Daptone Records Mambo Ensemble Orquesta Akokán Unveils Debut Music Video | Shore Fire Media

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23 February, 2018Print

Daptone Records Mambo Ensemble Orquesta Akokán Unveils Debut Music Video

Daptone Records' Mambo Ensemble Orquesta Akokán Unveils Debut Music Video

'Orquesta Akokán' Out March 30


Daptone Records’ blazing hot mambo ensemble Orquesta Akokán has unveiled their debut music video for the song “Un Tabaco para Elegua.”  The mystical and vibrant video was filmed at significant locations in Havana and provides an extended first look at this dynamic new band.  Lyrically, the song depicts an offering of tobacco to the deity Elegua, one of the most important Orishas of traditional Afro-Cuban Santeria.  The video follows lead singer José “Pepito” Gómez’s appeals and offerings to Elegua, who is also the guardian of the dead, in order to free himself from the ominous presence lurking over him.

Watch the video, directed by Joel Pront, on YouTube.

And via the New York Times.

“The vocalist Pepito Gómez has a siren sound that reaches right back into the 1940s, when the punchy pop music known as mambo overtook Cuba. He’s embracing that affinity with a new band, Orquesta Akokán, featuring some of the island’s greatest instrumentalists... “Un Tabaco para Elegua” [is] a slow, snaky tune paying tribute to the wily Santería god of roads and pathways.” – New York Times

“Un Tabaco para Elegua” marinates in a haunting, slow and sensual groove, and is a showcase for Pepito’s thrilling vocal performance. The song is from Orquesta Akokán’s self-titled debut record, which will be released March 30 on Daptone.

‘Orquesta Akokán’ boasts all-original music and was cut live over a three-day session at Havana’s legendary state-run Estudios Areito, one of the longest operating studios in the world. It showcases a brand new ensemble put together for this project, featuring some of Cuba’s finest musicians. It was produced by Jacob Plasse and arranged by Mike Eckroth, and written by Pepito, Plasse and Eckroth together in New York City.

Orquesta Akokán has already been featured on NPR Music, Billboard, a KCRW Today’s Top Tune and more, and will be touring this summer with dates to be announced.

The “Tabaco” video was filmed at three main locations around Havana including the Museo de Peluquero (the barbershop museum in "barbers alley") and Teatro América – a monumental art deco gem built in 1941 that was at one time an epicenter of music and film in Cuba. The outdoor scenes take place at a sacred Santeria site in Parque Almendares. For decades, people have visited the park to deposit eggs, plastic bags stuffed with sacrifices, and other offerings at the base of the great trees.



Mambo Rapidito

La Corbata Barata

Un Tabaco para Elegua

Otro Nivel

La Cosa

Cuidado Con el Tumbador

Yo Soy para Tí

No Te Hagas

A Gozar la Vida


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