A Cuban native who now resides in British Columbia, Alex Cuba has been compared to such crossover figures as Carlos Santana and John Mayer. And while that's not completely off the mark, Cuba is a masterful singer and compelling guitarist whose ability to synthesize Latin rhythms and North American soul recalls no one so much as Brazilian pop musician Gilberto Gil. That's high praise, but Cuba shares Gil's ability to create warm, friendly music of cross-cultural appeal that retains a terse, spare edge — when he gets cooking on his Gibson electric, he demonstrates harmonic savvy and jazzy skronk. Earlier this year, Cuba won the Latin Grammy for Best New Artist, and his new self-titled full-length is a joy from start to finish. Don't miss the chance to catch Cuba and his tight trio — he's a performer who never misses a chance to improve his groove.