Habana Sax synthesizes Afro-Cuban, Salsa, Latin jazz, and Brazilian rhythms.
"A quintet of Cuban jazz musicians on saxophone and percussion with an amazing array of styles... with its vibrant performance of Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, Salsa, Latin jazz and Brazilian rhythms, Habana Sax represents the continuing evolution of the fiercely energetic music of Cuba!
The five members of Habana Sax are graduates of the prestigious Superior Institute of Art and Culture of Cuba and are all highly esteemed Cuban music professors. Although the group considers itself a jazz ensemble, it notes that like jazz itself, its musical experimentation is rooted in traditional music forms. Habana Sax’s distinct sound is the result of its taking traditional disciplines to the edge in an ongoing experimental endeavor. Habana Sax came together in the late ‘80s as a classical saxophone quartet at Havana’s Superior Institute of Art and Culture when cofounder Jorge Luis Almeida, a faculty member there, picked three of his star pupils to form the ensemble. Later additions of a percussionist (in order to add traditional Cuban music to their repertoire) and then a drummer, prompted the band to embrace modern jazz in their sets. According to Almeida, “Our sound is difficult to describe since it doesn’t fit a specific school of music...we do a full show where we dance, we sing, we play our instruments....”
Habana Sax’s show has been described as a wild and glorious journey where African chants may suddenly spin into salsa and without warning salsa becomes the opening movement of a traditional symphonic composition that abruptly becomes a richly textured based jazz piece anchored in pounding Latin percussion." --