Personnel: Maraca; Wilfredo Campa, Rolando Morej¢n (vocals, background vocals); Ammiel Castellanos, Wilfed Campa Rafael, Rafael Morejon (vocals); Ammeiels Castellanos (rap vocals); Elmer Ferrer (electric guitar); Orlando "Maraca" Valle (flute, sampler, background vocals); Andres P‚rez Jan‚ (baritone saxophone); Luis Valle (trumpet, trombone); Irving Ferreyro (piano); Jesus Madera (background vocals); Tata G?ines (congas).
Audio Mixer: Jon Fausty.
Recording information: Abdala Studios, Havana City, Cuba; BPN Studios, New Bedford, MA.
Arranger: Orlando "Maraca" Valle.
For all asking the question, "Who will lead Cuban music into the new millennium?" Orlando "Maraca" Valle has an answer. With the 2005 release of Soy Yo, Maraca boldly maintains their status as one of the very finest and most cutting-edge groups to come out of Cuba. Alongside Issac Delgado and David Calzado y Su Charanga Habanera, Maraca stays on the crest of the timba wave while maintaining the integrity of a genuine salsa orchestra. Bandleader Orlando Valle distinguishes himself as not only an accomplished flutist, but also a brilliant composer/arranger. The horn section is driving and tight. The percussion section, with featured guest, conga godfather Tata G?ines, swings the clave from the first to the final track. Lead vocalists Jesus Madera and Wilfredo Campa display range and style to equal any in the business. With the some more traditional sounding selections in the repertoire like the steamy cha cha/bolero "Estrella de Amor," Soy Yo will please a more conservative salsa audience as well. Though there are many elements that evidence a very progressive influence, Maraca does not forget whence they came, and goes down smoothly for just about any audience. With records like Soy Yo to his credit, Orlando "Maraca" Valle will be remembered as one of the great bandleaders of his generation. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez