NG La Banda had its debut in 1988, specifically at Café Bertolt Brecht Theater in Havana. One of his best known songs in its beginnings was No se puede tapar el sol that gave name to the first disc of the group.

During the 90s it was one of the great orchestras that kept the Cuban dance music and founder of what today known as timba.

The unique style of NG La Banda

NG La Banda - Jose Luis Cortes

NG La Banda – José Luis Cortés

One of its main characteristics was to have prestigious musicians coming from groups such as Van Van, Irakere, Pachito Alonso and the Revé and Ritmo Oriental orchestras.

With NG La Banda, its leader, José Luis Cortés, alias “El Tosco”, sought to merge the musical complexity of Irakere, Latin jazz, along with the attractive ways of Cuban dance music by Van Van.

The harmony and rhythm of this new orchestra rest largely on their weight in metals, something that criticism would release as the metals of terror. Being an academic musician, graduated from the National School of Art (ENA), José Luis Cortés prints in his arrangements a distinctive seal unequaled for the rest of Cuban dance music groups.

His flute and genius as a composer have made this Cuban orchestra one of the most recognized worldwide.

His contribution to Cuban dance music: Timba

Juan Formell recognizes that the sound that made Cuban dance music international was born with José Luis Cortés and NG La Banda. The famous director of Los Van Van coined the term of timba to catalog the new styles that in the decade of the 90 revolutionized the Cuban salsa. At the time of making these statements, Juan Formell, named the grouping of “El Tosco” and this important composer, the parents and founders of timba.

It is necessary to emphasize that like Jose Luis Cortes was formed in Van Van and Irakere, many of the great interpreters of the timba formed part of NG La Banda. Some of them are Giraldo Piloto, who would start the Klimax group, Paulo FG and even Manolín the salsa doctor, who was discovered and promoted by “El Tosco”.

José Luis Cortés, «El Tosco»

Born in 1951, in the province of Villa Clara, on 5 October, in his career he has accumulated numerous Cubadisco prizes, besides five Gold Disks and four Silver Disks. Among his successes, he is not only known for his dance rhythms, but is also considered one of the best Latin American flautists and his interpretations span more than 50 countries on all continents. His performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, Cali International Fair and one reserved to the most excellent Mohamed VI, monarch of Morocco.

José Luis Cortés believes that his greatest achievement has been to propel the career of young Cuban musicians. To this end he maintains a close relationship with the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA), which received the Diploma of Merit for his pedagogical work in the formation of La Camerata Cortes, a group of unique flutes throughout Cuba.

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