HANSEL & RAUL “The Greatest Cuban Dance Band in the World” – TIME Magazine (1985)
Hansel Enrique Martinez and Raul Alfonso were born in Cuba. Their musical careers began in 1976 in New York City as vocalists and co-founders of the world famous Charanga 76'.
In 1983 the formed what is now considered The Most Dynamic and Successful Duo in the history of Latin Tropical Music. Hansel y Raul are International recording stars and renowned composers who have performed their Charanga based music all over the world. Hansel y Raul have sold Millions of records and have been awarded Multi-Platinum and Gold Albums in a career spanding 30 years. Hansel y Raul are Multiple Grammy Nominees and 2 time Winners. Some of their greatest hits include Kukucha-Kucha, Con la Lengua Afuera, Maria Teresa y Danilo, Ayer and La Esquina Habanera just to name a few.
Their music was based on a sophisticated version of tropical dance music that emphasizes strings and woodwinds rather than brass. Charanga ‘76 made its trademark. They made their flute and violin based music known throughout the world touring extensively throughout the Caribbean, South America, Central America and Africa as well as all the major Latin populated cities in the U.S. They recorded 7 albums with the group, 6 of them went gold and they won a Grammy in 1977, for their album “Encore”
In 1980 Hansel and Raul decided to leave the band and move to Miami, Florida. It is then that the most famous, dynamic and charismatic duo in the history of Tropical music was born HANSEL & RAUL. Integrating a brass section to the already popular Charanga Sound it was that uncanny fuse harmony, spiked with a very Caribbean sense of rhythm that made HANSEL & RAUL the hottest act in Latin Dance Music. They were Miami's #1 dance band, but that's not all. Their contagious beat spread from Tokyo to Madrid, from Paris to Bogota, from Africa to Mexico.
In 1985, they signed a 3 year record deal with RCA Records Their global hit songs Maria Teresa y Danilo and Con la Lengua Afuera became anthems and made them International Recording stars.
In 1986, after selling more than 1 million copies, they were presented with a double Platinum album "LA MAGIA". They toured all over the world setting attendance records and unprecedented record sales in more than 20 countries. They also performed for then President and Mrs. Reagan at the White House where they shared stage honors with Tina Turner, Barry Manilow and Tony Bennett.
In 1987 they were invited to perform at Disney's 15th Anniversary Celebration where they performed in front of a worldwide TV audience of more than 160 million. The duo was presented with 9 Gold albums and 1 Double Platinum, numerous #1 hit songs, world tours, and the charisma they demonstrated before a live audience made Hansel y Raul without a doubt “The Hottest Dance Band of the Decade”.
In 1987 they received 3 GRAMMY nominations for their album “ La Magia” They won for “Best Tropical Album”.
In 1988 HANSEL & RAUL recorded their last album together it included the smash hit song “ELLA”. In life good things must sometimes come to an end even if at times it's only temporarily. HANSEL & RAUL decided to separate in 1988 and went on hiatus.
In 1995 they decided to reunite for a studio album followed by a world tour. In November
In 1996, HANSEL & RAUL released their much awaited album “Celebrando”. The first single “Bailala Pegaita” became a worldwide hit followed by “ Las Llaves De Tu Apartamento” and “San Antonio“. Their world tour took them to 36 cities in 22 countries and placed them among the elite salsa artists of a generation.
In 2003 They recorded 100% Cubano...a classic Charanga album with traditional Cuban roots. This album became an instant hit with dancers worldwide. The album included the smash hit “ La Reina Del Baile” who is a must have for lovers of Charanga dance.
In 2008 They recorded a live album at the University Of Miami. Hansel & Raul Live from the U. The album was released in the summer of 2008.
In December of 2009, In celebration of their 33 years in the music industry HANSEL & RAUL “33” is released, it also happens to be their 33rd CD. The first single “El Muñequito” has reached the #1 spot in music charts in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and has been certified gold in Colombia. The CD was released in the U.S. and Europe in the summer of 2010.
1977 Gold Album Charanga ’76 .......Grammy Nominee Best Salsa Album
1977 Best New Band Charanga 76 Latin N.Y. Magazine
1977 Best New Band Charanga 76 Record World Magazine
1978 Gold Album Charanga 76 “ Encore “ Grammy winner
1978 Charanga 76 Band Of The Year Latin N.Y. Magazine
1980 Gold Album Charanga 76 “ Wanda “
1982 President Reagan’s Latino Excellence Award
1983 Platinum Allbum “ Hansel Y Raul “Grammy Nominee Best Salsa Album
1987 Double Platinum Album “Maria Teresa Y Danilo” Grammy Winner Best Salsa Album
1987 Lama Best Salsa Band Hansel Y Raul
1989 Hansel “ Solo “
1991 STAR Walk Of Fame SW 8th St. Miami, Fl.
1990 Premio Lo Nuestro - Best New Artist
1990 Gold Album
1992 Gold Album “ Latino Americano “ Grammy Nominee
1993 Billboard Magazine Salsa Of The Year
1994 President George Bush’s Latino Excellence Award To Hansel Martinez
1995 Platinum Album “ Mamey “
2004 World Salsa Federation Lifetime Achievement Award
2006 La Sabrosita FM Salsa Entertainer Of The Year Mexico City
2010 Miami Dance Music Awards - LEGENDS
2011 Kings of Carnaval Miami