When the three singers in the Cuban group Los 3 de La Habana came to the United States by crossing border with Mexico in 2007, their main goal was not to make music.
“We left behind our relatives, our homes. We lost everything because at that time there was no possibility at all of returning. We were treated like traitors,” said Germán Pinelli, the group's director and musical producer.
“We were coming ready to do anything,” Pinelli said.
To mark their musical arrival in Miami 10 years ago, the three — Pinelli, his wife Ana Páez and son Tirso Luis Páez — will perform Saturday at the Manuel Artime Theater in Little Havana.
After their arrival, the group, which was already famous in Cuba, won over a new Miami audience with appearances on local television programs where they promoted songs such as No Te Pases de la Raya and La Perdida.
“People say really wonderful things to us. They always say that they feel proud to be Cuban when they listen to our music,” said Pinelli, “and that's what makes us not only perform in more concerts but pushes us to continue making music.”
Despite the difficulties the group has faced, like the departure of one member in 2013 and the limited promotional support, Pinelli said he's grateful for what the group has achieved over a decade.
“When we first got here, it was very different, but now there's much more support for the performers who live in Cuba and travel here to perform than for those of us who are here, who decided to stay, to be part of and contribute to this society,” said Pinelli. “It's pretty difficult for those of us who live in Miami to organize concerts because we don't have the financial support for promotion even though this is a city full of Cubans.”
Los 3 began their career in 1993 in Havana as a harmony group. They have performed in Europe, the Caribbean and more than 30 U.S. cities. They perform frequently in the Hoy Como Ayer club on Calle Ocho.
Considered by their fan base as the “Manhattan Transfer of the Caribbean” because their fusion of music and high energy on stage, Los 3 are now working on several projects, including an album “a bit more romantic, where the vocals and the songs are more prominent, always from our Cuban roots,” said Pinelli. The album will be ready by late this year or early next.
“We sing lyrical songs,” Pinelli said. “We are greatly influenced by those kinds of songs. We write songs about social conditions, about love and about the lack of love.”
Follow Vilma Canalejo on Twitter @vilmacanalejo
If you go
Los 3 de La Habana y su Orquesta will perform Saturday at the Manuel Artime Theater, 900 SW First St., in Miami. For reservations call 305-541-2631.