The El Cantante Trio is a Spanish Latin roots acoustic outfit consisting of a Nuyorican vocalist, Surf Rock guitarist and World Music percussionist extraordinaire…
Born in Los Angeles, California, raised in N.Y.C and, eventually, naturalized in Johannesburg, Martin Rafael Otto, aka Cito, was brought up by his Puerto Rican mother and American father; both musicians and embracers of the Hispanic culture.
With El Cantante (the singer), Cito heads back to his Puerto Rican roots, performing his unique acoustic versions of the Spanish classics that he grew up listening to. Paying tribute to his heritage and his folks, who both influenced his style of singing and guitar playing, Cito interprets traditional and contemporary songs in this unique “tradicional” way.
Cito comments on the El Cantante Trio’s debut album
“The manifestation of a life-long calling and dream, to record and produce a record that pays tribute to my musical heritage and Puertorican roots, is something that will make me so happy for a long time.”
The rhythms and harmonies of bolero, rumba, salsa, mambo and folklorica are embraced, highlighting traditional favourites from countries including Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina and others. Pop favourites are also interpreted in the trio’s unique flair.
Completing the rich sound are Martin Schofield, fellow WONDERboom guitarist, playing lead guitar and South African percussionist, Riaan Van Rensburg (Noot Vir Noot / Boo! / Bomb Shelter Beast) on the authentically Latin beats and rhythms.
The album, which was recorded live captures the bands interpretation of the songs perfectly as engineer and co-produced Barry Berk reveals
“The recording process was old school, live band in a studio laying down song after song. The result is a remarkable record filled with a warmth and an immediacy, a record that more than does justice to the classic Latin songs the album contains.”
Martin Schofield comments
“Playing and recording this beautiful roots music and paying tribute to these songs, in this style is nothing but an honour, privilege and pleasure…and with these amigos by my side it’s even better.”
Riaan Van Rensburg comments
“Our man Barry Berk managed to capture that performance for us. Working in studio with my fellow band members and Barry on this project was very special and it’s something I will treasure for all my life. In the end, we finally have something out to be very proud of. I hope it sounds as much fun as it was making it.”
You can buy / stream the El Cantante Trio’s album HERE.
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