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An Inexplicable Cuban Music Encounter

Son D'Acosta re-united after fleeing Castro regime

By Bobby Marin
Published on LatinoLA: February 21, 2015


An Inexplicable Cuban Music Encounter


I met Jose Acosta about 5 years ago in Miami. I was the A&R man for a Latin label and he was interested in having me to listen to some of his recordings. He owned a recording studio and various music masters. Although expertly recorded, the music did not fit into our plans at the time. But Acosta was such a likable fellow, we continued our conversation over a cup of cafe con leche at a nearby cafeteria.

I listened intently as he reminisced about the musical combo he had left behind in his native Cuba. He spoke of how he had methodically put together the individual pieces needed to form a group that captured the essence of traditional Cuban music. And that when he finally located the right musicians and instrumentation, his group, Son D'Acosta, was born. He told me how they had practiced incessantly to become this finely-tuned music ensemble. Some time later, Son D'Acosta had become a popular name whenever good Cuban music was mentioned in and around Havana.

They found work at several cafes, social clubs and restaurants for token contributions from music lovers for the entertainment that they provided. But Acosta realized that they would never be able to truly succeed under the existing government in his country. Mysteriously, one day, Acosta was asked to fill in for an ailing bassist who played for a famous orchestra which was about to embark to Europe to perform for an impresario from Barcelona.

While in Spain, Acosta made the ultimate sacrifice and agreed to defect, along with the band's vocalist. He washed dishes and cleaned tables at one of the establishments where he had performed, for meals and a place to sleep. Always with the hope that some day he would return to his beloved Cuba after a revision of the existing regime.

A year later, Acosta and his musician friend made their way to Miami where he eventually married and settled down to build his studio. His work was appreciated by the many musicians who recorded there and, by some coincidence, at the studio, he met up with the guitarist who had played with him in Cuba. The guitarist related to Acosta that he was fairly certain that the trumpet player from the old band was playing at a club in Miami. When they tracked the trumpeter down they learned that the tres player also lived in South Florida. And of course, they met up with him, as well.

At the time of our conversation, the band had re-assembled and were rehearsing the material they had originally composed in Havana. Now I was infatuated with the story and accepted Acosta's invitation to attend their next rehearsal. At which time I made the decision to produce their album.

We are all extremely happy with the result and anxious for the world to be introduced to the time-honored Cuban sound of Son D'Acosta. Encouraged by the way that a Cuban group by the name of Buena Vista Social Club was embraced by millions, internationally, a few years ago. And knowing that a vacuum was created when that group stopped releasing records. And with a feeling that Son D'Acosta can fill that gap adequately, we are inspired in our quest to have this potentially Grammy awarded recording released to the world.

Please visit www.MamboMusicRecords.com for a sampling of Son D'Acosta's music and video clip.

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