Combining superb musicianship with unique string and percussion arrangements of Latin Brasilian jazz, contemporary jazz, classical and world music, Annette A. Aguilar & String-Beans are very Special Friends, the title of this group's first CD.
On this self-produced CD (Eagle Seeks Salmon Productions) Annette A. Aguilar, the band's talented and versatile percussionist and musical director, produced, arranged and shared in the mixing of the tunes. She was also fortunate to have the constant support and consultation of well- known producer Frank Dorieti. A long-time friend of Aguilar, Dorieti has twice produced Grammy award winning recordings, for Latin jazz great Cal Tjader and the eminent jazz artist Art Blakey (Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers.)

In the short time since its release in June 1999, Special Friends has become a special CD, winning instant air play, immediate success with listeners, and the magnanimous praise of music industry professionals, including some of today's finest producers, composers, and jazz musicians.

Radio Play:

Since September 1999, Special Friends has been aired frequently on Jazz 88.3 FM WBGO, one of the U.S.'s premier jazz stations, broadcast from Newark, New Jersey, on the popular Saturday night Latin Jazz Cruise program with host Awilda Rivera. (88.3 FM, Saturday nights, 9:00 p.m.- 12:00 midnight EST.)

In October and again in November 1999 Special Friends was chosen to be included amongst a select group of seven artists who were considered the "Latin plays of the Month" on the WBGO website. Annette A. Aguilar & String Beans found themselves in the company of such Latin Jazz notables as Manny Oquendo and Cojunto Libre, Arturo O'Farrill, and 5-time Grammy award winning artist Eddie Palmieri.

Six months later, Special Friends is still being requested by WBGO listeners, who are writing to the station asking to buy the CD.

What Music Industry Professionals are saying about Annette A. Aguilar & StringBeans and Special Friends:

"Special Friends is a beautiful and varied CD program of traditional, classic, and modern songs. Propelled by supple Latin and jazz rhythms with elegant solos, the superb StringBeans band led by talented percussionist Annette A. Aguilar, creates clean, sensual, imaginative music that I can enjoy for days at a time."

Stanley Cowell, Professor
Mason Gross School of the Arts – Rutgers

"Great new concepts in Latin jazz. "

Oscar Hernandez
Musical Director, Pianist, Arranger
(Paul Simon's Capeman, Ruben Blades, Seis de Solar)

"Annette's music has the remarkable quality of sounding fresh while at the same time being deeply rooted in la tradición. That's a make of an artist."

Frank Dorieti
2-time Producer of Grammy award winning recordings:
1980 – Cal Tjader La Onda va Bien for Best Latin Recording
1984 – Art Blakely New York Scene for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group
Art Blakely & the Jazz Messengers

***EditorsPick. "Wow - what a nearly overwhelmingly impressive project. Powerhouse percussionist Annette Aguilar steps into the ring, on a grand scale, to offer No Cheap Dates, her intoxicating debut release that is packed with equal parts beauty and substance. Power and integrity don't necessarily come together, but on this project they do. Whether it's the vocal finesse of Eddie Bobe (who also offers his equally adept quinto services) on the momentum building Ignacio Piñiero composition "Mayeya No Juegues Con Los Santos," or the intensity and color of the violin work of Lewis Kahn and Rob Thomas on "Spain" (Chick Corea) or the unfolding of Aguilar's own percussive virtuosity throughout. On No Cheap Dates she goes from congas to djembe to bongos, pandeiro, repinique, tamborim, surdo, cajon, and, finally, she displays her dazzling mastery of the marimba on Puente's "Picadillo." Listen to Victor Rendon rock his timbales on this track.

There's an emotional depth on No Cheap Dates that is the product of choice: the intelligent choice of songs, the choice of equally smart arrangements, and finally, the choice of clearly top-notch musicians who give us soulful and masterful performances. It's a brilliant latin jazz project that should not be missed - it has quickly become a default favorite around here. And that's saying a lot.

Annette A Aguilar and STRINGBEANS Latin Jazz Brazilian

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