Los Van Van
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Los Van Van

Havana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba

Havana, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba
Band Latin World


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2003: En el malecón de La Habana
Concierto en vivo

2004: Chapeando

2009: Arrasando

2012: La Maquinaria



Los Van Van is without doubt the uncontested No. 1 in Cuba and one of the most important salsa bands in the world. More than any other, the group surrounding the bandleader and bass player Juan Formell has not only influenced Cuban music for over 43 years; it was also nominated several times for a Grammy and even won one in 2000 for “Llegó Van Van”. Its sound is unique and unmatched within the entire Latin scene.

Above a foundation of traditional percussion and rhythms derived from rock, funk and jazz, Van Van combines the swing of the violins of a charanga formation with the insistent trombone sound of a big band. With its top singers Abdel Rasalps, Roberto Hernandez, the delightful Yenisel Valdes and the young Armando Cantero. Van Van also has at its disposal an impressive and powerful vocal range and a rousing stage presence.

Van Van combines to perfection all the ingredients of salsa and especially of Cuban music: irresistible rhythms that set every foot tapping, combined with Caribbean nonchalance, passion and joie-de-vivre.

Van Van has been the author of numerous salsa hits since the 1970s, including “Sandunguera”, “Que le den candela”, “Deja la ira”, “Esto te pone la cabeza mala” and “El negro esta cocinando”, to name but a few. The group has always succeeded in capturing the spirit of the age while still retaining its own unique Van Van sound. In addition to the brilliant ideas of Juan Formell, this skill can be ascribed to the group’s outstanding musicians: Van Van has always been characterised by the crème de la crème of Cuba. The list reads like a who’s who of salsa cubana. Many leaders of today’s top bands are ex-members of Van Van: Pupi of Pupi y los que Son Son, Pedrito Calvo of La Justicia, and José Luis Cortés and El Tosco of NG la Banda.

Today Van Van impresses its audience with an explosive mixture of experienced first-generation musicians and a selection of outstanding Cuban talents led by Samuel Formell, son of the band’s founder and a top-class drummer. It is amazing to see the energy which the 16 performers bring onto the stage and which infects the entire audience. With Van Van, the exciting experience of attending a live concert by a salsa band acquires a new dimension.

Los Van Van’s unique position today was also impressively demonstrated at the Juane’s conzert “Peace without Borders” in September 2009 in Havana, attended by over one million guests. Only one group came into question to conclude the five-hour programme which was broadcast live across the entire world: Van Van. Furthermore, the group was the very first salsa band to present a concert in Sydney Opera House.

“La Maquinaria”, Los Van Van’s 17th album, released in 2012 follows on exactly where its impressive predecessors “Chapeando” and “Arrasando” left off.

Los Van Van – essential listening not only for Salseras and Salseros!