Mala Lengua  
  Home - Portal | Music - Musica | Authors - Autores | Arts - Artes 
  Site Map - Mapa del Sitio | News - Noticias | Search ACW - Buscar en ACW 
  Mala Lengua

sintesisa2.jpg (27184 bytes)Grupo Síntesis

Síntesis, founded in the 1960s, has participated in many of the developments of modern Cuban music. The lead singers, Carlos Alfonso (X Alfonso) and Ele Valdes, are among the most sought-after session singers in Havana (that's them on Adalberto Alvarez's "Dale Como E'," the biggest Cuban street hit of 1993.) In 1987 they recorded their groundbreaking album ANCESTROS, one of the most honored albums of the modern era in Cuba.  Lucía Huergo composed and played keyboard and wind instruments.


SINTESIS is Cuba's great black progressive rock group. Their new album, ANCESTROS 2, is a powerful, original and beautiful record. There is nothing else like it.

The songs that make up ANCESTROS 2 came to Cuba from Africa -- specifically, from the Yoruba civilization in what is now Nigeria. They are ritual melodies of the religion known variously as santeria, lucumi, or the regla de Ocha, a religion practiced very widely in Cuba -- and, less visibly, in parts of the U.S. These are deathless melodies -- one of the great classical musics of West Africa, and arguably the most important in its often-clandestine influence in popular black music, and, by extension, all music -- of the Western hemisphere. These songs have been part of Cuban culture for centuries and they live today, not as museum pieces but in daily life.

The words (in Yoruba) and the melodies are faithfully and flawlessly performed. The arrangements are anything but traditional. Recorded in a state-of-the-art studio in Venezuela, ANCESTROS 2 mixes acoustic Afro-Cuban percussion with electronic drums, voices with electric guitars and sequencers. The result is a haunting work that is both timeless and contemporary.

ANCESTROS 2 is structured as a complete oru, or ceremony, for the major orishas (deities of the Yoruba pantheon). As such, it begins and ends with the orisha Eleggua (who always is saluted first and last), the trickster god of the crossroads, to whom the album is dedicated and designed in Eleggua's colors of red and black. Notes in Spanish and English from the popular Cuban handbook Las Orishas en Cuba, by the eminent folklorist Natalia Bolivar Arostegui, provide thumbnail introductions to the various spirits saluted in the course of the album.

While ANCESTROS 2 may not be an easy album to explain, it communicates instantly on hearing. The modernity of the arrangements gives the present-day listener a new way to hear these songs, which reached a state of perfection and survived for hundreds of years, across the Middle Passage from Africa to Cuba and into the coming milennium. The resulting music can fit into almost any radio format.


Cuban band Sintesis attracts audience in Washington  10/1/2019 Prensa Latina: "Afro-Cuban rhythms captivated the audience attending the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the US capital, during a concert last night of Cuban band Sintesis. American and Latin people from several countries enjoyed the songs of a band that is considered a pioneer in the fusion of rock and Afro-Cuban rhythms."

Copperbridge festival of Cuban culture offers engagement…  2/21/2017 Copperbridge: "The Copperbridge “Cultural Evolution” festival, opening Thursday, promises a weeklong smorgasbord of Cuban culture — with concerts by renowned Afro-Cuban-rock band Sintesis and modern dance troupe Danzabierta, visual art exhibits, film screenings, lectures, panel discussions and workshops."

Cuban Musician Lucia Huergo Dies  5/4/2015 Havana Times: "She was part of such bands as La Orquesta de Octavio Sanchez (“Octavio Sanchez’ Orchestra”), Franco Lagana’s band, Sonido Contemporaneo (“Contemporary Sounds”), Mezcla (“Mix”), Amaury Perez Vidal’s band and Sintesis (“Synthesis”). As jazz isn’t massively consumed, her work with Sintesis may be what most people remember. She brought classics such as Mereguo, Asoyin, Barasuayo, Echubelekeo and Eyeleo to Cuba’s music world, combining African music with the language of jazz and rock."

A day with Ancestors  8/16/2007 Granma: "Since the release of the album Ancestros (Ancestors), Sintesis has followed a spiral path of uniquely interpreting Afro-Cuban chants of Yoruba origin merged with elements taken from jazz, rock and electronica"

CUBADISCO 2004  6/8/2004 CubaNow: "Cuban singer/composer Silvio Rodriguez won the Best Producer of the Year award. Along with Silvio, Carlos Varela also received an award for his most recent CD, titled Siete, a winner in the category of Trova / Pop and Rock, and Sergio Vitier was recognized for the soundtrack he created for the film Scent of Oak. Other winners included Chucho Valdes and his group Irakere for 30 Years in Jazz, and the group Sintesis for Ancestors Trilogy (I, II and III). Cubadisco 2004 also bestowed awards of honour to Dominican Victor Victor, one of the guests at the fiesta, as well as to the famous Aragon Orchestra and to flutist Richard Egües."

