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NPR First Listen: Daptone Records' Cuban Mambo Big Band 'Orquesta Akokán' Streaming Now Ahead of March 30 Release

Daptone Records' 'Orquesta Akokán' is out March 30 and is now featured on NPR Music's First Listen. Orquesta Akokán is a brand new and feisty ensemble of Cuba's finest musicians - both young and old - breathing fresh life and magical, beckoning new grooves into the golden age of Cuban mambo. The album features all original music and was recorded in Havana at the legendary state-run Estudios Areito over a 3-day session. It has already been met with raves from NY Times, Billboard, NPR, KCRW, WNYC and more. The band will perform in the U.S. in Summer 2018 and Daptone is hosting an album release party at Brooklyn's Union Pool on March 30 (details below).

Listen to the full album now on NPR Music.

“It is a loving tribute to the sax and brass-driven orchestras of the past that operated like one giant rhythm machine...’Orquesta Akokán’ is a joy. Listeners who are not aware of the history behind the music will enjoy it simply because it is a damn good record.” – NPR Music

Tomorrow, the third single from the album will also be released. “La Corbata Barata” is a perfect showcase for all that Orquesta Akokán has to offer: José “Pepito” Gómez's captivating lead vocals, relentless percussion, exploratory horn orchestrations and a dynamic band that is both effortlessly loose and locked in.

The band’s previous single and video were featured as a New York Times Playlist pick last month. “Un Tabaco para Elegua” is a mystical and sensuous video that follows Pepito as he makes an offering of tobacco to the Santería god Elegua in a sacred forest and other historic Havana sites. Watch it now.

‘Orquesta Akokán’ was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth, and written by Pepito, Plasse and Eckroth together in New York City.

On March 30, Daptone Records will host a Latin-themed, all-vinyl dance party at Brooklyn’s Union Pool to celebrate the album release. Free entry/ 8pm start.
 
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