In response to the recent policy changes made by the Trump administration, the Havana Maestros, a collective of legendary Cuban musicians including members of the original Buena Vista Social Club and Afro-Cuban All Stars, have teamed up with outspoken dance music group Major Lazer to release a new version of the group’s hit song “Lean On,” which just hit 1 billion streams on Spotify. CLICK HERE to listen to Havana Maestros’ dynamic Cuban rearrangement.
“Experiencing Cuba was life-changing for us. We must not let politicians cut progressive plans short,” Major Lazer’s Diplo added.
“Music is a language and it unites people, it always has” Barbarito Torres, a member of the original Buena Vista Social Club, said of the album. “So, we do our small parts to help the relations between these two countries and their people.”
Despite the developments in the political relationship between the two countries, Havana Maestros’ debut album Americuba was created to celebrate togetherness, in the hope of healing the divide and uniting the two countries though the power of music. Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning duo the Berman Brothers, Americuba brings together three generations of celebrated Cuban musicians to re-imagine American hits from an A-list of American musicians, uniting musical icons from both cultures to stand together in solidarity and celebrate the potential for dialogue between the two countries.
Americuba is out now via Sounds Worldwide/Warner/ADA. CLICK HERE to purchase. On the album, artists including Missy Elliott, Otis Redding, Jason Derulo, Chic, B.o.B & Hayley Williams, Ben E. King and Janelle Monáe were given inventive Cuban rearrangements and infused with undeniable Latin rhythms. CLICK HERE to listen to their Cuban rearrangement of Janelle Monáe’s “Tightrope,” and CLICK HERE to watch behind-the-scenes footage of the recording process and life in Cuba accompanied by the Havana Maestros’ version of Ben E. King’s classic “Stand By Me.”
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. Americuba celebrates the creative connection between the United States and Cuba, bringing together artists from both cultures to resist attempts at creative and political division. The spirit of unique artistry and unity brought together with the music of these two countries is the essence of the Havana Maestros.