La Caro Band
The four sisters who front this hot salsa band in Havana all hail from Jovellanos, a town of 50,000 just 60 km south of Matanzas in Matanzas province. Mention Jovellanos to a Cuban and frequently their eyes will go wide for it has a strong reputation as a great center of Congo culture and brujeria.
|La Caro Band is a family affair. The group is fronted by four sisters who
sing harmonies in a unique, seamless blend unprecedented in contemporary salsa. Lisett,
Martha, Odalys and Diana come from Jovellanos in Matanzas province. They were raised in
the very musical environment of their grandmother's house.
Both Martha and the group's Musical Director, Blas Muñoz (who happens to also be her husband) are graduates of the National School of Music. The other three sisters have formal musical training as well. Informal musical experiences have been an important element in these people's lives. For example, as a child, Blas played conga drums in rumbas.
Before the group was officially formed, the Caro sisters and Blas, would get together and play music for fun. In 1994 the sisters asked Blas to write them a song for an amateur art festival. The composition he penned for them: Son a Jovellanos, won first prize at the festival. This positive experience inspired Blas to form an actual working band with the Caros. Other family members
liked the idea. For instance, Blas's mother in-law kept saying to him "Why not? Why not? Why not form a group?" Says Blas: "Imagine, it meant embarking on a crazy adventure since competition here in Cuba among musical groups is really tough. There are many young good groups. Besides, it's very difficult to find instruments. But then the idea grew stronger inside me and I embarked on the adventure."
La Caro Band's songs are written by Blas. They speak of the everyday experiences of Cuban life. His mother in-law asked him to write a song dedicated to Obbatala, an important Orisha (Yoruba deity). It features bata drums and a traditional Yoruba chant in honor of Obbatala. This untypical song is one of Te Salva's most enjoyable tracks.
Lisett's husband is the group's timbale player, and the husband of Diana is the saxophonist. They were married to the sisters before the formation of La Caro Band. When Blas came up with the idea of the group, they became a part of it.
Having a salsa band fronted by four women is certainly a novelty. Blas comments: "You know, historically, bands have traditionally been composed of men. In recent times it has become fashionable to feature girls in your group, and La Caro Band was among the pioneers. That was my intention; to break old patterns by putting the girls up-front and I believe that after we did it, others followed. Despite that, initially we had to face difficulties because we had these four girls up-front, but I insisted."
Havana has a thriving night club environment which features some of the hottest bands in the world. Out of this fiercely competitive environment, La Caro Band has emerged as one of the scene's most popular. They won over audiences at Café Cantante, the Palacio de la Salsa, the Salón Rojo at Hotel Capri, the Marina Hemingway, and the Casa de la Música.
Not only do the Caro sisters sing, but during their performances, they move back on stage, pick up instruments (bass, timbales and other percussion), and play them. Meanwhile, the male instrumentalists replace them in front and sing. In addition, Lisett, who is a gymnast, does back flips. These are just some of the high points of the band's live shows.
In regards to their live shows, Blas leaves us with this final message: "I ask you to try us, to try La Caro Band, and also to try us in a live presentation. La Caro Band live is something that's really crazy on stage. I think we are more enjoyable live. Our aspiration is to be liked by you and gain a special place in your hearts."
Whether seeing them live or listening to this exciting CD, we guarantee that you will become an avid fan of La Caro Band!
-- from Bembe Records' page on the La Caro Band
Buy single tracks from Yahoo
[AfroCubaWeb] [Site Map] [Music] [Arts] [Authors] [News] [Search this site]