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A Timba Lover's Dream - Festival Cuba All Stars
December 17nth - Lima, Perú - San Marcos Stadium
Insane lineup heads to Lima for an all-out Timba spectacle
Pinch me I'm dreaming....our Perú connect Feri DJ reports on an upcoming concert event of historical proportions. For this great collaboration to happen, the Cuban music agencies held a meeting in Lima with local promoters discussing a hold on all timba tours -- a vision led by Juan Formell of Los Van Van. The lineup is so loaded that a really concentrated effort was needed to assure participation from all the band leaders. Are you READY FOR THIS....
The concert counts with the participation of up to 40 artists of top calibre, among them...
- Juan Formell y Los Van Van (most of the band is coming)
- Adalberto Álvarez, "El Caballero del Son", and his daughter Dorgeris (pianist)
- drummer Giraldo Piloto, leader of Klimax
- Alexander Abreu (trumpet) director of Havana d' Primera
- Maykel Blanco, director of Salsa Mayor.
- singer Leo Vera ex-Irakere & ex-Charanga Habanera, "Hombre casado" & "Mi estrella"
- singer Emilio Frías, "El Niño", from Orquesta Revé
- Lázaro Valdés, pianist & director of Bamboleo
- José Luis Cortés “El Tosco" (flute) director of NG la Banda
- singer of NG fame, Tony Calá
- ex-Bamboleo singer Tania Pantoja
- among others...Can You Believe It!!
Here's the first official video of the event:
Cuban Music News - In Brief - November 1, 2011
Haila in NYC - Mayito & Mandy - Manolito - MB Tour
Haila (ex-Bamboleo) has a new album and she will be performing this Friday at S.O.B.s in New York City. Bassist Danny Rojo of PornoSon fame will be directing a group of local heavyweights (anyone have the complete list?).
The official Los Van Van website is down = www.vanvandeformell.com = but after months of rumors that lead singer Mario "Mayito" Rivera left the iconic band (a press release was made on the Los Van Van website), no one has yet to report that they have seen them perform with the alleged new replacement Armando "Mandy" Cantero (formerly of Pupy y los que Son Son among others). Los Van Van performed in Mexico recently without Mayito but Mandy was not present, even though it was reported he was in Mexico at the time. In related news Mayito has been singing with Monika (Mesa) y la Máquina Perfecta.
Manolito y su Trabuco are in Hamburg, Germany today then covering Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Serbia and the Netherlands. Cuban music is truly international. Check out the tour page for all the official dates.
Maykel Blanco's recent, independently produced US tour was well received and attended. The band was really TIGHT and executed consistently with tremendous energy. I really missed their recent hit "Un Kilo" which was not featured in any of the shows. I saw them in 2007 and this is by far the best group configuration, rhythm and horn sections. The pedal and bomba gears were in full, hard-hitting force. The singers delivered pure fun. Hoping they will be back next year for sure. Rumor has it Miami has 2 new singers and one smoking keyboard player.
GRAMMY Grazings: It's Time For Timba
by Bill Tilford
This year's 12th Annual Latin GRAMMY awards, to be telecast November 10th, 2011, included a number of worthy nominees from other parts of the Cuban music spectrum but once again ignored an entire genre, Timba, in the final list of nominees in spite of the production of some recordings worthy of consideration during the eligibility period. Since the primary purpose of creating a distinct Latin GRAMMY Awards program was to allow for more in-depth recognition of the many subgenres of Latin music, we consider this omission unfortunate, and there is a case to be made for considering a new category in the future to remedy this perennial oversight. Conventional Salsa admittedly has a much larger listening - and voting - constituency than Timba, and there are sufficient differences between the two styles to make it quite possible that Timba will never stand a chance of receiving the recognition that its best examples deserve as long as it is forced to compete with Salsa for the same award. Again, the very reason for being of the Latin GRAMMY awards as a separate entity was to help rectify these kinds of issues in Latin music generally, and this writer wishes to publicly suggest that the Academy should examine the question of a new category. Admittedly, domestic US output alone would not sustain an ongoing separate category, but international output probably would, and even if that proved not to be the case, putting Timba under a different umbrella with something such as "Progressive" and separating it from traditional Salsa would be the next right thing. Timba is now a truly international genre with first-tier bands not just in Cuba but also the United States, Peru and Sweden just to name a few examples. A band in Sweden, Calle Real, is even getting some exposure now in American television. Furthermore, enough time - over two decades now - has passed that there is no longer any question that the genre has firmly established itself as more than just a passing fad.
It may be too late for the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (LARAS) to recognize a Timba recording this year, but it's probably not too late for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) to do so in its Best Tropical Latin Album category for the regular GRAMMY awards. There are a few worthy possibilities for consideration that are true examples of Timba and were released within the United States during the eligibility year. We are going to mention just two of those possibilities because of our own personal familiarity with them:
My Secret Radio by Tiempo Libre. Tiempo Libre has been a bridesmaid a few times now but never the bride. This new recording is at least as worthy of consideration as its predecessors, and we loved it enough that we even reviewed it earlier this year. (Read a full CD review here.)
