*“I want to keep the style of what’s coming next,” said conga player Chris Nettuno about his band Canelita Sabrosa’s music, heard on their debut self-titled release. “What makes us unique is…we have an African-American, Puerto Rican, I’m Italian, Afro Cuban….”
The “Canelita Sabrosa (Tasty Cinnamon)” (Canelita Sabrosa Records) album offers the listeners 16 tracks and four of those have the vocals of Kenny Nettuno giving the album the cherry on a well-prepared cake. The band consists of Chris and Kenny (also on acoustic guitar); Julio Miranda, Jr. on electric, acoustic, and bass guitars; Chunk Sounds on drums; Frankie Quinones on percussion; Matt Stallard, J. Troy, and Andre Bowman on bass; Justin Powell on trumpet, and Ed Hughes and Mac Isseks on sax and flute. All the musicians are fellow studio instrumentalists that decided to form a multi-cultural band after months of performing to a growing crowd on Chris’ porch.
“I started playing congas late in life,” Nettuno said when I asked. “It’s my band. We’re a straight-up Jazz band, but I learned it’s hard for Jazz bands to get jobs, so I wanted to do music that gets us jobs.”
Canelita Sabrosa is known for turning cover songs into something instrumentally special. They play Latin, Jazz, R&B, Funk and Rock music. Their new self-titled album offers originals and cover songs.
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“I tell them dig into your soul. Whatever comes out, let loose when it’s your solo,” said Nettuno about Canelita Sabrosa’s style of playing.
Chris said during Covid some of his studio musician friends didn’t know how they were going to make a living, so he paid them to perform in his living room. The sounds coming from his house draw a dancing crowd that grew bigger and bigger. Then they moved from inside his house to his porch and the crowd grew even bigger. So much so, they ended up on the local news.
“I spent $500 that I did not have and streamed it. There were people from Italy, France, Spain and South America,” Chris said about how the concept for the new album came to be. “You don’t know who is lessoning. When we moved to the front porch 150 – 200 people were there. We did that for about four months before Atlanta opened back up. We noticed there were older people and younger people – kids. I said we have to record this.”
The “Canelita Sabrosa” album is truly a treat produced by five-time Grammy winner Dru Castro (Usher), Chunky Sounds and two-time Grammy winning Julio Mirando. Four-time Grammy winning Ralph Cacciurri (Coldplay) was the engineer on the project. Most of the selections that I love are cover songs because I love the way they make the different instruments sing so excellently that you can almost hear words. My favorites on the album include #1 Camila Cabello’s cover “Senorita” because the guitar playing is so hot and sexy; #3 “Si Se Puede (Yes You Can)” because of the rhythm of the congas and that horn playing giving it that Latin feel; #6 Camila Cabello’s cover “Havana” because of the way the guitar is singing and I love the conga solo giving it that Latin feel and I must mention the trumpet solo, it is jazzy hot; #8 the Bill Withers cover “Use Me” because I love how the congas begin the track and then how the guitar is singing again – I could almost hear words – and I love the horn’s climax, and #9 The Cure’s cover “Love Song” because that guitar is singing again so much so I didn’t have it! www.CandelitaSabrosa.com
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Dr. Eunice Moseley has an estimated weekly readership of over one million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations and Business Management Strategist and Consultant at Freelance Associates and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 23rd year. Next events are coming to Los Angeles via Zoom Saturday, November 5, 2022. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering a Professional Industry Panel Q&A Session, a Professional Talent Showcase and National Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $17,500 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP for Zoom Access email info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.