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Of all the writers in the Kenton stable of names, Richards was the best suited for the task of creating such music for the Kenton orchestra. Richards was bilingual (Spanish/English) and was born in Toluca, Mexico as Juan Manuel Cascales; his parents were Spanish immigrants to Mexico . Richards was to hang around with the Cuban - Hispanic musicians of New York for months before starting the suite. [4] This was a much more personal endeavor for Richards than it was for any of the possible Kenton writers. [5] “CUBAN FIRE is completely authentic, the way it combines big-band jazz with genuine Latin-American rhythms.”" [4] The recording is a musical triumph for both Kenton and Richards; it comes at a time when big bands and jazz were slowly eclipsed by the pop music of Elvis Presley and emerging rock n' roll . The success of the Cuban Fire! album can be gauged in part by the immediate ascent of Johnny Richards' star after its release; he was suddenly offered a contract by Bethlehem Records to record what would be the first of several recordings with his own groups. [5]

We are a locally-based (North Carolina High Country) band with a built-in following. Available for a wide variety of events and venues - from private parties, wedding receptions and corporate functions to live performances at restaurants/bars, gallery openings, festivals and more.


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