Yerba Buena (band)

Yerba Buena is a Grammy-nominated fusion band based out of New York. The project was started by Venezuelan songwriter, producer and instrumentalist Andres Levin, & Singer, Composer Cucu Diamantes who brought Cuban composer Descemer Bueno to New York. All worked together during the conception of the band, but soon after, Bueno left the group. The original lineup included cuban singer Percussionist Pedro Martinez and singer Xiomara Laugart.

Yerba Buena's music (as described by Razor and Tie, the band's record label) is a blend of African-rooted Latin music (Cuban Rumba, Colombian cumbia, Pan-Caribbean Soca, and Nuyorican Boogaloo) with hip-hop, Motown soul, Nigerian Afrobeat with a dash of Middle Eastern themes.

President Alien

The band's debut album, "President Alien", was released on April 15, 2003. For the recording of the album, Levin and Diamantes invited several colleagues with whom he had collaborated in the past, including:
*singer Xiomara Laugart
* singer/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello;
* Brazilian singer-songwriter and percussionist Carlinhos Brown;
* guitarist Marc Ribot;
* keyboardist Money Mark;
* jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove;
* rapper Sticman (of Dead Prez fame);
* drummers Horacio “El Negro” Hernández and Terreon “Tank” Gully;
* bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and a host of other artists.

Tracks :
# guajira (i love u 2 much) ( soundtrack)
# tu casa, micasa
# la gringa
# solito me quede
# electric boogaloo
# fire
# wassamatter baby?
# bote bote va
# follow me
# definition of a warrior
# rompe el cuero
# solar

"President Alien" was an immediate success. In 2004, the 12-track album was nominated for the Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album Grammy Award.

Island Life

August 2005 saw the arrival of "Island Life", the band's second album. This CD focuses more on hip-hop but without abandoning the band's Afro-Cuban rhythmic heritage.

Tracks :
#El Burrito
#Sugar Daddy (single version featuging Celia Cruz & Les Nubians)
#La Vida La Life
#Belly Dancer
#La Candela
#Corazon Bandolero
#Bilingual Girl
#Fever
#Bla Bla Bla
#Cityzen Citysoy
#Te Estoy Amando Locamente

The popularity of the band has taken the group to play at multiple summer festivals such as Central Park Summerstage, The Hollywood Bowl, The Newport Jazz Festival,Montreal’s Nuits D’Afrique and Tempo Latino in France among others.

Ben Ratliff of The New York Times has described Yerba Buena as “one of New York’s best new dance bands, mixing up the Latin boogaloo of the 60’s, Cuban religious music, some American soul and Fela-like Afrobeat. It’s a history of the transmission of Yoruban culture in a nutshell, and it’s a good party.”

Current Band Members

*Andres Levin – Guitar, Electronics, MD
*CuCu Diamantes - Vocals
*Pedrito Martinez – Percussion, Vocals
*Skoota Warner - Drums
*Ron Blake – Saxophone, Flute, Vocalss
*Alfredo De a Fe - Violin
*Mauricio Herrera - Percussion

External links

* [http://www.yerbabuenamusic.com/ Official Site]

References

* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FXV/is_5_13/ai_104437651 Latin Beat Magazine article on 'President Alien'] (via Find Articles)
* [http://www.cokemachineglow.com/reviews/yerba_island2005.html Cokemachineglow Review of 'Island Life']


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