Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the location of the concert.
Havana NRG debuted as a Latin orchestra in Dallas in 2002. Since then, they have played in venues and public events all over Texas, California, Florida and Nevada.
The group that was signed in 2017 based on their Latin rendition of the Bruno Mars hit, “24K Magic,” will be performing Thursday at 7 p.m. at Hot Summer Nights in Sherman.
Band members include Michael Romero on lead vocals and trumpet, Illumin Avila on vocals, Ivan Martinez on timbales and percussion, Luis Avila on congas, Melvin Garcia on bongos and percussion, Ramon Rodriguez on bass, Georber Nodal on trumpet, Jeff Fort on saxophone and flute, and Mariela Suarez on piano, violin and vocals
Group member and Havana NRG General Manager Mariela Suarez recently answered a few questions ahead of the group's performance in Sherman.
Q: What kind of music can fans expect?
A: We are a Cuban band, but we have influences from a lot of different Latin American countries within the tropic areas. We play salsa, merengue and a lot of other types of music. We also play a fusion of Top 40 songs. We make a Latin arrangement and sing them in Spanish.
Q: Who are your musical influences?
A: We all graduated from musical academies. We have a lot of influences. We love classical music like what we played when we were studying. We also like popular music. We have also been influenced by artists like Michael Jackson and Latin American artists. We are all professionally trained musicians so there really are a lot of influences behind the music that we play.
Q: This is a community show. Do you prefer playing community shows or festival shows or bar and club shows?
A: It is amazing being able to play community shows. It's just warm. We specialize in stage entertainment and performance. Some bands get on stage and just play one song after the other. We have choreography. We love having kids on stage. We love to have the audience participate with us. That's something you can do with smaller shows.
Q. Since you have played in so many venues around Texas and throughout the U.S., can you tell me about one performance that was really memorable for you?
A. We played at the Truvian Festival in Addison. We always have a nice large crowd when we go there. It's about 6,000-8,000 people. Also, one that we used to love to play at was “Jazz Under the Stars.” It was a festival too. Unfortunately, they are no longer doing that anymore. We have really been all over.
Q. As a group that has been together and performing for more than 15 years, why was it important for you to not let your music die?
A. Texas has been amazing. We just love it here. Since we are a Cuban band, people have asked us why we do not move to Florida. But, we do not want to move. Texas is so warm and there is just so much energy here. They give us energy to keep going. We love every performance. We have been playing at Gloria's Nightlife in Addison every weekend for the last 15 years.
Q. What is your favorite song to play/perform? What songs are the audiences really getting into now?
A. People really like our version of “24K Magic.” We have arranged a Latin version of the song. People also like our version of Kool and the Gang's “Lady's Night.” It really gets the crowd going. We got signed by a label last year because of the Latin version of “24K Magic.” We have about 10 songs that are in the American Top 40 that we do in Spanish that people really like.
Q. What would you like for your musical legacy to be?
A. We really try to entertain everyone. We want to present our music to everyone. Other bands often times try to target certain markets, but we want to make everyone happy. We want everyone to get into it. We want people to be proud of the music that they hear from us and to be excited about it.
Q. What would you like people to be saying about you after your performance?
We want people to have the time of their lives at our concert. We want them to have felt like they left all their problems at home and that our performance was pure entertainment.