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Selected by NPR/WNYC as Manhattan’s best band of 2015, gritty, witty and streetwise, the Havana-born Gerardo Contino, “El Abogado de la Salsa,” is a Cuban singer and songwriter. This former lead singer of the Cuban mega-groupNG La Banda, Contino is a party onstage: he loves to improvise, to pull the audience into call & response, and to provoke fans into hip-shaking abandon. Since moving to New York City, Gerardo started his own band, “Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros,” with Axel Tosca Laugart, Luisito Quintero, and John Benitez. They released their debut album, Somos Latinos, in 2013 to very high critical acclaim. He has toured all over the world and in his new hometown, NYC, he has performed in Brooklyn Academy of Music, Sounds of Brazil (SOBs), BB King Blues Club, Le Poisson Rouge, the Bronx Museum, Live at the Gantries, Roulette, Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Taj, and many others.
Celia the Queen, is a loving look at the amazing life and legacy of a woman whose voice symbolized the soul of a nation and captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Erupting onto the Cuban music scene as the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz broke down barriers of racism and sexism. With the powerful weapon of her voice and the warm tolerance of her heart, Celia soon became all things to all people. The film shows the diversity of the people whose lives she touched, from stars like Quincy Jones, Andy Garcia, and Wyclef Jean to ordinary people all over the world who loved not only her music but her incredible spirit.