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Hanine Y Son Cubano was formed by avant-garde artist and producer Michel Elefteriades as a groundbreaking project of Arabo-Cuban fusion. Hanine, the lead singer, has a voice that vehicles all the Arabic Tarab tradition, while her musicians, who are the best of their generation in Cuba, were especially gathered for this cultural venture.

Hanine’s musical career started in 2000 with a fusion album of oriental melodies sang in Arabic, mixed with Cuban harmonies and rhythms. This Warner album was a best seller in the Middle East and Latin America. She then performed in several European capitals and in Brazil. After the release of her second album in 2004, Hanine toured around the world with successful concerts in the great capitals confirming the triumph of this new musical style.

Duany Sanchez, the International Cuban singer and all the musicians in his band are graduates of the High Conservatory of Music of Havana/Cuba. They formed the band a few years ago and participated in international festivals around Europe, Latin America, Japan and in international events such as Miss Europe, the IV Mercado Cultural do Bahia in Brazil… The band plays all styles of Cuban music from classical old Boleros to modern "Salsa Fuerte", passing by Cha-cha-cha, Son, Guajira, Afro-Cuban…besides other Latin American styles. The group has created its own personalized choreographies that they also perform on stage.

The Story Behind

Seated in the back of a squalid " Cafe Cantante " in old Havana, where the only non-Cubans beside myself were the wandering ghosts of Garcia Lorca and Hemingway, I caught myself humming, along with the sexagenarian singer on stage, the famous tune of the divine Asmahane "ya habibi ta'ala". After looking it up, I learned that the song is titled in Spanish "el huerfanito" (the orphan). Its topic is, as in the Arabic version, the loneliness, the absence of Dad, Mom and Uncle ... Yes, songs have their impenetrable mysteries, and composers go fishing quite far, sometimes casting their nets across the oceans. The purpose of my introduction is not to start a polemic regarding which version came first (I know but will not tell) but to explain how I came to be obsessed by the against-natured fusion of Arabic and Cuban music. Arabo-Cuban music was born.

It took me two years to find the Cuban musicians and the Arab singer who would bring to fruition this unique musical experiment, and one year to rehearse, record, mix and organize the tour. Having lived in La Havana, the choice of musicians was relatively “facilito”. I proceeded to a "ven tu" (“join-us” in musical jargon) choosing the best of the "músicos cubanos".

The choice of the Arab singer, on the other hand, was a real crux. I organized auditions during which more than 100 girls tried out. Ungraceful ones who sang well, pretty ones who sang flat and gorgeous ones who could not sing. I saw brunettes, blondes (all fake) and even a red-head. I heard all kinds of sounds till the day when a friend introduced Hanine (her real name). She was in her last year at the Conservatory, studying singing and Oud; she had a voice of honey and a degree in law; she was smart, beautiful... in brief, a music producer's ultimate fantasy. The project had at last all the ingredients for success.

Fulgurating success was quick to come. The first "Hanine y Son Cubano" album entitled Arabo-Cuban entered the Lebanese market with thundering acclaim, and remained, for a whole year, the Number 1 best-selling album. It met with similar success in Mediterranean countries and the rest of the Middle East, paving Hanine's way to an international career.

Michel Elefteriades