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"HOY" from the album DE LEJOS
composed by Raida Pita
Produced by Sebastian Krys

& Raida Pita

Raida Pita: Biography

As a young woman in Havana, Cuba, Raida Pita found a passionate, creative outlet for life through writing original music and lyrics – stories that we call songs.  And although her profession – her career – evolved around the artistry of painting gloriously artistic and accurate oil portraits, Raida looked to creating music as the truest, most deeply personal way of revealing her soul.

 

With the onset of communism in 1959, a dark period began in Cuba where it became increasingly difficult to earn a living. For this and other pragmatic as well as philosophical reasons, Raida and her husband decided they must take their children and leave Cuba to pursue life, liberty and happiness – a decision that led to serious governmental reprisals in her native land. Her husband was confined to a forced labor concentration camp without visitation rights for two years, and not until 1970 after serving that sentence was the family allowed to reunite and leave the country with only the clothing on their backs. The agony of this period provoked emotional longings that led to the creation of deeply moving songs about the power of love in juxtaposition to her despair and loneliness for her beloved husband.

 

After a brief period in Spain where the family regrouped and prepared for a brave new world that offered the hope of abundant opportunity, the Pitas arrived at their final destination – Tampa, Florida in the United States. Just when it seemed that the new day had arrived at last, Raida experienced the sudden death of her husband, a tragedy that left her in utter despair and with deep anxieties. Now a widow with three children in a land where a foreign language was spoken, the demand was ever present that she learn to drive, to single-handedly manage the finances of a young family without any support, and to rapidly grow her client base as a portrait artist in order to survive. All the while, the songs continued to flow from her soul, songs that revealed the depth of her love for her departed husband, the importance of living in the present, and the necessity for souls to dream no matter what or how much torment one is going through.

 

Single parenting while traveling and working as a portrait artist required tremendous sacrifice and Herculean effort. Despite the intense work, music continued to emanate from Raida’s heart, providing both emotional release as well as fulfillment for her inner storyteller. Her songs were the verbal landscape that her trembling hands dare not draw, the sonic artistic continuity of her paintbrush’s strokes.

 

The music in this album consists of Raida’s ten favorite songs the she penned across the decades. They reflect the depth of her soul and the abundance of emotion that has thrived inside her against all odds. These songs tell the story of her life as musical portraits – a story with the consistent thread of powerful, empowering feelings and an emotional intelligence that is sometimes found but rarely portrayed.  This music connects the heart and the brain in a way that elevates the human experience.

 

The emotive vignettes herein are the legacy of a humble heart, a bold dreamer, and a gentle rebel that refused to acquiesce to mediocrity. These songs will call upon you to live more deeply, to embrace the power of emotions whenever and wherever they exist, and to realize that a life without dreams – big dreams, bold dreams – is a life unfulfilled, a life that falls short of the true beauty that God intended for us all.

 

 

About De Lejos, The Album

This album is the result of many years of inspired work. It is a communion between a genuine artist whose creations are prolifically diverse and a group of professionals, friends and family that are eternal dreamers. Each song is a reflection of her personal experiences and intimate dreams that stand over a landscape of joys and absences. Raida’s poetry is drawn from a youth that is ever present and then combined with an artistic maturity to yield a legacy for future generations.

 

With the humility of the greats, Raida Pita gives us a musical gem that opens with these words of thanks to all who made it possible.

 

"To dream is to feed the soul with heavenly visions. Accomplishing this album is like wining a ticket to Paradise. God blessed me by surrounding me with wonderful angels who opened the door to my Paradise. Because of them, I have realized my dream. Thanks to all who contributed so much heart and soul to this marvelous project.”

 

 

 

It was a couple of years ago with the whole family was sitting around a dinner table that Raida expressed for the first time that throughout her formative years she believed she would be a professional songwriter and performer.  When asked why she did not pursue this this notion, Raida stated that she thought “it would be difficult to make a living at songwriting.” (This from the woman who raised three children through her work as a portrait artist.)

 

It was at that moment that Garry, her son-in-law, decided that recording Raida’s ten favorite songs from her library that spans over 40 years must be accomplished to preserve her legacy as well as to allow her the experience of being an established recording artist.

