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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
10th Contest of Popular & Traditional Cuban Dance
October 15-17 in Santiago de Cuba
In just under a week the 10th Annual Contest of Popular and Traditional Cuban Dance and Rueda de Casino will take place in Parque Céspedes in Santiago de Cuba. While the contest name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, it is a very accurate descriptor of the event. Couples who wish to compete must be acredited by the provincial commitee of UNEAC (Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba). Competitions will be held in Danzòn, Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Chá, Pilón, Mozambique, Casino in couples and Rueda de Casino. Winners will be chosen in each category and an award will also be given to the couple that has the best overall command of Cuban dances. This will be the first year that a Children's Contest will be held for ages 5-15. The children's contest will take place the 15th and 16th of October. If you are going to be in Santiago don't miss this opportunity to see over 100 years of Cuban popular dances as interpeted by the best local dancers. The event will also include music performances by artists from Santiago de Cuba.
Tiempo Libre Photos from Santa Cruz
Tiempo Libre really tore it up in Santa Cruz last night! Ultra-agressive timba in the extreme. Pututi III is incredible and the whole club, even by Kuumbwa standards, was absolutely on fire. The bassist Tebelio was also insanely good tonight. Make it to the clinic on Saturday and the concert on Sunday if you can. It's not obvious from this photo, but from a straight-on view, the new trumpet player, (who was also the founding trumpet player), Raúl Rodríguez, is a dead ringer for Paul Shaffer.
Click here for Tom's gallery - more coming.
Leonel Limonta - Salsa y Mucho Más
New release @ iTunes
Fans are eagerly awaiting the new Azúcar Negra CD "Se acabó el pescao" hoping it will be out in time for their holiday shopping. Limonta tells us that he will be able to give us a release date very shortly. He is leaving for Mexico at the end of this month and plans to take the CD with him. So if all goes as planned we may be able to buy it by the end of October! Stay tuned for more!
In the meantime, Limonta has released a demo CD titled "Salsa y mucho más". It is available at iTunes in Europe, Canada, USA, Japan and Mexico as well as Amazon and Emusic(usa). So while you wait for the new CD, you can get yourself a fix of Azúcar Negra.
La mala de la película
Qué risa me da
Lo tuyo no tiene nombre
La pasamos bien
Amor por Internet
Tom Ehrlich's Pedrito & Santos Photos
Last weekend at the incredible Yerba Buena free concert series, the John Santos Sextet opened for, and then sat in with, the Pedrito Martínez Group. Yerba Buena is trying to increase their Facebook friend list to help in their latest grant project - please follow the link and support this great free concert series.
***click here for full gallery***
Pedrito's group has a completely new and absolutely brilliant approach to timba! It's like a timba conjunto - congas, bongó, piano, bass, and for gigs like this one, they add Román Díaz playing 3 batás, and two horns. The need for a kick drum is covered by the thumps of the electric bass and a large, miked cajón that Pedrito sits on as he plays congas.
Like Arsenio's or Chappottín's conjuntos, the only metal percussion is the bongosero's bell, so the overall volume level is much lower, allowing the nuances of the exquisite vocal harmonies and hand percussion to come through much more clearly, but without sacrificing any of the intensity. The music and arrangements are pure, creative, original timba - ALL timba - no smorgasbord of danzón, reguetón and chachachá filler tracks - every single song has gear changes, melodic cuerpos, great coros and mambos, funky, song-specific piano tumbaos, world-class lead vocals by Pedrito and Ariacne, and the best 3- and 4-part coros I've heard from any timba band.
Pedrito says they're going into the studio in October. Go see this band at Guantanamera if you're in New York and ask your local clubs to book them - this is the most excited I've been about a new timba band since HdP. [Kevin Moore]