GARDINER — Primo Cubano, a Latin band with a Cuban “Son”-style beat, is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center, 280 Water St.

Primo Cubano uses the traditional acoustic instrumentation of tres, upright bass, guitar and trumpet with the rich percussion of congas, bongos, maracas, guiro and claves. The songs’ Spanish lyrics are sung in the rhythmic call-and-response style of “Son,” that’s easy to echo.

Primo Cubano is guitarist Paul D’Alessio, who came into contact with this music on a trip to Cuba in 2004 with the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association. He began learning to play “Son” music on a guitar-like instrument native to Cuba called the tres and subsequently formed Primo Cubano, “Cuban Cousin.”

Trumpeter Marc Chillemi also spent time in Cuba and has played in various other Latin groups. He also plays percussion and sings on the choruses, or coros, to which the lead singer, or sonero responds with an improvised lyric.

Lenny Hatch has loved the congas since he first heard Mongo Santamaría play Watermelon, and he has been playing them in addition to the bongo and other percussion instruments for over 20 years now.

Eric Winter has been singing all his life and began studying Spanish at the age of 12. He has become particularly interested in Cuban music in the last few years. Eric also plays maracas and is the newest addition to Primo Cubano.

Duane Edwards plays the bass fiddle. He is a graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta and plays in various groups in the area.

The show will feature dancing on the newly finished floor. Tickets cost $15 for adults or $13 for Johnson Hall members. Students age 22 and younger will be admitted for $6. Early ticket reservations are recommended, but seats are often available at the door.

Johnson Hall can be reached at 582- 7144 or [email protected]

The next performance in the Johnson Hall Sounds Good! Music Live series will be on March 10, when Lynn Deeves performs, accompanied by Robby Coffin, Scott Elliot and Alfred Lund.



filed under: