Arguably the most significant source of genuine Cuban music within Miami's substantial Cuban community, Conjunto Impacto began playing as an ensemble in 1975. They soon became the most popular musical group for the Miami Latin audience, and the preferred back-up band for countless performers who came to our shores. Its fifteen musicians, under the guidance of maestro Mario Pérez, have accompanied an impressive array of Latin music dignitaries, such as: Celia Cruz, Ismael Miranda, Héctor Lavoe, Cheo Feliciano, Andy Montañéz, Tito Puentes and many others. There were no important festivities, during the seventies and early eighties, where this treasured group of Cuban-American musicians were not the main attraction.
While supplying music for Latin music legends, Conjunto Impacto were busy producing their own hits. "Los Limones"; remembered by most fans as "Pónmelo ahí, que lo vo' a partir" and "Qué Bueno Está Este País", are two of their iconic hits. Of the eight albums they recorded albums between the seventies and eighties, both can me heard on two.
Unfortunately, the advent of "disco" nearly forced the tropical music scene into oblivion. During this tummultuous time, Mario Pérez, gave up his role as Impacto's music director, bassist and arranger. Instead, he turned his talent towards the real estate market and the "conjunto" dissolved. During this hiatus, Calling uppon his inemittable courage, Mario confronted the real estate crisis as well as the harsh reality of Parkinsons disease. As a recognized Shaolin master, and an avid practitioner of these disciplines, his faith in the "power of Chi manipulation" gave him the strength to carry on.
Meanwhile at the school of one of his martial artists friends, A one-to-one conversation with Sifu Gustavo Cuervo Rubio III, changed everything. During the course of a mano a mano converstion, Mario confided to Master Gus his ardent desire to record a "last album." Master Gustavo, was amazed that they had known each other for so many years and, yet, knew nothing of their shared passion for music. Being a partner in a professional recording studio, Gus offered offered his services and fascility for "whatever music project" they would want to foster.
Despite the dificulties of recording a 15 piece ensamble, Gus was; as always, true to his word. The initially daunting task went forward as scheduled. One year later, "El Regreso" ("The Return") was completed. Master Gus; a "rock" musician at heart, found himself seduced by the brilliant sounds of these men. In less than a year, he had gained an entirely new perspective on Cuban Music. His dormant cubanness had been stirred. Though born in Miami Florida, Gustavo Cuervo Rubio III's parents heritage is one hundred percent Cuban.
During that significant year Gustavo proposed to Mario that "El Regreso" should become a documentary. One that would convey the beauty of this music and the talent of everyone involved, to many audiences around the world. Eventually, he would decide to turn this project a tribute to benefit Mario, who could certainly use the security of a financial cushion due to the hindering effect of his progressive illness.
Due to the "sweet" and "sour" elements in this special chapter of their lives, and because Cuban music fathered the USA tropical music movement known as "salsa," Gustavo -- engineer, producer Dirrector and integral part of this mission -- we are pleased to present.