Vestido de Blanco by Havana Heavy Hitters. This was released in the US for digital distribution before this writer began doing reviews of new recordings for Timba.com but within the eligibility window for the award. This unique all-star project includes many of the best musicians from the best of the bands from Cuba including (among many others) Michel Maza and Alexander Abreu, two of the most respected Timba artists on the island today. (Read more about this recording and hear samples here.) The combination of digital distribution only and release by an independent label admittedly makes for a dark horse candidate, but it deserves serious consideration for its musical merit alone.
We could name a few other worthy candidates for consideration if we chose, the point is that there are recordings worthy of recognition in this eligibility cycle, and it would help promote the genre as a genre (one of the Academy's many missions, is it not?) if at least one Timba recording (or even two) found its way to at least an actual final five nomination this year. It is our hope that the voting members of NARAS will examine the best of this year's output in the Timba genre as closely as it does the rest of the styles under the Tropical Latin umbrella. If it truly does so, this writer is confident that at least one of the many fine recordings produced over the past year will prove to warrant consideration.
We aren't going to put the case to NARAS for a separate Timba category for the simple reason that we acknowledge that domestic US output would probably not sustain a separate category over time. Longer-term, this is clearly a subject more properly tackled by LARAS, which has the ability to consider entries from across the globe. Since many people belong to both academies, we hope that this essay provides some food for thought.
Dream Team puts timba in the 1st round of the 54th Grammy Awards
Proyecto de estrellas pone la timba en la 1era planilla de los Grammys
Havana Heavy Hitters - Vestido De Blanco
English: Hoping to capitalize on the recent influx of Cuban bands performing in the U.S., the album Vestido de blanco by the Havana Heavy Hitters has made it to the first round ballot of the 54th Grammy Awards under Best Tropical Latin Album. Havana Heavy Hitters is a special musical project produced by drummer Michael Gerald and brothers Yosvel & Edduar Bernal Pina (Yosvel was the keyboardist and musical co-director for Paulito F.G. for almost a decade). Havana Heavy Hitters includes a truly all-star cast of some of the top and most world-renowned Cuban singers and instrumentalists of the contemporary tropical dance style (timba). It features members of Habana D' Primera (Alexander Abreu), Los Van Van (Hugo Morejón), Irakere (Michael Antes), Charanga Habanera (Michel Maza & Osmani Collado), Bamboleo (Rafael Paceiro), Klimax (Papiosco Torres), and Issac Delgado & Paulito F.G. (Roberto Cucurucho Rodríguez) among others. You can find full roster and album credits here.
As you all know, Timba is completely under the radar as far as terrestrial US radio goes so your support is crucial to the movement. We would love it if all the fans could reach out to their Recording Academy member friends and ask them for their consideration. If you are not a member of the Grammys and don't know anyone who is just check it out to hear what all the buzz is about. The collective hope is that this helps build the momentum to get Alexander Abreu and Habana D'Primera and other Cuban artists their first tour of the US.
Español: Con la esperanza de sacarle provecho al surgimiento de los conciertos de grupos musicales cubanos aquí en los EE.UU., el álbum Vestido de blanco de los Havana Heavy Hitters ha llegado a la primera ronda y papeleta de votación de los 54tos Premios Grammy bajo la categoría "Best Tropical Latin Album" (Mejor Disco Tropical Latino). Havana Heavy Hitters es un proyecto especial producido por hermanos Yosvel & Edduar Bernal Pina (fue el tecladista y co-director musical de Paulito FG por un tiempo) y el baterista Michael Gerald. La grabación incluye un reparto verdaderamente estelar de algunos de los mejores, y más conocidos mundialmente,
cantantes e instrumentistas cubanos del estilo bailable contemporaneo (timba). Cuenta con miembros de Habana D' Primera (Alexander Abreu), Los Van Van (Hugo Morejón), Irakere (Michael Antes), Charanga Habanera (Michel Maza & Osamni Collado), Bamboleo (Rafael Paceiro), Klimax (Papiosco Torres), and Issac Delgado & Paulito F.G. (Roberto Cucurucho Rodríguez) entre otros. Oprima aquí para la lista completa de participantes y créditos.
Como todos ustedes saben, la Timba como género está completamente bajo el radar de los medios emitivos de radio terrestre en los EE.UU., por lo tanto tu apoyo es crucial para el movimiento. Nos encantaría que todos los seguidores del género puedan hacerles llegar esta noticia sus amigos (y amigas) miembros de la Academia de Grabación y pedirles que por favor consideren este álbum para la nominación. Si no eres miembro de los Grammys y no conoces a nadie que sea sólo échale una oída al álbum para que sepas de qué se trata toda la buya. La esperanza colectiva es que esto ayude a crear el impulso para conseguir que Alexander Abreu and Habana D Primera y otros artistas cubanos puedan llegar de primera gira acá a los EE.UU.