Today, the Havana Maestros, a collective of legendary Cuban musicians including members of the original Buena Vista Social Club, announced they will release their debut album Americuba on May 26th, 2017 via Sounds Worldwide/Warner/ADA. Billboard shared the news with the exclusive premiere of a Cuban reimagining of Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope” as well as Ben E. King’s classic “Stand By Me,” which is accompanied by a video providing intimate snapshots of life in Cuba and the recording process – WATCH HERE. Americuba is available for pre-order now, PRE-ORDER HERE and receive “Stand By Me” and “Tightrope” as instant downloads.
Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning duo the Berman Brothers, Americuba brings together three generations of celebrated Cuban musicians to re-imagine American hits from the likes of Missy Elliott, Otis Redding, Jason Derulo, Chic, B.o.B & Hayley Williams, Ben E. King and Janelle Monáe, infusing their arrangements with distinctively Cuban rhythm. The project was arranged by 20-time Cubadisco winner and the “Maestro of Cuba” Emilio Vega and Harold López-Nussa and features timbale impresario Amadito Valdés and special guest laud legend Barbarito Torres of The Buena Vista Social Club, piano virtuoso Emilio Morales Ruíz, and trumpeter Roberto García.
“Music is a language and it unites people, it always has, one way or the other,” Barbarito Torres said of the album. “We are doing our small parts to help the relations between these two countries and their people.”
“The idea really came from the Cuban musicians and arrangers, because they are such big fans of the American catalog,” Frank Berman added. “There are so many ways we can collaborate socially, politically, and creatively. We want people to be inspired to see more and know more of Cuba.”
The album was recorded in Havana’s Abdala Studios where the musicians tracked every note live, playing along to the original vocal tracks as if the artists were in the room. Next, Havana Maestros will take Americuba on the road with many of the musicians who played on the album, with events at Neuehouse on May 5th in New York and May 7th in Los Angeles. These unique performances will welcome audiences into Havana with production mirroring the vibrant sights and sounds of the city.
Americuba celebrates the creative connection and newly re-established global relationship between the United States and Cuba. The spirit of creativity and unity brought together with the music of these two countries is the essence of the Havana Maestros.
Americuba track listing:
1. Havana Maestros feat. Chic – Good Times
2. Havana Maestros feat. Missy Elliot – Get Ur Freak on
3. Havana Maestros feat Jason Derulo – Whatcha Say
4. Havana Maestros feat. Ben E. King – Stand By Me
5. Havana Maestros feat. Janelle Monáe – Tightrope (New Version)
6. Havana Maestros feat. Otis Redding – (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay
7. Havana Maestros – Ritmo Cubano
8. Havana Maestros feat. Fun. We are Young (New Version)
9. Havana Maestros feat. Dionne Warwick – Say A Little Prayer