“I’ve always wanted to sail around the world in a handmade boat, and I built a boat.” -Will Ferrell
I have an older brother: his name is Joshuah. Joshuah is a realist. Quite the opposite of me, really. I’m an idealist, always have been. Regardless, during his whole life he has had a great passion and talent for music. Especially salsa music. It is a fact of life that younger brothers are tremendously influenced by older brothers. And our case was no exception. We fought, we played, we annoyed each other, he had my back, I was on his nerves… you know… normal stuff. However, almost all of my most memorable moments of Joshuah during our young life together include his singing voice. He would wake up singing, brush his teeth mumbling a song, put his clothes on singing, etc. Sometimes he would be in the shower singing and either my mom, my dad or me would harmonize with a second voice on top, or continue the song when he would get water in his mouth and stop in the middle of the verse lol! Point being that my brother has always loved singing. And though a lot of people love singing, and lot of people think they can sing, my brother actually has always been really good at it!
Joshuah now lives in Seattle with his wife and kids and co-directs a Salsa band called “Buena Vibra Sextet” which in Spanish translates to “good vibes” in which he is the percussionist and lead vocalist. The band consists of congas (lead vocals), timbales, bass, piano (coros), bongos (coros) and vibraphone. They have been performing locally for some time now and have always played salsa music in the style of that setup (Joe Cuba + Cheo Feliciano, Ruben Blades, etc). They contacted me with the initiative of doing a record, and this is where I come into the equation.
We decided on doing 9 tracks, so I would write, compose and arrange 8 of them and choose a cover that I would see fit for the style of the production, my brother’s voice and ultimately, the band concept. This song was “Por Mas Que Vivas” made famous by the late great Cheo Feliciano, written by Ramón Rodriguez from Conjunto Clásico and arranged by yours truly. The musicians that participated on this record are not only my friends, but -in my personal opinion- some of the highest rated, most talented, versatile, and professional musicians in New York City: Felipe Fournier on vibraphone, Marcos Lopez on timbales and bongos, Marcos Torres on congas and bongos, Daniel Torres on electric and baby bass and Darwin Noguera on piano. Mixing and mastering was done by Gabo Lugo. I recorded all coros and some minor percussion and obviously: Joshuah De Jesús on main vocals.
In the cover of this album, you can see my father Nelson De Jesús carving into my brother as if he was a piece of wood. I find that to be very fitting in order to illustrate what this project is about. This record aesthetically encompasses shades of the “old school” style salsa but with a touch of the new and progressive sound of today’s world. I truly recommend it. And if you find that you are one those people that doesn’t necessarily feel inclined to pay attention to those type of details, then at least let your feet find their route and dance the night away allowing Buena Vibra ‘s sound to be your map and Joshuah De Jesus’ voice to be your compass! Ahí namá.
Sincerely, the musician: