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Greg Purnhagen | Desiderio

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Desi Arnaz Michael Buble Vic Damone

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United States - United States

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Latin: Latin Jazz Easy Listening: Crooners/Vocals Moods: Solo Male Artist
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by Greg Purnhagen

A collection of Latin standards with a neo-retro twist. All inspired by the career of the great Cuban entertainer Desi Arnaz.
Genre: Latin: Latin Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I'll See You in C-U-B-A
3:36 album only
2. Cuban Pete
2:29 album only
3. Quizas, Quizas
3:08 album only
4. Tico Tico
2:26 album only
5. A Rainy Night in Rio
3:14 album only
6. The Island
4:25 album only
7. You and the Night and the Music
4:10 album only
8. Straw Hat Song
2:41 album only
9. I Love Lucy
2:41 album only
10. It Never Entered My Mind
2:52 album only
11. Babalu
3:10 album only
12. Cielito Lindo
4:54 album only
13. El Cumbanchero
2:36 album only


Album Notes
A few years back, I had written down several ideas for cabaret evenings that I wanted to create. One of them was called “Finding my Inner Desi.” Let me “splain”: two things I always knew growing up were that I was adopted and that my birth father was Cuban. Living in a largely Italian-American household on suburban Long Island didn’t give me much exposure to my heritage, so that fell to the man I watched on my favorite television show- Ricky Ricardo, played, of course, by Desi Arnaz. Throughout my youth, he was my idea of what it meant to be Cuban and I was deeply influenced by both his character and his performances on “I Love Lucy,” where the Tropicana gave him the perfect opportunity to sing an enormous variety of material. I was singing and playing the piano before I could read and between my affinity for music and my explosive temper I earned the nickname “Ricky Ricardo” among my family and friends.

As I researched Desi’s life and career, I was constantly impressed by what I learned and decided that the world needed to know more about his incredible life- this man was not simply Mr. Ball, or riding the coattails of his brilliant wife. “Finding my Inner Desi” the concept became “Babalu-cy!”the show, presented at Metropolitan Room in 2007. This was the biggest project I had undertaken. My earlier shows had been done with a trio; now there was a band with horns and Latin percussion. When I heard the charts for the first time I was over the moon and knew that this project had to be recorded. Included here from “Babalu-cy!” are songs drawn from Desi’s several careers (bandleader, Hollywood actor, television star) as well as several numbers that were not performed by him- period songs that felt appropriate to various aspects of his life: “You and The Night and The Music” is what I imagine he sang to Lucille Ball on their first date, “The Island” is romance on the beach, “It Never Entered My Mind” a rueful look back at the break-up of Desi and Lucy. It is my honor to pay tribute to one of the greatest Cuban performers of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, won’t you please join me for a visit to the Tropicana?



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