Sun 08/09 | Los Van Van (Cuban dance orchestra/Afro-Cuban music) at Thalia Hall


“The undisputed king of Cuban dance orchestras and one of the most influential forces ever in Afro-Cuban music” – Los Angeles Times

Heralded as Cuba’s greatest dance orchestra and known throughout the world for their iconic live performances, Los Van Van return to North America, reuniting with Leo Tizol, the producer and creative force behind their 1996 debut tour of the U.S.

Founded in 1969 by Juan Formell, Los Van Van continue to dominate as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of contemporary Afro-Caribbean music. Fans can expect to hear the group’s greatest hits along with work from their more current CD releases.

Los Van Van have consistently managed to adapt their style to the times, and remains after 45 years, Cuba’s most popular dance band.  Juan Formell has written some of the most intriguing verses in popular dance music, including stories that run over several albums and, contrary to trends in Timba, all types of social commentary.  The title of the band is probably meant to evoke the novel and compelling rhythms of the new sound of Formell’s band, as van in Spanish means ‘they go’ and so the name of the band could be translated as ‘those they go, they go’.  Without a doubt Los Van Van are the most important band in Cuban Music History.

With the recent passing of Juan Formell, his legacy remains in the hands of his son Samuel Formell, which there is no doubt will follow in the footsteps of his father like he has been as music director of the band for the past several years.

Samuel presents for us on this tour their latest musical production entitled La Fantasia (“the Fantasy”) from Cuba’s Egrem label, it is a collection of danceable tracks incorporating innovative, contemporary arrangements of Juan Formell’s  past hits.

8pm Thalia Hall, 1807 South Allport Street, Chicago

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