Elmer Ferrer Band
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Elmer Ferrer Band

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"Diverse artists spice up Porquis Blues Festival"

John Emms
Rock Report

Culture and heritage are alive and well in our area, and they were living in the perfect harmony at the Porquis 2009 Blues Festival.
In fact this year, Porquis offered its most diverse set of musical artists, players and genres in its 12-year history.
Let me say, no one has forgotten how acts like The Downchild Blues Band and Dutch Mason blew the roof off Porquis in past years and Porquis developed its reputation as "the little festival that could".
But, on a pure musical level, fans this year were treated to its largest palate of tempting entrees; this year, culture and heritage ruled.
Let me explain. Watching Elmer Ferrer, an outstanding world-class Cuban musician who has played all over the globe and on no less than 30 CDs, do a workshop performance on Saturday afternoon in front on 60 people inside the recreation building was an absolute jaw-dropping experience. It plainly showed music has no boundaries....
(To read the complete article, plus much more reviews, interviews and press coverage, please visit www.elmerferrer.com)

- Timmins Daily Press

"Electric Guitar seduces Cuban away from Classical studies. Advanced mix of Jazz and Blues"

Thirty or 40 years ago, a rock musician with dyed-blond hair and a couple of silver hoop earrings would have been viewed with great suspicion in Cuba.

Back then, long hair was considered anti-social, and English-language music counter-revolutionary. But things are different now. There's a statue of John Lennon in a Havana park, and bleach-blond blues-rocker Elmer Ferrer is Cuba's best-known electric guitarist.

The Elmer Ferrer Band kicked off its current Canadian tour Tuesday with a show at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Que. Owner Paul Symes said the show sold out, and the crowd was left wanting more.

Ferrer will perform this weekend at Ottawa's Blues Fest, and has dates lined up in Toronto, London, Ont., and Mont Tremblant, Que., as well. He hopes to add more in August.

"His music is so far advanced - a mix of Cuban jazz with electric blues," said Symes. "When you put those two things together, it was so ridiculously fast and beautifully played to the point it was almost unbelievable."

(To read the complete article, plus much more reviews, interviews and press coverage, please visit www.elmerferrer.com)
- The Montreal Gazette

"Jazz Cuba Today"

Editor's Pick
Jazz Cuba Today: Roberto Carcassés, Alexander Brown And Elmer Ferrer - DVD
Live performance of three young and vital forces in contemporary Cuban jazz. Held at the Abdala studios in front of a small audience, the intimacy and immediacy of the show hits you right between the eyes. And man, are these guys good (...) Elmer Ferrer leads a band consisting of electric bass, drumset, piano and percussion. His music straddles lines that typically separate jazz and rock; his intensity and virtuosity break down any imaginary barriers or labels that we like to assign. There’s a bit of Mahavishnu Orchestra in there somewhere.

(To read the complete article, plus much more reviews, interviews and press coverage, please visit www.elmerferrer.com)

- Descarga Latin Magazine

"The sounds of the City. Elmer Ferrer and his CD Metropoli"

"Ten pieces take us through the work of an eminent guitar player; -acoustic and electric- being also songwriter of themes inviting to the most overflowing reflection and improvisation. This album is more breaking than any rock or jazz fan can imagine. Each listen brings new appeals". "The sounds of the City", Elmer Ferrer and his CD Metrópoli. Article by Tony Basanta for "La Bijirita" Newspaper.

(To read the complete article, plus much more reviews, interviews and press coverage, please visit www.elmerferrer.com)
- La Bijirita Newspaper

"Cuban Contemporary Fusion"

Contemporary fusion is a spontaneous phenomenon that’s a key element of Cuban musical life. The idea of blending sounds, of mixing one style with another, has been part and parcel of the island’s musical tradition—particularly using African, Latin, Caribbean and US styles (...) Today, in Havana, many younger musicians play, write and produce together, and so national and international influences have even more of a chance to flower and bloom.

