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Fotos Del Día [hide]
PRIMERA PLANA - FRONT PAGE
In Honor of Frank "Machito" Grillo
February 16, 19?? - April 19, 1984
(Machito is in the center on maracas)
Francisco Raúl Gutiérrez "Machito" Grillo was born on February 16, 19-something - the most commonly used years are 1908 followed by 1912, 1909 and occasionally 1915. Accounts also differ as to whether he was born in Havana or in Tampa of Cuban parents. A few things are certain:
1. For decades from the 1940s to the 1980s, he had one of the most important Afro-Cuban Jazz orchestras in the United States. It was his brother-in-law and musical director, Mario Bauza, that introduced Dizzy Gillespie to Chano Pozo. He also used Jazz musicians like Charlie Parker, Brew Moore and Howard McGhee to lay the foundations of a style that became known as Cubop.
2. The powerful section work in his band inspired other big band leaders such as Stan Kenton to borrow elements of his music in their own work.
3. He made numerous recordings, and his 1975 album Oro, Incienso y Mirra with Dizzy Gillespie was nominated for a GRAMMY and remains one of the acknowledged classics of AfroCuban Jazz recorded in the United States. .
In modern times, his son, Mario Grillo, carries on with a current version of the band. You can learn more at their website, http://www.machitoorchestranyc.com/
The 75th Anniversary of the original orchestra will be coming up next year. We salute this giant of the music on the one hundred and something-eth anniversary of his birth.
La Maquinaria Cubana
Por Encima del Nivel
Reports and videos are coming in from the debut preformance of El Yuma's newest timba band "La Maquinaria Cubana". It is a thrill for me that they did their first gig in Boulder, Colorado, my hometown. I was not able to be there myself but I have heard from other who were there. Carlos from Radio KUVO said:
"Fox Theater Boulder Colorado was worthy of admiration, Calixto and his team were over the top and chequendengue. We had a bit of Cuba in the Rocky Mountains, in addition to the music, the Cuban restaurant, Frijoles Colorado, was selling delicious Cuban sandwiches, media noches and pork sandwiches. In summary a chéverisima night. Thank Modupe-Thank You-Merci! KUVO live radio in Denver."
And my friend Eric Freeman, one of the great proponents of Cuban music and dance in Colorado and the USA, posted a short report at his Facebook group, Salsaville Dance Studios, where among other things he said "...they sounded real tight, energetic, and fun. The songs, all originals, were good."
You can enjoy this new band yourself since a number of amateur videos have been uploaded to YouTube already. I am impressed by the professionalism and level of muscianship in this fledgling band and the way the audience responds to them. Check out the videos below to see what everyone is talking about! The band also filmed an HD DVD so we should soon have high quality video and audio to enjoy. The band is planning a US tour in May and is also looking at Peru and Japan. We will keep you updated as tour dates start coming in.
Pepito Gomez sings "Inedita"
Lily D Oviedo sings "Manana"
It has been a busy concert weekend. On Friday Buena Fe held the first of three concerts for the release of their eighth studio CD "DIAL". I will publish a CD review soon. It is not available via the Internet yet. If you are going to the Miami concert on February 22, be sure to buy a copy because they may sell out the hard copy. Suena Cubana has published a great report on the Friday night concert and Buena Fe has published several pictures. Tonight the release concerts in Havana will conclude with a 6:00pm concert at Karl Marx.
Meanwhile in South America Calle Real is closing their tour this weekend. Last night they performed in Santiago de Chile at Club Amanda and tonight they are at Salsa King in Lima. Word is that they have also done some studio recording during their tour, and we are looking forward to hearing the results.
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado today is the premier concert of the new timba band "La Maquinaria Cubana" with a concert at Fox Theater! Look at the names in this band! Armando Santoyo, Calixto Oviedo, Pepito Gómez, Lily D Oviedo, Solange Guenier, Gustavo Ramirez Carlos Martin, Andy Crisman, David Maynez, Johnny Jeymo, Juan Moreno, Dave McLoughlin and Ivan Nava. We are waiting for the video of this important concert!
Finally and closest to home for me, David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera were in Scandinavia this weekend with concerts in Stockholm, Sweden and Trondheim, Norway. There are 12 concerts left on the European tour. Tonight they play at Hotel Bayerisher Hof in Munich, Germany. I attended the Stockholm concert and am currently preparing a full report, but due to popular demand I have already published one of the estrenos that the band performed in Stockholm to YouTube. Stay tuned for the full report and in the meantime enjoy "La bomba"!
The Charanga Habanera Bassist Makes a Heartfelt Plea for Help
Alfonso Nuñez & Ernesto Mazar
Attention Charangueros and Bassists of Europe! Last night just before the start of the Charanga Habanera concert in Stockholm two of the tuning keys in Ernesto's bass broke! We were lucky. Disaster was narrowly averted by fellow bassist and former member of Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, Alfonso Nuñez who was able to help Ernesto in his moment of need. But there are 13 concerts left on the tour! So after the show Ernesto made a heartfelt plea to other bassists to help out. You just can't have timba without a bass! Stay tuned for a full concert report later. Here is the video, sorry about the volume level of the music, but after all, we were at a club.