Authentically Symphonic Havana NRG

Photo by Steve Woods

The late Tito Puente, King of Latin Music, was known to say, “I don’t play salsa.” Well, neither does Havana NRG (New Rhythm Generation). They play “Cuban music,” says founder, piano and violin player Mariela Suarez. Because Cuban music is the foundation for so many different styles of Latin music (particularly those played by Havana NRG), like Jazz, Tango, Bachatta, Merengue, Rumba, Cumbia, Flamenco and yes, even Salsa, the Dallas based orchestra is able to narrow their genre down to a single category and still maintain the versatility it is known and loved for all over the world.

Founded in 2002, the now eight-member orchestra Havana NRG has been entertaining crowds in DFW for almost a decade. You may have caught a performance during their weekly gigs at Gloria’s Restaurant in Addison on Friday and Saturday where they keep the confluence of dancers moving into the late evening.

All but one of their members hail from the Republic of Cuba and every member has earned a formal education degree in their instrumental specialization. Aside from intense academic training, most have also toured with other established and celebrated international musicians such as Oscar D’Leon, Wilfrido Vargas, Albita Rodriguez, Elvis Crespo and the Great Celia Cruz. This blend of cultivation and experience allows Havana NRG to produce musical arrangements of only the highest quality, which is what they are most proud of, even though it is difficult to achieve. Their infinite love and respect for the art form endorses their quest to research and perfect each style of music they play. They prefer to take time to analyze each style, play it correctly and therefore maintain its intended symphonic integrity.

It is this professional approach to each and every performance that creates the intensity, which sets the connection with their audience in motion. Havana NRG refuses to use a play list, choosing instead to follow the crowd’s energy when selecting songs since some nights they get “only listeners and no dancers”, says Suarez. Their devotees have come to expect this caliber of entertainment from a Havana NRG show and it is very apparent that the members have been commanding this of themselves all along.

With the achievement of two full length CDs and numerous performances all over the world, Havana NRG seeks to continue “doing what we’re doing,” reiterates Suarez. “We want to keep entertaining the public.” While grateful for the internet’s liberal broadcasting capabilities and their loyal promoter’s efforts to further foster the group’s talent, fame and mass CD production are not what is important to them. They are interested in what Suarez calls “the real reason for the profession, to enjoy the music every day.”


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Categories: Culture, Feature Stories


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2 Comments on “Authentically Symphonic Havana NRG

  1. December 21, 2011 at 2:25 am #

    Thank you Dora and staff at MLM for a wonderful feature story. Well written and amazing photo sessions. Very professional from beginning to end.

    Rikki Rincon
    Creative Juice-Online.Always™


  1. HAVANA NRG!, hottest salsa show band in the southwest, to celebrate 10 year anniversary at House of Blues Dallas | - June 29, 2012

    […] Havana NRG! in Metro Latino Magazine Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLinkedInPinterestTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

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