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"Simply Smoking" original Cuban Roots debut with Jazz, Funk, and Brazilian seasoning produced by Jose Conde and mixed by 13 time Grammy winner Jon Fausty.

01. ¡Ay! ¡Qué rico! - Son de Mamá
02. Goza con mi changüi - Changüi de Trumpet y T-bone)
03. Do U Dance On 3 - Mambo Funk Cooked In 3
04. El Clasificado - Funky Songo A La Gogo
05. Tira le tierra - Son du tentación
06. Puente a mi gente - Cha Cha Pa Mi Gente
07. El Bombo - Ensalada de samba con salsa, son y descarga
08. Puerco Roba'o - Stolen Suckling Pig Guaracha
09. Bolitas de arroz con pollo - Mambo de bolitas
10. Milagro - Son du amor
11. Bye Bye Cenaida - Plate du Changüi "bye-bye"
12. Bolitas Remix - Mambo de bolitas refrito a la DJ Spam
13 Tres Juanes (Bonus Track)
14 Amorosa Guajira (Bonus Track)


Armando Gola - Electric bass
Lisandro Arias, Igor - Atalita Piano
Ernesto Simpson - Drums
Carlos "Gogo" Gómez - Conga
Gabriel "Chinchilita" Machado - Timbal, campana, conga
Alberto Leusink, Steve Gluzband - Trumpet
Onel Mulet - Tenor sax
Rafi Malkiel - Trombone
Pablo Moya -Tres, coros
Elsa Marina Cruz - Coros
Debora Avile - Coros
José Conde - Lead vocals, coros, güiro, tres
Pedro Giraudo, Jennifer Vincent - Acoustic bass
Ramón Díaz - Bongó, conga
Anat Cohen - Clarinet
David Schumacher - Baritone sax

Lanzamiento: 01/01/2004 Sello: Mr. Bongo
With subtle rhythmic intensity in voice and song, Jose Conde takes his Cuban roots and grafts them onto a dizzying range of Afro-Latin styles. A prolific and inventive singer, songwriter and composer, Conde's debut cd with his band Ola Fresca (It means "Fresh Wave" and also "Hello Fresh"),  titled Ay! Que Rico, garnered the group much well deserved attention and respect. Self produced and released in June 2004 on his own PiPiKi Records label, the album has been praised as "innovative, highly danceable, pleasantly cerebral" (Ed Morales-New York Newsday), the band as "superb" (, and the songs "sung by Conde with the natural grace of the best soneros with a touch of contemporary elegance" (Miguel Sirgado-El Nuevo Herald)   AY! QUE RICO serves up a spirited celebration in rhythm and song which smoothly and subtlely depart from traditional Cuban music at times incorporating contemporary elements such as Funk, Jazz and drum loops and set the stage for Conde's continued foray into Latin fink experimentation with his current 2007 Mr Bongo release (R)Evolucion. 
AY! QUE RICO is a tour de force and homage to his dual musical legacies Cuba and the US. While 11 songs include familiar son, mambo and cha cha cha rhythms as well as the island's lesser-known Changüí, there are also 2 new rhythms and a additional bonus track featuring a remix of Conde's Perez Prado-esque mambo "Bolitas de Arroz con Pollo" by DJ Spam of the Spam Allstars.
In Conde's "Goza con Mi Changüí" arranged by Guantanamo native and founder of the legendary group Los Karachi, Ola Fresca Tres player Pablo Moya employs swift trumpet and trombone be-bop lines smoothly to bring the old Cuban form to modern-times. Conde continues the exploration in a song called "El Clasificado" (The Classified Ad), a run on sentence which is a sort of neo-Buddhist quest for love and peace which integrates funk horns over songo rhythms (reminiscent of the late Anikulapo Fela Kuti) while accentuating the dance groove with hints of post-modern New York salsa. 
In "Do U Dance On 3?," Conde plays with the idiosyncrasies of the popular Latin dance dichotomy of either dancing on 1 or on 2 and teases connoisseurs to "relax" and dance on 3. For this song, he created a new rhythm he calls funk mambo in 3 featuring drum loops, electric bass, percussion and guest clarinetist Anat Cohen soloing around the male and female vocal chorus. In "El Bombo" a tune about the visa Lottery, Conde creates another rhythmic groove by fusing samba and rumba for the verses before exploding with a post-Fania salsa "coro" section, and then releasing an all out conga and flute descarga.

The music is a very "after the work is done... it's time to ease into a good tasty-time kind of mood," explains Jose Conde about the album. "This popular saying,  AY! QUE RICO is a celebration, an affirmation of life-conveniently expressed in four rhythmically even syllables which most closely translate in English to 'Ooh! It's so Good!'"
In recording AY! QUE RICO , the artist/producer Conde, aimed for a live natural sound.  Recorded at the renowned LoHo studio in New York City and mixed by multiple Grammy®  winner Jon Fausty , Conde utilized varying configurations of Ola Fresca and special guests (ranging from a quartet to an 11-piece orchestra).
JOSE CONDE Singer, Arranger, Bandleader
Born in Chicago and raised in Miami by his Cuban-immigrant parents, Conde has been living in New York since earning a BA from Berklee College of Music in 1997. After experimenting with jazz, rock, funk, blues and latin music in his first couple of years in New York, Conde realized his musical journey was leading him back to his Cuban roots. He formed Ola Fresca (Fresh Wave) in 2000 with a clear goal to write new, original music based on the foundation of traditional, Cuban rhythms and style, while incorporating non-traditional elements for spice. This goal blossomed in his cd Ay! Que Rico which Conde produced, and also arranged and wrote most of the songs. The album has been praised as “innovative, highly danceable, pleasantly cerebral” (Ed Morales, New York Newsday), the band described as “superb” (, and the songs are “sung by Conde with the natural grace of the best soneros with a touch of contemporary elegance” (Miguel Sirgado, El Nuevo Herald). Conde has also composed and produced music for film and the theatre, most notably the PBS documentary by Juan Carlos Zaldivar’s 90 Miles, and the critically acclaimed off Broadway Intar production of Eduardo Machado’s The Cook
José Conde’s music fits into the powerfully danceable rhythmic system of Afro-Cuban music. A Cuban would say it’s got sabor de clave. He writes his own lyrics, too, and they have party flavor and humor, but they also have substance. Conde does his own arrangements – something few singers do – so both the charts and the production grow organically out of the words.
Along with his band Ola Fresca, Conde has been featured at major Latin and World music festivals including New Orleans Voodoo Festival, Jazzfest, JVC Jazz Festival, South Florida Sunfest, Calle Ocho, Providence Waterfire, Hudson Riverfest, Manhattan River-to-River Festival, New York-Miami Latin Funk Festival, Long Island Music Festival, South Street Seaport Festival and venues such as (in NY) SOB’s, Copacabana, Joe’s Pub, Nell’s, El Museo del Barrio, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Zinc Bar, The Rainbow Room; (in Miami) Hoy Como Ayer, and the Van Dyke Café and many more.
Conde has expresses a personal commitment to nonviolence, and preservation of the Earth, and his cosmopolitan vision of the Latin world is a hopeful one. The title of his new album, (R)Evolución tells you that. The music lets you hear how it might sound.
Marvin is an exceptional timbalero from a musical family in Cuba. A recent arrival on the New York scene he has played with many of the best musicians in NY and has garnered endorsements from LP percussion and Vic Firth drum sticks companies. He is a very innovative player who brings a great deal of spice to la Ola.
PABLO VERGARA Piano, B-3 Organ, Keyboard Sounds
Pianist, producer and composer Pablo Vergara has worked with a wide array of artists in a diverse array of musical contexts. Classically trained in his native Chile, Pablo moved to the US to pursue an M.A. in Jazz Performance at Harlem's City College with distinguished professor Ron Carter. Since then he has played and recorded with many jazz and latin-jazz greats including tenor saxophone legend Gato Barbieri, Grammy Award winner Dave Valentin, Alfredo de la Fe, Andy Gonzalez, Antonio Hart, Juan Pablo Torres and the Chico O’Farill AfroCuban Jazz Orchestra with collaborations that include stints as pianist and keyboardist for Brazilian & Electronic music star Bebel Gilberto and production and co-writing work with Cuban violin legend Alfredo De la Fe, featuring Dave Valentin in flute along with the some of top Latin musicians in NY.
Always eager to explore new territories, Pablo has extensively toured with Turkish Sufi Music virtuoso Omar Faruk Tekbilek, appearing at Bumbleshoot Music Festival in Seattle, New York Central Park Summerstage and Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. He was also the musical director of Anath’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble, which performed at the Super Bowl XXVII in San Diego, California
Mr Vergara has played across the U.S. with bands like The Groove Collective and Topaz, opening for acts like Bob Marley's The Wailers and Widespread Panic. Before settling in New York City he was the pianist and Musical Director of the Montecarlo All Stars Latin Band at the world famous Montecarlo Sporting Club in Monaco, sharing the stage with musical legends such as Liza Minelli and Elton John.
Mr Vergara graduated from Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile with a B.A. in journalism and a M.A. in Art History & Theory. He currently lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Pablo’s versatility is key in Ola Fresca. He is one of the few keyboardists anywhere who can swing in clave on a traditional montuno, then a timba montuno and then play a badass B-3 accompaniment with serious funk attitude and finesse….all in the same song! He also looks like Jose Marti (Cuban Martyr and Poet) ….so I like to call him “El Poeta de las Teclas” (the poet of the keyboard)
JUANCHO HERRERA Electric Guitar, Vocals
An inventive and energizing force in the contemporary New York music scene, guitarist, singer and composer Juancho Herrera is a true native of Bolivar’s Gran Colombia, born in Colombia and raised in Venezuela. After graduating from Caracas Ars Nova Music Academy Juancho moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music and that's where we met and began our friendship and evolving musical collaboration. A few years later Juancho found his way to New York where he very quickly became one of the most in demand guitarists in the area. Juancho’s collaborations on stage and in the studio include work with Tsidii Le Loka (South African vocalist Tony Award winner), Nestor Torres (Grammy Award winner), Eric Wainaina (Kora Award winner), Jerry Rivera (Salsa-Pop), Claudia Acuña (Jazz) Aquiles Báez (Calle 54, Paquito D' Rivera, Giora Feidman),Yordamis (Bamboleo), Brazooca Band (featuring Alon Yavnai, Didi Gutman, Zemog El Gallo Bueno (Mutant Salsa), Crossroads Ensemble (collaboration with Mattan Klein) and many many others.
Juancho has self-released one solo album (Buscando) of mostly his original songs and versatile and creative guitar work and singing which was produced and engineered by Fernando Aponte, (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Marisa Monte, Tito Puente, Arto Lindsay, Los Amigos Invisibles).
In Ola Fresca Juancho does more than play an electric guitar and sing coros, he is a natural instigator of emotion and vibe who functions as a spark to the moment and the band. Juncho has also contributed extensively to the idea for some the arrangements such as Ride la Ola where he had the ingenious idea of playing a Brazilian Afroshe gtr rhythm over Roman's Babaforulo afro Cuban Conga beat combined with my bass line and idea for the drum beat which Jorge Bringas and Ziggy Modeliste laid down flawlessly on record.
