Fania Records-CD Release In Los Angeles

Wax Poetics & Fania Records Proudly Present
6010 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
10:00 PM / $12

On Friday, February 12th, Wax Poetics in conjunction with Fania Records will be hosting the official Los Angeles record release party for Joe Cuba’s El Alcalde Del Barrio album at The Mint. This release is scheduled for February 23, 2010 and commemorates one-year after the passing of this Latin legend. LA’s very own Boogaloo Assassins will be headlining alongside New York’s Chico Mann (Antibalas) who will be performing a live set of Joe Cuba’s songs including the international hits “Bang Bang” and “El Pito (I’ll Never Go Back to Georgia),” and many other diverse numbers that spanned Cuba’s illustrious career. Joe Cuba was instrumental in the development of “boogaloo” and had the biggest hit of the 60s with “Bang Bang,” which achieved unprecedented success for Latin music in the US in 1966 when it sold over one million copies. Joe’s pivotal role in the boogaloo style had him nicknamed the “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” and his leadership in the community had him coined rightfully so, “the mayor of the barrio” (El Alcalde Del Barrio). Boogaloo is a genre of Latin music and dance that was popular in the United States in the 1960s. Boogaloo originated in New York City among teenage Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other groups. The style was a fusion of popular African American R&B and soul with mambo and son montuno. 2009 into 2010 has seen a revival in the boogaloo sound with the Los Angeles Boogaloo Assassins tearing up clubs in Southern California and back East with DJ’s like Turmix and producers like Chico Mann re-igniting the style and in SF with DJ Guillermo and DJ Beto (Soundway) championing the sound and making it relevant 40 years later. Joe Cuba’s music embodied a perfect balance of sounds and lyrics (both in English and Spanish) that appealed to both Anglo listeners as well as his core Latin devotees. After listening to songs like “Swinging Mambo” you can hear how the “mayor of the barrio” infiltrated into the Jewish and Italian markets in New York and eventually nationwide. As architect of the Joe Cuba sound, Joe was adept at creating pure excitement in all of his 240 recorded titles. Few entertainers can claim to have performed at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, Hollywood Palladium, Madison Square Garden, and the Caribbean Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair, but Joe certainly could. Joe Cuba (Gilberto Navarro) was born on April 22, 1931, in Spanish Harlem, New York City, where his Puerto Rican parents moved in the late ‘20’s. Captivated by the conga playing of Sabu Martínez, Gilbert took the opportunity to learn the instrument while recovering from a broken leg suffered playing stickball. Gilbert jammed in the street until given the chance to replace Sabu for a few months as part of a local band, La Alfarona, X in 1950. Shortly after, he joined Spanish Harlem’s Joe Panama Quintet, where Jimmy Sabater was a timbales player. After recruiting vibraphonist Tommy Berrios, Gilbert and the band had a falling out with Panama and formed the Cha Cha Boys with Gilbert Calderón as the bandleader. Much to his surprise, Gilbert would soon be billed as “Joe Cuba” by his promoter, Catalino Rolón, and the name would stick. Joe Cuba led an extraordinary life and left behind a legacy of wonderful music for us to take pleasure in, as you will discover upon to the new album and the live versions that will be performed by the Boogaloo Assassins and Chico Mann. His presence will be eternally missed, but his spirit remains in his music and will be celebrated at the Mint on February 12th. Come join us.

Check out photos of the Fania CD Release Party at the Mint