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 ūüôā ) 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;

16.06.17 : no blog this week – Going to the 8th Guaguanco festival

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!

This week I’ll be going to the 8th International Guaguanco Festival, taking place between June 15th and 19th at the beautiful town on Lloret de Mar in Spain.

Thus, I will have no opportunity for updating the blog this time around…

But I will no doubt be back next week with some new knowledge, experiences and music from the festival, so stay tuned!

For now I leave you with one of my favorite compositions in the history of Cuban music…


09.06.17 : Conjunto Chocolate – Como Le Gusta

Good day dear blog followers, listeners and readers!

Today, in our never ending around the world trip with great Cuban music, we are making a stop at Costa Rica, with Conjunto Chocolate.

The year 2000. San Jose, Costa Rica.
An independent project of traditional Cuban music forms under the name Conjunto Chocolate!

The Conjunto, consisting of Cuban and Costa Rican musicians, released their first album, Los Duenos del Sabor, that year, with 6 classics of traditional Cuban music and 4 original compositions.

What happened next to our Cuban music loving friends, you might ask?
Well, they toured Costa Rica during the next 2 years, performing with Chucho Valdez (among other international musicians), recorded their 2nd album, Mira Como me Gusta, in 2002, toured the Caribbean from 2002 to 2005, and played with Mayito Rivera in Cuban in 2009.

In 2012 the Conjunto released their most acclaimed album, Como le Gusta, which would go on to win the prestigious national ACAM award in 2014, and in 2013 became the resident band of the legendary Bodeguita del Medio in centro Habana, playing the classics and also presenting their original materials!

So, what will the year to come bring along?
One thing for sure – lots of wonderful Cuban music!

So for today, we shall enjoy the title track of the Conjunto’s latest album, Como le Gusta, a beautiful and lively Son Montuno composition.


02.06.17 : Septeto Acarey – Tu Eres Mi Sue√Īo

Good day dear readers, listeners and blog followers!

Today I present you a beautiful and romantic Son Montuno (originally a Cumbia) composition by Cuban-Peruvian band Septete Acarey.

The 7 member (as the name suggests…) group was formed in 2014 by Cuban bassist Reynier Perez from Guanabacoa, former bassist of Mayimbe, with 2 more Cubans and 4 Peruvian musicians, and includes bass, Tress, congas, bongos, guitar, trumpet and vocals.

All members are virtuoso musicians, sharing between them over 100 years of playing traditional and modern Cuban music.
The band’s album, Acarey Ya Llego, was released earlier this year, and has a variety of originally written & composed and beautifully executed themes in various genres of Cuban music such as Son, Bolero and Son Montuno.

Today we shall listen and watch the beautiful Tu Eres Mi Sueno, which has both a great looking video clip and some nice live versions.


26.05.17 : Raul Lara y Sus Soneros – Que Meneo

Good day dear blog readers, followers and listeners!

Today I present you a very nice Son Montuno composition by Raul Lara y Sus Soneros.

Raul Lara, born on Valentine’s day 1965 is a percussionist, composer, singer and arranger from a family of musicians and dancers in¬†Habana.
Raul grew up listening to Arsenio Rodríguez, Benny More, Son 14, Sierra Maestra, Los Van Van, Pacho Alonso, Rumbavana and other leading Cuban groups of their time, and all these gave their influence on his style of playing, composing and arranging.

During the 1980’s Raul played with several groups at the Casa de la Cultura, and after some time went on to study Bass & Percussion with none other than the great “Changuito”, Jose Luis Quitana.
After finishing his studies, Raul played at some of the best hotels in Habana.

In 1990 Raul moved to Stockholm, where he played with many Cuban \ Afro-Cuban \ Latin music groups and ensembles such as Timba Odara, Chango Rey, Entero Son and Raul Laroye, also traveling all over Scandinavia and northern Europe.

Over the years Raul has developed a unique personal style as a musician and composer, bringing together influences of various genres of traditional Cuban music, the experiences of daily life in Cuba and the influence of Santeria, his creed of choice, on his life and on the musical traditions of Cuba.

With his group, Raul Lara y Sus Soneros, Raul released 2 CDs so far;
Cubano Soy, released in 2012 and nominated in 2013 for the Latin Grammy awards, and Mi Cuba Linda, released earlier this year (2017).

Que Meneo, a very nice Son Montuno composition, is from the later album.

19.05.17 : Manolito y Su Trabuco – Tu Me Dejaste

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers!

Today I present you a nice new song by Manolito y Su Trabuco.

The song is a bit more on the romantic side, but does not loose even a single spec of rhythm or energy.
It features the brothers Ruban & Gaby, the band’s brand new singers, and also a beautifully made video clip telling the song’s story…

So, here it is!

12.05.17 : Orquesta del Sol – Solo Vivo por Ti

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers!

Today I present you, once more, a nice composition by a salsa band from… Japan !

This time we will be dealing with Orquesta del Sol, the first Japanese Latin & Salsa band.
The 12 member band was formed by¬†Masahito “Pecker” Hashida in 1978, performing in both Spanish and Japanese.
The band’s first album, Amor de Arcoiris, came out in 1981, with the band performing extensively in the clubs of Tokio.
Since then 9 more albums have been released, and the band performed with such pillars of Afro Cuban & Latin music as NG La Banda, Tata Guines, Yumuri and el Gran Combo.

The song presented today comes from the 2002 album Carcajada.


05.05.17 : Orquesta Reve – new live concert!

Good day dear listeners, readers and blog followers!

Today I gladly present you some songs from a new concert of Orquesta Reve, from their recent “series” of the 60th anniversary concert.

As typical with such concerts, it contains several classics of the orchestra, performed by the current generation of its musicians and some special guests from the past, this time including Juan Carlos Alfonso, Roberton, Haila, Paulito FG and Mandy Cantero.

So, here are the wonderful compositions, and there are quite a few!