Vilar’s Underground Sound Series wraps with Orquesta Akokán on Thursday
Up-and-coming Grammy-nominated band features musicians from Cuba and New York
When Orquesta Akokán burst onto the global music scene a few years ago, their no-holds-barred 21st-century take on the venerable Cuban mambo lit up stages around the world. Their high-energy live performances shine a light on the lively Latin music featuring musicians from Cuba and New York.
After their debut in 2018, Orquesta Akokán toured internationally in 2019 and early 2020. They’ve been nominated for a Grammy, Billboard Latin Music Award, Telemundo Latin American Music Award and critical acclaim from media around the globe.
Here’s a look at what they’re saying about Orquesta Akokán:
- “Big band mambo hasn’t sounded this alive and swinging since your grandparents’ heyday,” — NPR
- “The high-octane sound of Cuban mambo is largely inseparable from the tradition of cultural exchange between Havana and New York. Orquesta Akokán honors both on its second album,” — WBGO
- “Vocalist Pepito Gómez has a siren sound that reaches right back into the 1940s, embracing that affinity with a new band featuring some of the island’s greatest instrumentalists,” — The New York Times
- “It’s the strength of the artists that makes this high-energy album stand out among recent recording excursions in Cuba,” — Billboard
- “A groove as intense as a runaway train, calling to mind the full-bodied sound of past masters Perez Prado and Tito Puente,” — NPR
- “There’s something about the force of the staccato horn section, the hot glow of the tones and the pulsing beats all blend together. The soulful declamatory vocals provide an expressive counterbalance to the intricacies and density of the horns and percussion,” — Relix.
For more information about Orquesta Akokán’s upcoming performance in Beaver Creek, visit VilarPAC.org/orquesta-akokan.