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PRIMERA PLANA - FRONT PAGE
Timba and The United States, Part I: The Globalization of Timba
by Bill Tilford
(La Timba y Los Estados Unidos, Parte I: La Globalización de La Timba)
This is Part I of a series of articles about the status of Timba in the United States, covering both international and U.S.-based groups. para leer este artículo en español oprima aquí
(Photo by Tom Ehrlich)
The genre called Timba, like Jazz, has been declared dead by some music critics more than once over the past several years. Like Jazz, it is very much alive, but our favorite tropical genre does face some of the same challenges for a variety of reasons. These articles will examine those reasons in depth and discuss some possible ways that the community of musicians and supporters of the music might help address some of these. We will be covering several topics over time, including the music press, radio, audience tastes, financial risks and other related issues.
The first thing that we need to do is point out that while Timba was born in Cuba, and Cuba remains its epicenter, the genre has also become a truly international movement for three reasons:
• Over the last couple of decades, it has developed an international fan base. In addition to Cuba, Timba music is now (thanks to both recordings and extensive live tours) popular throughout several Latin American countries, much of Europe, parts of Asia and Africa, and it has a fan base in North America as well.
• Some Cuban musicians that play Timba reside all or part of the time in other countries, and they have introduced the music to both new musicians and new listeners.
• Musical groups that play Timba have been formed in several countries. In some cases, these groups play very high-quality music music of high caliber at a very sophisticated level. Just a few of the examples are Mayimbe in Peru; Calle Real, La Tremenda, Gilito y su Clave, La Jugada and Soneros All Stars in Sweden; Monica y su M.P. in France; Pan Con Timba and Doble Jugada in the Netherlands; Contrabando in Belgium; Grupo Danson in Denmark; Jose Torres y Salsa Tropical in Poland, and El Zorro in Switzerland. Within the United States, Tiempo Libre, Timbalive and the Pedrito Martinez group play Timba. Some bands such as Rumbankete now play both Timba and Salsa.
What does all of this mean? For openers, after almost two decades, we can safely say that Timba is an established genre rather than a passing fad, and it has a truly global listening audience, as well as a truly global musical community that plays and enjoys the material. These are important points to remember as we examine the status of Timba within the United States.
Next: Timba’s Initial Reception in the United States
HERMANOS ARANGOS @ BERKLEE
February 21 & 22
It's like the holidays all over again for bassists! Kevin is hard at work finishing the first book in the Beyond Salsa Bass series, and Feliciano Arango will be giving a clinic at the Berklee College of Music about the role of the bass in Cuban jazz/salsa/timba and his work with the group Los Hermanos Arango on February 22nd at 1:00pm. The night before the clinic, Los Hermanos Arango will perform (February 21st) at the Berklee Performance Center at 8:15pm.
Now as all timba fans know, there is no one better to talk about the role of the bass in contemporary Cuban music. But since there may be some readers who have recently discovered timba and who are not yet on a first name basis with all the major players, here is an excerpt from the announcement by the Bass Department, which is sponsoring the event as part of the Visiting Artists Series.
Feliciano Arango was born in the Guanabacoa section of Havana, Cuba where Yoruba, Abakua and other African traditions are preserved in their most authentic form in the Americas. He was mentored by seminal Cuban bassist Orlando 'Cachaito' Lopez and attended Escuela Nacional de Arte where he studied with the top musicians from around the island. Soon after graduating from ENA, Arango joined the group of legendary pianist/composer Emiliano Salvador who was a leading figure in Cuban jazz through the 1990s. After extensive touring and recording with Salvador, Arango went on to be the founding bassist for N.G. la Banda, whom he performed with for the next fifteen years. With N.G. la Banda, Arango developed a new style of Cuban dance music called 'timba'. He was responsible for leading Cuban bassists in a new approach to playing salsa that greatly enhanced the melodic, percussive sound of the bass. Since leaving N.G. la Banda, Arango has been the top call bassist for jazz, salsa, timba and other forms of Cuban music.
Feliciano Arango now leads Los Hermanos Arangos along with his two brothers Eugenio and Ignacio and sister Cristina. The Arangos are the only Cuban band to use completely unaltered Afrocuban ritual voice/hand drumming as the basis for a modern repertoire that integrates electric bass, keyboards, brass/winds (no drumset).
