Adonis Puentes and the Voice of Cuba Orchestra
Adonis and his fraternal twin Alexis, now better known as Alex Cuba, were born in 1974 in Artemisa, Cuba. Their father, Valentin Puentes is a well-respected musician and teacher, and at six the twins were playing in a children’s guitar ensemble. At 14, Adonis was singing and writing original songs, music that has ripened and matured into the poetic, sensuous song-cycle, Sabor a Café (TumbaKing Records/Pacific Music).
Puentes has been nominated for a Juno Award with his brother and garnered a Grammy Award nomination for his lead vocalist work with the nine-piece, L.A.-based Mongorama, directed by well-known radio host Jose Rizo. He has toured with Irakere veteran Maraca Orland Valle and sang at L.A.’s Greek Theater, Hollywood & Highland, and Lincoln Center, where he shared the stage with Latin music luminaries Larry Harlow and Ruben Blades before 24,000 New York fans. He has performed at festivals around the world from South by Southwest in Austin, Texas to Java Jazz in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“I have traveled the world singing. My mission in life is to share my music, giving people joy,” Adonis explains. “My new recording captures my poetic journey, my revelations and my maturing as an artist.”
The Puentes Brothers’ award-winning 2001 CD, Morumba Cubana and Adonis’ 2005 solo debut, Vida were critically acclaimed, the latter earning Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year in the Island Music Awards.
He has lived in Victoria, B.C. Canada since 1998, but his latest release is steeped in Cuban music history and culture. One song, Anjojos del Firmamento features Septeto Nacional de Cuba Ignacio Piñero, a Havana-based band founded 80 years ago.
Puentes' music ripples with percussive cross rhythms and lightening-like horn lines that drive the music forward. A crisp studio sound captures a series of brilliant Salsa and Latin Jazz arrangements so skin-tight and dance-inducing that listeners might overlook the musician’s profoundly positive lyrics. Puentes' music is an inspired tribute to love’s power to overcome despair to the joyous hedonism of Tumbando Mangos and Sabor a Café -- the first, comparing seeking love to knocking mangos from trees, the second describing the taste of coffee on his lover’s morning kiss.
Puentes has gained a reputation as a great singer and an elegant composer and lyricist grounded and nourished by his Cuban roots and worldly experience and he is bringing all of that to the Montana Folk Festival this July.