Asere will be touring the US next year in a show organised by Columbia Arts Management in association with our partners at Run Productions in France. It will be an enlarged line-up performing the band’s repertoire created over 4 albums.
Full details and dates to follow.
Asere were pleased to be invited by Musicport and Music4U to work with students from Headlands school in Bridlington for three days and perform with them at the festival. Catch a glimpse with the film footage and photos here
Asere return to Cuba having successfully completed their 3 month European tour. Highlights were the new acoustic show, as those who caught this unique experience will know, and several educational projects with some special moments.
From left to right: Fito, Flecha, David, Pata, Vicente and Luz.
Photo: Julie Carpenter.
We are very proud to announce that Adan Pedroso has been awarded the Grand Prize in the Latin category of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition for the song Romantica which is featured on the Asere album Destinos. Our congratulations to to both him and the band. Astar will be releasing a special maxi single with all previously recorded versions of the song in the very near future. Watch this space.
This is the second time in two years that an Asere song has won the award, following their success last year for the song Psicologia from their album Junio Groove.
This is a version recorded live in France in 2008.
Asere start their tour this week. First stop St Ethelburga’s in London on Wednesday 5th – this venue is the perfect space to showcase their brand new acoustic show.
Well-loved by audiences up and down the UK over the past thirteen years, Asere are one of the hottest bands to have emerged from Cuba in recent years.
This time Asere are here with a big difference, for this is an intimate, entirely acoustic performance, with the band located in the middle of an audience seated informally around them. There will be no microphones, no amplification and no PA system. Just a group of young and very talented Cuban musicians, an audience up close, fabulous music and the chance to experience a unique show, for both band and audience.
“Asere.. play great, slinky and rhythmic dance music.. as fresh and as adventurous as ever” Robin Denselow, The Guardian
“Quite sensational” Songlines
Asere are now beginning a tour of the UK and Europe. the dates are on the live section along with box office numbers and website addresses.
16 September Torpoint Community College
23 September Royal Welsh College, Cardiff
28 September Wookey Hole Folk Club
1 October The Stables, Milton Keynes
5 October St Ethelburga's, London
7 October Rasa, Utrecht
8 October Tropentheatre, Amsterdam
13 October Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan
14 October Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea
15 October Mineral Line, Roadwater
20 October Colchester Arts Centre
21 October Bourne Community College, Southborne, Sussex
22 October Walberton Village Hall, Arundel
25 October Turner Sims, Southampton
28 October Fiddlers Club, Bristol
29 October Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan
4 November Musicport festival, Bridlington
5 November Musicport festival, Bridlington
11 November N9, Eeklo
12 November Oosterpoort, Groningen
Asere have announced that their next european tour will be totallly acoustic. No PA, amplifiers, electronics of any kind. See below their showcase video for these acoustic shows which are already attracting attention following their debut at the Home festival in the UK last year. If you are interested in booking the band then please contact us directly
Three more videos have been released on YouTube from Asere's performance at the Nuits Du Sud festival in Vence, France last year. Please click on the links to take a look and please comment on our YouTube pages.
La musica cubana se niega a ser ignorada
Aunque los medios de comunicación y los dirigentes de la cultura en la Isla no la promuevan actualmente. A pesar de esto, Asere es un ejemplo de lo arraigadas que están las tradiciones en la población.
Asere es un vocablo que tomó un sentido urbano en La Habana y hoy quiere decir hermano, pana, mijo o brother, un colectivo de hermanos que velan celosamente por los orígenes de la cultura cubana.
Más de una década ha pasado desde el día en que siete hombres, con la intención de darle a su música tradicional una nueva mirada y un mensaje contemporáneo, unieron sus diferentes influencias y estilos musicales para crear un son lleno de "cubanía" y letras inteligentes que ilustran la realidad actual. Asere presenta ahora su más reciente disco: Junio Groove.
¿Por qué creen que la música cubana se ha convertido en el punto de partida de otros géneros?
-Nuestra música es un devenir de influencias culturales, en las que priman, principalmente, las savias hispana y africana .En cualquier estilo del son de la Isla se encuentran bien arraigadas las costumbres de sus habitantes, su cadencia de vida, sus deseos y sus problemas. Quizás ahí esté el éxito de nuestra música.
¿Cómo fue el acercamiento que tuvieron con Totó La Momposina?
