The Shedd Institute is pleased to bring Juan De Marcos González and his extraordinary Afro-Cuban All Stars back to Eugene and the Jaqua Concert Hall. De Marcos, the Cuban maestro and key figure in the formation of the recognized Cuban bands Sierra Maestra and the Buena Vista Social Club, forms each Afro-Cuban All Stars orchestra from the crème-of-the-crème of the Cuban diaspora around the world. "Cuban music is collective," De Marcos explains. "These musicians are incredible, and we are rehearsing hard so that the concert will be full of energy." They will be performing Grammy songs like Puntillita's “El Amor Verdadero,” and Gonzalez' “Reconciliacion,” as well as new material written by Ignacio Herrera and Gonzalez himself.
González is no stranger to bringing music to the United States. Over a decade ago, he was the connection between several Cuban musicians and Ry Cooder, relationship that developed into the musical phenomenon that became the Buena Vista Social Club. "Juan de Marcos took all those musicians out of the forgotten place they were at,” says Luis Eric González, a Cuban musician now residing in Los Angeles and friend of González (no family relation), “and helped the movement of our music tremendously." Until 2003, when politics closed the door on artists from Cuba, Juan de Marcos Gonzalez toured the U.S.' mainland repeatedly. Today, hopeful that the new administration will soon relax the restrictions set on Cuban musicians, González comes out of a six year hiatus to gather, literally from all over the world, sixteen names, each carrying a bounty of musical talent and experience: Gliceria Abreu, Calixto Oviedo, Emilio Suarez, Ignacio Herrera, Igort Rivas, Jose Espinoza, Miguelito Valdez de La Hoz, Yaure Muniz, Alberto Martinez, Alberto Pantaleon, Alex Carrasco, Evelio Galan, Miguel Valdez Aballi, Jose Reiner Ardiles, Jose Gil Pinera, and William Bach.