Novel Voz, a Jewel of Cuban Music
By Reina Magdariaga Larduet Photos: José Tito Meriño
The Cuban vocal septet Novel Voz produces a unique and unforgettable sound comparable to none. Professionalism and versatility characterize the work of the young group members, founded in 1999. They currently have three records: Novel voz canta para ti, Novel voz and Tratando de llegar.
With about 30 songs to play for fans, the group wants to deliver a stage performance that will leave fans, both national and international, wanting more. Their product is of the best quality, vocal techniques are top-notch. Novel Voz is made up of two soprano singers (Laritza Pulido and Isabel Zamora), a mezzosoprano (Xenia Teresa Gálvez), a baritone (Fernando Yero), bass (Rogelio Montenegro), and the tenors Eduardo Julián Jiménez and Roberto Carlos Cruz ( group director).
“The mezzosoprano is the lead singer while the tenors imitate instruments such as trombones and trumpets, strengthening the group´s harmony,” Cruz said to Cubaplus.
“Montenegro leads the melody and Yero the percussion,” he added”. The musical arrangements are varied. We work with different rhythms such as Samba and progressive Tango, but our forte is traditional Cuban music”, he pointed out.
When asked about their repertoire, he responded that it was quite large and catered to the country visited. “For example, if we go to Argentina we prepare Tango, but we don´t just deal with themes by composer Astor Piazzola with an accordion, we fuse vocal styles in a way that ensures the uniqueness of our sound”.
“In Canada where Gospel choirs are very popular, we try to get as close as possible to that type of music and we believe the public is grateful for that.” “In Europe we do a lot of Bolero, especially in France and Spain. We also perform the genres we have in our blood such as Son, Guaracha and others. We try to diversify our repertoire so as to keep it interesting and this has brought us many followers worldwide,” he added.
Novel Voz on the International Scene Since 2001 the group has taken part in a number of different festivals across countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Canada, U.K., France, Russia, Austria and others.
“Every vocalist dreams of singing in the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia, where many big artists have come from. Our performance there was very impressive.”
“We received not only respect but also warmth. People understand how difficult vocal work is with imitation of instruments, “ he pointed out.
During the dialogue with Cubaplus a separate moment was dedicated to talk about the group´s relationship with Canada, a country with which it has developed a close bond across an affiliation of cultural exchanges.
Canada-Cuba Sports and Cultural Festivals Novel Voz´ relationship with the Canada-Cuba Sports and Cultural Festivals goes back to 2001, ever since cultural exchanges have brought the two countries closer. “It is nice to see students from across Canada being brought here. Students from different cities and schools, both private and public, from Vancouver, Newfoundland, Quebec and Toronto. They come Cuba for one week where they learn about the Cuban educational system,” he said.
Participating in this cultural exchange are teachers of Cuban culture, such as Bobby Carcassés and Alina Orraca, who have also joined Novel Voz in giving workshops on Cuban music in Canada.
He added that he believes these visits constitute unforgettable experiences for the students and added that Novel Voz has approximately 10,000 followers on Facebook.
Novel Voz will take part in the Festival of World Music in Panama this October and in 2015 will perform concerts in Austria,in addition continuing its cultural exchanges with Canada.
Are you satisfied with your results? I am more than satisfied with both national and international results and mostly with Novel Voz´ current quality of work.