Founded by Adalberto Alvarez and vocalist 'Tiburon' Morales, as invincible and witty as ever, the group is at the forefront of traditional big band son.
Son 14 are comprised of fourteen top Cuban musicians, unequalled in string, brass and percussion. Reacting, interacting and imitating each other's rhythms within layers of percussion at a breathless pace, they then mellow the mood with a slower cumbia and a gentle bolero. Produced under the musical direction of Geovanis Alcantara Lopez. Eduardo (Tiburon) Morales infuses the flavour of traditional son alongside the salsero Ruben Rodriguez and the romantic boleros of Salvador Lorens.
In the Spanish language the word 'son' means 'they are' as well as being the name for Cuba's distinctive musical genre. Thus the name Son 14 signifies the number of musicians in the band as well as their musical roots and direction. Originating from Oriente, the birthplace of son, the band were brought together in 1978 but it was not until 1979 that the band received their official recognition. They were originally formed by musicians who are now legendary figures in Cuban music: Adalberto Alvarez, Eduardo Morales "Tiburon" (meaning 'shark') and Lazaro Rosabal.
In 1979 they recorded their first LP "A Bayamo en Coche", only to receive Cuba's most prestigious award: The Beny More Award, for composition, arrangements and performance. Their second LP recorded in 1981 "Son Como Son", also received the Disco de Plata Award (Silver Disc). During this year they toured throughout the Americas and made their historic trip to Venezuela touring with Oscar D'Leon and playing with Dimension Latina.
In 1983 after returning from their European Tour which included Fiesta Latina in Paris and a momentous concert at the glamorous Monte Carlo Casino, the band split up. Adalberto Alvarez, then the musical director of the band, decided to settle in Havana but Tiburon Morales (lead vocals), Lazaro Rosabal (on trombone), Guillermo Fernandez (on trumpet) and Jorge Machado together with other members of the band returned to Santiago in order to re-structure the band.
Jorge Machado took over the directorship of the band and once again they began recording and touring the world. Then in 1993, Machado left the band and went to Havana to become the director of the pioneering band Orquesta America; inventors of the Chachacha. The lead trombone player Lazaro Rosabal, took over the directorship. The Santiago-born talented musician and songwriter not only became the musical director but also, with piano player Geovani Alcantara's help they began to arrange all the songs, thus creating a new sound. This partnership kicked off a new era in Son 14's history, giving son a distinct concept of rhythm without losing its traditional taste.
In 1994, the group joined the UK based Tumi Music record label and recorded their first labour of love after a long absence from the studio. "Cubania" received great praise in the media, became one of the top selling records in the US specialist market and was featured on many college music charts and Latin dj charts. "Maquina Musical", meaning Music Machine is their second recording with Tumi Music. The title of the album and hit song refers to the old organ-type music machine which is traditional to the historic town of Olguin in Cuba. It also refers to Tiburon's body - a music machine, as he himself proclaims, and to the work of the band as the title track's lyrics explain: musica, musica le vamos a cantar, musica, musica le vamos a tocar, somos catorce, vamos unidos, somos la maquina musical..." (music, music, we're going to sing for you, music, music, we're going to play for you, we're fourteen, we're united, we're the musical machine).
This album once again combines the wholesome and strong sonero sound of the legendary figure Tiburon Morales, the versatile salsero voice of Ruben Rodriguez and the romantic sound of the bolero from Salvador Lorens hence giving a balance and variation in styles.