From Spain, Picadillo (pronounced peeka-deeyo and denoting a Latin American dish that mixes many flavourful ingredients) provides a cultural shortcut between New Orleans and Havana. When Cuban musicians Hector Agüero Lauten, Rey Rodriguez and José Luis Rodriguez met Sol Ruiz in Madrid in 2010, they entangled their musical baggage to create a sound that represents the best of multiple worlds. Picadillo is geographically unthinkable at first sight. Four musicians from different places, generations, and artistic backgrounds converge to express themselves in a very local Cuban code.
The band’s two lead singers seem to personify the essence of this collage. While Rey was raised and studied music in Cuba, Sol was born in Miami to Cuban parents, but lived in New Orleans where she got infected with all the original sounds of the Mississippi Delta. It seems as if she has two souls - one for Southern Blues, Jazz and Rock, and another one for guaracha and guaguanco. “I’m influenced by Billie Holiday, Dr. John, Edith Piaf, and Benny More”, she said.
From rough and tumble ragtime songs to finely tuned Cuban son, Picadillo breaths a fresh spirit into some much loved sounds. Song lyrics seasoned with contemporary messages and peppered with today’s slang ensure Picadillo’s music speaks to the local and the global. The group is playing TD Sunfest as part of their fourth tour of North America. Picadillo’s sophomore recording, El Manicomio – their follow-up to 2013’s Las Cosas de la Vida – is set for release later this summer and will feature vintage traditional instruments such as tres, marimbula and organo oriental.