NG La Banda

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Their name standing for ‘new generation - the band’, this Cuban group, who have helped move the island’s music away from its traditional grounding in salsa, were founded by musical director José Luis ‘Chico’ Cortés in 1988. A composer, singer and flautist, in the 70s he was previously a member of premier Cuban dance band Los Van Van, subsequently forming Irakere. Most of NG’s members were also experienced musicians, Cortés stating that ‘new generation’ referred to their intended audience: ‘I’d say our music is fusion, we’re not a salsa band proper, and the amazing thing is that even though our arrangements are really complicated, it’s the young kids who most love our music.’ The group numbers between 13 and 17 when on stage, including two keyboard players, five horns, bass and three singers, plus various percussionists. Dressed in bright colours and featuring explosive,...

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