Cuba uses sounds of home in unique way

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Music - By Mark Jor­dan Spe­cial to The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

Speak­ing ear­lier this month to The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal, Cuban-born singer-song­writer Alex Cuba, who per­forms Satur­day at Young Av­enue Deli, was char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally cool about the Latin then-up­com­ing Grammy Awards, where he was a first-time nom­i­nee.

“I don’t know if we are go­ing to win or not, but I think there’ll be a lot of fun things around to do,” Cuba said from his cur­rent home in Smithers, Bri­tish, Columbia, about 400 miles north­west of Van­cou­ver. “In gen­eral, I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing down in Ve­gas and en­joy­ing a lit­tle bit of hot weather.”

When the stat­ues were handed out Nov. 11, how­ever, Cuba broke more than a sweat. Though he lost the award for Best Male Pop Vo­cal Al­bum for his epony­mous third re­lease, he was named Best New Artist, be­com­ing, in the process, the first Cana­dian to win a Latin Grammy. He was joined a lit­tle while later by coun­try­woman Nelly Fur­tado, who won Best Fe­male Pop Vo­cal Al­bum for her Span­ish-lan­guage de­but, Mi Plan, of which Cuba co-wrote more than half.

That one of Amer­ica’s hottest Latin mu­sic stars should be a Cuban who re­sides in Canada is a strange turn of events, but it’s en­tirely in keep­ing with Cuba’s own artis­tic style, a wholly orig­i­nal pas­tiche of

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