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Help us promote the other sound of Cuba


If you know us, you know that we are dedicated, passionate, determined, no-nonsense professionals who have shown great persistence so far. Please note that we’ve waited 3 years before daring to take this step. This is your chance to show how much you appreciate what KyG does. 

If you don’t know us: Gustavo Corrales Romero is the artistic anchor behind the ARIOSO CD we are hoping to record. Karen Russel is (besides Gustavo’s better half and student) the motor behind everything. We are joined in this project by violinist Reynaldo Maceo, cellist Douglas Vistel and composer Yaniel Matos. We hope that we can impress you with our presentation, our cause, our persons, our music and our background. 

Our first CD production on Aruba was co-sponsored, besides our own investment. Since then (2001 to date) KyG has largely done things under its own management, using our own money. This is the first time since 2001 that we are reaching out. We’ve sat on this project trying to decide how to go about producing this CD and trying to gather up the courage to make this plea.

WHY HELP US? This project involves very hardworking musicians all dividing our time between the perfection of our craft, making a living, trying to get our projects off the ground and still - seemingly effortless - always happily sharing of ourselves and of our music.

WHY HELP THE CAUSE? Because every step towards more awareness in the world about the existence of Latin American classical and contemporary music next to the European classics and besides salsa, jazz, tobacco and old cars is a worthy one. 

Don’t think that others will pick up the slack. That’s precisely when nothing gets done. Also: Every little bit helps. And we wouldn’t be asking if we didn’t need it. Don’t be fooled by the polished look of our crowdfunding campaign. We’re not paying anyone to help us. We just happen to be dedicated perfectionists who do everything ourselves. 

Finally, PLEASE SHARE. We believe that there are many people out there who might be interested in our cause. THANK YOU for joining us in a celebration of music by helping us to PROMOTE THE OTHER SOUND OF CUBA.
Karen & Gustavo


ARIOSO: Cuban chamber music by Gustavo Corrales Romero.
Click on image for video.

Be part of an exciting CD project

that takes a new look at Cuban golden oldies. ARIOSO aims to be an all-Cuban project, with twelve arrangements of traditional Cuban songs (and one original composition) by Gustavo Corrales Romero for violin, cello and piano, complemented by five pieces for piano solo by Yaniel Matos.

The tropical sensuality elegantly expressed in song by Cuban troubadours of the early twentieth century, revived almost a century later with the same charm for classical piano trio.

This promotional video was recorded in 2016 to provide a taste of ARIOSO, with American-Argentine violinist Gustavo Cabrera and cellist Inés Salinas Blasco from Spain. We will be recording the ARIOSO CD with Gustavo Corrales Romero, Reynaldo Maceo and Douglas Vistel, for a completely Cuban 'package'.

Click here for the full description of ARIOSO.

Cultural value & historical resonance

With all of the involved – music, musicians and the collaborating composer – being from the Orient of Cuba, ARIOSO is an all-Cuban 21st century project contributing to Cuban chamber music with historical resonance, among other things, by echoing the efforts of a curiously similar Cuban ensemble: The Jiménez family trio was very successful playing European classical music in Europe in the 19th century… There's more to it! Click here.

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* We have opened these additional payment options through Payment Provider Mollie for people who don't have a credit card or PayPal account. We will be able to track every donation both through Mollie and our bank account, ensure it also gets added to the total on the Go Get Funding Crowdfunding Platform and also that rewards are given out where they are due :)

A memorable reunion

All three musicians are from the Cuban Orient and completed the long Cuban creative educational trajectory modeled after Russian excellence from an early age through secondary school, all winning exclusive scholarships to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. ARIOSO was written to commemorate their acquaintance and music making there.
Click here for the individual biographies.

About KyG

KyG has been promoting the other sound of Latin America for years. After Gustavo Corrales Romero’s solo CDs PALIMPSESTO [An evolution of the Cuban piano] and FRESCO [A wide impression of Latin American classical and contemporary music] ARIOSO is our biggest project yet. In helping us you will also contribute to our exposure and credibility, which we intend to use for charitable purposes. KyG’s first self-organized event was a charity concert.
Click here for some KyG facts and our story

This is only the beginning!

