Venezuelan Label Cacao Musica Enters Us Market with 11/27 Releases by Changuito, "El Negro" & Alfredo Naranjo


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The Caracas, Venezuela-based jazz, world and Latin music label Cacao Musica enters the North American market with the November 27th release of CDs by the legendary percussionist Changuito, the prolific drummer Horacio “El Negro" Hernandez, virtuoso vibraphonist Alfred Naranjo, the folk singer Vidal Colmenares from Venezuela's “llano" region and the alternative pop band Santos Viejos (Old Saints).

Cacao's audiophile CDs and associated DVDs will initially be available in selected Barnes & Noble stores around the U.S. and subsequently in other national retail chains as well as in independent music and bookstores. The CDs have a suggested list price of $16.99 and will be distributed to “brick-and-mortar" stores and online retailers by TNT Media Group and Reyes Records. The Orchard is handling the digital distribution and marketing of the Cacao catalogue.

Responsible for the founding of the label as well as for the concept, vision and dedication driving it are two Venezuelans from very different walks of life who joined forces to make their common goal of presenting their country's music on the world stage a reality: Drummer and veteran broadcaster Omar Jeanton, who owns several radio stations in Venezuela, and the professional baseball player Bobby Abreu, presently a star on the New York Yankees who share a deep passion for music in general and for the various styles both native to and being developed today in Venezuela in particular.

“Cacao's mission is to produce and market internationally an eclectic catalogue of CDs and DVDs spanning diverse musical genres and styles including jazz, Latin-jazz, fusion, Afro- Latin, Afro-Venezuelan, pop, folk and instrumental music," Jeanton explained. “Venezuela is home to some of the greatest musicians in the world and they are finally starting to appear on the world stage. Cacao intends to play a major role in raising the international profile of these magnificent artists who have remained unknown and obscure for far too long," he said “I love all kinds of music," added Abreu, “and my dream to be part of a company where I can help the richness of Venezuelan music receive more attention around the world has come true with Cacao."

Cacao has developed a distinctive visual identity for itself with each title in its catalogue bound with a spiral spine so each album resembles a notebook or cahier. All CDs are accompanied by an extensive booklet containing informative essays commissioned from noted South American writers and are illustrated with original artwork and photographs.

Horacio “El Negro" Hernandez - Italuba II - CME 001
The second solo release from one of the most prolific drummers on the global music scene. “El Negro" has provided the pulse for projects by everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Carlos Santana among countless others, sharing a Grammy for his work on the guitarist's multi-platinum masterpiece “Supernatural" as well as on CDs by Roy Hargrove, Michel Camilo and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. His skills as an instrumentalist and composer are celebrated on this much-anticipated follow-up to Italuba “El Negro's" Grammy nominated solo debut from 2004.

Alfredo Naranjo - Alfredo Naranjo Y El Guajeo - CME 002
Venezuela's virtuoso vibraphonist Alfredo Naranjo has added a glow to the music of Al Jarreau, Tito Puente, Ray Charles, Alex Acua, Don Grusin, Abraham Laboriel and Dave Samuels, among others. Accompanied by the band El Guajeo he delivers a dynamic set of Latin music spanning the spectrum from mambo to rumba to salsa that showcases his mastery of the mallets.

Changuito - Telegrafia Sin Hilo (Wireless Telegraphy) - CME 003
The solo CD this Latin percussion legend's fans around the world have been waiting for! Changuito invented the revolutionary songo style fusing son and go-go and spent 25 years as a member of the acclaimed Cuban band Los Van Van. His trademark timbales are featured on 10 songs full of the fire and passion that have set the rhythmic standard for contemporary Latin music since the 1970s.

Santos Viejos (Old Saints) - Pop Aut (Native Pop) - CME 004
For the four members of Santos Viejos - all vocalists and electric and acoustic guitarists who double on other instruments as well -- making music is a continuous musical and lyrical adventure. Their ongoing search for new ideas and inspiration has led to the development of a highly original sound that provides a creative alternative to traditional Latin pop styles.

Vidal Colmenares - ...Otro Llano (Another Llano) - CME 005
Folk singer Vidal Colmenares earns his living herding cattle but his other passion is performing the traditional music of the “llanos," the vast plains of Western Venezuela. Whether singing arrangements of classic songs from this region or contemporary ones he composed Colmenares' voice conveys the emotion and the spirit of a musical heritage dating back over a century to the days when his homeland was still a frontier.

Coming From Cacao Musica In Winter 2008:

Six Cacao titles are scheduled to be released in Winter 2008 of which five feature native Venezuelan artists: “La Patilla" by New York City-based guitarist Aquiles Baez featuring Anat Cohen on clarinet; “Crate" by Paris-based Latin percussionist Orlando Poleo; “Coincidencias" by vocalist Luz Marina and “Aire Y Mar" by singer-songwriter Claudio Corse who are both based in Miami; “Suelos" by the Caracas Clarinet Quartet. Cacao's sixth Winter 2008 release, “Father & Son," presents a jazz trio led by the Miami-based Puerto Rican pianist Jos Negroni featuring his son Nomar on drums.

This story appears courtesy of MFA - Mitchell Feldman Associates.
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