Selected by NPR/WNYC as Manhattan's best band of 2015, gritty, witty and streetwise, the Havana-born Gerardo Contino, "El Abogado de la Salsa," is a Cuban singer and songwriter. This former lead singer of the Cuban mega-group NG La Banda is a party onstage: he loves to improvise, to pull the audience into call & response, and to provoke fans into hip-shaking abandon.
Since moving to New York City, Gerardo started his own band, "Gerardo Contino y Los Habaneros," with Axel Tosca Laugart, Luisito Quintero, and John Benitez. They released their debut album, Somos Latinos, in 2013 to very high critical acclaim. He has toured all over the world and in his new hometown, NYC, he has performed in the Rainbow Room, Brooklyn Academy of Music, BB King Blues Club, Blue Note, Subrosa, Sounds of Brazil (SOBs), Le Poisson Rouge, the Bronx Museum, Live at the Gantries, Roulette, Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Taj, and many others.
In 2015, Gerardo also joined the Max Weinberg Orchestra as the lead-Latin singer, and has also joined Larry Harlow's Latin Legends band, touring throughout Japan.
With his own project, as well as with NG La Banda, and his other bands, Son Yoruba, and Charanga Forever, Gerardo has toured in Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, and Canada. He has played in international festivals of salsa and jazz such as: Toulouse Festival, France; Latin American Festival of Milan, Italy; Festival Fiesta, Rome, Italy; Festival of Múnich, Switzerland, Copenhagen Festival, Denmark; Salsa Festival of Verona, Italy; and, Afro-American Roots of Maracay, Venezuela.
Gerardo has also shared the stage with such artists as Max Weinberg, Oscar de Leon, Larry Harlow, Roberto Roena, El Gran Combo, La India, Los Van Van, Xiomara Laugart, Carlos Varela, Alexander Abreu, Frank Fernandez, Osdalgia, Giovanni Hidalgo, Kelvis Ochoa, David Torrens, and Jose Armando Gola.
Gerardo is a recipient of the 2015 and 2014 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant for Manhattan Community Arts Fund. Gerardo is endorsed by Gorilla Ears, is an active member of Musicians on Call, and was an invited speaker and performer for TEDMED 2014 in the Kennedy Center for the Arts, Washington, DC.
Gerardo received his education in Law at the University of Havana and his Master's in Law (LLM) at Cardozo School of Law in the prestigious Intellectual Property Program.