Courtesy of Midnight Special Blues Radio (ms-blues.com) The Elmer Ferrer Band is led by Havana based guitarist and composer Elmer Ferrer - one of the most active studio musicians in Cuba. Born in 1973 in Sancti Spiritus, he was accepted into a state music academy in his home town at age 12. After four years of studying classical guitar, he moved to Havana to finish his senior years of education as an electric guitarist. Very soon he started to perform in albums and concerts of Cuba's most renown solo artists and bands. Elmer has toured South America playing to crowds in excess of 90,000 and has played many european festivals as sideman for a number of Cuban musicians. He has recorded with many of the best Cuban artists including Cuban supergroup Los VanVan. In 2003, his own debut album Metrópoli, released on a local Unicornio label, had marked a take off for his international success. The ten-piece album demonstrates flexibility and eclectism of Elmer's musical skills and preferences: from electric jazz-, blues- and hard-rock to acoustic folk. Metrópoli has won the Opera Prima Award and a nomination for the Best Jazz Album. In July 2005, his band made it's international debut at the Ottawa Bluesfest opening for Kid Rock. His second solo album Fango Dance was released at this festival and was number 5 in units sold at the festival. He currently has a recording contract with Johnston Records, an indie label, out of Ottawa, whose owner Billy ('Bartonbilly') Johnston is now manager of the Elmer Ferrer Band. 'I'd never seen an electric guitarist like Ferrer before. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen better,' Billy Johnston says of this first exposure to Elmer's music. 'It inspired me to later create my own label and produce this album.' Critics have compared Elmer Ferrer's guitar skills to those of music legends like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. For his first creative partnership with Billy Johnston, Elmer wanted to produce an authentic, American blues-rock album. In order to make the record sound authentic, he wanted North American vocalists. Those vocalists ended up being Peter Voith, Shawn Tavenier and Anders Drerup of Ottawa. The three play in a cover band called Bourbon Brothers that performs at The Highlander Pub every Wednesday night. The three Canadians found Elmer Ferrer to be a gracious host, but also a workhorse. During rehearsals for the album, the Canadian singers spent one week jamming with the Elmer Ferrer Band (Jalidan Ruiz Castro - percussions, Ahmed Mitchell - drums, Alexis Bosch - keyboards, and Juan Pablo Domínguez - bass) in Elmer's humble Havana home. The second week, the Cuban-Canadian ensemble spent midnight to 8 a.m. shifts in the Abdala studios to lay down tracks for their album. What emerged from the sessions was a number of original songs, as well as Elmer's take on two classics, 'Couldn't Stand the Weather' by Stevie Ray Vaughan and 'Come Together' by The Beatles. The cover art for Fango Dance, a rendition of Elmer against the backdrop of a Cuban map, was created by world-famous Cuban artist and Elmer's friend Ibrahim Miranda, assisted by designers Diego Monzón and Daniel Delgado. From Everywhere. Fragments curtesy of Chris Lackner (The Ottawa Citizen) and Tony Basanta..