Elmer Ferrer is one of the most prolific studio musicians in Cuba. He is particularly known and greatly admired for his harmonic brilliance, vast vocabulary, and intense soulfoul soloing. He is also an accomplished composer, arranger, producer, teacher, and leader of the remarkable Elmer Ferrer Band.

Elmer has performed at numerous and prestigious guitar and jazz festivals, written music for film and was one of the few artists invited to play with Sting when the British musician visited Havana. - Cuba Absolutely Magazine



No Guitars Allowed
Elmer Ferrer Band featuring Ndidi Onukwulu
(Elmer Ferrer, 2009).

No Guitars Allowed finds Elmer Ferrer blending traditional Cuban rhythms and percussions with the signature high energy jazz-blues-rock fusion that has brought him international acclaim as one of the world’s premiere modern guitarists.
Accompanied by some of Cuba’s most celebrated musicians on this recording, No Guitars Allowed showcases Ferrer’s remarkable talents, both as a guitarist and a composer. The Album also features Canadian singer-songwriter, 2009 Juno nominated artist and 2007 Maple Blues winner Ndidi Onukwulu, who contributes vocals on five of No Guitars Allowed’s 10 tracks. Onukwulu also composed lyrics for one of the album’s centrepiece tracks, an homage to roots called “Sancti Spiritus Blues”, which musical style is based on a traditional rythm from Sancti Spiritus, Ferrer’s Cuban village birthplace. Except for the guitars (all guitars were recorded by Ferrer himself at his home studio in Havana) the CD was recorded and mixed by 2009 Grammy awarded Cuban Sound Engineer Orestes Aguila at Abdala Studios (Havana), and mastered by Joe Lambert (Black Label Society, Alice Cooper, Joe Satriani, Herbie Hancock, and so on...) at Joe Lambert Mastering (NYC)


Fango Dance
Elmer Ferrer Band
Johnston Records, 2005.

Jazz Cuba Today
Roberto Carcasses, Alexander Brown, Elmer Ferrer
Unicornio, 2005
Awarded Best DVD of the Year Cubadisco 2006

Elmer Ferrer
Unicornio, 2003
Awarded Best New Album, nominated Best Jazz Album of the Year Cubadisco 2003


As a session Electric/Acoustic guitarist, Music Producer or Arranger, Composer or co-composer, Elmer has contribute to a number of CDs, DVDs, and Movies Soundtracks recordings. Credits include two Latin Grammy nominated Albums and an Oscar nominated Movie Sountrack; Record Labels include Sony Norte Planet, Icon, Sony BMG, BMG Ariola and Warner Music. Please visit the Discography section of artist's website at http://www.elmerferrer.com for a non-exhaustive list of Elmer's discography with other artists (64 CDs listed as of the end of 2009).


- El Benny (Cuba). Dir: Jorge Luis Sánchez. 2006 Oscar nominated. Elmer recorded the “original” guitar of Cuban Music legend Benny More, in the soundtrack recording produced by
Maestro Juan Manuel Ceruto.

- Habana Blues (Cuba-Spain). Dir: Benito Zambrana. Goya Awarded Best Original Soundtrack, 2005.



Toronto-based Cuban virtuoso Elmer Ferrer is widely recognized as one of the world's premiere modern guitarists. He has recorded and toured the world with many of the most prestigious Cuban musicians, and played to crowds in excess of 90 000. An accomplished music composer, producer, arranger, and performer, he is also the leader of the
remarkable Elmer Ferrer Band, “known for wowing the crowds with blues rock sprinkled liberally with Cuban jazz” (The Ottawa Citizen, 2007).

