Band of the hour: Cubiche
This Cuban collective's got a message. And it isn't that their album is for sale in the lobby. Not that you shouldn't buy their album.
By Rayme Samuels
Progressive music collective Cubiche unifies complex island rhythms and powerful lyrics. The melting pot of Miami has inspired these influential musicians to combine their roots in Cuban music with rap and Caribbean influences. Directed by Descemer Bueno, former member of fusion super group Yerba Buena, the group aims to harness the power of music to influence social change.
Aside from packing nightclubs and concert halls with diehard fans of their intense sound, Cubiche has an even stronger mission. Explains Bueno, "We would really like to start doing benefit concerts to help out the situation that Cuba and Haiti are in right now. At the same time, we are making a call out there to other bands and other artists to participate for this very important cause. I hope we can actually organize this before it's too late for a lot people in major distress."
The group of old friends formed Cubiche in early 2008, and Bueno delicately balances his director role while singing, producing and playing bass. The rest of the outfit consists of Michelle Fragoso (piano, vocals, production), Philbert Armenteros (percussion, vocals), Chino Dreadlion (vocals), Elain Morales (vocals), Leslie Cartaya (vocals, keyboard), Hakka (vocals), Jorgue Almarales (guitar) and Hilario Bell (drums). Together, their inspiration comes from a lot of different bands and artists, such as Los Van Van, Vico C, Bob Marley, Ozomatli, Ojos De Brujo, Calle 13, Interactivo, Habana Abierta, Tego Calderon, Voltio and Kelvis Ochoa.
Of Cubiche's audience Bueno says, "We want them to have so much fun that they can leave our show not only feeling better about the difficulties most of us have here in the U.S., but also a connection or re-connection with the island we represent."
For more info, visit www.myspace.com/cubiche537
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