History goes back to 1980 in Guantánamo, eastern region of Cuba and cradle of Changüí -musical rhythm born in that province- under the sponsorship of Nueva Trova and Movimiento de Artistas Aficionados, a group of children played the Son Montuno in a very special way. The name of the musical group was Grey and it was the preliminary step of what is today is Tumbao Habana.
After that teen musical experience, some of those adolescents decided to undertake a project with the fundamental aim of assuming Son as their main musical genre although they will also approach Changüí, Chachachá, Mambo, Mozambique and other Latin rhythms highlighting Merengue, Bachata, Cumbia and Latin Jazz
To endeavor this work, they looked for other talented musicians who had the same musical interest and using the name Tumbao (which is precisely the cadence of Son, the characteristic rhythm of regularly repeated sounds that distinguish Cubans from the rest of the world) and HABANA (because it is the Cuban capital and the place where soneros of the whole Island converge) and debuted as a musical group, on December 29, 1997 at the renowned Tropicana Cabaret.
Since then, this musicians have carried out a notorious work: The sonority they have created is such remarkable that they are recognized by an audience which precisely follows them due to the way they express Cuban popular music. This is possible not only for the talent of these young people but also due to the fact that they were graduated from different music schools.
Performances at different cities of Japan, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Mexico, the most prestigious plazas in the country, tourist centers, radio and television programs, winners of several awards from national festivals and main responsibles of ''Tumbao Habana'' CD under Bis Music label, having great national and international acceptance and the CD " Ese huevo quiere sal" recorded for Karl Yor label, shape the artistic career of this band which having six years of foundation, it already occupies a highlight position among the most popular groups of the Cuban new musical generation playing danceable popular music.
In December 2007 Tumbao Habana celebrated their 10th anniversary. The group was founded in 1997 by director and keyboardist Pascualito Cabrejas. During that time they have earned themselves a place in the Havana timba scene with weekly concerts at the EGREM venues.
Pascualito has a facility for finding new talent, and Tumbao Habana has given many young musicians and singers their first taste of the Casa de la Música circuit as well as foreign tours, such as their regular trips to Peru. The band consists of piano, keyboard, bass, timbal with kick drum, congas, güiro and a very diverse horn section featuring two trumpets, trombone and sax. The front line has three singers, although in concert Pascualito occasionally leaves the keyboard to join on coro.
Tumbao Habana has released two studio CDs, Tumbao Habana (2000) and Ese Huevo Quiere Sal (2002), and they plan to record another in 2008. Their studio CDsare a mix of styles including timba, salsa, reggae-salsa, orchestrated rumba, mambo-rap and covers of traditional Cuban songs
In addition, Tumbao Habana has a number of radio demos that have become hits in Cuba and among well-informed timberos around the world. These include Johana, Amanezco and most recently La Familia Cubana. The demos are all excellent timba numbers and indicate that the 2008 CD should be a hit. The Tumbao Habana Videos section has a number of their demos that you can enjoy while we wait for the new CD.
While the studio CDs are a mix of styles, their concerts are timba na' ma´'. Well, that's not completely true. The playlist may include a ballad, but when they playdance music they mean business. The musicians are talented, and the live versions of the songs allow many of the members to demonstrate their virtuosity during solos.
Tumbao Habana doesn't have the name recognition of the first-line groups in Havana, but they are a hard-working timba band, with a faithful following and a sello that appeals to dancers. On your next trip to Havana take the opportunity to catch them at the Casas de la Música.