Leyendas.COM defends a particular taste for music from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s in last century’s Cuba. The group approaches a time in which genres like the son, mambo, cha-cha and bolero reigned.
The group appropriates that feeling and gives it back with contemporary elements. These visions from yesteryear are mixed with current ones in its CDs Pasión por los 50 and Saborseando, both from Abdala’s recording company’s Unicornio label, to give songs from cardinal decades of the island’s musical history.
Very much to the point when displaying that repertoire less resorted to today by the popular bands, Leyendas.COM has built since March 28, 2010, when it was founded, a monument to those generational classics that shouldn’t be forgotten, like “A mí qué,” by Jesús Guerra; “La culebra,” by Obdulio Morales; “Conversación en Tiempos de Boleros,” by René Touzec; “Vereda Tropical,” by Gonzalo Curiel; and “Rumba de cajón,” by Juan Pablo Torres, among many others.
Bobby Carcassés, an experienced Cuban jazz musician and showman, has said that the group led by Oscar Pedreira and Juan Carlos Bonet “has won the respect in the wide-ranging spectrum of music because of its high-quality work, their cohesion and above all handing over their heart.”
The orchestrations and interpretations in Leyendas.COM especially stand out, transcending the result obtained in the recording studio. Also notable is the show they propose and where outstanding singers take part, like bolero singer Emilia Morales, guaracha singer Amparo Valdés – an octogenarian vocalist with a long career in Havana cabarets and theaters -, son singer Ely Pozo, better known on the stages as Cascarita, and the young William Borrego, who was the lead singer of Cabildo del Son, among others.
Leyendas.COM’s musicians include experienced pianist Jorge Boulet, who is responsible for many of the music arrangements of the CDs Sabroseando and Pasión por los 50, in addition to the Antonio Leal band, who was one of the last trumpet players of the mythical Benny Moré Giant Band, and Policarpo Tamayo (flute) and Yordan Cuenca (conga drums).
For Juan Carlos Bonet, its artistic director, Leyendas.COM is a project that in six years has searched in the Cuban repertoire for those great authors that marked a period in popular music.
Bonet affirms that his intentions have always been clear, “to do something different” and that it be different from similar groups. It’s not less certain that in Cuba today there are many bands that include traditional music in their repertoire. The most relevant is Buena Vista Social Club, legitimized on international stages because of its members’ talent and for its already legendary record by the same name, winner of the 1998 Grammy Award.
“We wanted to form a group in which each one of its members could show their virtuosity and our musicians play a leading role on the stage,” Bonet explains.
Venezuelan theaters like the Opera de Maracay, and tourist destinations like Varadero, in Cuba, and of the Virgin Islands know about the rhythm of Leyendas.COM, a band not very publicized in the media but with an outright valid proposal.