a truly historic, international production of the virtuosos of Cuban artists and musicians.

Richie Viera was selected as the producer and entrusted with song selection. A new composition was commissioned from the great Maestro Adalberto Álvarez who delivered “Preparate Pa’ Lo Que Traigo” translation “Get ready for what I’m bringing”.

Fate would have it that EGREM Studios in Habana Cuba was available and Mario “Mayito” Escalona and Rafael González made us feel at home, Cubata’s and all.

While every production has unexpected obstacles, Cuban ingenuity kept everything moving along, even when hard drives overheated and three days of recordings were in jeopardy, we learned everything is salvageable in Cuba.

Extensive acknowledgments to the so many we are so grateful to and owe much appreciation, have been included in the Cubana All Stars Debut Double CD release “A Dream Come True” special 10 page insert, however, both Jeannie and I want to give an eternal thank you especially to Issac Delgado for entrusting us with his dream, Richie Viera who tirelessly gave 100% of his heart, soul and time to this project and to Jesus “Papo” Sanchez who has been my sound engineer for the past 35 years.

In a career spanning over 43 years in Latin music, the Cubana All Star production of “A Dream Come True” is one of my proudest and greatest accomplishments.

To the Cuban people, the 38 artists and musicians, and the professionals who participated in the production, and to God, thank you for honoring, blessing and entrusting us with this historic gift to the world. For all the lovers of Cuban music, this is The Cubana All Stars “A Dream Come True.” Never stop dreaming.

by Executive Producer Ralph Cartagena & Zoraida Baez

Cubana All Stars Release

Double CD Debut Album

“A Dream Come True”

On December 3, 2012 the Cubana All Stars, the iconic Cuban orchestra ensemble of 38 of the most distinguished artists and musicians from around the world, released their highly anticipated debut album, “A Dream Come True, digitally on iTunes. The compact double CD (20 tracks) is physically available everywhere.

“A Dream come True,” a Viva Combo Music and Musicalia production was recorded April 11, 2012 through April 29, 2012, in Havana, Cuba in the legendary EGREM Studios. For the first time in over fifty years, with the support of Musicalia and the Ministry Cultural of Cuba, Cuban musicians and artists from around the world were authorized to return to Havana Cuba and record with the Cuban virtuosos living in Cuba for this dream Viva Combo Music recording.

A Dream Come True is a Salsa album produced by renowned Salsa music

ensemble, producer Richie Viera, executive producer Ralph Cartagena, associate executive producer Zoraida Baez, sound engineer Jesus “Papo” Sanchez and the talented Cuban ensemble of musical director arranger Joaquín Betancourt-Jackman, arrangers Juan Manual Ceruto, Alaín Pérez, Chucho Valdés, the inspirational production coordinator Issac Delgado and Maestro Adalberto Álvarez. Finally, last but certainly not least, the production would not have been possible without the support and vision of the Cuban Ministry of Culture Vice President Orlando Vistel, Musicalia’s extraordinary production coordination of director Oscar León Morales, Martha Frejomil & Magalys Romero, the Artex staff and EGREM Studios Mario “Mayito” Escalona and Rafael González.

The sensational roster includes singers Alexander Abréu ‘D’Primera”, Adalberto Álvarez, Laritza Bacallao, Vania Borges, Pedrito Calvo, Issac Delgado, Paulito F.G., Xiomara Laugart, Haila Mompié, Eduardo Morales “Tiburón”, Eliades Ochoa, Tania Pantoja, Mayito Rivera, Robertón, Oscar Valdés, (chorus) Jorge Leliebre, and musicians Carlos Alvarez “Afrocán”, Pancho Amat, YoandyArgudin, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, Rodney Barretto, Leider Candebat-Chappotín, Juan Manuel Ceruto, Andrés Cuayo, Guillermo Del Toro, Samuel Formell, Lazaro Dagoberto González, Cesar López, Thommy Lowry Garcia Rojas,Boris Luna, Rolando Luna, Rafael Morales, Juan Munguía-Cubas, Amaury Pérez-Rodriguez, Enrique Plá, Tomás “El Panga” Ramos-Ortiz, Policarpio Tamayo “Polo” and Raúl Tobias Gil Garcia “Avi”.

The double CD release “A Dream Come True” imbues the stylistic sound of the Combo Records labels where owner and music producer Ralph Cartagena has produced such greats as El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Johnny Ventura and the Puerto Rico All Stars. It is characterized by Cartagena’s distinguishable dedication to classic Salsa sound, strong song selection and quality performances. Producer Richie Viera’s influences are present with the explosive rich instrumental complexities that evolve from track to track. The result of the maestro duo along with the extraordinary Cuban production team and Issac Delgado’s dedication to weave both sounds and styles of Salsa and Timba together is an authentic Cuban/Puerto Rican fusion of hypnotic Salsa beats, hooks and riffs, bonus tracks offering numerous solos, and a musical journey with many layers that uncover themselves upon each listening. Creating, as Grammy Winner Elides Ochoa asserted, “A Dream Come True.”

The double CD release (20 tracks) begins with the adrenaline filled song Preparate Pa’ Lo Que Traigo, an original composition of Maestro Adalbeto Álvarez . The song translates to “Get ready for what I’m bringing” and is a battle of words between the artists and musicians both vocally and instrumentally. The remaining 8 song tracks includes fan favorites such as Que Manera De Quererte, A Bayamo en Coche, Muevete, El Son De La Madrugada, Xiomara, Corranse Ahí Caballeros, Aqui El Que Baila Gana and culminates with the riveting final track Muevete A La Cubana. A special 10-page insert beautifully exhibits the artists and musicians and categorizes in-depth solos and performances. It supplies bonus artist commentary and detailed liner notes that are sure to transport you to EGREM Studios to relive recording sessions.

This project was ambitious and provocative. In the end, the Cubana All Stars virtuosos deliver an expressive showmanship of their artistic and musical crafts. This is a must have for Salsa fans that will not disappoint.

                            MEMBERS OF THE CUBANA ALL STARS

 Alexander Abreu  Adalberto Alvarez 
 Laritza Bacallao Vania Borges 
Pedrito Calvo Issac Delgado
Paulito FG. Xiomara Laugart
Haila Mompie Eduardo Morales
Eliades Ochoa  Tania Pantoja
Mario Rivera Roberto Hernandez Acea
Oscar Valdes Jorge Leliebre
Carlos Alvarez Pancho Amat
Yoandy Argudin Alfredo Armenteros
Rodney Barreto Leider Candebat-Chappotin
Juan Manuel Ceruto Andres Cuayo
Guillermo Del Toro Samuel Formell
Lazaro Dagoberto Gonzalez Cesar Lopez
Thommy Lowry Garcia Rojas Boris Luna
Rolando Luna Rafael Morales
Juan Munguia-Cubas Amaury Perez-Rodriguez
Enrique Pla Tomas Ramos-Ortiz
Policarpio Tamayo Raul Tobias Gil Garcia
Joaquin Betancourt  
 
 
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