Ashe Records is sad to announce the passing of the great cuatro master and our good friend Yomo Toro.

We are very proud to have produced and presented "Celebremos Navidad", the album which Yomo always said was his favorite solo album. The day we began recording Celebremos Navidad in June 1996 just happened to be Puerto Rican Parade Day and the whole city was draped in Puerto Rico flags, as if in tribute to Yomo and our recording.

Yomo Toro was a truly rare human being: humble, kind, humorous and genuinely open-hearted. As a musician, although his music and instrument were rooted in tradition, he was ready for anything: flamenco, rock and roll, new age, avante-garde jazz, salsa -- Yomo played it all and played it amazingly. Yomo showed us all what a true master was in every sense of the word.

We shall miss Yomo very much and the joy he brought to his all. Until the end, even lying in his hospital bed, he was playing the cuatro.

Rachel Faro & Sammy Figueroa


Produced by Rachel Faro & Sammy Figueroa

"It's a classic..." New York Times

Master cuatro player Yomo Toro knows that you don’t have to be in Puerto Rico to enjoy a traditional Christmas.  Aluminun foil may replace banana leaves for the pasteles, buildings and streets may replace the mountains and countryside, but nothing replaces a tipico parranda of aguinaldos, bombas and plenas.

Yomo presents his original aguinaldos with a modern touch, combining traditional accompaniment with swinging jazz and salsa arrangements by Eric Figueroa and Nelson “Gazu” Jaime.  Recorded in New York and Puerto Rico, with an all-star ensemble, Celebremos Navidad features stellar performances by singers Jerry Medina and Dalia Silva, and musicians such as Eric Figueroa (piano), Joe Santiago (bass), Bobby Allende (congas), Cachete Maldonado (percussion), Ralph Irizarry (timbales), Papo Vasquez (trombone), Ray Vega (trumpet), Bobby Franceschini (saxophone), with Adalberto Santiago, Deborah Resto and the late great Nestor Sanchez on backing vocals.    And over everything, Yomo's lightning speed riffs and joyful jibaro spirit suffuse this album with joy and nostalgia.

Salsa, jazz, folkloric, Christmas, or jibaro music, seasonal or all year round, here is an ingenuously soulful expression of the heart of Puerto Rico played with the gallantry and excitement that is Yomo Toro.  Have a parranda with this exuberant collection: this album is definitely for dancing.

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ASHÉ is a word of many meanings: blessings, energy, power, confidence  --  people, objects, music and ideas – if they’ve got “Ashe” they’ve got energy and power in the purest sense.   In Cuba they call it "ache" and in Brazil "axe", this word is used both in Africa and Tibet, with the same meanings.  Ashe Records is here to bring you music "con ache"!


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