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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
Beyond Salsa Piano Vol. 11
Available at 11:11 on 11-11-11!
As everyone knows, timba geeks are as superstitious as baseball players, so I'm releasing Volume 11 of Beyond Salsa Piano, the second on Pupy Pedroso, at 11:11 today, 11-11-11 (Nov. 11, 2011). The convergence of all those elevens was just too tempting. And if you're really a crazy numerologist, consider that PupyPedroso, BeyondSalsa, and TimbaDotCom each have eleven letters! Of course, "coincidence" also has eleven letters ...
But in ANY case, Volume 11 covers Pupy's work with Van Van in the mid-80s, during which time he wrote several of the songs Los Que Son Son now plays live, like El buenagente and Calla calla. For these, we include complete piano/bass charts of the modern versions he's playing now. So, the book (144 pages) and its companion audio product (94 tracks) will hopefully go live at 11:11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, but there's a small chance that it will get delayed to 11:11 p.m. [Kevin Moore]
Timba News In Review for November 10, 2011
Team Cuba Documentary - Belgrade Festival - Maykel Blanco Videos
¡Timba en Serbia! Ya tu sabes. Can't get tired of saying timba is an international phenomenon. This three day Cuban music & dance festival open with a performance tomorrow from Manolito y su Trabuco on November 11, 2011. World-class dancers and instructors are featured throughout.
Finally! Cool videos from Maykel Blanco's US tour are surfacing on youtube. Maykel's band was TIGHT and very well rehearsed. Here's a take on Esto está from New York's packed S.O.B's show.
Word on the street (pun intended) is that Washington D.C. has a new timba band called TIMBA STREET. They will be playing in New York at the Kennedy Center on November 21rst. A dance floor will be installed. Dance instruction will be provided at 5 p.m. by Casineros. Part of Swing, Swing, Swing. Haven't heard anything yet of quality from Timba Street, mostly partial live segments in need of a tune up.
And this from La Timbera Mayor Michelle White - If you need a serious recalibration, turn up the volume (the audio level is pretty low) on this excellent documentary on the roots of Timba and the famous Team Cuba. For a complete report on the Team Cuba concerts, musicians, etc. see http://www.timba.com/artists/show/teamcuba
This documentary includes concert clips and interviews with Juan Formell, José Luis Cortés, Adalberto Álvarez, Issac Delgado, Manolín El Médico de La Salsa, Paulo FG, David Calzado, Mayito Rivera, Ralph Mercado, Julio Montalvo and José Loyola.
Special thanks to the following people: Richard Ortega López, Kevin Moore, Gabriel Wilder, Curtis Lanoue, Orlando Fiol, Magnus Lindgren and to the people at SF for inspiring me to subtitle this video and make the information available to a wider public and maybe help answer the question "what is Timba?". If you're already a fan, this documentary is an important historical document. If you're not into timba, maybe it will at least give you an idea of why the rest of us are so crazy about it .
Understanding Clave and Clave Changes
After years of listening to people argue and pull their hair out about clave, and pulling out a fair amount of my own in the process, I finally decided to clarify it once and for all. My premise is that it's impossible to understand this stuff by talking about it - you have to clap, dance and sing it until it's completely ingrained and THEN you'll be able to understand it and talk about it to others without losing your sanity.
With that in mind, there are three main sections. The beginning section - designed for non-musicians - simply teaches you how to clap and name the various clave patterns. The intermediate section uses dancing to clear up all the confusion about "2-3" and "3-2". It never tries to explain a concept until it's gotten you to memorize and become comfortable with a clapping-singing-dancing routine that you can use to relate the concept to.
Finally, the "advanced" section - for true masochists - explains "clave changes", including the really difficult ones like Sandunguera, Se acabó el querer, Todos vuelven and Llegó la música cubana.
There are also some really stunning clave photos by Tom Ehrlich throughout the 90 page book.
Free Audio Files: With all the other Beyond Salsa books, the book and audio are separate products, but for this course, you have to have them both for it to make any sense, so the audio files are a free album download. If you are new to the LPM site be sure to check your spam folder so that you can click on the activation link, because you must either login or register to be able to download the free audio album. Let me know what you think! [Kevin Moore]
More book news: I'll be releasing the second Pupy book (Vol. 11) at 11:11 a.m. on 11/11/11 - more on that soon. Meanwhile, Curtis Lanoue's and José Eladio's excellent Afro-Cuban Percussion Workbook now has a companion DVD product which is so well-done that it's inspired me to add a DVD product for the Calixto Oviedo books. Also getting rave reviews is Roberto Vizcaíno's Método para la eseñanza de la Percusión Latina. Vizcaíno and Eladio taught side by side at la ENA (as did Pupy, actually) for many years and are among the most important Latin percussion players and teachers on the planet.
LA COLMENITA - Cuban Youth Theater Group
Review & Photo Gallery by Tom Ehrlich
COWELL THEATRE, SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 29, 2011
TOM EHRLICH reporting from San Francisco - view the full story & gallery here
** Notice to the politically paranoid - this article contains this author's honest attempt
at accurately reporting the background information and context for the story of the theater performance, any political biases or interpretations are your own. **
La Colmenita, a group of extremely talented actors/musicians (ages 5 to 15 years old) from Cuba performed in New York City, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco Bay Area. I was fortunate to catch their last show in San Francisco. La Colmenita is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. Unicef is a branch of the United Nations which specializes in issues related to children. While in New York, La Colmenita presented a special performance at the United Nations.
During their U.S. tour, they performed various plays which included Abracadabra, which was presented the night I attended. Abracadabra is described as introducing Americans to the Cuban youth perspective on everything from the Beatles and well-loved fairy tales to the plight of the Cuban Five, a group of men who sacrificed their lives to protect the Cuban people from terrorism.
The play is short skits which show interactions in classrooms between teachers and students, blending in musical interludes with the young actors singing, dancing and playing all instruments. The music was salsa and timba (mostly Adalberto Alvarez and Los Van Van songs). These kids smoked (meaning they played at an extremely high and impressive level), especially a young female drum set player who is ready to replace Samuel Formell any day now. The show was a class act in every way - the acting and performing were top notch and the writing of the play and how it was put together were superb.
Abracadabra a sympathic protrayal of the Cuban 5. In case you have not heard, the Cuban 5 are five Cubans who came to the United States and inflitrated some of the anti-Castro organizations in the Untied States which were planning and carrying out actions against Cuba, including attacks and bombings in an effort to topple the Cuban government.
The Cuban 5's mission was to monitor these groups.....read the full story here.
One of the youngest actors in La Colmenita is the grandson of the great Cuban band leader and composer, Adalberto Álvarez. What follows are some photos I took at the joy filled and emotional performance.
Back stage before performance - Kevin Lázaro Pérez Álvarez - grandson of Adalberto Álvarez
This young lady had some mean timba licks.