Havana Cultura: The Search Continues (2011)
Album series curated by Gilles Peterson

Continuing his longstanding love affair with Cuba and its musical melting pot, globetrotting DJ / broadcaster Gilles Peterson is back with a new chapter in his Havana Cultura album series – producing an original studio album on CD01 and lovingly curating a compilation of new Cuban talent on CD02.

Back in 2009 Gilles teamed up with the award-winning Cuban jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca to find the very best up and coming musical talent in Havana. `Havana Cultura: New Cuba Sound' represented the biggest collection of contemporary Cuban musicians in a single musical initiative since the highly acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club project in 1997.
"Having spent the last three years travelling regularly to Havana I've understandably become more attached to this fascinating, almost otherworldly city" comments Gilles Peterson. "I'm also slowly getting to grips with the relationship music has here with the spirits and its people... the drum goes deep"

Returning to Havana in search of fresh talent in 2011 with co-producers Vince Vella (a veteran from the first album) and Simbad (Gilles' production partner in his remixing endeavours) in tow, Gilles was adamant that this new collection evolve and push things forwards: "I wanted to retain the `anything can happen' spirit of the first session, but this time with a maturing Cubanism."

Following the structure of the inaugural Havana Cultura album, CD01 again finds Gilles in Producer mode, welcoming a string of guest musicians, vocalists and rappers to Studio A and orchestrating the glorious sound clashes that bore the fruits herein. Returning to the fray after their awesome contributions to the first album are pianist Roberto Fonseca and his oh-so-tight band (the heartbeat of the so-called Havana Cultura Band); Edrey from hype rap duo Ogguere; coro master Francis del Rio; underground kings Los Aldeanos; Alexey (El Tipo Este) from Obsesión; and soul sisters Telmary and Danay Suarez whose solo career has blossomed in France.

Toss into the mix Gilles' new discoveries – Arema Arega, Osdalgia, Melvis Santa, Silvito El Libre, Dreiser, Elain Morales and Sexto Sentido – and this really is a wonderful snapshot of Cuba's music underground in 2011… the full rainbow spectrum from the freeform rumba flex of `La Tormenta' to the frenetic rolling pianos of `Agita' via hip-hop's golden age (check the Cuban rework of A Tribe Called Quest's `Check The Rhyme') and Eddie Kendricks' certified soul classic `My People…Hold On' (`Espera Mi Gente').

Three years have passed since Gilles' initial exploration of the Cuban underground uncovered Havana's fertile – and fiercely independent – hip-hop culture: nodded to the riotous thump `n' grind of Cuba's homegrown reggaeton movement and highlighted a clique of artists innovating in the spaces between jazz, soul, traditional Cuban rhythms and hip-hop. Peterson's excursion under the skin of the Cuban underground in 2011 underlines the same spirit of experimentation on CD02 and raises a clutch of new talent (including Djoyvan, Afrikun, Kola Loka and the Creole Choir of Cuba) from local notoriety to worldwide exposure, showcasing new collaborations and exclusive tracks from Danay Suarez, Edgaro "El Productor en Jefe" and El Tipo Este.

"I hope you have as much fun listening as we did recording this music" concludes Gilles Peterson.