On March 9, Cumbancha releases the single “The Human Chain” featuring Clinton Fearon, one Jamaican music’s greatest living legends. “Beat Con Flow” is from the upcoming album Havana Meets Kingston Part 2, which will be released in on June 3, 2022 by Baco Records in Europe, ABC Music in Australia and New Zealand and Cumbancha in the US, Canada, Latin America and the rest of the world.
Backed by an all-star band that includes Cuban trumpeter Julito Padrón (Irakere) along with Jamaican legends Sly Dunbar on drums, the late Robbie Shakespeare on bass and the late Winston “Bopee” Bowen on guitar, “The Human Chain” is a powerful and uplifting rocksteady roots anthem about the looming threats to humanity.
Fearon, an icon of Jamaican music who was the lead singer for the legendary band The Gladiators, sings in his trademark gravel-toned and soulful voice, “A chain is only as strong / As its weakest link / Greed and poverty / Weaken the chain / Now is the time to reflect / On what’s gone wrong / With the human chain.”
The single is accompanied by an epic music video filmed on the rooftop of a skyscraper in Fearon’s current home in Seattle interspersed with stirring clips of protest and conflict drawn straight from the headlines. The sixth single to be released so far from the upcoming Havana Meets Kingston Part 2 album, “The Human Chain” offers a stark warning and an uplifting message of hope that we can come together to strengthen the ties that bind us all.
While connected by common African roots and colonial histories, the music of Cuba and Jamaica have traveled largely in separate lanes. Their influence on the music of the world has been immeasurable, but their influence on each other has been less evident. It took an Australian to bring these two rich musical cultures together. Melbourne-based producer and musician Jake Savona had already fallen in love with the music of Jamaica, having released a string of successful reggae and dub albums under his stage name Mista Savona. Eventually, Savona discovered Cuban music, and in 2015, he received a grant from the Australian Council that funded the ambitious and groundbreaking Havana Meets Kingston project. Savona traveled to Havana with a group of top Jamaican musicians, including the legendary Sly & Robbie (drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare), and they began recording in the iconic EGREM Studio where Buena Vista Social Club and countless other legendary records have been produced. More sessions followed, other guests were invited, and after years of painstaking effort, the first volume of Mista Savona Presents Havana Meets Kingston was released in 2017 to worldwide acclaim.
Havana Meets Kingston Part 2 also features a lineup of incredible Jamaican and Cuban talent. including Jamaican stars Clinton Fearon, Randy Valentine, Prince Alla and Micah Shemaiah, Cuban talents Barbarito Torres, Changuito, Brenda Navarette, Solis, Beatriz Marquez, and many more.