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2010 Event Media Release - Los Van Van

Media Release: 16 June 2010

Sydney Opera House presents
Los Van Van
August 15 – Concert Hall
with special guests Latin Block Party

'The best dance band in Cuba!' New York Times

'...they speak to all three elements that most bands only manage two of: head, heart and hips.' The Age, Melbourne

Los Van Van, the iconic and quintessential sound of Cuba, will ignite the Concert Hall with their hot fusion of Cuban rhythms for one show only on August 15, as part of an international tour taking in Asia and Europe.

Known as 'The Rolling Stones of Latin Music', the 16-piece Los Van Van formed just ten years after Castro's 1959 Revolution and has remained the biggest name in the history of Cuban dance bands ever since.

After forty years they are still Cuba's most popular dance band with legions of fans throughout the world.

Founded by Juan Formell, affectionately known in Cuba as 'Saint Juan', Los Van Van changed the course of popular music for an entire generation, alongside artists such as The Beatles and Aretha Franklin.

Their original sound continues to break musical ground and set trends under the direction of renowned drummer Samuel Formell (Juan’s son) who now leads the band.

Playing from a charanga line-up as its base, Los Van Van play a fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with Latin jazz, salsa, rock,funk, disco, and hip-hop. The inimitable Van Van sound has developed over the years into the unique “in-your-face” Cuban version of salsa, known the world over as timba.

The band have produced over 30 releases,including five of the most important timba albums of all time, featuring the anthems Sandungera and Esto te Pone la Cabeza Mala, picking up a Latin Grammy in 2000 for the album Llego Van Van (Van Van have Arrived).

Widely celebrated as a launchpad for outstanding singers and musicians, Los Van Van’s past members include the legendary Changuito and original cofounder Cesar "Pupy" Pedroso.

The current line up, which performed in Australia for the first time in 2006 to critical acclaim and sold out venues across the country, includes vocalists Mayito Rivera, Roberto Hernandez "Roberton", Yeni Valdes and Lele Rosales.

Supporting Los Van Van are Sydney’s Latin music dreamteam, Latin Block Party, delivering a blistering repertoire of epic dancefloor originals with a nod to retro Cuban salsa hits.

The allstar ten-piece includes the inimitable Oscar Jimenez (Watussi), Latin soul diva Merenia Gillies (Reyes de la Onda), salsa chanteuse Toni Allayialis (Samba Mundi/Espirito), Cuban prodigy Armandito Garcia (Armandito y su Trovason), Uruguayan salsero Gonzalo Porta (Sydney Salsa Allstars) and Latin-jazz trombone maestro Martin Taylor (Mucho Mambo

Los Van Van, with special guests Latin Block Party, will be an unforgettable night of epic Afro-Cuban musical proportions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010
Venue: Concert Hall
Times:7.00pm – Latin Block Party
7.30pm – Interval
7.50pm – Los Van Van
9.30pm – Finish
Tickets: $49 - $110
Bookings: 02 9250 7777 or

Cristina Dio
Office: 02 9383 4162
Mobile: 0414 323 452 

Los Van Van will also play The Victorian Arts Centre (Wednesday, 11 August), and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Friday, 13 August).


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