Digging Deeper with Denver Public Library

The Denver Public Library recommends these library resources to enhance your experience at Orquesta Akokán.

Orquesta Akokán burst onto the scene pushing the conventions of mambo by drawing from folkloric and religious traditions seldom heard in popular music. The golden sound of Cuban mambo is polished to a luminous, contemporary sheen.


Decoding “Despacito”: an Oral History of Latin Music by Leila Cobo. Also available in Spanish – La Fórmula “Despacito”: los Hits de la Música Latina Contados por sus Artistas.

The “Despacito” formula is an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the music that makes the world dance. Everywhere you go you will find the sounds of Latin music, which has become a global phenomenon, with 30 songs entering Billboard’s Hot 100 list in 2018.


Mambo Man (2021, DVD)

Based on a true story. In 2017, after more than half a century since Castro’s revolution, Cuba opens her arms to the West and the Yankee dollar. Born into communism, JC is a ‘big fish in a small pond’, a local music producer and promoter, farmer and small-time hustler who lives by his wits and imagination. 


Most Famous Cuban Classics (CD)

Orquesta Akokán celebrates the golden age of Cuban music in the 1950s, full of big bands playing their own rhythms for a unique sound. They draw upon many musical traditions, which you can learn by listening to Most Famous Cuban Classics by Jorge & Techi. Although they may be new to you, their varied notes will transport you.


The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

Rediscover this lush bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of two Cuban brothers in 1949 who rise to fame after they move to the U.S., including a stint on I Love Lucy.

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