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KANAGAWA

Cuban singer teams with Japanese pianist

by Eriko Arita

A Cuban singer and a Japanese pianist are teaming up to bring salsa music to Yokohama.

Singer-songwriter Jorge Luis Rojas, professionally known as Rojitas, is known for his vocal ability in his native Cuba, where he has been dubbed “the golden voice.” He first attracted the attention of the public in the early 1990s as vocalist for a band called Adalberto Alvarez Y Su Son, which was led by Adalberto Alvarez — one of the greatest pianists in the country.

In 1995, Rojitas established his own band, Rojitas Y Su Orquesta, which comprised 14 musicians. He composed more than 300 songs for the band and recorded 20 albums.

In 2000, Rojitas collaborated with George Martin, a producer who worked with The Beatles, and made the album “Latin Tribute to The Beatles — Here comes el son.”

The singer moved from Cuba to Toronto in 2006, where he released “Por Encima de la Locura,” an album that consisted of Latin pop, rock, ballads and even a touch of country, sung in Spanish and English.

Singo Maeda, who goes by the moniker SiNGO, started to learn classical piano when he was just 3 years old. He formed a salsa band at 16 and a year later he traveled to New York and Cuba to study the genre. After coming back to Japan, SiNGO started a career as a pianist. In 2007, he returned to Cuba to study salsa piano and percussion.

Rojitas and SiNGO will be joined by several other Cuban and Japanese musicians when they bring their Latin-music stylings to Yokohama.

Rojitas meets SiNGO: Special Latin Music Live will take place at Motion Blue in Yokohama on March 18. The first show starts at 7 p.m., the second at 9 p.m. Tickets cost ¥2,400 for one show and ¥4,200 for both shows. For information, call Motion Blue at (045) 226-1919 or visit www.motionblue.co.jp.