Benjamin Lapidus (guitar, tres, cuatro, laúd) has performed and recorded throughout the world on stage, television, film, theater and video game soundtracks with a who’s who of musicians in both the Latin and jazz worlds such as Paquito D’Rivera, Maurice El Medioni, Roberto Rodríguez, Dennis Mario, Ralph Irizarry, Humberto Ramírez, Mezcla, Juan Pablo Torres and members of the Buena Vista Social Club, Chico Álvarez, Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, José Fajardo, Bobby Sanabria, Candido Camero, Larry Harlow, Brian Lynch, Larry Goldings, and Joe McPhee, among others.
As the leader of the Latin jazz group, Sonido Isleño, he has performed throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Caribbean while releasing five internationally acclaimed albums of his original compositions. An in-demand arranger, clinician, and speaker, Lapidus frequently gives masterclasses and presentations on the history and development of Jazz, Latin Jazz, Latin American, and Caribbean music at schools and venues like Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert Series, The Jewish Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution.
A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Lapidus earned his Ph.D. in Music at the CUNY Graduate Center. As a scholar, he has presented and published several papers on his research at national and international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Lapidus is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at the John Jay College and has taught courses in the CUNY system on world music, popular music of the Caribbean, and Latino and Caribbean music in New York, as well as in the Jazz and Contemporary Music program at The New School University. His book, "Asi es el changüí: The Roots of the Cuban Son in Guantánamo," will be published by Scarecrow Press in 2007.
Benjamin has performed and toured with Ola Fresca and has cracked many jokes to make us laugh and played beautifully to make us smile. He is a scholar and premier Cuban tres and multi string player/composer who is at home playing in old school tradicion style or jazz on the traditional instrument so Im always happy when he’s making waves with Ola Fresca.
Havana, Cuba native, Jorge Bringas, came to the US following his family in the late 90’s. In Cuba he studied with Carlos del Puerto and played and toured with Omara Portuondo of Buena Vista Social Club fame. In the US he first settled in Miami and toured and recorded with international Cuban diva Albita and the late great Celia Cruz.
He later lived briefly in Minneapolis where he joined the band of former Cubanismo Pianist Nachito Herrera and was one of the founding members of the Timba band Tiempo Libre.
Later Jorge came to New York where he immediately asserted himself as one of the top Latin bass players on the scene. In NY he has performed with Chico O’ Farrill, Marc Ribaud, Juan Carlos Formel, ex-Bamboleo Yordamis, Pedrito Martinez and the LP allstars, and Jose Conde y Ola Fresca amongst others.
Jorge is the only Latin bassist outside of Cubanismo’s Carlos del Puerto I’ve seen who plays the fretless electric “zeta” bass which gives our sound serious booty shaking provoking power in any venue. He plays with a youthful Cuban exuberance and fluctuating tumbao but can also ground a groove for exteme funkability as he did when we recorded with funk master drummer Ziggy Modeliste of the Meters. “Jorgito” is another one of those people who is as incredibly humble as he is talented and is also a closet comedian of the highest degree. He’s been in Ola Fresca since just after the release of our first album Ay! Que Rico in 2004.
ROMAN DIAZ Conga, Bongo, Bata
Roman Díaz is a master percussionist from Havana, where he was trained by elders in the fine arts of classic Afro-Cuban musical traditions. In Cuba Roman performed with several groups including Los Marqueses de Atere, Pancho Quinto’s grupo Anaki, Orquesta Sublime, and Yoruba Andavo with whom he recorded several albums including the rumba classic “El Callejon de los Rumberos” on which he sang and arranged the Abakuá march Enyenisón Enkamá (África talks). Roman also taught percussion at Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte in La Habana from 1983-86.
Since arriving in the US and settling in the New York area Roman has performed and recorded with many groups and artists including Paquito D’Rivera, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Juan-Carlos Formell, Oriente Lopez, Raices Habanera, Oriki Omi Odara, Puntilla, Yerba Buena, and others.
Roman has also lectured on the methodology, pedagogy, and research of Yoruba culture at Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the New York Public Library, and at conferences in Bahia Brasil, and Nigeria.
