Australian reggae and dancehall producer Mista Savona has spent the better part of the past two years working on Havana Meets Kingston, an album — and now live show — celebrating a fusion of Cuban and Jamaican music featuring several of the countries' best.
Initially recorded over 10 days in June 2015 at Havana's Egrem Studio, Havana Meets Kingston saw Savana fly seven Jamaican musicians to join a group of established and emergent Cubans to create the groundbreaking project. It has since been finished over several more sessions in Jamaica, Cuba and the UK, and now features more than 50 international musicians among its ranks.
Ahead of the album's upcoming worldwide release in November, Savona is heading Down Under with British-Jamaican muso Randy Valentine and Cuban singer Solis in tow. The pair appear on the album's first single, Carnival, which landed back in February and has already been warmly received in the UK and Europe.
The Havana Meets Kingston Sound System Show will mark the first time several key tracks from the album have been played in a live setting. It kicks off in Sydney on Friday 20 October before heading to Cairns, Melbourne, Bangalow and Stradbroke Island.
The shows, proudly presented by The Music, will serve as something of a taster for the upcoming release, which is set to be followed by another album and a feature-length documentary in 2018. Next year will also see a full-band tour on the cards in the wake of these special sound-system shows.
Havana Meets Kingston will be released on Friday 3 November, and features contributions from the likes of Sly & Robbie, Boopee, Bongo Herman, Changuito and Buena Vista SOcial Club members Barbarito Torres and Rolando Luna.