Sverre Indris Joner & The cuban opera orchestra feat. Carlos del PuertoClasicos a lo Cubano - Live in Havana
Release datum:7/19/2024
Label:Indris Pro AS
Genre:World Music/Argentinien/Tango

This is the story of Sverre Indris Joner from Oslo, Norway, bringing his musician colleagues from the band Hovedøen Social Club to play his intriguing salsa-arrangements of the classics with the Cuban opera orchestra at the National Theater in Havana. He's about to "sell sand in the Sahara" – showing Cubans how to play salsa, to turn the great classics of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms into authentic Cuban music. How? And, maybe more importantly, why? And... can this go well? Joner started his «genre-detour» at 15, with Reggae, West-African Highlife and Afrobeat, and the seductive complexity of African rhythms led him to explore the African roots in Latin America. In 1985, he went on a study-trip to Havana with some friends. This encounter left a deep impression. Back in Norway, he formed Norway's first salsa band, La Descarga, insisting that all Norwegians should appreciate this rich music traditions from Cuba.

He got the idea of writing unlikely genre-transformed music. With his quartet Tango for 3, everything from ABBA to Grieg was turned into Argentine tango. The recipe was re-used when he formed the band Hovedøen Social Club, creating authentic sounding cuban salsa out of Norwegian pop-music. The famous Munchner Rundfunk Orchestra and the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra KORK recordet his «cubanized» arrangements of the great classics. When the recordings went viral on YouTube, Cuban national television bought the program and it's regularly shown since then. The album hits #1 on Mexican World Music charts MixUp.

Suddenly the opportunity arose for Sverre and his fellow musicians to travel to Cuba and play "Clasicos a lo cubano" with the opera-orchestra in Havana. Sounds like fun, but problems arise and line up in a queue - much like what the Cubans themselves have to deal with. So they experiences some genuine Cuban frustration. Challenges were everything from instruments breaking down or not existing, aircondition failing and rain pooring into the theatre, Even the legendary concert hall El Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso broke down! And of course, plenty of «latin timing» - aka the absence of punctuality. But everything didn´t go wrong – thankfully! The joy of playing seen among the musicians was priceless. When members of the orchestra spontaneously stood up and danced during rehearsals the good vibes started. The swaying, the smiles and the joy were the payoff. Finally it was on the right track!

In all his enthusiasm, Joner took on the role of host during the concert - in Spanish - with a bit of humor to break the ice. What could go wrong? Quite a lot actually...It was a make it or break it. Luckily they made it quite well, telling from the audience's cheers and applause throughout the concert, and even the laughter, fortunately coming at the right places after the quirky comments between the music!

Joner´s hope for recognition in Cuba, the birthplace of the genres he had spent so much time and effort acquiring, was a significant driving-force behind the whole project. The musicians expressing heartfelt gratitude for being part of the project was the confirmation he had hoped for; that he, the «gringo», not only had cracked the Afro-cuban «claves-code" but also given a musical contribution that was highly appreciated.

  • 1Mozarts Mambo no. 4005:24
    Music: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartISRC: NOIND-22-01010
  • 2Mozarts Mambo no. 2106:01
    Music: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartISRC: NOIND-22-01020
  • 3La salsa Hungara03:54
    Music: Johannes BrahmsISRC: NOIND-22-01030
  • 4Vampiros en la Habana (El Murciélago)07:03
    Music: Johan Strauss IIISRC: NOIND-22-01040
  • 5Adagio a lo latino05:00
    Music: Tomaso AlbinoniISRC: NOIND-22-01050
  • 6Salsa del minuto04:33
    Music: Frédéric ChopinISRC: NOIND-22-01060
  • 7Cinco salsa04:40
    Music: Ludwig van BeethovenISRC: NOIND-22-01070
  • 8Cuban sugar04:32
    Music: Peter TchaikovskyISRC: NOIND-22-01080
  • 9Eine kleine vacilón06:45
    Music: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartISRC: NOIND-22-01090
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  • Carlos Luis Alvarez Guerra: Guest on Trombone
  • Carlos del Puerto: Bass
  • Joner, Sverre Indris: Piano
  • José Antonio "Tony" Moreaux Charón: Drums, Timbales
  • José Julián Morejón Pino: Congas
  • Orequest Sinfonica del Gran Teatro Alicia Alonso OSGTAA (The cuban opera orchestra)
  • Yhovani Duarte: Conductor
  • Joner, Sverre Indris
  • Musikkloftet Studio
  • Vidar Lunden
Recording Studio
  • Enrnesto Felipe Estrada Garcia
  • Live during concerts in El Teatro Nacional in Havana
  • Musikkloftet Studio
  • Odd-Geir Soether
C2024 Indris Pro ASP2024 Indris Pro AS