Origins: The Evolution of "De Lejos"

Executive Producers: Garry Jones & Isis Jones

Produced by Sebastian Krys & Raida Pita

Associate Producer: Esther Caíñas

Music & Lyrics: Raida Pita

Arranged by Randy Barlow & Doug Emery

Executive Assistant to Garry Jones: Jennifer Jones

Executive Assistant to Isis Jones:  Ashley Mazza

 

Lilian García: Vocals

Lee Levin: Drums

Dan Warner: Guitars

Doug Emery: Piano/Keyboards

Richard Bravo: Percussion

Edwin Bonilla: Percussion

Sal Cuevas: Bass

John Falcone: Bass

Milton Sesenton: Piano

Randy Barlow: Trompet

Pedro Alfonso: Violin

Alemnest Andino: Flute

Jim Hacker: Trumpet

David Fernández Tenor: Saxo & Flute

John Kricker: Trombone

Cheíto Male: vocalist

Miami Symphonic Orchestra

Alfredo Oliva: Contractor

 

Recorded at The Hit Factory/Criteria Studios

& Full Sail University

Mixed at The Big Top & Full Sail University

Mastered by Mike Fuller at Fullersound, Inc.

Engineered & mixed by Sebastian Krys

Additional Engineer: Darren Schneider

Assistant Engineers: Chad Jolley, Perry Jiménez,

Jahan González, Orlando Mendez

General Assistant: Jeff Tanner

Catering & Craft (Miami): Marcela Llodra

Catering & Craft (Orlando): Katalynn Crawford

Executive Producer: Garry Jones

Director/Camera/Editor: Ubaldo Medina

Producer/Assistant Director: Patricia Medina

Camera/Associate Producer: Jorge Abello

Camera: David Ospina

Audio: Víctor Bencomo

Equipment & Lighting by Second Cut Media, Miami, Fl.

Special Effects & Synchronization:

Cacharros Musik Corp., Miami, Fl.

Edited on AVID/Final Cut Pro BONSAI3 & ORANGE BITE

Special thanks to

Trevor Fletcher,

General Manager at

The Hit Factory/Criteria Studios,

for making this project

 a dream come true for all for us.

 

Your commitment to excellence

 is second to none.

Thanks to you and your staff,

the art of recording music is alive

and well today.

BEHIND THE SCENES

1. Hoy

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Piano: \ Milton Sesenton \ Bass: Sal Cuevas \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Percussion: \ Edwin Bonilla \ Strings: Miami Symphonic Orchestra \ Contractor: Alfredo Oliva \ Trumpet Solo: Randy Barlow \ Trumpet: Jim Hacher \ Trombone: John Kricher \ Sax: David Fernandez

 

2. Amor Imposible

Arranger: Doug Emery \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Strings: Miami Symphonic Orchestra \ Contractor: Alfredo Oliva

 

3. Esa Noche Contigo

Arranger: Doug Emery \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Strings: Miami Symphonic Orchestra \ Contractor: Alfredo Oliva \ Trumpet Solo: Randy Barlow

 

4. Orilla Del Mar

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Trumpet Solo: Randy Barlow

 

5. Perdóname

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo

 

6. Si Volvieras

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Background Vocals: Cheito \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Piano: Milton Sesenton \ Bass: Sal Cuevas \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Percussion: Edwin Bonilla \ Trumpet Solo: Randy Barlow

 

7. Te Espero

Arranger: Doug Emery \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo

 

8. Te Perdono

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Flute: Alemnest Andino \ Violin: Pedro Alfonso \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Piano: Milton Sesenton \ Bass: Sal Cuevas \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Percussion: Edwin Bonilla

 

9. Tu Ausencia

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Keyboards: Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Flute: Alemnest Andino

 

10. De Lejos

Arranger: Randy Barlow \ Vocals: Lillian Garcia \ Guitars: Dan Warner \ Piano: \ Doug Emery \ Bass: John Falcone \ Drums: Lee Levin \ Percussion: Richard Bravo \ Violin: Pedro Alfonso

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