The ARIOSO CD is only the tip of the iceberg. After that, much will still need to be done. A launch concert, follow-up concerts, promotion, distribution, all of which will require additional investment, SO:



Cuban golden oldies chamber music

‘BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB GOES CLASSICAL’. That’s one way of looking at ARIOSO. At the beginning of the 20th century musicians without formal training created songs so beautiful and sophisticated that they are now considered to be classics of Cuban music. Originally sung with accompaniment of a guitar, also sung by trios (two guitars and maracas), Gustavo Corrales Romero has now translated hits like Mariposita de Primavera and La Bayamesa into songs without words.

To complete the CD repertoire
Cuban composer Yaniel Matos wrote five pieces especially for the ARIOSO project. The pieces constitute a contemporary recreation of traditional Cuban genres, such as the danzon, the son and the tumba francesa, to culminate in a heartbreaking Grito Negro (Black Cry) full of drama and virtuosity.

“ARIOSO was designed so that a balance between the academical, the popular traditional and the modern is achieved. The purpose has been to turn these songs into concert pieces. Arranged so that they can be played independently as well as a suite. The original songs were written in a tonal, romantic, very warm and enjoyable musical language. In the arrangements the texture has been made more complex, sometimes varying forms (adding introductions, interludes or codas) and transforming original rhythms. Harmonies of the original music have been left largely intact to preserve the freshness and charm of the songs.”
traditional songs echoed by ARIOSO were composed by classical composers of the Cuban ‘trova’ music movement of the early 20th century like Rosendo Ruiz, Miguel Matamoros, Angel Almenares, Maria Teresa Vera and many more.
In the concert program that will eventually be dedicated to ARIOSO, the intention is to
expand the scope of what is offered to the audience. Therefore, the first half of the program will probably provide an exciting taste of Latin America through classical works for piano solo, duo and trio, featuring fireworks like Astor Piazzolla’s La muerte del ángel. The second half will then culminate in the beautiful ARIOSO suite, expertly alternating lyrical episodes with mesmerizing Cuban rhythms.
Check out Mariposita,
one of the pieces to be recorded on the ARIOSO CD.

Cultural value and
historical resonance



With ARIOSO, a contribution will be made to the contemporary repertoires for Cuban chamber music and piano solo that will be attractive to a wide audience, paying homage on the one hand to the long-standing tradition of composition by academic Cuban composers that began with Manuel Saumell in the 19th century. But also: The Cuban ‘trova’ music tradition is being kept alive, revived by fitting it to the modern times and a chamber music format.

To top it off, the character of the ARIOSO pieces are a
reflection of the Cuban nation and people in the sense that they carry both elements of classical ‘white’ European music and wink at the Cuban’s African background, constituting a ‘mulatto’ mix. This is also beautifully represented by the fact that the three involved musicians are all of mixed white and black ancestry.


The trio that went before

Isn’t it poetic then, to know that there was a trio in the 19th century consisting of black Cuban musicians that gained fame playing ‘white’ European classical music in Europe? The Cuban piano trio formed by the pianist and composer José Manuel ‘Lico’ Jiménez Berroa with his father and brother was in fact known and marketed in Europe as Das Negertrio (the trio of blacks) and also toured in the Americas and Cuba.

A symbolic return to 'El Oriente'

After leaving their home country, studying in Russia and spreading out over the globe, ARIOSO in some way constitutes an  international collaboration, a reunion by converging to play this music stemming from the Orient of Cuba – from which they all are – and a culmination of the experience that the involved professionals have acquired over the years. Gustavo Corrales Romero lives and works in the Hague, while Reynaldo Maceo, Douglas Vistel and Yaniel Matos reside and execute their professions in respectively Madrid, Berlin and São Paulo.



Gustavo Corrales Romero

Arrangement, composition, piano

Guantánamo, Cuba, 1970
The Cuban-born Dutch pianist Gustavo Corrales Romero has enjoyed 17 years of professional musical training in the solid tradition of the Russian school for piano since he was 7. Winning a national competition in Cuba at age 18 enabled him to study at the P.I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow for one year. After this he returned to Cuba to complete, at the age of 24, his studies with a Master Degree in Music, specializing in Piano at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA, the Superior Institute for Art) in Havana where he was to stay on as a professor of Piano and Chamber Music for three years, during which he completed several post-graduate studies with international guest professors. In 1997, at age 27, he was accepted as a select member of the Cuban National Association for Writers and Artists (UNEAC).

