SuperSones play the sublime music known as Son - the acoustic dance music of the Cuban countryside that inspired modern Salsa. Son is a unique blend of Spanish guitars and harmony, Afro-Cuban percussion and swing, call-and-response singing, and trumpet improvisation. From the 1930's in Havana to the present moment, Cuban septets like SuperSones have inspired people around the world to dance and celebrate.
SuperSones represent this rich musical tradition with a wide range of classic and original songs in the many genres within the Son family: bolero, chachacha, guaracha, and son montuno among others. The group plays songs written by some of the greatest composers of Cuban popular music including Compay Segundo, Miguel Matamoros, Isaac Oviedo, and Arsenio Rodriguez. SuperSones recreate these songs with their own arrangements and improvisations to bring the Son alive in the Pacific Northwest. The group also regularly features original compositions firmly rooted in the Son tradition.
Since 2001, SuperSones have performed for a wide range of audiences. The group plays private functions such as parties, weddings, and corporate events. Depending on the unique needs of each occasion, SuperSones play in a range of instrumentations from a trio up to a septet. In Seattle, public performances have included the following venues: The Triple Door, Club Sur, Northwest Folklife Festival, Sea Monster Lounge, Tractor Tavern, Nectar, Seattle Folklore Society, Seattle City Hall, and Seattle Art Museum. In addition, the group has taught workshops and performed at several Seattle-area schools, Whitman College in Walla Walla, and the Seattle World Rhythm Festival. In May of 2006, the SuperSones toured Belgium and Holland.
Los SuperSones son:
Lalo Bello – congas & vocals
Ron Barrow – trumpet
Kevin Connor – Cuban tres guitar & vocals
Tige Decoster – baby bass
Justin Maggart – lead vocals, clave, maracas & güiro
Javier Marú- guitar & vocals
Steve Smith - bongó
Lalo Bello (Congas & Vocals) Born in Mexico City, percussionist Lalo Bello has been performing & recording professionally for over ten years. By imitating the sounds heard on records, Lalo taught himself the language of the Congas, Bongó, Cajón and Timbales. Recently he has added Batá drums to his studies. Inspired by Conga greats such as Carlos "Patato" Valdés, Tata Güines, Giovanni Hidalgo, Poncho Sanchez & Paoli Mejias among others, his full-hearted commitment and dedication to self-expression and creativity has earned him invitations to perform and record with many of the Pacific Northwest's great bands including Picoso and The Polyrhythmics. His discography includes more than 15 recordings.
Ron Barrow (Trumpet) is a private trumpet instructor and freelance musician in the Seattle area. He earned a BA in Music Education from the University of Washington before going on to work as a professional musician. He currently teaches approximately 40 students a week and plays trumpet professionally playing all styles of music including jazz, classical, and latin music. In addition to the SuperSones, his playing can be heard with such groups as Mango Son, Festival Brass Quintet, and Conjunto Meneo.
Kevin Connor (Cuban tres guitar and vocals) has been a professional guitarist, composer and vocalist for over twenty years. He has studied the music of Django Reinhardt and the "gypsy jazz" of the 1930's and 40's and is immersed in the thriving Seattle "string swing" community. He became enamored with the Cuban tres guitar after traveling to the Caribbean to study medicine in the late 1990's. Since then, he has continued to study Cuban Son music and the tres. He currently plays guitar with the gypsy jazz ensembles Hot Club Sandwich, The Djangomatics, & Swing 3PO
Tige Decoster (upright bass) With over fifteen years of performance and ten years of teaching experience, bassist and guitarist Tige DeCoster has run the gamut of musical styles from jazz and world, to rock, funk, classical, and soul. Starting at the age of 24 he shared stages with artists such as Bela Fleck, Will Bernard, The Radiators, Spearhead, Medeski Martin and Wood, Jimmy Cliff, The String Cheese Incident, Eric McFadden, The Grandmothers, and many others. As a founding member of the acoustic group Hanuman, he toured nationally for over seven years and won the Best Band and Best New Acoustic album (Pedalhorse) of 2002 in the Seattle Weekly. Tige has toured extensively throughout Europe, Central America, and the United States with many different groups. Currently, Tige plays bass for Tom Waits guitarist Omar Torrez, Paul Benoit, songwriter Eric Apoe, and makes yearly appearances at the vaudevillian and burlesque revue, the Moisture Festival, as a member of the Zebra Kings pit band.
Justin Maggart (lead vocals, clave, maracas & güiro) began drumming and singing Afro-Cuban music with the Seattle Folkloric Collective in the late 90's. While studying Batá and Conga drumming in Havana and Matanzas in '99, he was introduced to Cuban Son singing by José Antonio 'Maceo' Rodriguez of Grupo Sierra Maestra. In 2001, he co-founded SuperSones and began researching the roots of Cuban Son in Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo, and Baracoa. On this and later journeys, he studied voice and Tres with the great master of Cuban Son - Félix Valera Miranda. In 2008, Justin independently released the documentary "Cinco Changüiseros" about Changüí - the Son music of Guantánamo Province. Justin also coordinates the SuperSones' hands-on educational workshops which bring Cuban and Latin music to students of all ages. In 2016, he received a King County 4Culture grant to record and perform an album of his original compositions in traditional Cuban styles arranged in collaboration with Kiki Valera and the group TROVADORO - "Lengua, Alambre y Cuero."
Javier Marú (acoustic guitar and vocals) Born in Havana, Cuba. Passionate about the sounds and flavor of the Caribbean rhythms, Javier immersed himself into the world of the guitar in the year 2004 by playing in festivals, theaters and "Casa de Culturas" in Havana, where he met and performed with many other talented artists of his generation. Javier moved to Switzerland in 2011 where he joined forces with Hector Pelaez (tresero of "Septeto Camaguey") and along with other recognized musicians of the area, played in festivals, private events and bars. In January 2015, he moved to Seattle where he plays with groups including Trio Cubay, Kiki Valera & Cubaché, and TROVADORO.
Steve Smith (bongó) is a native of Seattle and a long-time admirer of popular Cuban music. He began to study Cuban percussion, music and dance in the mid 70's at Washington State University while earning a degree in Spanish language and literature. He has performed in recent years with Buena Vibra Sextet, TROVADORO, Sonando and Orchestra Zarabanda.