Considered by Gon Bops’ Signature artist Alex Acuna to be the most important and talented percussionist in Puerto Rico today, Pablo Padin’s career has awarded him six Latin Grammy awards, as well as two American Grammys. He’s recorded and/or performed with Millie Quezada, Elvis Crespo, Grupo Mania, Johnny Rivera, Gilberto SantaRosa, Willie Colon, Tito Nieves and many more. Pablo’s currently working on his third CD with Jose Lugo’s “Guasabara Combo”, including some of his own compositions. We welcome this veteran, talented artist!
Gon Bops welcomes Percussion Master Eliel Lazo to it’s artist family!! Originally from Havana, Cuba now living in Denmark, Eliel’s mastery of the percussive art form began early at age 19, when he won the prestigious PERCUBA International Percussion Prize. In his career, he’s worked with such legends as Herbie Hancock, Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdes, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and many more. Admired for his flawless, fluid technique matched with impeccable musicality and command of Cuban music, Lazo attracts fans everywhere and is considered by many of the world’s best players, to be their favorite Conguero. His current solo release, “Eliel Lazo & The Cuban Funk Machine”, features sax legend Bob Mintzer, along with a host of great players from Cuba, Denmark and Sweden and is dedicated to Cuban percussion master, Jose Luis Quintanta, i.e. “Changuito”. Gon Bops is extremely proud to welcome this amazing artist!!
The first ever Latin album salute to the King of Pop, from producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar. To Be Released April 14 On Universal Music Classics in Partnership With Universal Music Latin Entertainment and featuring over 100 musicians, including Latin superstars Tito Nieves, Jon Secada & Obie Bermúdez, among many notable others!
Fueled by his relentless commitment, quiet determination and passionate faith in the loving message behind much of Michael Jackson’s music, producer/multi-instrumentalist/arranger Tony Succar has thoughtfully created Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson. The result is Jackson’s timeless pop and R&B tunes, such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “I Want You Back” married with glorious salsa and tropical rhythms, resulting in innovative, vibrant arrangements that snap to life with exhilarating energy. Unity will be released April 14 on Universal Music Classics in collaboration with Universal Music Latin Entertainment.
The groundbreaking album embodies Jackson’s spirit of harmony and bringing diverse cultures together through music. “The one thing that stood out in Michael’s music was love. The reality was unity,” Succar says. He continues, “I also wanted the title to stand for something: a real marriage between Latin roots and American pop culture, and to help keep Michael’s legacy alive.”
The birth of Unity came when Succar arranged a salsa-infused version of “Thriller” for a Halloween party in Miami. The reaction was so immediate and overwhelmingly positive that he recorded a version in his bedroom with his band, posted it online and gave away copies. DJs started playing the track and Succar began getting requests from around the world for a full album of Latin-flavored Jackson songs. “That sparked it,” Succar says. “I was such a fan. I felt like I had to do something.”
Part of keeping Jackson’s legacy alive meant incorporating elements of the original production in each of his fresh renditions for Unity. “Even the horn lines, I would transcribe them from Quincy Jones’ productions and then apply them to the arrangement in a different way,” Succar says. “The essence of every song was respected. I gave it my best to create this very thin line between what Michael did with his production and what I brought to the project.”
With Succar taking producer and arranger credits, Unity also features two tracks – “Earth Song” and “Smooth Criminal” — mixed by Michael Jackson’s legendary engineer Bruce Swedien with Nick Valentin. Grammy winner Carlos Alvarez engineered the rest of the album achieving a sonically crisp sound.
“American funk, soul, jazz—all those styles that were influencing Michael— were inspired from African music,” Succar says. “Same with Afro-Peruvian music, Cuban music. These songs were meant to be. Their original flavor lends itself to these Latin rhythms.”