Roman , or “tico” as I call him, is one of the most humble and soft spoken people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and work with. If you never heard how his hands command out life from the dead skin of conga drums, or had the good fortune to see him play quinto and command the movements of an entranced rumba dancer, you might not realize that he is a true and recognized master in the high art of Afro Cuban drumming. Then again……you might just google him. Roman has been a member of Ola Fresca for several years.

ONEL MULET Alto, Tenor Saxaphone, Flute
Born and reared in Miami, of Cuban heritage, Onel Mulet’s musical environment was anchored by the music of his parents, Cuban masters, and richly influenced by the diversity of American music. A graduate of the New World School of the Arts in Florida, began his musical journey playing with the Metro-Dade honors jazz band, and later stints with Count Basie trumpeter, Melton Mustafa, as well as Pete Minger from the Duke Ellington band. Onel went on to perform with a roster of legendary Latin greats including Santos Colon, Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez and Celia Cruz as well as internationally renown artists Johnny Pacheco, Bobby Valentin, Ismael Miranda, Larry Harlow, Bobby Cruz, Jose Luis Rodriguez "El Puma", Melton Mustafa, Israel Sardiña of Los Van Van, Arturo Sandoval, Marquinos Moura, Luis Miranda, Malena Burke, Flor De Lotto, Mirta Medina, Cuban Troubadour Pedro Luis Ferrer and Afro-Cuban percussion legend Candido Camero. In 2003, Onel toured and recorded with Virgin recording artist Albita.
In a few short years since moving to NY, Onel Mulet has asserted himself in the New York music scene performing and recording with a number artists and projects including Brazilian songstres Elin, David Oquendo, Juancho Herrera and many others. Onel has also kept busy as a film music composer with a recent film score for “Betty la Flaca” airing on HBO October of 2006.
Onel is my neighbor and friend in Brooklyn and a fellow Miami raised Cuban brother. He brings pure excitement, and a bag of versatility and knowledge on Sax and flute, from clavecentric son to funk for Ola Fresca.
RAFI MALKIEL Trombone, Euphonium
Composer and trombonist Rafi Malkiel, originally from Israel, is also a virtuoso euphonium player, an instrument with a rich velvet tone, hardly seen today. He was featured in the Recommended Jazz Trombonists list in PBS’ website Jazz, a film by Ken Burns, and in The Young Guns of Jazz, trumpeting the best of a new generation, by Chip Deffaa’s, New York Post, July 2001..
Rafi has played with Willie Colon, Reggie Workman on John Coltrane’s African Brass live project, Jason Lindner’s big band, saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, Grammy-nominated Colombian singer Toto La Momposina, and singer Bobby Short at the Carlyle Hotel. He has played in New York City in venues such as: Madison Square garden, Radio City, Town Hall, Symphony Space, Sweet Basil, SOB’s, and Small. Rafi played on Broadway in the Tony-award winning musical Urinetown. Rafi has performed in numerous festivals around the world, to name a few: the JVC Jazz Festival in New York, Lincoln Center Out of Doors festival in NY, Summer Stage festival in NY, WOMAD festivals in Greece, New Zealand, and Australia, the Sydney Festival in Australia, and the Red Sea International Jazz Festival in Israel.
Rafi has recorded over forty jazz, Latin, and rock albums, including: Out of This World with Loren Schoenberg and His Jazz Orchestra, Live from New York with Reggae Master Beres Hammond, BIMWO Swing with Ray Anderson and with Wayne Gorbea & Salsa Picante. He recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in England with Toto La Momposina and with Lauryn Hill at Sony Studios in New York City.
Rafi has been in Ola Fresca since the early days when we played at Nells in New York. He plays with humor and passion and brightens up any horn section beautifully with the seasoned sound of his trombone.

