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cd cover - from the heart credits

alto sax, clarinet: Paquito D'Rivera
drums: Horacio "El Negro" Hernández"
piano: Hilario Durán
bass, consiglieri: Roberto Occhipinti
guitar: Rob Piltch
timbales: Rosendo "Chendy" León
congas, bongó, batá, güiro: Joaquín Hidalgo
trumpet: Alexis Baró, Alex Kundakcioglu,
Brian Okane, Jason Logue
alto sax: John Johnson, Luis Denis, Vern Dorge
tenor sax: Quinsin Nachoff, Jeff King
baritone sax: Perry White, Pol Coussee
trombone: Alistair Kay, Phil Gray, William Carn
bass trombone: Colin Murray
vocals: Dione Taylor
strings: Recorded in Moscow with the Globalis Orchestra, conducted by Roberto Occhipinti

Arranged by Hilario Durán
Produced by Peter Cardinali


1. Mambo Influenciado - 5:20
2. From the Heart - 6:35
3. Habanera in Spain - 5:45
4. Angel Eyes - 4:25
5. Paq Man - 5:45
6. T'Dot Cha Cha Cha - 6:05
7. Moon Face Again - 5:34
8. Rumba for Chano - 1:22
9. Blem Blem Blem - 4:42
10. Farewell - 7:10

liner notes

From the Heart is a tribute to the “Golden” era of the great Jazz Band Orchestras in Cuba. I was very lucky to be around during that time.

My first experience with a Jazz Band Orchestra as a pianist and arranger was in 1970, during my years in the Military Service, where I was a member of “The Orquesta de Aficionados” at the military hospital in Marianao, Havana, Cuba. The trumpet player Manuel Palau was the Director of that orchestra. It was a small Jazz Band using the format of three Saxes (2 tenors and 1 alto), three trumpets, rhythm section, and three singers.

At that time, there were many Jazz Band orchestras in Havana in places like the Tropicana, Salon Rojo (Capri Hotel), Palermo Club in downtown Havana; Copa Room (Havana Riviera Hotel), Parisien (National Hotel), Caribe Cabaret (Habana Libre Hotel).

I used to escape from the military base to visit all those clubs, so I could see the orchestras performing at night. I was fascinated with the sound created by the combination of horns and saxophones. My dream was to one day play in one of those orchestras.

I finished my military service in 1973 and three years later, in 1976, when pianist Chucho Valdes formed his legendary “Irakere,” he asked me to replace him in the “Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna.” German Piferrer was the Director of this great orchestra, and he introduced me to the art and tricks of the Big Band Orchestras.

I learned orchestration watching the scores of the greatest arrangers, like Rafael Somavilla, Armando Romeu, Rembert Egües, and German Piferrer.

Because of this experience, a few years later I became one of the most sought-after arrangers in Cuba. I spent most of my time working in several productions at the EGREM Studios, arranging for the most important singers in Cuba like Omara Portuondo, Miriam Ramos, Beatriz Marquez, Silvio Rodriguez, while at the same time working in all the Cabaret-shows in Havana and Varadero with German Piferrer and Demetrio Muñiz, arranger of Buena Vista Social Club.

I moved to Canada in 1998 and since then I have become part of the Canadian scene. The great Bass player and friend Roberto Occhipinti, with all his enthusiasm and support, encouraged me to make my dream come true. Together, we formed a Latin Jazz Band with the cream of the best Canadian and Cuban musicians. Our first performance was at “The Distillery Jazz Festival” 2005, which was successfully acclaimed by the press.

After several performances in Ontario, Peter Cardinale, President of Alma Records, decided to make a recording with this wonderful orchestra.

“From the Heart” is a nine-song compilation written in Cuban Jazz style, using the Jazz Band format with five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, and Cuban rhythm section with drum kit. In this record, I cover the main styles of Cuban music, like Guaracha, Bolero, Danzon, Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, and Bembé.

Hilario Durán

francisco's song | killer tumbao | habana nocturna | havana remembered
new danzon | encuentro en la habana | from the heart | motion | cuban rhapsody

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