Latin music icon Ruben Blades completed recording 2 albums and has 3 additional Latin music albums plus a movie on the works. The Salsa music star has his August calendar full with ¨live¨concerts, starting Aug 2nd at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA, and continuing to New York City, Hartford, CT, Columbus, OH, and South America.
Ruben Blades New Latin Music Projects
As part of his recent participation (in an interview) at the Latin Alternative Music Conference held this past July 11th in New York, Ruben talked about 6 Latin music albums he is actively working on:
- Tangos album – the multi-Grammy winner Panamanian singer said he completed the recording of an album of Tangos with Argentina’s premier “Orquesta Típica del Maestro Leopoldo Federico”. Federico is one of the most respected bandoneonist in the world of Tango.
- Brazilian album – this is an album where Ruben Blades recorded some of his Salsa music songs with Brazilian vocal group Boca Livre. Ruben has been friends with Boca Livre for many years, and now seized the opportunity to record with them. He had supported one of Boca Livre early recordings through his website (www.RubenBlades.com) when he was still the Tourism Minister of Panama a few years ago. Blades recorded his songs for this album in both Spanish and Portuguese.
- Rock en Español album – Ruben Blades began his music career in a band of rock in Panama. In his lecture he mentioned that Rock en Espanol used to be an imitation of rock in English, but that changed. “Rock can be as much a vehicle of urban tales as any other Latin music genre can” said Blades. So his plans are to record an album of Rock.
- Boleros album with Paco de Lucia – this has been a long goal of Ruben Blades; to record a “boleros” album with Spaniard veteran guitarrist extraordinaire Paco de Lucia. Ruben is still trying to work out the logistical details of this one with Paco de Lucia.
- Medoro Madera album – if Salsa fans reading the information above are thinking, “what about us?”, then here you go!
Ruben Blades invented Medoro Madera and introduced him in the album “La Rosa de los Vientos” (1996). I believe Ruben created this character inpired by the late Puerto Rican Salsa music singer Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, with whom Ruben had a good friendship and jokingly liked to imitate his singing voice! Ruben made Madero a Cuban Salsa “sonero”, having recently featured him in the Septeto Santiaguero’s most recent album “Vamos pa’ la Fiesta” (2012). So as you can see, this should be an interesting album.
- Re-record his Fania catalog – the goal of re-recording his entire Fania Records catalog of songs has been in Ruben Blades plate for a few years. Ruben wants to re-record his Fania catalog so that he can legally own the Intellectual Property of his own catalog of songs. The background of this whole ordeal is wroth a blog of its own, and I’ll tackle this topic one of these days.
I’m glad to learn that Ruben Blades is working on all these new Latin music albums, with some of them bringing us new original material from this talented Panamanian singer-songwritter. It’s been 4 years since Ruben Blades released new material (Cantares del Subdesarrollo – 2009), although he has been releasing albums of his old songs, like his “Todos Vuelven Live” (2010) albums from his 2009 tour, and “Eba Say Aja” (2011), where he and Salsa music legend Cheo Feliciano performed each others’ songs.
No Record Label; Looking for Distribution Deal
Even though Ruben Blades has already recorded 2 albums, he has no record label and is pursuing a distribution deal for this 2 albums. Part of the reason of not having a record label is to have control of the material he records.
“Hands of Stone” Movie
In October Ruben Blades will return to Panama to film the movie “Hands of Stone” alongside Robert de Niro. The movie is about the life of his friend, idol, and boxing legend Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Duran, where Blades will play the role of Duran’s longtime trainer.
Ruben Blades Tour, Upcoming Concerts
Despite all the new Latin music material he is recording, Ruben Blades stays busy with his concert presentations. August starts with his presentation at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. The Tabernacle is a legendary venue in Atlanta, and Ruben will do a concert there August 2nd backed by the band of fellow Panamanian Roberto Delgado.
Immediately after, Ruben will do a presentation in Hartford, CT (Aug 3rd) and then a free concert in the Lincoln Center in New York City on Aug 7th titled “Out of Doors”. The rest of his immediate tour dates will be Aug 10th in Rochester City, NY; Aug 11th in Columbus, OH; Aug 16th in Bogota, Colombia; and Sep 21 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Opportunities to catch a “live” concert by one of Latin music legendary stars doesn’t come around often. Ruben Blades not only has a deep catalog of Latin music hits that have earned him various Grammy Awards, but as you can see is staying active in the creative process of making new music.
If you have the chance, don’t miss the opportunity to catch Ruben Blades in one of this concert presentations!
Ruben Blades Video – Todos Vuelven Live – “Adan García”
To give you a flavor for one of my favorite songs from his last tour with Seis del Solar, here is a video of Ruben Blades with a different version of “Adan García”. Enjoy!