|The Cuban League
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Regarded as one of New York City's most sought after bass player, Yunior Terry is recognized for his big sound, versatility and contagious rhythm. As the youngest son of one of Cuba’s most gifted musical families “Los Terry’s”, Yunior followed the tradition and began his musical training at age seven, graduating in 1994 from the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) in Havana with a double major in violin and bass. Soon after graduation he joined the National Philharmonic Orchestra, performing works of Europeans and Cubans composers at the Havana’s National Theater. In 1998 Mr. Terry moved to California to attend The California Institute of Arts where he received his B.A. with honors in 2002. It was at CalArts where he continued to expand his musical horizon under Charlie Haden, Derek Oles (Poland), Rajeev Taranath (India) and Alfred Ladzekpo (Ghana) by exposing him to a wide variety of music and traditions from around the world. In 2009, Yunior Terry won the Van Lier Fellowships, awarded each year by Meet The Composer to active professionals, supporting the creation of new musical work and engagement in the community.
Yunior Terry has performed with Steve Coleman, Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache, Lila Downs, Jeff Tain Watts, Eddie Palmieri, The late Hilton Ruiz, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Turre, Dave Valentin, Jane Bunnett and his borther Yosvany Terry among many others. In addition to his occupied schedule as a sidemen, Terry leads his own band “Son de Altura” created to innovate as well as to preserve the legacy of Cuban music.
Alex Tosca Laugart
Born on January 27, 1984, in Cuba, Alex Tosca Laugart is one of the most dynamic young pianists on the scene.
At the age of seven, Laugart became interested in the piano. He was influenced by Miriam Valdez, sister of the famous Cuban virtuoso Chucho Valdez, and Rosa Maia Tolo. Laugart credits Tolo with helping mature his style and musicality.
Laugart benefitted from a wide range of musical experiences growing up in Cuba. Dennis & Swing was a group that Laugart credits for "giving me the real timba groove." Laugart also played with the Afro Cuban All Stars, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Sexteto Sendito, Jose Miguel Crego (known as “El Greco”), and a Latin Jazz group called the Bobby Carcases Group, where Laugart says "I learned a lot about the language of music."
Laugart was also part of the Hip-Hop scene in Cuba and had the opportunity to play with The Roots while they were in Cuba. He has also worked in the studio with Cuban conductor Miguel Ceruto.
Amadito Valdez, the great timbalero with the Buena Vista Social Club, was a musical mentor and an important part of Laugart's decision to come to the United States in July of 2005. His arrival came with the opportunity to perform with “Havana Night” in Las Vegas for two years.
During that time, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic scouted discovered Laugart. They began rehearsing, and Laugart performed with the group in Washington, DC, on New Year's Eve, 2007. The gig was at BB King's, and is still one of the most memorable in the young pianist's career.
XIOMARA LAUGART -Vocals
Those who have entered Cuba through Jose Marti International Airport in Havana will know that upon arrival, they are greeted by beautiful video images of Old Havana on TV screens and the sultry voice of Xiomara Laugart singing “Hoy mi Habana”. And it is no coincidence because Xiomara Laugart is “The Voice of Cuba”.
Born with a fusion of rhythms in her veins, she began her career at the age of 15. Soon thereafter, her voice categorized her as a true prodigy, gifting her with the remarkable flexibility to interpret musical genres from the traditional to contemporary Cuban music. From the moment she took the highest award in the “Aldolfo Guzman” Contest for Cuban music in 1980, she has become one the most brilliant representatives of Cuban song.
For many years, Xiomara Laugart “La Negra” as she is popularly known, was Muse to the Nueva Trova artists and recorded and shared stages with the likes of Omara Portuondo Pablo Milanes, Silvio Rodriguez, and Raul Torres. However, though Xiomara had been performing in the largest of venues in Cuba for years, she longed for a deeper sense of artistic expression, which she found difficult to develop in the oppressive political climate of Cuba. Her dream was to live in the United States and fill the creative void in her soul with her music.
And so, upon arriving in New York, Xiomara was immediately invited as a featured guest vocalist on two jazz albums, “Deep Rumba” by Kip Hanrahan and “Latin Lullaby” by Ellipsis Art, and on Jacky Terrason’s album “What it is” [Blue Note Records]. She also was featured in the first single worldwide single by The Fun Loving Criminals released in 2001. By 2002, Laugart's monthly showcases at New York City's famed underground Zinc Bar were being widely acclaimed as “legendary”.
Dzeimianowicz New York Daily News.