Neruda Arts presents Picadillo as part of IMPACT 15 - multicultural theatre company, MT Space’s, biennial international theatre festival presenting some of the finest local, national and international Indigenous and culturally diverse performance art. IMPACT 15 features productions from Morocco, Iraq and Australia, theatre and dance from Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver and Whitehorse, and locally born and bred work.
Picadillo’s unique brand of blues, ragtime, soul, son and rumba is proving its worth on international stages. From rough and tumble ragtime songs like “Mango Tree” to their finely tuned Cuban traditional son in “Son las Cosas de la Vida,” Picadillo breaths a fresh spirit into some much loved sounds while always keeping things current. Song lyrics seasoned with contemporary messages and peppered with today’s slang ensure Picadillo’s music speaks to the local and the global. In songs that approach immigration issues, for example, Picadillo does so not just from a US perspective, but also from the perspective of Cubans living in Spain. LISTEN
Picadillo formed when Cuban band members Hector Agüero Lauten, Rey Rodriguez and Spaniard, José Luis Rodriguez met Sol Ruiz in Barrio la Latina in downtown Madrid in 2010. The resulting music collaboration is a cultural crossroads between New Orleans and Havana - and with relations thawing between the US and Cuba, 2015 makes an auspicious time for Picadillo’s third North America tour.
The bands two lead singers, Sol and Rey, personify Picadillo's unique sound. Rey was raised and studied music in Cuba. Sol, on the other hand, was born in Miami to Cuban parents but has also lived in New Orleans and absorbed the sounds of the Mississippi Delta. Sol's two great loves are southern blues, jazz and rock, and Cuban guaracha and guaguanco music. She is influenced by Billie Holiday, Dr John, Edith Piaf and Benny More. Sol and Rey’s rich and soulful voices make Picadillo's songs an immersive experience each one seizing its own savvy, romantic or felicitous ambitions and driven by unfailing horns and percussion.