Watch Orquesta Akokán Perform Live In Our Studio, on The Checkout

Sep 10, 2018

The Cuban mambo group Orquestra Akokán visited our studio at WBGO yesterday. In this Checkout podcast, you'll hear their full performance, and my conversation with two co-leaders from the band.


One of the earliest Latin music styles to cross into to the United States is the mambo, the energetic, fast-paced Cuban dance music that took over New York City in the late 1940s. By the mid '50s, it dominated the legendary Palladium Ballroom, which presented all of the major mambo acts, from Benny Moré to Tito Rodriquez to Machito and so many more.

Mambo still sounds as timeless as ever today — especially as powerfully embodied by Orquestra Akokán, which appears Tuesday night at Le Poission Rouge. Coming straight from Havana, Cuba, the band was recently signed to Brooklyn's own Daptone Records, which released a self-titled album this spring.

Watch our special Facebook Live video capture of their performance from our WBGO studio in Newark.

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