photo by Julia Reihs
Straight from Havana, Cuba, the Grammy-nominated Orquesta Akokán performs soulful and lively mambo reminiscent of the 1940s and 50s. Formed in New York by arranger Michael Eckroth and producer Jacob Plasse, the addition of dynamic Cuban singer José “Pepito” Gómez ignited the group that would take its full form when making the journey down to Cuba itself to rehearse, record, and fill out the rest of the lineup.
With an album recorded in the state-run Estudios Areitos, the first Spanish language release for Daptone Records, the groovy and modernized rhythmic wind section was mined from local talent and put the finishing touch on the group that when performing bring the spirit of Benny Moré and Perez Prado into the twenty-first century.
Ahead of a stop at Antone’s and a world tour, Orquesta Akokán swung by Studio 1A to play transformative mambo music that is sure to keep your foot tapping.
–Claire Hardwick, KUTX Intern
Host: Michael Crockett
Audio Engineer: Cliff Hargrove
Producer: Deidre Gott
Cameras: Julia Reihs, Giulia Hjort, Micheal Minasi, Tristan Ipock