CARLOS "GOGO" GOMEZConga, Multi Percussion
Carlos “Go Go” Gomez has played and recorded with a long list of artists including: Tito Puente, Sade, Airto, Flora Purim, Charlie Palmieri, Gypsy Kings, Gato Barbieri, Arturo Sandoval, Jose Feliciano, Manhattan Transfer, Mickey Hart, Pharaoh Sanders, and Grupo Afro-Cuba de Matanzas. Born in NY of Cuban and Puerto Rican lineage and raised in the Bronx, Carlos began playing professionally at age 14. By the ripe young age of 16, he joined Seguida, one of the first Latin rock bands recording for Fania Records. After studying ethnomusicology at City College of NY, Carlos calling for performance and his deep studies of spirituality and religion took him to the West Coast, where in 1979 he established and taught the first program of Afro-Cuban studies in song, drum and dance at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. Settling in San Francisco Bay area, “GoGo” Gomez landed gigs with jazz greats such as Pharaoh Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, John Handy, Rodney Franklin, Babatunde Lea, Jules Broussard and Manhattan Transfer, while also playing salsa and Latin jazz with Pete and Coke Escovedo and Sheila E., Conjunto Cespedes and playing high-life and world music with O. J. Ekemode & Nigerian All Stars and Batucaje Brazilian Dance Troup. Into the 80’s Carlos recorded with world reknowned producer/ drummer Narada Michael Walden on his solo album, Maurice Starr's (of New Edition fame) production of Tom Brown album and was featured beside Airto and Flora Purim on The Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart's seminal album Dafos, from Mickey's Planet Drum Album series. Carlos eventually joined the Bay Area-based Con Funk Shun, whom he recorded and toured with extensively for many years. The end of the 80’s brought a move to LA where he wound up touring with Jose Feliciano, Justo Almario, and Strunz & Farah and later a percussion/vocal post for Laura Branigan, which he held for eight years eeventually leading to a stint as musical director. In early 1990 , Carlos began touring and recording with Arturo Sandoval including the 1994 record “Danzon” for which he recorded a multitude of percussion instruments and helped Arturo win his first Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year. Carlos continued to teach seminars at several universities in California and taught privately while deepening his own knowledge by studying stateside with many masters. Currently, Carlos plays in the Tri-State area working with many different artists such as Little Louie Vega/Nuyorican Soul Orchestra, Roy Ayres, Jocelyn Brown and Jody Watley and rarely taking a night of. He is also an adjunct professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Percussion Department at Queens College, City University of New York, continues to teach at seminars and privately, and is currently in the studios, working on his second Afro-Cuban record.
Carlos “GoGo” Gomez has been a friend and member of Ola Fresca since its humble inception when we were just four guys doing a steady Sunday brunch gig in Manhattan. He s a book of knowledge for all things musical and not and has the quickest and most precise hands and timing around. His cultural background and upbringing (Nuyorcubarican) as well as his extensive Afro-Cuban religious studies and Babalao status (He is a certified Afro Cuban Santeria Priest) give him a tremendous flexibility as a percussionist who is able to enhance just about any style (Cuban, jazz, funk, rock, etc.) with any instrument he can get his hands on.

STEVE GLUZBAND Trumpet, Bugle, Flugal Horn Player
Originally from Boston, NY Trumpet veteran Steve Gluzband has performed or recorded with a whos who of acts including amongst others Chicago Symphony, L. A. Philharmonic, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto,, Johnny Pacheco, Papo Lucca and the Sonora Poncena ,Jimmy Bosch, Mongo Santamaria, Orlando Contreras, Adalberto Santiago, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Rivera, Ismael Miranda, Casanova with appearances at: Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Hollywood Bowl, Copacabana, Village Gate.
Steve Gluzband is one of the tastiest and most underrated (if they have that sort of thing for trumpetists) trumpet players around. He has a beautiful sound and phrases nicely in the traditional as well as modern musical setting, latin or jazz or even Led Zepelin …… and he has a really great black pork pie hat too! Steve has performed and recorded with Ola Fresca since its inception

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