Born in 1973 in Sancti Spíritus -a small city that holds one of the strongest histories in Cuban traditional music- Elmer started to play guitar at age 12. During his first year out of four of classical guitar studies at Havana´s famed National School of Arts (ENA), he saw the American movie “Crossroads”. The film opened the door for the sixteen-year-old classical guitarist Elmer Ferrer to the world of Jazz and Blues. He soon discovered the art of guitarists like John Scofield, Pat Matheny, Scott Henderson, Steve Vai, Mike Stern, Robben Ford and Steve Ray Vaughan, and decided he wanted to play the electric guitar. But there were no electric guitar programs in Cuban music schools back then; thus, Elmer continued to study classical guitar, while devoting every free minute to the self-study of the electric instrument. One year after his graduation as a classical guitarist, the same ENA recognized his talent and hired him to teach at the new ‘Department of Electric Guitar’.

Known as Cuba’s most sought after electric guitarist, Elmer has been one of the most prolific studio musicians in Cuba in the last decade. He contributed to several music recordings, including two Latin Grammy nominated albums and an Oscar nominated movie soundtrack. He has performed at international Jazz and Blues festivals world-wide, and played live shows and improvised jams with international figures as Me'Shell Ndegé Ocello, Ed Motta, the Otis Taylor Band, Los Lobos, and Chris Duarte. Some of the Cuban names he often collaborates with, include the multi awarded Juan Formell & Los Van Van, Orlando Valle "Maraca", and the 5 times Grammy winner Chucho Valdés, whom once introduced Elmer as “one of the best guitarists I have listened to in the last 30 years”.

With his first CD as a soloist (Metropoli –Unicornio, 2002), Elmer won the Best New Album Award at the International Music Fair Cubadisco 2003, and was also nominated for Best Jazz Album of the Year. The Elmer Ferrer Band was formed in Havana one year later, and had its International debut at the 2005 Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest (Ottawa, Canada), opening concert for American star Kid Rock. Elmer´s sencond CD Fango Dance was released at the event, and ranked fifth in units sold. Since then, "Cuban Elmer Ferrer has toured the world with his band, thrilling crowds with his blazing guitar riffs of latin jazz, blues and rock" (Ottawa Metronews, 2007) and the phrase “return by popular demand” has been heard more than once. On four years of existence, the EFB has made the line up on stage at international events with Keb Mo, Johnny Lang, Bonnie Raitt, the Chris Duarte Group, David Hidalgo & Los Lobos, Kid Rock, the Derek Trucks Band and Van Morrison*.

Critics have compared Ferrer's guitar skills to those of music legends like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Words like “Metheny meets SRV” has been used when describing his guitar work. He is particularly known and greatly admired for his harmonic brilliance, vast vocabulary, and intense soulful soloing. Elmer’s music has been described as “an advanced mix of Cuban jazz with electric blues”, and has brought him international acclaim as one of the strongest voices in today’s world of modern electric guitar music.

*Van Morrison and EFB were the only acts on the opening night of the 2007 edition of Canada´s largest Blues Festival, the Cisco Systems Ottawa Bluesfest.



- Metropoli (Unicornio, 2002) –Awarded 2003 Cubadisco* Best New Album, also nominated
as Best Jazz Album of the Year.

- Jazz Cuba Today (Unicornio, 2005) – Awarded 2006 Cubadisco Best DVD of the Year.

- Los Gatos de Alf, finalist for Best Jazz Song of the Year at the International Songwriting Competition (ISC), 2007.


- De Cero, Diego Gutierrez (Unicornio, 2006). Awarded Cubadisco 2007 Best Trova-Pop-Rock Album of the Year.
- Mi Generacion, Tesis de Menta, (Egrem, 2006). Nominated Best Pop-Rock Album of the Year, Cubadisco 2007.
- Breathe, Yusa, (TUMI Music, 2005). Nominated as Best Fusion Album of the Year, Cubadisco 2006. Elmer is also co-composer on two songs on this CD ("Re-nacimiento" y "El fantasma del marino").
- Sin Julieta, Santiago Feliu, (Unicornio, 2002). Nominated Best Trova Pop-Rock Album of the Year, Cubadisco 2004.
- Entre Otros, Noel Nicola & Santiago Feliú, (Unicornio, 2002). Nominated Best Song Album of the Year, Cubadisco 2004.
- Jazz Timbero, Bobby