New Regency Orchestra New Regency Orchestra

    Mr Bongo
      • 1. Pregon
      • 2. Sambaroco
      • 3. Mambo Herd
      • 4. Fiesta Time
      • 5. Para Los Papines
      • 6. Sahib & Tito
      • 7. Scarlet Mambo Hour
      • 8. Papa Boco
      • 9. Labasta Llego
      • 10. Mambo Rama (Lex Blondin Rework)
      • 11. Mango Walk
      • 12. Harlem Jamboree

      An 18-piece Afro-Cuban big band, inspired by the musical melting pot of NYC in the 1950s, but with the punch and power of a whole host of London's best Latin and jazz musicians . Blowing new life into these compositions, the album is a reimagining of some of the finest music from that golden era. From early 1950s Rene Hernandez and Tito Puente, through to the 1970s salsa of Rafael Labasta and Orlando Marin, produced and performed with fresh fire.

      NRO is the brainchild of its artistic director, and the man behind Total Refreshment Centre and Church of Sound , Lex Blondin . Through a long- held passion for jazz, Lex discovered the explosive Afro-Cuban rhythms of mid-1940s NYC via the godfather of Afro-Cuban jazz, Mario Bauza. A time when two musical worlds collided in a fusion of creativity and energy, jazz luminaries like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker joining forces with Cuban greats like Machito and Chano Pozo. This vibrant sound was music to dance to and found a home at The New York Palladium, a formative space of freedom and expression that was key to the scene's development.

      Although dance-focussed in their makeup, those early recordings are not often heard in modern club environments and Lex dreamt of retelling their story with a contemporary dynamism. A slice of serendipity followed, as a slot at a new festival opened up and Lex jumped at the chance to make this idea a reality, an 18-piece big band breathing new life into these beloved songs.

      Enlisting the expertise of some of the capital's finest talent, Lex and co-captain Andy Wood, of Como No fame, put together a world- class line- up of talent. Bringing in Eliane Correa as musical director and bandleader, a fluid and interchanging 18-piece band was formed.

      This pure collective joy, shared experience and music you can't help but move to.

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