Formed in Santiago, Cuba, in 1977 by vocalist Eduardo ‘El Tiburon’ Morales (b. 1935, Cuba) and pianist/musical director Adalberto Alvarez, Son 14, as their name would suggest, are a 14-piece band playing ‘son’, Cuba’s national musical style. In 1978 Lazaro Rosabal (b. 1953, Santiago, Cuba) joined the group. They recorded a number of albums for the local EGREM label, many of which became bestsellers throughout Latin America. The band also toured extensively across America and Europe. In 1992 co-founder Alvarez left the band to form his own group. Undaunted, Son 14 continued, with Rosabal taking over as musical director. As well as continued success within the Latin market, the band also began to gain recognition internationally, firstly with the song ‘El Son De La Madrugada’ which featured on the Earthworks Records compilation Cuba - Fully Charged (1993), and then with the release of Son - The BIG SOUND (1995), a compilation of the band’s material from the Alvarez era, issued by Tumi Records. Having introduced non-Latinos to Son 14’s brassy modern version of son and its many variations (‘son montuno’, ‘bolero son’, etc.), Tumi commissioned a recording by the band at EGREM studios in Cuba. Released in 1996 as part of the label’s Cuba Explosion series, Cubania demonstrated that the band had lost none of their musical flair and energy under the musical directorship of Rosabal. Three years later the group came back with La Maquina Musical, which added Colombian style tropical rhythms to their sound. They promoted the album with a European tour that included an appearance at the Cuba Presente Festival at the Barbican Centre in London.