20th August 2014
The Albare Quintet Musicians
PABLO BENCID - DRUMS
Venezuelan born, Pablo was seven years old, when he began his musical studies in Caracas, at the Emil Friedman school. There he studied cello, Venezuelan cuatro, flute, Afro-Venezuelan percussion, harmony, ear training and sang in the school choir.
In 1994, Pablo was awarded a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, where he graduated with drum performance degree (cum laude). Pablo has mastered a variety of styles such as Latin-Jazz, Jazz, Latino, Afro-Venezuelan Rythms, Brazilian, World Music, Funk and Rock.
At present, Pablo also performs with the Either/Orchestra, Labeque Sisters, Eduardo Tancredi, Gonzalo Grau y La Clave Secreta(formerly LaTimba Loca), Jose Conde and Ola Fresca, JCA orchestra, Gonzalo Grau Quintet, Aquiles Baez Quintet, amongst others.
SAMMY FIGUEROA - PERCUSSION
U.S. based Sammy has long been regarded as one of the world's great musicians. As one of the world's leading percussionists he has played on countless records, providing the rhythmical framework for hundreds of hits. Well-known for his versatility and professionalism, he is one of the few percussionists equally comfortable in a multitude of styles, from R & B to rock to pop to bebop to Latin to Brazilian to New Age. As one of New York's most sought after session players Sammy played on countless jingles and film scores and appeared often on The David Letterman Band and the Saturday Night Live Band. He has recorded and toured with Miles Davis, the Brecker Brothers (for 12 years!), Sonny Rollins, Michel Camilo (who wrote the tune 'And Sammy Walked In' in his honour), Chaka Khan, David Bowie, and Mariah Carey (in her multi-million selling MTV Unplugged).
AXEL TOSCA LAUGART - KEYS
One of the most dynamic young pianists on the international scene, Laugart's family influenced his musical interests at an early age. Both his father and stepfather were musicians and his father's guitar playing sparked an early interest in the instrument. He began playing around the age of four, accompanying his parents. Laugart's mother, Xiomada Laugart, is a world-famous singer, whom he still performs with to this day.
At the age of seven, Laugart became interested in the piano. He was influenced by Miriam Valdez, sister of the famous Cuban virtuoso Chucho Valdez, and Rosa Maia Tolo. Laugart credits Tolo with helping mature his style and musicality.
Laugart benefitted from a wide range of musical experiences growing up in Cuba. Dennis & Swing was a group that Laugart credits for "giving me the real timba groove." Laugart also played with the Afro Cuban All Stars, Teresa Garcia Caturla, Sexteto Sendito, Jose Miguel Crego (known as “El Greco”), and a Latin Jazz group called the Bobby Carcases Group, where Laugart says "I learned a lot about the language of music."
Laugart was also part of the Hip-Hop scene in Cuba and had the opportunity to play with The Roots while they were in Cuba. He has also worked in the studio with Cuban conductor Miguel Ceruto.
Amadito Valdez, the great timbalero with the Buena Vista Social Club, was a musical mentor and an important part of Laugart's decision to move to the United States in July of 2005. His arrival came with the opportunity to perform with “Havana Night” in Las Vegas for two years.
During that time, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic discovered Laugart. They began rehearsing, and Laugart performed with the group in Washington, DC, on New Year's Eve, 2007. The gig was at BB King's, and is still one of the most memorable in the young pianist's career.
YUNIOR TERRY - BASS
Bassist, violinist Yunior Terry is an artist for all seasons. He hails from Camagüey, Cuba where he is the youngest son of a musical dynasty known as “Los Terry’s.” In addition to being a highly regarded and sought after musician, Yunior Terry is the leader of “Son de Altura,” a dance band that has been gigging around New York City since 2007 and whose mission is to preserve the legacy of Cuban music and inspire the dancers.
In addition to leading the band, Yunior composes and arranges all the material and chooses his comrades based on their ability to “cultivate the cadence” of authentic Cuban song. Joining Yunior on his journey are vocalists David Oquendo, Igor Arias and Pepito Gomez, vocalist and tres player Yuniel Jimenez “El Poeta,” trumpeters Dennis “El Huevo” Hernandez and Guido Gonzalez, pianist Osmany Paredes, percussionists Mauricio Herrera and Victor Sanchez, saxophonist (and brother) Yosvany Terry and keyboardist Manuel Valera.
Yunior is a stickler for authenticity however he is also a New Yorker, which explains his innate ability to create authentic Cuban music with a New York attitude. Or as he puts it, “My bass likes to dance! It’s one more dancer, out there on the dance floor.”