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Friday, Nov. 7, 2008

Bamboleo brings on the salsa

Staff writer

One of the world's most renowned Cuban salsa bands will bring their passionate and romantic performance to a Tokyo audience on Nov. 14.

The group, Bamboleo, is led by pianist Lazaro Valdes and features popular singer Tania Pantoja, whose voice is described as "metallic velvet" by the acclaimed novelist Ryu Murakami, with an expert devotee of Cuban music. Murakami will produce the concert and serve as its emcee.

Pantoja, who joined Bamboleo in 2004, has performed in a number of concerts around the world, and her beautiful voice is sure to excite the audience, Murakami believes. The outstanding singer is also known as the "Queen of Timba," referring to a new musical genre that combines elements of traditional Cuban music, salsa, jazz, rock and hip hop.

Bamboleo, which Valdes founded in 1995, entered the Cuban music scene during the years when Timba began to gain increasing popularity throughout the world. The group has performed in Japan annually since 2005.

"The audiences feel that it (the music) is powerful and sometimes sensual," Murakami said in a press release.

Famous Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto also praised Valdes, describing him as a "Cuban pianist who contemplates."

Valdes's incredible technique and Bamboleo's dynamic performance are sure to wow the audience.

The Bamboleo concert will start at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.) in the Shinagawa Stellar Ball in the Epson Shinagawa Aqua Stadium at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel in Minato Ward, Tokyo. Tickets (all for standing) are ¥6,300, and are available through eplus at eplus.jp/cubannight08 or via Ticket Pia at 0570-02-9999 (P-code 301-676) or Lawson Ticket at 0570-084-003 (L-code 73751). For more information, call Griot Ryu's Cuban Night Office at (03) 3428-3992.

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