Jesús Alemañy , founder of Latin orchestra ¡Cubanismo!, came to fame as a brilliant 15 year old trumpet player for the iconic Cuban son group Sierra Maestra. The all-star ¡Cubanismo! orchestra play sizzling dance tunes full of swaggering horn charts and wild polyrhythms that recall the vintage big-band son sound, traditional rumba, cha-cha and lesser known danzon and pa’ca rhythms arranged in the descarga (jam) tradition developed by Cuban jazz players of the ‘40s.
The expression cubanismo designates something specifically Cuban, or unique to the island and not common to the general Spanish culture of Latin America. Utterly different from the genre known as Latin jazz, ¡Cubanismo! features danceable music from beginning to end, celebrating the legacy of Cuban music in other dance styles from around the world. The Cuban son, which dates back to the turn of the century, is the root of much of the up-tempo international pop music, from African soukous to New York salsa.