Led by Juan Formell, Los Van Van have become one of the most successful Cuban Dance groups in the world. To the Afro-Spanish sound of traditional Cuban music, Los Van Van have added a strong jazz emphasis. It is this fusion that has led to their popularity outside of Cuba and to a series of foreign record deals. The group's Llego Van Van won the Grammy for Best Latin Album in 1999.
After spending years out of the spotlight in virtual obscurity, Juan Formell and his trend-setting group, Los Van Van, stepped boldly back onto center stage with their 2003 release, En el Malecon de la Habana. With a number of live records to their credit, Los Van Van have always wanted for a record that truly captured their vibrant, electrifying live performance.This edition, which was nominated for a Latin Grammy in the Contemporary Tropical category, sounds clear and precise, allowing the listener to appreciate the exquisitely tight performance. The pre-timba innovations on the traditional salsa style that made Los Van Van Cuba's most popular dance band are all out in force, including Changuito's use of both timbales and drum set, Cesar Pedroso's brilliant arranging technique, plenty of hip-hop and disco influence, and their trademark percussion breakdown sections.
En el Malecon de la Habana offers a fresh, unfettered chance to hear these stylistic pioneers, swinging as hard today as they did in 1980. Maybe harder.