NYC's newest Latin supper club - Live music nightly - dinner & dancing - In the heart of NYC's meat-packing district

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NYC's newest Latin supper club - Live music nightly - dinner & dancing - In the heart of NYC's meat-packing district

FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA

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Friday, 21 December 2012, 12:20 AM

BUENA FE

En la Escalinata de La Universidad de La Habana

Buena Fe en la escalinata de Universidad de La Habana Photo courtesy of BUENA FE (PÀGINA OFICIAL)

Last night Buena Fe ended their national tour with a special concert on the steps of the University of Havana. The concert was attended by...well as you can see...by a lot of people. The national tour was in conjunction with the 90th anniversary of the University Student Federation (FEU) and consisted of concerts in 19 cities across Cuba. Last night's concert was the grand finale, and Buena Fe invited a number of special guests including a horn section, Descemer Bueno , Frank Delgado and Boni & Kelly. For more photos from last night's performance, check out Buena Fe's Facebook page , which is very active and contains all the latest information about the band including video, photos and concert dates.

During the tour they have been performing songs from their latest CD, "Dial", which will be released in 2013. Israel Rojas says that this CD represents the beginning of a new phase in Buena Fe's music. Their arrangements have always been eclectic, but "Dial" may be even more so with different styles of music as if you are turning the dial on a radio and switching channels. The song "Pablo" from the movie of the same name, "Ojeo" a song about the role that digital camera technology can play in our intimate lives and "Volar sin ti" a ballad written together with Galician singer/songwriter Andrés Suárez are some of the highlights of the new CD. I haven't heard all of the new songs yet, but if the little lyric teasers they have been uploading to their Facebook page are any indication, this CD will be another award-winning home run for the band. Buena Fe will perform 2 concerts at Karl Marx Theater in Havana for the release of the CD on February 8 and 9. If you will be in Havana at the time, this is a must-see event!

As I have previously posted the videos "Ser de sol" with Descemer Bueno and "Pablo", I will now leave you with video from the first live performance of "Volar sin ti", which took place with Andrés Suárez in Madrid in August.

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 09:36 PM

The Attack of The Killer Remakes:

A Dream Come True by the Cubana All Stars

It's large -- 40 musicians más o menos (it's complicated), it has two CDs, it includes many of the heavy hitters in Havana with some special invited guests, and it's coming at you!  Wait, don't run: read our review here first...

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Monday, 17 December 2012, 07:25 PM

MB & Salsa Mayor "A toda máquina"

For all the timberos on your list!

Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor "A Toda Máquina"Timberas y timberos...finally the new Maykel Blanco & Salsa Mayor CD, "A toda máquina", is out at iTunes and just in time for the holidays! It contains 13 songs including the hit "El songo de todos" featuring guest singers and a potpurri to close the album. This is the holiday gift for all the timberos you know, and get one for yourself while you're at it! I don't know if the hardcopy will be out in time for Christmas, but one can always start with the MP3 and get the hardcopy later.

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Thursday, 13 December 2012, 01:19 PM

Gotham Gets Her Groove Back, Part IV:

What Does This Mean For The Future? (Second Half)

Article and Photos by Bill Tilford, All Rights Reserved

The opinions that follow are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of TIMBA.com or of my colleagues.             

El Tosco was right!

     A very striking lesson from the Red Hot + Cuba  performance at BAM is that many of the people in the audience were not your usual suspects for a Cuban music concert, and although they clearly enjoyed the entire show,  there is no denying the fact that it was the Timba selections which really made them get out of their seats and move.  Various people in and out of the music industry have been declaring this music "over", "exhausted", "dead" etc. for years, and these shows clearly demonstrated that not only were the obituaries and eulogies premature, but also that the music can reach and engage new listeners if marketed effectively, presented well and performed with conviction. However, to fill a venue of this size,  presenters must reach well beyond the core community of existing Timba fans and bring in more of the general public (as happened here).  The BAM concert  is Exhibit A that if new listeners hear the music, many of them will become converts. 
     For that show (Red Hot + Cuba) , there was a crack battalion of production, technical and publicity people working behind the scenes as well as an institution, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, that already possessed a loyal cadre of audience regulars of its own. Without all of those ingredients, trying to present this type of "All-Stars" performance can be virtually a suicide mission, financially speaking.  I truly hope that we see shows of that caliber in other cities, but it takes a lot of infrastructure to make this type of extravaganza a success.  

What is wrong with this picture? 

     One final word to the fans:  this is a difficult matter to discuss, but it needs to be said, and the venues and bands won't tell you because they don't want to alienate you and risk causing you to stop buying tickets.  This is about that bootleg video so many of you are taking nowadays.  The venues don't like that you do this, but many of them aren't telling you to put those I-phones and whatnot away because they need your money.  So,  I am going to tell you something:  I don't like it when you do that either, for two reasons: 
     1.  Many Cuban bands lack the means to operate their own reliably-updated websites and Facebook pages, and this makes whatever does show up on the web even more significant for their public image. If you sell bootleg video, you are ripping them off, and yes, in the evolving Cuban economy, you are probably ripping them off as individual people now, so don't even try that excuse. If you post it free on Youtube or anywhere else seen by a lot of people, the audio quality of what you did is often so poor that if you think you are doing this out of love, I would almost prefer that you hated them.  Bad audio makes them sound bad and does not help their chances with those who are learning about them for the first time. Your little souvenir might even accidentally convince somebody that they really aren't worth checking out.  I know this probably isn't going to make you stop taking personal video, but if you must continue, please use your heads about what you do with it afterwards, OK?  (Venues might even want to think about whether there is a practical business model that would allow  them to charge for a VIP "video highlights" package in lieu of tolerating those twenty phones in the air, but that may be easier said than done.)

Next up on America's Dumbest Concertgoers?

       2.  A few of you have even graduated to wide-screen I-pads that are practically the size of TV cameras. If that describes you, has it ever occurred to you that in addition to blocking the sightlines of somebody that might be taking pro-quality shots and video on behalf of the band, you are also blocking the view of other people in the audience who are standing behind you?  Leave those I-pads in your bags, folks. Besides, isn't this dance music?  So why not dance instead already?  Please keep coming, but please also be kind to the bands, the venues and your fellow concertgoers.  

     Final thoughts:  Overall, this series of New York/New Jersey concerts goes in the "win" column for everyone involved, at least from a musical perspective.  For Havana d'Primera in particular,   this was part of a larger national tour that has reinforced that band's reputation as one of the most important groups performing the music today. For those of you who have to travel to New York to do this sort of thing, it is definitely worth the trip.  Always prepare a Plan B (this is true of anything that takes you there, not just Timba concerts), but there is never nothing to do there. Never. If you go to New York for any reason and leave disappointed, that's on you. In a way, I'm glad I don't live there - I would be broke from going to see too many bands and shows.  (Now, if we could only find a suitable regular New York reporter.....)

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