Photo by Anders Rising
On November 3rd, VP Records/17 North Parade will release “Havana Meets Kingston.” The innovative, culture-centric album pairs legendary and emerging Cuban and Jamaican musicians to reimagine classic songs and create new compositions, infused with Jamaican reggae and dancehall and traditional Cuban and Afro-Cuban rhythms. Produced by Australia’s leading reggae and dancehall producer Mista Savona (aka Jake Savona), ‘Havana Meets Kingston’ is the first full-length project to present the blended sounds of these two distinct island nations supported by an all-star cast of musicians.
Of the 15 new recordings on the album, fresh versions of ‘Chan, Chan,’ ‘El Cuarto De Tula,’ and ‘Candela,’ made famous by the album/film Buena Vista Social Club present a blended Caribbean flair. The album was recorded at Egrem Studios (Estudios Areito 101) in Havana and features performances by Grammy award winning reggae duo Sly & Robbie with original Buena Vista Social Club instrumentalists Ronaldo Luna and Barbarito Torres among others. New renditions of classic reggae songs; “Vibracion Positive” (Rastaman Vibration), “Row Fisherman Row” and “100 Pounds of Collie” feature the talents of vocalists Turbulence, Randy Valentine and Prince Alla among others. The music video and single ‘Carnival’ featuring emerging Cuban artist Solis and Randy Valentine, will be followed closely by “El Cuarto De Tula” featuring Maikel Ante, El Medico and Turbulence. A feature-length documentary chronicling the recording sessions is slated for release in 2018.
“When I first visited Cuba in 2013, there was something in the air- it just seemed to be begging to happen”, said Jake Savona. “The album simmers with an energy, warmth and sincerity that seems increasingly hard to find in this digital age. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
For generations, Cuba and Jamaica have been at the forefront of trends in music, art, fashion and food throughout the Americas. “Havana Meets Kingston” meshes these musical pathways, effortlessly blending Cuban rhythms and melodies with reggae’s rumbling basslines and hypnotic drums, resulting in an exceptional listening experience.
“We are excited to be associated with this album,” said Randy Chin, President of VP Records. “it’s a historical album with amazing production and talented artists, making it a truly ground-breaking project.”