“In these select musical gems, revamped by the "Neo-Bolerista", the singer intuitively awakens a peculiar kind of emotion when she sings and whispers about love.”
“Duele” brings a contemporary aesthetic to the Cuban bolero, a musical genre that originated in the Cuban countryside near the end of the 19th century. “It’s the most romantic of music,” she said. “You were supposed to dance it slowly with your partner in a space no larger than a floor tile.” She said the bolero became more and more urban until, in the late 1950s, audiences would listen to the music at clubs rather than dance to it.
“When the revolution came, the boleros were banned, because they were considered too bourgeois and too anecdotal. So the bolero style sort of lost its popularity until the advent of the Buena Vista Social Club in the 1990s.”
Though she was just a child, Maria Bacardi still recalls the scene in vivid detail—her mother, family and friends sitting around the kitchen table at their home in Madrid singing boleros, the emotionally laden songs of old Cuba. “I remember my mother singing them every night,” Ms. Bacardi recalled during a recent interview at her home in Springs. “All the exiles who hadn’t gone to Miami went to Madrid, and they all came to my mom’s house. I would be in my pajamas and I’d hear them singing, crying and drinking rum, and they all had an instrument—the bongos, the claves, the maracas—and I learned all those songs.”
“Lágrimas Negras” by Miguel Matamoros (1894-1971)
December 17, 2018, at Joes’s Pub, NYC.
Maria Bacardi, Cuban Bolero legend David Oquendo, and Cuban hip-hop master and producer Edgar Gonzalez, along with their 10-piece band of fabulous musicians performed tracks from their upcoming album Duele.
Proceeds from the concert were donated to Unidos Por Puerto Ricoto benefit victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria
The show was sold out. The audience mesmerized!
The video is the first in a series that MB Records will be releasing on Maria Bacardi’s YouTube Channel as the release date of the full album approaches.
Maria sings “Lágrimas Negras”, arguably the most famous song of the genre. It is performed here for the first time in the English language.
The style of “Neo-Bolero” has been developed collaboratively with Maria Bacardi, David Oquendo and Edgaro Gonzalez. It blends the vintage nostalgia of these old school Cuban compositions with the grooves and beats of today.
Comments on Social Media after the show
A moving performance!
You are radiant on stage! Goddess!
At a time when Cuba-US relations have once again deteriorated, Bacardi, in collaboration with seasoned and up-and coming young Cuban artists, is forging new musical bridges between the two nations. In her latest album, titled “Duele”, Maria Bacardi has deftly transmuted traditional Cuban gems into a fresh and vivid sound, the “Neo Bolero,” with contemporary scores, English translations and new turns of phrase.
“It is the task of the artist to reflect the times he or she lives in. With “Duele”, we have attempted to restore to life these classical musical masterpieces of Cuba, with a contemporary musical palate,” shares Bacardi, a multi-talented artist who has also mastered theater and the visual arts.
The video features interview with Maria, Edgaro Gonzalez and David Oquendo
Maria Bacardi and her team are proud to share in the proceeds of her July 14, 2019 concert with Project MOST, the after school and summer learning program based locally in East Hampton.
Click on logo below for more information about this invaluable program.
On July 14, 2019 at 8:00pm Maria Bacardi will be performing the songs from her new album, DUELE.
She will be backed by her all-star Cuban band. The concert will take place at Guildhall in East Hampton, NY.