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Photos of the Day [hide]
FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
6th National Changüí Festival in Guantanamo
May 30 - June 3
Orquesta Revé @ Festival Nacional del Changüí 2007
The 6th National Changüí Festival in memory of Elio Revé Matos will take place in Guantanamo from May 30th - June 3rd. This year will include the participation of Orquesta Revé and Los Van Van. On the second night of the event Van Van will perform in Plaza Pedro Augustín Pérez, health permitting, Pastorita Yuani Sayús, the inspiration for the famous changüí "El guararey de Pastora", will dance changüí on stage with Van Van to the song she inspired.
If you will be unable to make a trip to Guantanamo for the festival, you can still see Orquesta Revé and Los Van Van together in concert on May 19th in Havana as they give Habaneros a small taste of the changüí festival.
This year will also see the 1st International Workshop on Changüí "el changüinaso" for national and international musicians who wish to update their knowledge of the instruments, dance and genre-related topics surrounding the most indigenous musical style from Guantanamo, Changüí. This pre-festival workshop takes place from May 27 - 30. To sign up for the workshop you must confirm your participation by May 15th. Contact the Centro Provincial de la Música “Luís Martínez Griñán” .
Director: Alexis Téllez Guerrero
Address: Los Maceo No 906 e/ Emilio Giro y Crombet
Telephones: (53) 021 - 32 2870 – 32 7590 – 32 9202
Let me leave you with a little taste from a changüí @ Casa de Pipi in Yateras December 2007 where Pipi shares stories about when he met Elio Revé Matos and what the old changüí used to be like.
Gozando En Miami con la Charanga Habanera
Nuevos Videos - La Suerte - Gozando En Miami
Cuba's pop / timba supergroup la Charanga Habanera (led by David Calzado) perform Gozando En Miami and La Suerte at Yoshi's Jazz Club in San Francisco. The original release of Gozando on the album No Mires La Caratula is a collaboration with rapper El Chacal. La suerte appear son Acabaito De Nacer. Courtesy of Yoshi's & Blue Night Entertainment. Videography by Tom Erhlich of TIMBA.com.
Peter Maiden's HdP Photos
ATTENTION NEW YORK: Timbalive, currently the most exciting US-based timba band, will be at SOB's THIS FRIDAY. I've been so enthralled with HdP that I haven't been pushing this show, but I heard them at the SF SalsaRueda Fest and they're definitely the real deal - all recent original songs and arrangements, and as tight, distinctive and unique as a Cuban-based band - no easy feat to accomplish in the "timba graveyard" (Miami), where there are at least 100 world-class Cuban musicians and almost no gigs.
BAMBOLEO IN JUNE: Bamboleo, with a great new leader singer, Ailyn Dallera, is already booked for June 1 & 2 at Yoshi's SF, May 26 at the NY Mega Concert, and will probably also be in LA and other cities.
Qué tiene Havana d'Primera? [Updated x 2]
HdP continues at Yoshi's SF Saturday and Sunday
UPDATE 2: Sunday's second set was incredibly intense. Click here are Patrick Hickey's photos. Peter Maiden's gallery should be up later tonight. '
TIMBALIVE IN NEW YORK: This show is coming up Friday at SOB's.
photo by Peter Maiden
UPDATE: Saturday shows were great, and packed to the rafters. Final 3 hour show tonight at 7:00 is selling briskly. LINK FOR TICKETS
Review of Friday's Performance.
Knowing I had two more nights at Yoshi's SF ahead of me, I just relaxed and let my first-ever Havana d'Primera concert wash over me. And I kept finding myself asking ... what is it about this band?
Maybe the better question is what Havana d'Primera isn't. It's not an "espectáculo" - it's not "de película" - it doesn't have a lot of choreography, gimmicks or bravura. It's a bunch of great musicians playing great songs and this one guy standing up there just singing his heart out. Who else sings and plays with this kind of pure, unaffected, real emotion? Alexander Abreu radiates an overpowering sense of integrity ... of honesty ... of poetry ... in his voice, in his facial expressions, in the way he moves, and God knows, in the way plays that trumpet. He played one gut-wrenching, soaring high note over a ballad accompanment that made want to scream - like that guy in the audience at Lincoln Center in 1964 when Miles Davis built the same kind of climax on that legendary version of Stella by Starlight. Actually he played quite a few notes like that. And just as important, he didn't play any notes that he didn't mean - that didn't start deep in his gut and end up deep in yours.
That's one thing about Havana d'Primera - their use of solos. Instead of the standard once-a-night descarga where everyone gets a solo over a traditional vamp and plays the obligatory hot licks and quotes from Stormy Weather, the solos in this band are key parts of the emotional arcs of the songs in which they appear.
... and then Alain Pérez sat in! He started out singing - improvising beautifully about the events of the night, instigating several coros that HdP's coristas nailed instantly in harmony.
Then he switched to bass and lit a raging fire under a band that had already been throbbing hot for several hours. It was torrid bomba the likes of which I haven't heard since ... well, since Alain with Issac's band in 1997. I managed to film the vocal and the first minute of so of the bass part before my camera screwed up on me. Maybe someone else got the rest. I'll post mine to youtube soon.
Another thrill for the Bay Area was the presence of local hero Carlos Caro, who's playing all six shows as HdP's regular bongosero didn't make the tour. Well, he's "local" to us because he's been here for 20 years, but in Cuba, Carlos, along with current HdP guitarist Rogelio Nápoles played in Opus 13, and was then a founding member of Paulito FG y su Élite, where Alexander later got his start. In many ways, HdP is the next step in that lineage of great bands. Almost everyone in the band played with one or more of Paulito, Issac, Manolín, Revé, Manolito and Klímax.
Havana d'Primera's mission statement was to restore the power, dignity, musicianship and creativity of the late 90s - and they're doing that - but in the dark, riveting intensity of Alexander Abreu they've also added some very new - and very real - and deeply moving. [Kevin Moore]