post-salsa from New York New York
Exploding onto NYC’s Latin dance-club scene, Yerba Buena is a nine-piece post-salsa juggernaut that leaves dancers gasping for air and critics grasping for superlatives. Their Afro-Cuban sound comes from a trio of Cuban émigrés, with Caribbean rhythmic funk via cumbia, soca and rumba and Nigerian Afrobeat. The seamless, genre-hopping wall of sonic combustion shifts from Yoruban religious drumming and Santeria chants to scorchingly horn-driven art-funk and streetsmart hip-hop. Their debut album, President Alien, was universally hailed as the party album of 2003, and their live shows are the most fun you can have without doing something illegal (the band’s name means “good herb” in Spanish). Bandleader and super-producer Andres Levin (who’s worked with everyone from Chaka Khan to David Byrne) has assembled a killer crew, especially Bahamian saxophonist Ron Blake and Xiomara Laugart, their incendiary lead singer who’s often compared with salsa superstar Celia Cruz. A three-dimensional musical revolution in the spirit of Fela Kuti, Yerba Buena will set your dancing shoes on fire.
“A Yerba Buena show seems more like a wild party than a concert. The effect can be dizzying.” -Associated Press