Chucho Valdes, Sintesis and Lucia Huergo, Nominees for Cubadisco 2004  5/27/2004 PL: "Cuban musician Chucho Valdes and the group Sintesis, Grammy Awards winner and nominees, and saxophonist Lucia Huergo were nominated for the Cubadisco 2004 Awards, the most important awards of the Cuban recording industry. Names such as Amaury Perez, Carlos Varela, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Adalberto Alvarez, Frank Fernandez, Polito Ibañez, Ars Longa and Cubanitos 20-02 are included in the 72 nominees in 19 categories, announced at a press conference at Casa de la Musica, Havana."




sintesisa1.jpg (19749 bytes)

Click here for sample tracks, pricing & to order  ==>

1. Asoyin
2. Eyeleo
3. Oya
4. Baba
5. Opatereo
6. Mereguo
7. Oduddua
8. Titi-Laye
Ancestros 2

sintesisa2.jpg (27184 bytes)

Click here for sample tracks, pricing & to order  ==>

1. Assokere (Canto A Eleggue)
2. Aguanileo (Canto A Ogun)
3. Ochossi (Canto A Ochossi)
4. Obatala (Canto A Obatala)
5. Iyaoromi (Canto A Yemaya)
6. Oyadde (Canto A Oya)
7. Iyamile (Canto A Och Un)
8. Orula (Canto A Orula)
9. Wemilere Meta A Chango (Canto A Chango)
10. Ochimini (Canto A Eleggua-Echu)
BMG/Milan Latino

sintesis1.jpg (18549 bytes)


1.  Ibara Ago
0 2.  Oggun Mariwo
0 3.  Yaku Ma
0 4.  Loku Aye
0 5.  Asojano Mawe
0 6.  Eru Aye

0 7.  Ochanla
0 8.  Asaramagwa
0 9.  Ayabba
10.  Ochiche Iwama
11.  So Sa So

Click here for sample tracks, pricing & to order  ==>

Two Sintesis members seek asylum in the UStop

Two Cuban Musicians Seek U.S. Asylum

By Jane Sutton

MIAMI (Reuters) - Two musicians with the Cuban band Sintesis ended their U.S. tour by seeking political asylum at the office of a U.S. congresswoman in Miami, federal officials said Friday.

Guitarist Jorge Luis Almarales, 32, and drummer Eugenio Doria Del Valle, 22, showed up unexpectedly at the Miami office of Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinin Thursday and asked for asylum, officials said.

``We understand they are going to be filing formal requests but we have not received it yet,'' said Kelly Spellman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Sintesis was winding up a U.S. tour in California when Almarales and Del Valle caught a bus for Florida. They spent a night at a Red Cross shelter in Orlando as Hurricane Floyd neared, and were staying with relatives in the Miami area.

Almarales, who left a pregnant wife in Cuba, said he felt politically and professionally stifled in Cuba.

``You can't live in oppression,'' Almarales told the Miami Herald. ``I had to find a better life, to find my own future as a guitarist. Life is not eternal and you can't be suffering all the time.''

The band, founded in the 1980s, mixes rock 'n' roll and jazz with Afro-Cuban chants and drumming. Almarales had been with the band five years and Del Valle about three years.

The defection comes amid a squabble over whether one of Cuba's better-known dance bands, Los Van Van, will perform at a city-owned hall in Miami.

Los Van Van was scheduled to play at Miami's Knight Center on Oct. 9, sparking an uproar among some Cuban exiles in Miami who believe the band supports Cuban President Fidel Castro's government. Miami's mayor branded Los Van Van ``the official Communist band of Fidel Castro.''

Concert hall managers canceled the show and gave the Oct. 9 date to Brigade 2506, a group named for fighters in the Bay of Pigs invasion who tried unsuccessfully to topple Cuba's government in 1961.

Concert promoters and the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue, claiming the cancellation violated rights to free expression guaranteed under the Constitution's First Amendment.

The Los Van Van concert was reset for Oct. 11 after the promoters agreed to provide additional documents ensuring compliance with U.S. Treasury rules. Despite the U.S. embargo against Cuba, Cuban artists may perform in the United States as part of a cultural exchange, but may not be paid beyond reimbursement of expenses.


Special Presentation Especial by Sintesis at the Casa de la Musica EGREM, calle Galiano, Centro Habana 11/9/03 4PM to 7PM
Carlos Alfonso/X Alfonso,


Fri. August 6 - La Peña, Berkeley, CA

Concert: Direct from Cuba: Sintesis. The acclaimed fusion band arrives from Havana for their first Bay Area appearance. Their unique musical style blends traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms and Yoruban chants with rock, rap and more. 8:30pm $15 in advance. $18 at the door.

La Peña Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94705
510-849-2568 X15                 


Tropicana Mag article on Sintesis

Habana a flor de piel, 10/02

El último disco de Síntesis fue nominado a los Grammy Latinos de este año en la categoría de música tropical.


Contacting AfroCubaWeb

with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 1997 AfroCubaWeb, S.A.