It's a big week for local masters of Cuban son, Conjunto Progreso. Not only are they celebrating the release of their brand new disc Alive in Miami, but now they have a Best of Miami award to celebrate too, having earned the honor of Best Latin Band this week.
The band is large: It's led by Johnny Aguiló (vocals, maracas and guiro) and comprises Rolando Perez (vocals and clave), Jose Elias (tres and electric guitar), Michelle Fragoso (piano), Miguel Gomez (bass), Chaing Liang (congas), Edel Perez (bongos, cowbell -- for which we've already 'fessed up to having a fever -- and timbal), Juan Ricardo Marquez (trumpet), Yasmani Roque (trumpet), Maurcio del Monte (trumpet) and Ulices del Toro (guitar, tres). Together, all have earned a rep among critics over the past 11 years for being the stateside answer to the legendary Buena Vista Social Club. It's not overblown -- these guys are as talented an orchestra as one could ask for, firing on all cylinders and packing dancefloors any time they play.
And at their CD release party at La Casa de Tula this Friday, they'll have some all-star guests playing with them, too. Joining Conjunto Progreso onstage this Friday are Elain, El Chino Dreadlion, and others. There will also be live painting by LEBO. Join them all for a night of unrivaled Cubaneo.