Weaving the musical bridges connecting Cuban son, salsa, timba, and funk, Ola Fresca (Formerly Jose Conde y Ola Fresca), in it's first 10 years and two world acclaimed, award winning, original albums under the direction and creative energy of Jose Conde, has evolved a swinging, fearless tropical Latin sound directly from Brooklyn, New York. From their rustic Cuban roots tinged 2004 debut Ay! Que Rico, to the funky, eclectic Best Latin Album in the 2008 Independent Music Awards, (R)Evolucion, the band meandered through a spectrum of Latin roots styles and instrumental formats and fused liberally, all while making music that was praised by many such as the NY TIMES for having an "emphasis on songs with characters, wordplay and mild social ideas...good for dancing and thinking!" The format of the band morphed from large "conjunto" ensemble to small combos featuring percussion, brass, saxes and flutes and sometimes Cuban tres, and then mixing in electric guitar, B-3 organ and even the funky drums of the Meters' legend Ziggy Modeliste.
After a hiatus to focus on his eclectic world pop solo album, Jose Conde has resurrected Ola Fresca as a trombone driven, power salsa octet. Featuring the sharp Latin dance focused new sound of the band on poignant, new songs about immigration, identity, drumming, and more by Conde and other NY based Latin music writers and collaborators, their new album ELIXIR has been funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign, and is in production and set for release this fall or early 2015.
Since 2004 Ola Fresca has performed in New York, throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and parts of Latin America. Songs from the first two Ola Fresca albums have been featured in numerous widely released albums, films and TV programs. From features on Putumayo and Rough Guide world music compilations to sync licenses on HBO and British Television programs, and stories on US college and public radio, NPR and BBC, the band has received consistent growing positive international exposure in every year of activity. Notable venues that have featured Ola Fresca include Chicago World Music Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, NY Central Park Summerstage, Bocafest in Veracruz Mexico, Green Apple Festival Miami, Santa Monica Twilight Dance Series, Kennedy Center DC, NY Global Rhythm Festival, New Orleans Voodoo Festival etc.