Corrales has a special passion for contemporary music. In addition to his annual participation in the International Festival for Contemporary Music in Cuba, in 1997 he co-founded the Association for the Development of Musical Contemporary Art (SODAMC), a UNESCO-sponsored association that organized monthly meetings in Havana which included concerts, expositions and conferences, providing a platform for composers, interpreters, musicologists and visual artists; a highly applauded effort that rapidly became a significant part of the Cuban art scene. Corrales performed in all concerts.

Corrales began public performances at the age of 16. Over the years he has acquired a vast amount of
podium experience through participation in many national and international festivals and as a concert pianist in South America, the Caribbean and several countries in Europe, especially in The Netherlands where he has been living and working with his wife since 2002. He currently presents himself as the specialist of classical and contemporary Latin American music that he is, and has his own production company – KyG Productions – operative informally since 2000, established officially in 2011; producing CDs, books and concerts.

Besides his own CD productions
PALIMPSESTO (An evolution of the Cuban piano) and FRESCO (A wide impression of Latin American classical and contemporary music) he has recorded for Cuban radio and television and also features on the CD ’Homenaje’ honoring Cuban composer Harold Gramatges in 1997. 

In 2007 Corrales obtained the Dutch nationality. In the same year his debut as a writer,
Los Herederos, written in Spanish, was accepted for publication with great enthusiasm by Ediciones EntreRíos and presented at the Miami Book Fair International. In the meantime Corrales has finished his 2nd book La Ciudad de Los Portales, which is being readied for publication. 

Reynaldo Maceo


Santiago de Cuba, 1964
Reynaldo Maceo was granted a scholarship to study in Russia for artistic merits. Graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow with master Vladimir Malinin he obtained the title ‘Master of Fine Arts’ in the category of concert performer and the graduation prize in the specialty of chamber music and quartet with maestros Dimitri Shebalin and Sergei Petchugin, respectively members of the prestigious Borodín and Shostakovich quartets.
He collaborated as a soloist, among others, with the Astrakhan chamber orchestra at the Music Festival in Lima (Peru) and the Bach-Vivaldi Festival in the city of Penza (Russia) and recorded for Russian radio and television with the Samara Philharmonic Orchestra. With the symphony orchestra of Yekaterinburg he executed the Russian premiere of the violin concert of the famous violinist and Cuban composer José White.
Maceo has performed in several countries: Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, England, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Poland, Morocco, Cuba, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico etc. He has taught violin and master classes organized by the University of Getafe in Madrid and in Cali (Colombia) he was a violin teacher at the Padre Soler conservatory in El Escorial. He has been living in Madrid since 1993 and is a member of the Community of Madrid Orchestra, with which he took part in a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Founder and first violin of Cuarteto Assai, with which he has performed in prestigious venues throughout Spain and abroad. With this quartet he participated in the recording of the soundtrack of the movie Carne Tremula by Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. On 11 April 2006 Cuarteto Assai made its debut in London playing in the prestigious Wigmore Hall.

