CUBAN CREW  The famous Cuban ensemble El Grupo Cubano is scheduled to play the Invermere Community Hall on Tuesday, August 27th.                                              Photo submitted

CUBAN CREW The famous Cuban ensemble El Grupo Cubano is scheduled to play the Invermere Community Hall on Tuesday, August 27th. Photo submitted

Contributed by El Grupo Cubano

The famous Cuban ensemble was started in 1999 by the talented brothers Rosel and Yordanis Lamoru, and later joined by singer/basist Julio Avila Gainza. In 2002, known as Brisas del Palmer, they received a popularity prize and in 2003 they were awarded the prize of the best trio in all of Latin America! The musicians are credited for researching and reviving some of Codas musical legacy such as the bolero, son and guaracha.

They have now evolved into a group of seven. Their music is featured daily on Cuban National Radio and they have recently performed for the former pope Benedict. These charismatic musical embassadors of Cuba captivate audiences from two years old to 92 years young!

Their voices, instruments and energy vibrate through the concert hall. Their style is pure and very beautiful. It reflects the rich musical heritage of their tropical island in the Caribbean.

All guitars are traditional instruments. Rosel Lamoru plays the classic Spanish guitar and is master of every Latin rhythm there is. He is the lead singer of the group. His brother Yordanis is a fine singer as well. He plays a guitar called Requinto with fluency and great taste. A guitar called Quatro is played by Javier Rodriogesz Gonzales. Javier is considered the best player of his instrument in Cuba and rivals Paco de Lucia with his virtuosity.

Alejandro Duany plays a guitar called Tres. He is a composer and received a gold medal upon graduating from the conservatory Esteban Salas at Santiago de Cuba.

Brian Yonis Medina graduated from the same conservatory with an outstanding 100 marks in his graduation exam. He is famous for playing the congas, bongos, claves, compana and hi hay.

Julio Avila Gainza plays the upright contra bass and sings with an extraordinary voice. He received his first bass as a gift from Vilma Espen, the late wife of Cuban President Raul Castro. Julio has been on several European tours.

Percussionist Hamilton Feraud is an outstanding singer as well and is a member of the popular Cuban chorus Madrigalista.

And yes, there is the groups unrivaled harmonious a cappella singing. Even if they had no instrumental along at all, they still could entertain the audience for two hours.

The group is managed by Patricia Martinez, a vibrant young lady from Mexico who resides in Vancouver, B.C.

Until mid-August, they have been busy performing around Vancouver and Whistler. Their performances have also been scheduled for Chateau Lake Louise, Edmonton and Calgary.

On Monday, August 26th, they will perform in the Rec Plex located at 1410 9th Street in Golden at 7 p.m., and again on Tuesday, August 27th at the Invermere Community Hall, also at 7 p.m.

El Grupo Cubano has requested one-time B.C. Accordion Champion Bill Helmer of Blaeberry, B.C. to be their regional co-ordinator and to also play along to a few tunes on his squeeze box. Bill was awarded first prize in the Open Accordion Competition in 1960, which was held in the Queen Elisabeth Theatre in Vancouver, B.C. Also in Vancouver, he had his door smashed in with a double-bladed loggers ax by a furious tenant who threatened to knock his accordion right off him if he didnt quit practising instantly. For accordion fans, this may be a fun evening as well. Cuban guitars and piano accordion make for a surprisingly neat musical fusion.

Please check out their website at Tickets (tax included) for adults are $24, tickets for seniors and students are $18, and children under 12 are free. Dont miss it!