Grupos: Changüí del Guaso
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Giras: Van Van, Los
Giras: Oviedo, Calixto
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Giras: Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor
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Giras: Azúcar Negra
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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
Vol. 9 of Beyond Salsa Piano Released
hard-copy -- eBook and audio files
At 130 pages, this is by far the most ambitious volume to date of the Beyond Salsa Piano series, almost twice as long as the other Melón volumes. It begins with the easiest Melón tumbao, Catalina, and simplifies it a step further with an introductory chapter on the time-honored I-IV-V-IV chord progression. But the gloves come off in Chapter 3. Since the series is chronological, this final volume contains Melón's most advanced work with Issac Delgado and goes on to cover the music he's recorded in Spain, including Me falta la Habana with Manolín and the amazing Movimiento from his 2010 CD Travesía.
There are also extensive chapters on Melón's playing on two Issac masterpieces which were only played live: La competencia (Hit Parade), and my all-time favorite piano tumbao, the legendary La temática.
The most dramatic difference between this volume and the eight that preceded it is the inclusion of cuerpos, mambos and transitions. On three songs, Se te fue la mano, Con la punta del pie, and La soga, we provide a full written part for everything Melón plays up to the improvisational open montuno section.
I'm already deeply embroiled in writing Volumes 10, 11 and 12 on Pupy Pedroso , and Volumes 1, 2 and 3 of Inside Cuban Percussion, featuring the amazing Calixto Oviedo . The long-awaited video product of Melón is still on the back burner, but the video has already been shot for Calixto - and it's amazing -- so the video will be part of the initial launch of the Calixto project. Drummers have been bugging me to do something like this ever since the first Tomás Cruz Conga Method came out in 2005. The wait will soon be over, guys, but start practicing your perididdles and 7-stroke rolls, because Calixto is going to rock your worlds!
Llegó lo que te hala
Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor in Europe
Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor start their summer European tour on this Friday July 30th in Rimini, Italy. We have published all the tour dates so check for a concert near you . The band will spend most of the tour in Italy but you can catch them at New Morning in Paris and the Antilliaanse Festival in Belgium.
They are performing many of the songs off their new hit album, "Soy lo que te hala". If you haven't bought it yet, you should. In the meantime I have posted a review in the Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor discography section. Here is a little quotation.
Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor are back with another hot timba album. Maykel is a prolific composer and the band has been churning out one CD every other year to their fans' delight. Maykel consistently composes solid, catchy lyrics and combines them with irresistible dancefloor-ready arrangements that make Maykel’s songs favorites among DJs and dancers. Click here to read the full review .
The Yumaversity of Timba Expands!
Introducing Professor Calixto Oviedo
photos by Sue Taylor (also studio, food, chauffeur services, moral support ...)
For all of you who have been asking for instructional material for musicians other than pianists and congueros, your prayers will soon be answered, with Calixto Oviedo playing the role of God. After three days of filming I have enough material for at least three mind-bending volumes to launch the Inside Cuban Percussion series. We also planned the NG La Banda Reunion Tour (someone needs to tell El Tosco!).
Calixto with Carlos Caro and Jesús Díaz
It took about 10 seconds for word of Calixto's presence to reach every percussionist in the Bay Area and the filming was attended by such luminaries as Carlos Caro, Jesús Díaz and the legendary Walfredo de los Reyes, all of whom were as knocked out as I was. (Click "continue reading" for much more).
Tour Updates for Orquesta Revé
US, Peru, Canada and Europe
photo ©Tom Bauer used by permission
Elito y Su Charangón have two more concerts on their US tour before heading back to Cuba: Miami and Tampa. Don't miss your last chance to catch them live in the US! But the Charangón is not stopping long to rest, in September they have two very special concerts in Lima, Peru together with Los Van Van ! Then on October 1st they play in Toronto and in mid-October they begin the long-awaited European tour . Check here for the current list of 2010 concert dates for the Charangón and send me an e-mail if you know of any dates that are missing!