Primo Cubano to heat up the dance floor
Primo Cubano plays traditional Cuban dance music called Son, dating back to the turn of the 20th Century and on Saturday, Feb. 18, this Maine-based band with a very south of the border sound comes to Boothbay Harbor’s Opera House. While there will be plenty of seats for those who want to settle in, there will also be a large dance floor cleared for those who are moved to move by the music.
Son is the most popular style to come out of Cuba and is the primary contributor to the blend of Latin styles today known as Salsa. It was first the music of the countryside and eventually migrated to Havana, where it was urbanized and began to draw a wider audience.
Guitarist Paul D’Alessio came into contact with this music on a trip to Cuba in 2004 with the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association, a cooperative between Brunswick, ME and the city of Trinidad,Cuba. D’Alessio began learning to play Son music on a guitar-like instrument native to Cuba called a tres and subsequently formed Primo Cubano, “Cuban Cousin.” In the Boothbay region, D’Allessio is most recognizable as the fiddle player for the popular group the Holy Mackerels.
The band’s trumpeter, Marc Chillemi has also spent time in Cuba and has played in various other Latin groups. He also plays percussion and sings on the choruses, or coros, to which the lead singer, or sonero responds with an improvised lyric.
Band member Lenny Hatch has loved the congas since he first heard Mongo Santamaría play Watermelon, and he has been playing them in addition to the bongó and other percussion instruments for over 20 years now.
Eric Winter has been singing all his life and began studying Spanish at the age of 12. Eric plays maracas, timbales, percussion and adds vocals and is the newest addition to Primo Cubano.
Keeping it all together is Duane Edwards on the bass fiddle. He is a graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta and plays in various groups in the area. As a jazz student, he took very quickly to the tumbao bass pattern that makes this music so danceable.
Primo Cubano interprets the classic Son Cubano with affinity, appreciation and inspiration bringing this vibrant music to life for audiences in Maine and beyond.
Tickets for this February concert and dance party are available through the Opera House box office at 86 Townsend Avenue or by calling 633-5159. Advance purchase tickets are $10, tickets purchased at the door are $15. Tickets may also be purchased online at boothbayoperahouse.com.
Doors open at 7 p.m., music starts at 7:30. The bar will also open at 7. Friends of the Opera House will have coffee and dessert available.