01.09.17 : Las Chicas del Sol – El Orgulloso

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!

Today I present you an interesting all girl orchestra of talents from the golden age of Timba!

Orquesta Las Chicas del Sol was founded at La Habana, on September 15th 1993 by bassist, composer and arranger Griffith Lopez, more or less at the time that Timba was starting to gain ground at the capital, and soon driving the music and dance scene of Cuba almost mad with excitement and bliss – a new age of Cuban music was steamrolling through the island, claiming some “victims” outside it as well (the NG La Banda tour of Japan is an example of how far it went).

The band was formed from various young & talented graduates of La Habana’s various conservatories and music schools, including such (future) stars as Yousy Barbara Ruiz (Maravillas de Florida, Ritmo Oriental) and Ailyn Dallera (Azucar Negra) to name a few…

A “first class female group”, as officially recognized by the Cuban national institute of music and the Adolfo Guzman center of music, the band has formed it’s own unique style over the years, recognizable by powerful vocals, hard hitting percussion, great bass groove, catchy piano riffs and plenty of improvisation, combining the great traditions of Cuban music with other Afro-Caribbean genres and socially oriented lyrics about current themes.

The group participated in an international music festival for the first time in 1995 and recorded its first CD, called “La Habana”, in 1999, and since then performed with some of the greatest stars of the Timba genre, such as Klimax, Irakere, NG La Banda, Pachito Alonso Y Su Kini Kini, Los Van Van, Isaac Delgado, Adalberto Alvarez, Paulito FG, Yumuri Y Sus Hermanos, Manolito y Su Trabuco, Charanga Habanera, Bamboleo and many others.
The group also toured the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Europe.

Except the wonderful “La Habana” (the CD to which today’s composition belongs) the band also took part at a wonderful compilation of traditional Cuban music called “100 lindas Cubanas”, performed only by All female groups, together with Anacaona, Son Damas and other bands.

As typical of Timba bands, the band even has it’s own “catch phrase”:

Camina woman… y goza man!

Personally I think that this might be an influence of Charanga Habanera’s “Hey you, Loca!” (the album and the song) that came out a year before the band was formed, becoming an instant hit.
Also, Charanga Habanera songs are often quoted by the band – can you spot the references here?

Well, here is the composition for today.


25.08.17 : Junito y su Secreto a Voces – El Protagonista (Se Le Fue La Mano)

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!
Today we shall be enjoying a very nice cover version to a Timba classic.

When asking readers of Timba.com to name several memorable Timba compositions many included “el protagonista”, also known as “se le fue la mano” in their answer, and rightfully so;
This great composition, by Bamboleo, comes from “la epoca del oro”, the golden age of Timba, being the mid 1990’s to early 2000’s, a time when this band (and many others) were in their element 24/7, and produced an incredible harvest of great Timba for us fans to enjoy.

This song comes from the amazing 1999 album “ya no hace falta”, and today is presented in the 2005 cover version by a band called Junito y su Secreto a Voces, from their 8 track and highly varied album “bailalo…” .
The lead vocal is by the wonderful Betsy Lopez, and the band is a personal project of Julio Albino, a timbalero who in the past worked with Lalo Rodriguez, Grupo Niche and Frankie Ruiz among others.

So, while definitely not a mighty beast like the original, this cover is quite decent, fun, finely arranged and well executed…

So, here it is… ¡Disfrutala!

18.10.17 : Maykel Blanco – Eso Que Es

Greetings dear blog followers, readers, listeners y todos los amantes de la musica Cubana!

For those who haven’t noticed, Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor will be performing in Europe (and Asia minor) this fall.

So today I’m sharing with you one yet another of my favorite compositions by this artist, as it has been a while since I shared any of his wonderful Timba here 😉

The song is called “Eso Que Es”, and is from the amazing 2010 Timba album “Soy Lo Que Te Hala”.
This composition is a rapidly developing “energy bomb” which offers a set of interesting moments right from the start, and keeps rolling forwards for another 4 whole minutes with not a second of boredom…

So, here it is…


11.08.17 : Adalberto Alvarez y Su Son – Para Darte Amor

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers!

Today we will be enjoying a new song by one of my favorite artists, who’s one of many (many… many…) compositions was the first one to appear on my blog.

This is a new romantic Timba by Adalberto Alvarez !

It is called “Para darte Amor”, and you can hear it right now, straight from Cuban TV.


04.08.17 : Asere – Palo Santo

Good day dear blog followers, readers, listeners y todos los amantes de la musica Cubana!

Today, after a 2 week break, the blog returns from Moscow, with lot’s of great memories and some new songs to present.

During my stay in Moscow I had the opportunity to visit many of the city’s wonderful salsa venues, but the most memorable and enjoyable of all was the open air party under the Andreyevskiy bridge, on the banks of the Moskva river.
The 2nd half of the party was dedicated to el dia de la revolucion (July 26th), and so it was packed full not only with great dancers but also wonderful Cuban music, lots of Son, Son Montuno and Timba…

One of the best dances I had during my stay (at this party or otherwise) was on a beautiful Son Montuno composition (which I shall present here today, in a few brief moments…), with a gracious young lady that although claimed to have never danced Son \ Casino a contra-tiempo before, proceeded to dance wonderfully, with great following skills, body motion, a clear & distinct understanding of the rhythm and even with that special spark in her eyes and a smile from ear to ear smudged all over her face 🙂

The beautiful composition being played at those moments was the one I shall share here today – Palo Santo, interpreted by the band Asere.

