This time though, they brought along some friends. As part of their tour for their latest album, Area 52, they were accompanied by C.U.B.A, a 13 piece Cuban orchestra from Havana. The album is also Rodrigo y Gabriela’s first collaboration with other musicians.
The album’s nine tracks are re-interpretations of familiar songs: “Ixtapa,” “Juan Loco,” “Tamacun,” and “Diablo Rojo” from 2006’s Rodrigo y Gabriela and “Hanuman,” “11:11,” “Santo Domingo,” “Logos,” and “Master Marqui” from 2009’s 11:11.
The result is outstanding. Horns, Saxophone, bass and drums combine with Rodrigo y Gabriela’s mind-bending guitar work to produce a funky, rock-tinged, Fania-inspired sound. One could even say that the collaboration opens up another way of experiencing their music. The result is one that must be seen live to get the full, high-energy effect.
As you can expect from their show, they immediately jump into the music. The whole set was a production, really. Halfway through, C.U.B.A leaves to let Rodrigo y Gabriela take the stage.
“It’s a pleasure for us to play for you tonight,” Gabriela said.
C.U.B.A. came back on stage to help finish the set, and the duo dedicated “11:11” to their crew. Given the cheers coming from the audience, there was no doubt that they were thinking it was a pleasure to hear them play.
Live photos by Mari Hernandez.