As part of the Latin Jazz Monthly, CubaNOLA Arts Collective will present a concert by musician José Fermín Ceballos on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m. at The Prime Example, located at 1909 N. Broad St., Ana Gershanik reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
CubaNOLA Arts Collective is an organization of artists, tradition bearers, educators, scholars and students that explore the shared histories and lifestyles of New Orleans, Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America by using the power of live music, dance, festivity and diversity to promote cultural wellness and equity.
The organization produces concerts, exhibits, documentaries, readings, workshops, community maps, exchanges and cultural heritage tours, tapping into the power of neighborhood traditions to connect communities.
It is funded by grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Office of Cultural Development, the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans. It is also supported in part by funding from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, Inc.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Fermin Ceballos studied at Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo where he graduated with a degree in music. He plays several instruments and is a member of various merengue bands.
His professional five member Latin group Merengue4-FOUR is one of the best Latin bands of Caribbean music in New Orleans and performs a variety of Merengue Tipico, Perico Ripiao, Bachata and Son.
Merengue is a traditional music from the Dominican Republic. Perico Ripiao, played with the accordion, is a high energy fast pace music. Bachata originated in the mountains of Puerto Rico and then in the early 20th century in the Dominican Republic, spreading to other parts of Latin America and Mediterranean Europe.
Son is a traditional Cuban rhythm that has a similar sound to Salsa and Cumbia. Merengue4-FOUR was formed in August of 2013 and its members play different instruments depending on the song choice.
Fermin Ceballos plays accordion, guitar, electric bass and vocals; Israel Cedeño, from the Dominican Republic plays guitar and vocals; Alexandro Bueno, also from the Dominican Republic plays tambora, bongo and back ground vocals; Walter Enriquez from Honduras plays the Dominican guira and Roberto Oddon Reyes from Nicaragua plays electric bass.
The group has performed at various festivals in Louisiana and has appeared on television, radio, and several local restaurants.