February 22, 2006 was Havana night at the Lulu lounge, the official release party for Alexis Baro’s Cuban trumpet jazz CD Havana Banana. Jazz lovers attended for one reason only – to see this Groove United recording artist blow – and what a performance it was. Baro is one of the best around his ensemble of top Cuban musicians articulated a clean crisp performance.
I listened to Havana Banana and liked the song “Wish You Were Here”. It has a casual LA funk vibe which I found had a relaxing effect when played in my car while fighting heavy traffic. As much as Baro is a talented musician the heavy dose of trumpet made the CD a little one dimensional. Would have been great to hear some more solos of the other instruments. As with most acts, with a good sound system Baro sounds better live.
All in all Havana Banana has been well received, voted best album by JAZZ.FM91 in 2004. The same year, Baro was a co-winner of the National Jazz Award for best acoustic group. In 2005 he was nominated for the National Jazz Award for best trumpet player and was for a Gemini Award for a live performance on TV with Kollage.
Classically trained in Cuba, this horn player is a certified music teacher. Since relocating permanently in Toronto in 2001, Baro has explored various musical styles and has worked with such acts as The Tempations, John Secada, Sheena Easton and Evaristo Machado, Alexis has toured extensively throughout Cuba, Canada and Europe and is a regular trumpet player for the popular TV show Canadian Idol. So for all you jazz lovers watch out for Baro’s upcoming shows by going to his official website at www.alexisbaro.com/news.html.