The composition itself is a decent salsa composition from the 1980’s, by Puertorican Henry Fiol, which kind of went under the radar, as except the nice, eco friendly, lyrics there isn’t much to it.

But grupo Asere has completely remade the composition into a classic Son Montuno with very strong ties to Son, it’s original genre.

Asere is a septeto (7 member band) from La Habana, which came together during the late 1990’s, following the success of Buena Vista Social Club and the rise of interest towards Son music.
The band based it’s format on Son and other genres of traditional Cuban music and released it’s 1st album, Cuban Soul, in 1998.
Since then the band has expanded it’s repertoire to Timba as well as the traditional genres, toured Europe and the Americas, and released 3 more albums, being Yo Soy el Son (2000), Destinos (2005) and the latest one, to which this composition belongs – Junio Groove from 2010.

So, here is the masterpiece…

21.07.17 : Going on vacation – no blog

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!

Later on today I get on a plane to Moscow, visiting my relatives and hopefully also some great Cuban teachers and parties in one the most wonderful cities there is…

So, for you not to become too bored during the next two Fridays, I leave you with a small gift – a playlist I made a few years ago, full of my favorite compositions in several genres of Cuban music.

So, here it is!


14.07.17 : Lisandro y Su Tratado – Provocativa

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!

Today we shall listen to a wonderful Timba cerra by a little known (unfortunately…) band from La Habana named Lisandro y Su Tratado…

The band was formed at La Habana in 2001 by Lisandro Alfredo Arias Baro, who acts as the bands’ songwriter, director, arranger, pianist and lead Vocalista.
His breakthrough into the music scene came in 1991, when at only 18 years of age Lisandro performed together with La Banda Meteoro at the university of Habana in front of a crowd of over 15,000 listeners and dancers!
Since then Lisandro and his band have performed with numerous groups and artists, among which are Pupy y LQSS, Orquesta Reve (and also with his brothers’ band, Oderquis Reve y Su Changui!), Manolito y Su Trabuco and Bamboleo.

Today we shall enjoy “provocativa”, from the album “sudar bailando”…


07.07.17 : Diogenes y su Changui Santiagueo – Amarrala

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers!

Today we are going to enjoy a nice Son composition performed by a band of Changuiceros from Santiago de Cuba, Diogenes y Su Changui…

As the great Elio Reve used to say “sin Changui no hay Son, y sin Son no hay salsa”;
Son is the musical basis for most of what came later and is known to us, fans of Cuban music, as “salsa” and Timba.
Changui is the most direct root \ origin on Son, and was formed in the Oriente region of Cuba during the 1860’s and 1870’s.
This traditional genre of Cuban music comes from the countryside, and was originally played in village events and family gatherings primarily by black or mixed peasants and lower class citizens.
Typical instruments include the Tress guitar, Bongos, Maracas, Guayo (which looks like a cheese grader 🙂 ) and unique instrument which preceded the bass – the Marimbula:

Vocalists are also present, of course, and usually there is one lead vocal and the rest of the musicians serve as a choir of sorts.

So, the composition we have today, performed at the casa de la trova of Santiango de Cuba, is a great example of a traditional changui.

Here it is!


30.06.17 : Super Mini Banda – Sin Pensarlo

Good day dear blog readers, followers, listeners and all others aficionados de la musica Cubana!

Today I wish to share with you a nice composition by a band of young Habaneros who have released a CD in 2012 and call themselves “La Super Mini Banda”…
From what I heard so far, the “super” part is quite true, referring to the quality of the composition presented here today, and the “banda” part is also, naturally, true, but at your typical 9 members, I see no reason for using “mini” as a description of the band…
Anyways, to each their own, and I quite gladly enjoy their music!

La Super Mini Banda was formed in 2002 in La Habana by Oscar Calvino Jova y Pedro Alberto Carballea Barrios, as a congregation of talented young Cuban musicians with a grand desire for playing Cuban music, from traditional genres to contemporary Timba;
The band even invented a new rhythm they named “Tatas’cha”

The band represented Cuba in the Juegos Centro Americanos de atletismo, performing at the medal ceremony at the Bahamas in 2005, and later on toured Argentina, playing in various cities throughout the country.

The band released its first, and as far as I know, only, album in 2012, called “corazon latino”, which contains only 4 tracks for some reason.
The composition we shall be enjoying today is on the calmer and more romantic side, and is named “Sin Pensarlo”.


23.06.17: Havana de Primera live songs, a common festival feature

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers.

Last week there was no blog entry for a reason – my friends and I were busy having the time of our lives studying and dancing Cuban dances at the amazing 8th Guaguanco Festival.

As promised, and as I’ve done in previous years, I wish to mention something interesting about the music at the parties.
There wasn’t even a single one, during the night or day, that did not contain at least one live performance recording of a song by Havana de Primera, with the most popular being La Venenosa, Siempre Si, Si te Olvides quien soy Yo, to name a few…

So, for today I decided to share with you a few concert recordings of Havana de Primera from recent years, from various locations around the globe.

So, here goes;