Monday, July 18, 2011

Sierra Maestra @ Artisphere in Virginia TUESDAY (7/19)

Before Buena Vista, there was Sierra Maestra. Since the '70s, it's been Cuba's flagship son band, with a traditional formation that still includes clave, maracas, trompeta, bongo, y tres. But, this is no music for oldtimers: Sierra Maestra plays modern son, hard and fast, infused with the rocking, relaxed groove native to Cuba's eastern province of Oriente.

On tour in the U.S. from July 14 through 26, Sierra Maestra plays a dance in the Artisphere ballroom in Arlington, VA (Metro DC) this Tuesday (7/19). It will be the venerable soneros' only tour stop in the Southeast. Tickets are $22 and $25, with a dance lesson at 7:30 pm, and dancing from 8:30 to 11 pm. Artisphere Communications and Marketing Director Annalisa Meyer says the ballroom space comprises 4000 sq. ft., with a stage that still offers an intimate concert experience. Dancers, if you're anywhere near D.C., seize this chance to see one of Cuba's legendary performers in IDEAL ballroom conditions!

Former members of Sierra Maestra include tresero Juan de Marcos (who masterminded Buena Vista Social Club), and some of Cuba's top trumpeters such as Jesus Alemañy (who went on to form Cubanismo) and Julito Padron (who has toured with Afro Cuban All Stars).

Here's the active lineup:*

First Name / Family Names / Instrument / Founding Member (1976)

Luis Manuel BARZAGA SOSA - Vocals , claves / YES
Eduardo Idelfonso HIMELY PINO - Bass guitar / YES
Emilio José RAMOS BATISTA - Tres
Eduardo Manuel RICO MENENDEZ - Congas, bongo, cowbell
Jesus Eusebio BELLO DIAZ - Vocals, guitar
Alejandro SUAREZ GALARRAGA - Claves, cowbell / YES
Alberto Virgilio VALDES DECALO - Vocals, maracas / YES
Yelfris Carlos VALDES ESPINOSA - Trumpet

*thanks to Annalisa Meyer of Artisphere for providing advance information and publicity photo.


Sierra Maestra live at Artisphere, Arlington, VA - July 19, 2011

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