Jimmy Vivino (left) and Felix Cabrera (right) put on a great performance in Port Washington, NY.
The Felix Cabrera Band reunited with guitarist Jimmy Vivino last weekend for a concert in Port Washington, NY. The set included a few well-known covers bolstered by their blues and Latin originals. The dance floor was full the entire night as people only stopped dancing to chuckle at the witty onstage banter.
Felix Cabrera was born in Havana, Cuba. Though he moved to Miami, FL at a young age, his Latin heritage has stayed strong, both in his life and in his music. Cabrera, a musical child, fell in love when he heard Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” on the radio, and bought his first harmonica the very next day. He played along with recordings of artists, such as BB King and Muddy Waters.
Cabrera bounced around from genre to genre, finally forming his own band “Felix and the Havanas” in 1984. Blending Rock n’ Roll with Latin beats, “the Havanas” had a unique sound, which gained notoriety when they opened for James Brown. In the 1990’s Cabrera joined Jimmy Vivino for the first time in “The Black Italians.” Their music careers have since intertwined on numerous occasions.
You might know Jimmy Vivino from his day job as Conan O’Brein’s bandleader on TBS. Before he became a late night bandleader, Vivino held a number of gigs. He was born into a musical family in Paterson, NJ in 1955. Learning trumpet, guitar and keyboard, Vivino soon found himself in demand as a studio musician.
After moving to New York City, Vivino became a Broadway musical director at the young age of 30. Though his show closed after only a few months, Vivino kept his feet under him. He began working with Al Kooper (Blood, Sweat & Tears) and John Sebastian (The Lovin’ Spoonful), even working as a musical director on movies, such as Sister Act and The First Wives Club.
Today, when not working on Conan, Vivino moonlights with his old friends. He and The Felix Cabrera Band have put on a number of shows in the Greater New York area over the past few years. Between the screaming harmonicas and vibrating guitar licks, the show is really something that must be seen. Both Cabrera and Vivino have a great time on stage and it shows, both in the music and in their interactions with each other and the audience.
For upcoming tour dates and/or more information please visit www.FelixCabrera.com or www.JimmyVivino.com .
Felix Cabrera playing the harp in the beginning of the set.
Cabrera still warming things up.
Jimmy Vivino, coolly picking at his guitar strings.
Cabrera showing off his range, with one of many high notes.
As things warmed up on stage, Cabrera shed his sport coat.
Vivino sets the tempo for the band, laying out the first few chords to the next song.
Cabrera really worked up a sweat on stage that night.
The two have very different styles, but mesh so well on stage.
Cabrera takes a break from singing and belts out another harp solo.
Vivino's fingers glide up and down the fret board during one of his many guitar solos.
Cabrera laughs at Vivino's witty joke as they transition into the encore.