The Story.

Australian Producer brings two Caribbean Islands together for one ultimate recording.

HAVANA MEETS KINGSTON: THE ALBUM AND DOCUMENTARY

Australia’s leading reggae and dancehall producer and accomplished pianist, Mista Savona (aka Jake Savona), has gathered some of Cuba and Jamaica’s most influential musicians in the one recording studio to create a world first album.

Despite their huge respective global appeal and geographical proximity, there has never been a full-length album that unites the unique sounds of both Jamaican and Cuban music.  This is a truly groundbreaking record and project that honors both islands’ incredible musical foundations and legacies while inspiring and creating something entirely new. Drawing from the styles the islands are best known for – roots reggae, dub and dancehall on one hand and son, salsa, rumba and Afro-Cuban on the other – ‘Havana Meets Kingston’ sees an incredible team of musicians come together to bend and twist genres effortlessly, and the results are exceptional.

Savona’s main intention is to bring Jamaican sound system and bass culture together with Cuba’s electrifying and virtuosic Afro-Cuban and jazz traditions, and this is where the album excels and is unique in musical history. Energetic and passionate vocals in Spanish, English and Jamaican patois twist and turn over the distinctly Cuban rhythms and melodies, while the deep basslines that Jamaica is best known for pulse underneath, unifying the music of both cultures and creating something fresh, bold and exciting.

‘Havana Meets Kingston’ brings together established and emerging Cuban and Jamaican musicians in an album of mostly original songs, as well as covers of classic Cuban material. The main recording sessions took place over 10 days in June 2015 at the famous Egrem Studio in Havana, Cuba. Savona personally flew seven Jamaicans into Havana for these sessions, including Sly & Robbie and Bongo Herman among other greats. Since this time he has traveled to Jamaica, Cuba and the UK numerous times to complete the recordings. The caliber of artists on this two part album project speaks volumes – see the list of artists involved below.

Over two years in the making, HAVANA MEETS KINGSTON will be released in two parts – Album #1 on November 3rd 2017, with album #2 and a feature documentary following in 2018.

Artists recorded:

Cubans

Barbarito Torres (Buena Vista Social Club)
Yaroldi Abreu
Félix Baloy (Afro-Cuban All Stars)
Changuito (Los Van Van)
Rolando Luna (Buena Vista Social Club)
Beatriz Marquez
Telmary Diaz
El Medico
Raspadura (Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiros)
Julito Padron
Maikel Ante
Frank Solis
Gaston Joya
Pepe Ordaz
Koto
Alejandro Falcon
Juan Carlos
Jacinto Herrera
Antonio Leal
David Suarez
La Armada (Puchoman & Krazyman)
Oliver Valdes
Anyilena
Brenda Navarette

Jamaicans

Sly & Robbie
Bongo Herman
Ernest Ranglin
Bopee
Leroy Sibbles (The Heptones)
Cornel Campbel
Earl ‘Chinna’ Smith
Burro Banton
Prince Alla
Glasford ‘Porti’ Manning & The Jewels
Turbulence
Micah Shemiah
France Nooks
Exile The Brave
Sizzla
Lutan Fyan
I-Maali
Shaun ‘Bugzy’ Anderson
Aza Lineage
The Congos

Internationals

Randy Valentine
Cali P
Jornick
Vince Vella
Apprentice
Javier Fredes

To add to this already grand project, acclaimed filmmakers Rick Mereki (of MOVE, EAT, LEARN fame), producer Lauren Rosa Beck and photographer Lara Merrington traveled to Cuba and Jamaica to capture every moment on film. They will be providing an independent documentary which will celebrate the music and stories of the artists involved against the backdrop of three diverse nations.