In a market such as Dallas, Texas where one would think a Tejano, Mexican/Regional or Urban group would create this major buzz level has turned out to be a hot band originating from Cuba. What had originally started as another orchestra in 1999 eventually had made major adjustments and changes to convert into one of, if not the hottest Tropical orchestras in the Southwest and many have gone even further than that in their description of this amazing band. Havana NRG! officially rebranded and launched as their new name on July 31, 2002 under the band direction and management of Mariela Suarez of Havana, Cuba.
Just to give you a brief background overview of Mariela Suarez as many, if not most do not know, from the age of four she began to appear in TV, radio, documentaries and theater as part of a musical children’s group, “Meñique”. She studied at the music academy specializing in piano and violin. In 1987 she won first place in a national contest for violin students. Mariela graduated with a technical and professional title as instrumentalist and violin professor. In 1989 she was selected to participate the Young Musicians World Orchestra as a violinist becoming the first Cuban in history to be accepted for this kind of event. In 1992 she was part of the prestigious orchestra of the Cabaret Tropicana in Havana, Cuba as keyboard player. Along with Ivan Martinez was musical director of the band “Cuestión Seria”, which won the 1995 Novel Orchestra award in Cuba. During three years she participated as violinist in the symphonic orchestra of Nuevo Leon and was professor of violin in the Instituto Superior de Musica in Monterey, Mexico.
This amazing band consists of top notch industry musicians such as Michael Romero (Lead singer, Composer and lead trumpet), Ivan Martinez (Vocals/Timbales/Engineer), Ilumin Avila (Vocals), Jeff Fort (Saxophone, Flute), Luis Avila (Congas/Percussion), Melvin Garcia Rivera (Percussion), Geobar Nodal (Trumpet), Ramon Rodriguez (Bass). Go to their website www.havananrg.com to read their many accomplishments in their prospective careers and see why things have shaped up the way they have. This is just one of many reasons why, that above and beyond the majorly and classically trained musicians in the band is her ability to direct the band and maintaining way ahead of her competition in setting trends, not merely following them.
What started at Gloria’s in Addison was initially viewed as a longshot dream and those back in the early days of the band felt there was a shot a weekly residency in a time where it was rarely taking place in Dallas, Texas, a city that had it’s share of Salsa and Merengue at a few festivals, rarely on radio and only a couple of Salsa clubs so doing this would take a major risk. So after much convincing by then member Willie Martinez and others in the band, owner Jose Fuentes gave it a green light and said “let’s try it”. During this same time in 2002 Havana NRG! were performing at another major Wednesday hotspot called Sipangos and the buzz carried over into this new Friday and Saturday night weekly location. All this at a time where nothing was going on Friday and Saturday nights in Addison, Gloria’s decided to open and no cover from 10pm-2am.
It took several months to catch on and when it did it created a massive buzz in the market and had grown to such proportions Gloria’s had to seek out much larger space next door that formerly housed a Brook Mays music store. Many famous international talent have either visited Gloria’s Addison to see Havana NRG! perform or have also shared the stage with them. Artists such as the famous Dave Valentin, Ana Maria Polo (National Television Host of “Caso Cerrado”Show), Tito Puente Jr. Afro Cuban All Stars just to name of a few.
Havana NRG! released their debut CD “Camino al Cielo” in 2004 worldwide via NRG Records and received rave reviews from major publications such as HISPANIC, Dallas Morning News, Latin Beat Magazine, Timba.com and a host of others as tours took place in NYC, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Alaska, Seattle all over Texas just to name a few. In 2009 the band released their second and long-awaited CD “La Receta Perfecta” and this was a strong follow up to their debut CD containing new sounds and production styles by Ivan Martinez, Michael Romero and Mariela Suarez. The CD continues to sell well today and fans from Spain, Italy, Mexico, Cuba, London, USA, Switzerland, etc have joined the band in celebrating la musica Cubana!
Today in 2016 Havana NRG! continues to perform every Friday and Saturday since 2002, that is more than 14 years solid. Their fan base is another of the most interesting things as they are not your “typical salsa band”, not Havana NRG!. The NRG in their name means New Rhythm Generation and for that and many other reasons they are always inventing New Rhythms! From Cuban Timba, Cubaton, Merengue, Top 40 Remixes done 100% by the band in remix fashion from Bruno Mars, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor to others on the way, Havana NRG! fans are not just Latino, but almost 50% are a wide range of diverse nationalities. This makes their brand hot then, now and the future.
In a city such as Dallas, Texas much is written and reported about Rock, Hip Hop, Country and Pop but rarely do you see local publications writing features about Salsa, Merengue and the huge loving movement by its locals. Every once in awhile you will read about mega stars touring through our market but little do many realize that Havana NRG! has performed for millions of visitors and locals for over 14 long years and non-stop! Yes, there are many other Top 40/Funk/Country bands that have been performing even longer in this market but at the same venue and packing the crowds in on Fridays and Over 1,500 on Saturdays? Yes, this is rare but so is Havana NRG! At this rate Havana NRG! appears to have a very long future packing in the #1 hotspot Gloria’s in Addison.
Follow their social movement via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and www.havananrg.com. A little early buzz is being brewed that the band is back in the recording studio hmmm more to come! For all media relations and bookings contact firstname.lastname@example.org.