They met in Europe by coincidence, but it was the love of Latin American rhythms that brought together the members of the project Mercadonegro. The orchestra plays indomitable and hot salsa but is certainly not afraid of including elements from Latin-jazz, son and rap when the temperature needs to be risen to its highest. The band has previously played with Carlos Santana and been a regular backing band for Celia Cruz. But here the music is on the band's own terms and only gets better. Expect a full dance floor with oozing and sweaty Latin club atmosphere when Mercadonegro plays its red-hot music.
The Mercadonegro project was born when three Latin-American musicians met by chance in Europe. Ending up in the old Continent for love, they have kept their musical heart in Latin America, and they decided to spread throughout the world the sounds of their homelands, together with new beats and vibes.
Armando Miranda was born in Cuba, in the Buenavista neighborhood made famous by the Wim Wenders film. He's been a professional musician since he was 17 years old. He studied at the Felix Varela Professional Music School in L'Habana, where he played salsa and Afro-Cuban music with famous artists such as Manguare, Niurka Espinola, Ire Arche.
Rodrigo Rodriguez was born in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia's most Caribbean town. He worked as a singer and percussionist for Colombia's National Ballet as well as with Joseito Martinez from the Latin Brothers.
Cesar Correa was born in Trujillo, Peru. Trujillo is well known for its long tradition in arts and music. He studied classical piano at the Carlos Valderrama Conservatory in Trujillo where he worked as a classical concert player and also played with numerous salsa and Peruvian folk music groups. In Switzerland, he studied at Friburg's conservatory and at the Bern's Jazz School.
The three musicians met through Alfredo de la Fe, one of the best violinists in Latin-American music (also a member of the Fania All Stars). With him the boys from Mercadonegro went on several different tours, and played in important venues such as Ronnie Scott in London, and New Morning in Paris. They participated in great events and festivals like Pavarotti and Friends (Modena, Italy), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Fiesta (Rome, Italy), Bal de la Rose (Monte Carlo, Monaco). On different occasions Mercadonegro had the chance to play with heavyweights such as Carlos Santana, Celia Cruz, Cheo Feliciano. In the winter of 2000 Mercadonegro was part of the first Europe-New York Salsa all Stars with artists like Giovanni Hidalgo, Jimmy Bosch, Jose Alberto El Canario, Jesus Allemany. While working on it, the three artists started their Mercadonegro project, writing new songs and rearranging well-known melodies.
The group plays with talented and technically strong Latin-American musicians such as the Brazilian bass player Eduardo 'Dudu' Penz and the Argentinean percussionist Alejandro Panetta and the Cuban tres and guitar player Carlos Irarragorri.
Year 2001 was the most important year for the development of Mercadonegro. Together with the producers of Bibomusic Inc., publisher of the group, a new strategy was devised, with participations in great events and with the group's first album. Mercadonegro was invited to play in El Cubanito, the most important Latin music venue in Europe, where it got a huge success and improved its already good reputation among the connoisseurs. In January 2002, Mercadonegro started recording its first album with the participation of international known musicians such as Tony Martinez and Alfredo de la Fe.