Live at Knight Orquesta Akokán


May 5, 2022 at 8:00 PM


Knight Concert Hall

Run Time

75 - 90 minutes

Parental Guide

All ages

Straight out of Havana, Cuba comes Orquesta Akokán, a blazing ensemble creating deeply soulful mambo reminiscent of Benny Moré, Pérez Prado and banda gigante of the 1940s and ’50s. They polish Cuban mambo’s golden sound to a luminous, contemporary sheen. Along the way, they imbue legendary Cuban grooves with a renewed vitality and powerful sense of akokán, the Yoruba word used by Cubans to mean “from the heart” or “soul.”

Orquesta Akokán kicked off their U.S. debut in the summer of 2018, enthralling audiences with a series of performances that culminated with a sold-out show at the Lincoln Center. This was followed by international touring throughout 2019 and early 2020, nominations for Grammy, Billboard Latin Music and Telemundo Latin American Music awards, and critical acclaim from media around the globe. This performance will mark their Miami debut.

Their newest album boasts all original songs recorded at the historic, state-run Estudios Areito with Cuba’s finest players, led by the inimitable and dynamic singer José “Pepito” Gómez. The album was produced by Chulo Records’ Jacob Plasse, and includes fiery arrangements by Michael Eckroth. The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups such as Irakere, NG La Banda and Los Van Van. Robust, time-tested musical architectures of son cubano and mambo are honored and modernized through a synthesis of the rich compositional styles of Havana, New York and beyond.

Masks are welcome and encouraged; however, as of March 11, they are NOT REQUIRED for this production at the Arsht Center. We continue to maintain enhanced cleaning and air filtration procedures for the wellbeing of all and encourage anyone feeling sick to stay home. Any policy changes will be sent directly to ticketholders and updated regularly at


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Online ticket sales are no longer available for this performance. Tickets may still be available in person at the box office or by calling 305.949.6722.

“A groove as intense as a runaway train, big band mambo hasn't sounded this alive and swinging since your grandparents' heyday.”


“An explosion of brass and saxophone call the dancers to order, then the rhythm rides on the pulse of the saxes, calling to mind the full-bodied sound of past masters Peréz Prado and Tito Puente ... the groove is as intense as a runaway train.”


“It’s the strength of the artists that makes this high-energy album stand out among recent recording excursions in Cuba.”



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