Cuban Music News - In Brief - January 21 2012
Havana Live Music - Samuel Formell - Contrabando - La Raza Latina
Havana weekly listings are up - Need a live music and performance schedule for Havana next week? Check it out in our new section = http://www.timba.com/encyclopedias/havana-live-music-listings
Music form the Cuba All Stars Festival in Perú - check some live tracks from the festival: Mandy Cantero with Los Van Van on Que Sorpresa and Alex Abreu y Habana D Primera with Cuando El Río Suena. Both on Radio Timba right now.
Samuel Formell collaborates with Mexican guitar heroes Rodrigo y Gabriela - Ready to be released in the US this upcoming Tuesday, January 24th, Area 52 contains nine (9) of the duo's favorite songs from their own catalogue re-arranged and re-configured for a 13-piece Cuban orchestra comprised of some of Havana's finest young players, collectively known as C.U.B.A. This two-disc set includes a 30-minute 'making-of' documentary on DVD. source
Area 52 was mixed by Rafa Sardina, one of the leading studio musicians in the Latin music world, and arranged by London-based pianist, composer and arranger Alex Wilson. Recording took place in the Miramar district of Havana, Cuba, at Abdala Studios, founded by the Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez, as well as at Rodrigo & Gabriel's studio in Ixtapa, Mexico. Other players on the record include: bassist Carles Benavent (Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea, Miles Davis), drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament, White Zombie), sitarist Anoushka Shankar and drummer Samuel Formell (Los Van Van).
CubaAntwerpen (title song for the festival), new video from Grupo Contrabando - Hey shameless plug, but it's always It's a great feeling to see and hear a song you mastered. I worked with leader and trombonist Andrés Fernández on this and the video blew me away. Check it out:
Felipe Lamoglia & Urban Beats in Miami - Cuban Timba All Star (Tomasito Cruz version) and ex-NG La Banda saxofonist Felipe Magnolia will be playing his special brand of Afro-Cuban jazz in Miami Beach tomorrow. Fellow CTAS drummer Reinier Guerra is also on the bill.
Legendary, classical-style, afro-cuban "salsa suite" to be performed with 40 musicians - Pianist Larry Harlow's magnum opus "La Raza Latina" will be performed Friday night at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami as part of the Jazz and Roots series, with the composer conducting the local Mario Ortiz All-stars Band and a stellar lineup of musicians that includes the 90-year-old Cuban percussionist Candido Camero and Grammy-award winner and violinist Federico Britos. This will be only the second production of the show, first performed Aug. 14, 2011 at New York's Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, with Blades, now a Hollywood actor and former cultural minister of Panama, in the lead role. In Miami, Blades' part will be sung by vocalists Emo Luciano and Luisito Rosario. source
HAVANA RHYTHM AND DANCE FESTIVAL
March 6 - 11, 2012
It's time again for the Fiest del Tambor. Here is the introduction to the call to the 11th edition:
The Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival (Fiesta del Tambor) was born and developed giving posthumous recognition to Guillermo Barreto, one of the greatest percussionists of all time throughout the Americas. Due to his importance, the event has had 10 editions with the participation of guests of international fame, the support of several of the most important percussion companies around the world and Cuba, and participation by the most important Cuban musicians as well as the principle dance companies, which join in the festival demonstrating the unbreakable relationship between the drum and dance.
The festival is a natural showcase for all percussionists, and we also celebrate the International Percussion Competition. The competition is totally open to all ages and nationalities and permits us to further and to stimulate Cuban Percussion in some of the principle instruments which identify us and that we inherit with special acknowledgement from musicians such as Chano Pozo, Tata Güines, Ricardo “Papín“ Abreu, Miguel Angá, among many other musicians that have passed away.
This year it will be celebrated from March 6 to 11, 2012. The festival is organized by the Center for the Promotion of Traditional Music “Ignacio Piñeiro”.
We maintain all of the activities that have been a cultural success for Cuba in the previous editions among which are: masters classes, dance music concerts and jazz concerts, performances by the principle folkloric groups of Cuba, visits to the national Schools of the Arts and intercultural visits by alumni and professors of universities and schools of various countries, conferences and classes in Cuban percussion organized in advance, among other surprises that we continue to add.
We expect more than 30 000 people to attend the planned activities at different venues including some of Havana’s principle theaters (Karl Marx, Amadeo Roldán, Mella). Other venues that will host the festival are: “El Palacio de la Rumba”, El “Salón Rosado de La Tropical”, de la EGREM’s “Casas de la Música”, La Casa de la Cultura de Plaza, Hotel Occidental Miramar, Hotel Habana Libre, among other locations.
The Canadian organization KoSA is organizing their annual trip to the Fiesta del Tambor, which includes hotel, meals, conferences, classes and local transportation. For more information about partcipating via KoSA click here .