|Name||PROYECTO COMPARSA ORIENTAL|
|Line-up||Alexis Rojas Montero - percussion & vocals
Joaquín Solórzano - percussion & corneta China
|Genre||Conga - Comparsa|
|Booking||Contact Eli Silvrants at Jazzconexion|
Touring: Contact Jazzconexion
_PROYECTO COMPARSA ORIENTAL
Contrary to the rest of the world, Cuban carnival takes place in the middle of the summer, commencing mid-July. After all, first the sugarcane has to be harvested!
Every village and town has its own carnival and many flow over from one place to the other. Especially the Carnivals in Oriente, the most Eastern area of the island, with its capital Santiago de Cuba, are legendary.
Among the diverse music genres of Cuba, the less known is the typical carnival music, called Conga, played by Comparsa-bands, through the streets, where the dancing public join, forming a long parade.
Comparsa groups can be compared with the Samba schools of the Brazilian carnival. The legendary percussionist and composer Chano Pozo began his career in the comparsa band: Los Dandys in Havana. Desi Arnaz, son of a former mayor of Santiago de Cuba, Hollywood star, husband of Lucille Ball and creator of the famous sit-com "I love Lucy", kicked-off a virtual Conga-craze in the United States in the 1940’s. For the last 30 years Irakere have been closing their concerts with a conga. Ibrahim Ferrer invited la comparsa Los Hoyos from Santiago de Cuba on his last CD: Buenos Hermanos.
The Corneta China (Chinese horn) with its high-pitched, penetrating sound is an especially noticeable instrument in the comparsa, along with percussion instruments such as bocú, quinto, redoblante, requinto and campanas; el can and maní tostao (referring to the rhythms).
Proyecto Comparsa Oriental can perform as a podium-act with Afro-Cuban folklore, rumba and congas but is also a marching / street band. They performed as opening act for Los Van Van and Maraca.
Joaquín Solórzano acquired international fame as a percussionist in, among other groups, Los Guanches and Eliades Ochoa y Cuarteto Patria. He is considered to be one of the best interpreters of the Corneta China in Cuba. For some years now he is the leader of Grupo Obini Irawo.
Alexis Rojas Montero who participated in various bands and initiated this project.