The Afro-Cuban All Stars are a revolving door of artistry and talent, and are most well known for their Grammy Award-nominated record A Toda Cuba le Gusta and their Grammy Award-winning record Buena Vista Social Club. The inspiration for both came from Cuba’s rich cultural and musical history. Members of the band past and present include Rubèn Gonzàlez, Orlando “Cachaito” Lòpez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Fèlix Baloy, and Pedro Calvo.
The band will play at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) on January 10 at 7:30 p.m. Get tickets here.
The band is led by founder Juan de Marcos Gonzàlez. Gonzàlez originally started the Afro-Cuban All Stars as a tribute project honoring the golden era greats of Cuban music during the height of Cuban tourism. During this time Gonzàlez met legendary American guitarist and producer Ry Cooder, and the two collaborated with World Circuit Records to promote Cuban culture and music. This collaboration came at the height of Cuba’s popularity, when tourism to the country was at its peak and clubs such as the Buena Vista Social Club captivated the social scene. One of the most popular attractions was the Buena Vista Social Club, an institution that inspired a band, an album, and a movie of the same name.
The ensemble captures the undeniable spirit of Afro-Cuban music with the potent mix of driving percussion, a powerhouse horn section, with piano, bass, tres, guitar and incomparable vocals. The current line-up of ACAS consists of the finest Cuban expatriate musicians in the world today, all alumni of Cuba’s greatest bands. The Afro-Cuban All Stars electrifying performance pays tribute to Cuba’s popular music marrying the past with the present in the grandeur and grace of the world’s greatest orchestras.