The ensemble Los Hermanos Arango, created in 2003, involves the seamless combination of folkloric african drum and song meshed with modern jazz and other popular forms, rendering a new genre: Folklo Jazz. The format integrates vocals, harmony (keyboards, bass, and guitar), horns, and percussion in the form of an authentic battery of african drums. Presented are rhythms that have developed roots in Cuba and originate in West Africa highlighting the Yoruba, Bantú (Congo), Carabalí (Abakuá), Rumba, and other popular rhythms. The listener undergoes a unique experience and gets embodied in a divine world of mysticism adorned with modern instruments and popular sounds. The style is distinctive, raw, and original.
Los Hermanos Arango see the traditional rhythms they have inherited through attending community religious ceremonies with their family as a blessing and the solid foundation of their music. Their grandmother’s influence was the most profound; she was a Yoruba priestess of Oshun and is to whom many of their songs are dedicated. Their father, a member of the Abakua, is also represented in their repertoire.
So far, Los Hermanos Arango has released six albums and two documentaries. The album Oro Negro received two Cubadisco awards. The album Los Hermanos Arango y Las Estrellas del Folklor received three Cubadisco awards. The Arango’s World received three Cubadisco award nominations in 2017 and their newest album, Bendita Guanabacoa, is nominated in the instrumental vocal music category of Cubadisco 2019.
Los Hermanos Arango has performed in Cuba, Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Mexico, and the United States. The band has also done workshops and performed at universities from Tijuana to the Pacific Northwest.Each member of the family has extensively studied music throughout childhood and continued on to graduate from prestigious Cuban conservatories. Band leader and youngest of the brothers, Feliciano Arango is a master bass player, pupil of the prestigious Cachao. He is a founding member of NG La Banda, one of the most celebrated dance bands in Cuba, with whom he played for over 16 years. He is an innovative influence in the world of timba, a modernized form of popular Cuban music. Feliciano is highly sought after and has played with greats such as Chucho Valdés, David Murray, Horatio Hernandez, Yovani Hidalgo, Maraca, , Rodrigo y Gabriela, and many others. He has co-written two books on Cuban Timba and has been in documentaries alongside Pio Leyva and Omara Portuondo. Feliciano’s brother, Eugenio, is a percussion professor at La Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA) in Habana, Cuba and a great influence in the development of Cuban percussion. He has taught courses in various world locations and for over 23 years he worked as a percussionist in the band of prestigious singer Pablo Milanés. Ignacio, the eldest brother, played at the famous Tropicana in Havana alongside Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D’Rivera early in his career and with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe during its inception. He continues to be a sought after guitarist in San Diego, CA. Sister, Cristina, is a seasoned performer and a recognized traditional, as well as popular, vocalist.