Douglas Vistel


Santiago de Cuba, 1964
Having grown up in a family of musicians Douglas Vistel began to study the cello at the Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba, with teachers Sarvelio Crespo, John Givorkian and Alla Pajomova among others. He studied at the National School of Arts, a student of Alina Neyra, Michail Kustov and Alexander Zhirov. Laureate of the national competitions Alejandro Garcia Caturla and Amadeo Roldán, Vistel received a scholarship to study at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, where he graduated in 1991 under the tutelage of Prof. Maria Tchaikovskaia. Semifinalist of the international competitions Jeunesses Musicales Belgrade and ‘P.I.Tchaikovski’ in Moscow.
Vistel has
extensive experience as a solo cellist in chamber and symphony orchestras and chamber music festivals. Having worked in almost every musical direction – from early music to the avant-garde, as well as Latin, pop, rock and jazz – Vistel is the first Cuban cellist to play the 6 solosuites of J.S. Bach in concert. As a composer several of his several chamber music pieces were premiered by him in the chamber concert series of the New York Philharmonic in November 2011.
His pedagogical work has included giving courses in cello and chamber music in
conservatories in Germany, Spain, Cuba and Mexico. He was also a judge of the international competitions ‘Gaspar Cassadó’ (Spain) and ‘Kurt Schwaen’ (Germany) and has recorded for Russian television, for the Franco-German channel ‘Arte’ and for the record label Kreuzberg Records.
Vistel is the founder and artistic director of
VISTÉL’S CelloMusikSalon, the first concert space in Berlin specializing in music for cello. VISTÉL'S CelloMusikSalon is also the only music hall of its kind in the world.
Operating from this home base and his company CubaKlassik, Vistel’s current artistic work focuses on the ‘
Cello Capriccioso’ Project which employs innovative concepts like private, ‘à la carte’ and spontaneous concerts to offer its knowledgeable audience a more intimate and intense musical experience, while – at the same time – giving the less experienced public the opportunity to become better acquainted with the music for the cello and deepen their knowledge and enjoyment of the richness of this instrument from the unusual and relaxed perspective of a personal conversation.


The other composer

Cuban/Jazz pianist, cellist and composer Yaniel Matos was born in Santiago de Cuba. At 8 he began to study cello and piano at Conservatorio Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba till 1994, when he moved to Havana to study Composition. He graduated at the Instituto Superior de Arte with Harold Gramatges and Jose Loyola. Matos has toured internationally with Issac Delgado, Orlando ‘Maraca’ Valle, Paulo FG y su elite among others. 

moved to São Paulo in 2000 and became a member of the Department of Popular Music at Escola Superior de Música da Faculdade Cantareira responsible for the piano related courses. In 2003 he founded Mani Padme Trio with Ricardo Mosca and Du Moreira and recorded ‘Um dia de chuva’ with Red Records, Italy. In 2008 Matos created ‘Cuba Jazz Plus’, a contemporary jazz quintet consisting of Cuban jazz musicians. 

Other recordings are ‘En Movimiento’ (2008), ‘La Mirada’ (nominated for an Independent Music Award in 2015) and ‘Carabali’, featuring songs based on rhythms typical of Santiago de Cuba like French Rumba, Bembé, Conga, and Rumba, partly representative of the African heritage in Cuba through the use of Cuban percussion instruments. In 2016 he was a judge at the 15th Independent Music Awards.
  • The target amount aims to produce the CD and ideally also a promotional and short 'The Making Of' video.
  • Only real cost was included. In certain cases estimates had to be made in relation to the variable nature of the cost (like airplane tickets and hotels). 
  • The sum is somewhat higher taking into account the subtractions by Go Get Funding and Mollie.
  • The sum does NOT include any form of payment for KyG nor investment we've already made towards this project.
  • Finally, an allowance also had to be made for the packaging and shipment of the rewards, which we aim to cover with the amount of VAT that will be returned over paid invoices.
KyG is a company so under Dutch law the following applies: 
  • If you opt for a reward (a product, so to speak) the amount we actually receive is 21% less (VAT percentage).
  • As a company you can ask us for an invoice for your rightful restitution of this 21% VAT.
  • If you don’t opt for a reward we register your contribution as a donation and only the automatic 5% commission of Go Get Funding and an additional 12% for creditcard payments is subtracted. Mollie mostly has fixed fees between €0,25 and €0,29.
  • The target amount takes these subtractions into account.
Rewards will logically be sent after
recording and producing the ARIOSO CD.
That's why we will be conducting regular
updates on the progress of the project.

(Rewards can be found on the campaign page).

Direct them to


KyG stands for Karen and Gustavo in Spanish. We met in 1999, were married in 2001 and almost immediately began developing projects together. We became the V.O.F. (General Partnership) KyG Productions – a Chamber-of-Commerce-registered company – in 2011. Our roles within the company:

Karen D. Russel (artist name KDRdeCorrales) (Aruba)
Management, logistics, administration, content, creative design, translation, webmaster
Writer, composer, pianist, singer, visual artist and choreographer

Gustavo Corrales Romero (Cuba)
Concert pianist, writer, composer/musical arranger, visual artist
Co-management, content, creative design, translation

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