-Esta diva de la música latina llegó hace 13 años a una humilde morada habanera, con una trayectoria internacional increíble. Empezó a gozar con el estilo de siete jóvenes, que aunque tenían claro su objetivo, necesitaban enseñanzas. Su sonrisa de siempre respondió a cada acorde y golpe con su sabrosura y carisma. Esto es algo que siempre va a marcar nuestras vidas.
¿Cómo se puede definir a Junio Groove?
-Es una muestra de la madurez de la banda, un disco que continúa con nuestra labor de rebuscar y dar un nuevo groove a nuestra música, un nuevo impulso, nuevas influencias, pero siempre con un toque de cubanía en el que las letras no siguen siempre los patrones de sabrosura o fiesta tradicional de los sones que se componen en la Isla sino temas sociales y cotidianos que dan una idea al oyente-bailador del entorno urbano.
We have uploaded a video of Asere playing Psicologia at this year's Nuits De Sud festival in the south of France. Enjoy and please feel free to let us know what you think!
Astar recording artists Asere feature on the new release from Putomayo called "Jazz Around The World". The track chosen is "Destinos" from the CD with Billy Cobham. The CD is available now online and in record stores worldwide.
Despite various changes in line up, Asere still remain one of the most interesting Cuban groups. Ever since the group originated, they aimed to play modern versions of traditional styles, like “son”. Also pop, jazz and other genres have been incorporated – on the latest album of this septet you can even hear a hint of reggae.Familiar elements have stayed, like the clavé, 3/4 – 4/4 measure changes (often indicated by those sticks), and the question- and answergame between singer and group. Left out is the machismo, leaning on clichés of the old ‘septeto’s – even though there are tributes to heroes of the past like Henry Fiol and Beny Moré. Added are beautiful, creative lines for bass, piano and drum, and elaborated refined vocal harmonies – which pays off in a rich mix of sounds. Their musical leader is Michel Padrón. He excels in the instrumental pieces in dialogue with the flexible, flamenco-like guitarplay of Andres Valdés and the crying violin of Alexis Lefevre. This diverse album is a delight for everyone who thinks Cuban music ends with the Buena Vista Social Club.
The first dates of Asere's European tour have now been posted. Keep checking back for more dates as they are added.
Asere Junio Groove (Astar Records)
By Sue Steward
A clutch of neo-retro son bands - including Asere – thrived during the Buena Vista phenomenon, and rose from Havana’s tourist bars and street parties to globe-trotting tours of Europe. But with the waning of BV, a reinvention away from the aged classics was vital; Asere kept hold of the early 20th-century son style (preserved in Oriente’s correctly trumpet-led version), avoided the spread of electronic Reggaeton, and dug themselves into the countryside of Andalucia, dripping flamenco into their songs in an easy, historically logical liason. "Harissa" (the North African hot sauce equivalent to salsa) goes furthest into that fusion with the lead singer David Echevarria’s tone sharper-than-son sweetness but mild compared to flamenco’s uncontrolled passion; the guitar’s note-bending is unmistakeably oud-like.
Voices are focal here and led by Echevarria and Vicente P Arencibia. Of the nine songs, "El Cantante" (the Singer) causes me problems. Written by salsa singer and poet-songwriter Ruben Blades, and immortalised by the late Puerto Rican salsa icon Hector Lavoe, it is a reminder that intellectual property rights should surround certain songs. There is only one Cantante. Lavoe’s rough, untrained, intuitively sublime countryman’s singing carries the history of the island’s music on every note, while David Echevarria represents the trained and too clean perfection of many young Cuban voices. However – elsewhere - the two men turn in some glorious performances. For the rumba, "Yo naci en un Solar" (I was born in a tenement), Echevarria’s chant-singing and the accompanying male choruses channel us deep into the earthy soulfulness of Afro-Cuban music, accompanied by a low-key bluesy-flamenco electric guitar and surprisingly reserved drumming.
The diversity of this collection reflects the new openness possible today in Cuba. Influence from once-taboo salsa is strong: Ruben Blades’s distinctively nasal, yearning singing style permeates several songs including "Sonamos flamenco", where it effectively merges into a backdrop of gypsy flamenco. "Psycologia" shows obvious influence, in the tremulous moments, from Miami superstar, Willie Chirino – a fact, until recently, unimaginable. These explorations are yielding unpredictable results, and here, work beautifully. Alas, the sleeve offers no information about the songs or musicians, just 11 pages of photographs and two of thanks from the band!