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Vocal Sampling
It began as a joke and has become a technical challenge today. The members of the Cuban group Vocal Sampling sound like a band, but they do not use instruments.

During their tour of Europe they went to the BBC studios to tell us how they started and the secret of this proposal which few believe till they see it live and direct. "Who does not know us asks himself 'are they or do they have instruments behind?".

Vocal Sampling travels around the world without luggage troubles, because theyre able to use their voices to perform musical themes that range from salsa to rock & roll, including traditional Cuban sones and danzones.

They combine the sound of the trombones, saxophones and trumpets and the complexity of an entire band a capella. According to the members of the group, the most difficult instruments to dominate are the harmonic ones such as the guitar and the piano "which sound two or three sounds at the same time, being the most difficult thing, and the instruments that are not close to Cuban music".

What this group deep down does is just "to experiment with the voice seeking new things" but for that, besides talent therere some personal sacrifices like caring for the voice: "yes, it is a resource that we need to save", that is to take care for oneself and to avoid excesses. Although some confess they continue being smokers.

This orchestra began to sound in 1989, when these six male artists were studying at the Music School of Havana, Cuba. "We just played for fun and to fill in the free time", confessed René Baños, the director and composer of the group.

Within years, the pastime of these friends has become one of the worlds most amazing contemporary vocal groups and now they fill auditoriums in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The exact use of rhythm and their knowledge of the Caribbean musical culture led them to be nominated to the 2002 Latin Grammy Awards for their album "Cambio de Tiempo".

Baños describes the album as "a self-natured work, an expression of its personality. Its a response to how the group has developed and forged its own musical, aesthetic and artistic style".

Besides director René Baños, the group includes tenors Reinaldo Sanler, Julio César and Jorge Chaviano, baritone Oscar Porro and percussionist Abel Sanabria.

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