Leonel O Zuniga

Born in Havana, Leonel O Zúñiga, saxophonist, flutist and composer, began his musical career with the guitar. The first group that he formed, at the age of 12, was “Onda Chá” with a charanga formation interpreting themes of Cuban music in vogue at that time. He began his academic training at the prestigious Amadeo Roldán school in Havana but moved to the Ignacio Cervantes school, where in addition to his guitar studies, he began to study the flute, under the tutelage of the prestigious Alfredo Portela.

Later he became interested in the cello, and later also in the saxophone. Simultaneous his studies with his collaborations in different orchestras, among which “Iresón”, “Roberto Faz” and “El Muso and his orchestra” stand out, with which he makes different tours, both in Cuba and abroad. A few years ago he moved to Spain, where he formed his own group “Havana Street Band”, with which he went on different tours, sharing the stage with some of the most prestigious Cuban groups, such as José Luis Cortés and “NG La Banda”. currently on the Ressons Jazz circuit, sponsored by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

His discography is made up of the following albums: “La Bola de Candela”, with the group Iresón, “Harta” with Roberto Faz; “Between the sword and the wall” with Muso and his orchestra; “The Art of Improvisation” with Kantaka and Yambambé, with Osnide. He is currently in the process of releasing his first album as leader of his formation, which he will title: “Con guapería”

The revelation group of the Latin scene. The rising star of its genre. Leonel O Zúñiga, saxophonist, flutist and composer, leads a group of excellent musicians from whom the best salsa of the moment springs, the most innovative. As a leader, composer and arranger, he manages to give another vision of traditional music and the Latin genre, exploring new ways to fuse these elements with jazz, Afro, funk and other languages. As a flutist, he has gone further, he has expanded the musical jurisdiction of the Cuban flute, taking it to unparalleled heights.

The individual quality of its members is enhanced as a group, to give their music the rhythm and flavor that make them unforgettable.

They have an interesting repertoire of their own songs of great strength, and in musical arrangements of great quality, of traditional Cuban songs as well as international songs. These have been performed by extraordinary Cuban arrangers, including pianist Lázaro Calvo and bassist Roberto Riverón.

The show is not only made up of its rhythmic music, but also of choreographies that inevitably encourage us to follow them. Seeing and listening to them is a pleasure. It is well known that in Cuba, musical education is one of the pillars of the educational system of this country and that the musical sensitivity of Cubans is enhanced for this very reason, which is why it is common for a Cuban musician to dominate several instruments. Such is the case of the director of this formation, Zúñiga as he is known in the musical world, who although he presents himself as a flutist and tenor saxophonist, he also dominates the baritone sax, the cello and the guitar and is capable of playing other instruments with dignity.

Although this fact is quite common in Cuba, it is no less true that Zúñiga is a highly respected musician for his interpretive quality and musical sensitivity, having been part of big-name groups in this country.

As usual in groups of this style, they also have a Latin jazz repertoire in which their brilliant wind section stands out, with a traditional structure: sax, trumpet, trombone, complemented by the flute. In this case, they also have their own songs and adaptations of songs by great musicians, such as “Claudia” by Chucho Valdés.


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