Seventeen years ago, four Cuban vocalists joined forces to create a group that would redefine Cuban music and introduce worldwide audiences to a new sound created in the island’s underground scene, one that mixed American hip-hop with Cuba’s rich musical traditions, specifically the son cubano. The quartet turned into a trio after their first album (A lo cubano, 2000) was released. An additional four albums (including a compilation), two Latin Grammy awards, and thousands of concerts later, Orishas —Yotuel Romero, Roldan González and Hiram Riverí “Ruzzo”— performed together one last time at Juanes’ 2009 Paz sin Fronteras concert in Havana; each went their separate ways to pursue their individual musical dreams immediately thereafter. After that long hiatus, Orishas is back, with a full twelve-member band, a new single, plans to record a new album, and a ten-city U.S. tour that brings them to Chicago’s Festival Cubano.
Also headlining: Merengue superstar Elvis Crespo.
The Chicago International Salsa Congress dancers, Matanzas y su Timba featuring Angel d’Cuba, Stacie Sandoval and her Orchestra, La Obra, Kastaway and JC Munguia are also scheduled to perform on Saturday.