2015 USA Tour - 45th Anniversary - FORMELL Y LOS VAN VAN - Direct From Cuba - July 30th - August 24th 2015

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2015 USA Tour - 45th Anniversary - FORMELL Y LOS VAN VAN - Direct From Cuba - July 30th - August 24th 2015
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sábado, 14 febrero 2015, 08:17 pm

CUBAN MUSIC NEWS FEBRUARY 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

I. Mezcla Celebrates 30 Years, Releases New Album Pure Mezcla

Since Mezcla was already performing in public before the band was officially named, even its leader, Pablo Menéndez, is uncertain about which day should be considered its birthday, but 2015 is the 30th Anniversary year of one of Cuba's foremost Fusion groups, and the group is currently engaged in activities related to that milestone in Cuba. 
Oakland-born Pablo Menéndez and Cuban-made Mezcla have served as a cultural bridge between Cuba and the United States for decades.  A key moment in that history came in 1993, when 5 of the 8 band members were denied entry for a US tour by the State Department.  This galvanized activists and the musical community in the Bay Area.  The lawsuit that followed, Encuentro del Canto Popular vs. Christopher, helped set the course of the subsequent career of one of the leading attorneys in the US for assisting US-Cuba cultural exchanges, William Martinez, and it also helped cement the Bay Area's reputation as a supportive center of the music in the United States.   The show went on after a fashion in 1993 with Santana and some members of his band performing with Pablo Menéndez and Lazaro Ros in place of Pablo's full band.  Here's a clip from Yerba Buena Gardens from that time...  

In 1999, Pablo Menéndez, Bonnie Raitt & Woody Harrelson performed together at an event in the Karl Marx Theater in Havana called Music Bridges in which 40 Cuban musicians and 40 musicians from the US collaborated in a joint songwriting and performance effort.  Sadly, subsequent events in the United States a couple of years later prevented the musicians in both countries  from fully developing the opportunities presented by this project.

In more recent years, Mezcla has placed more emphasis on both Jazz and Folkloric fusion elements including a wonderful DVD made in Cuba, Todos estrellas del Jazz cubano.  Mezcla's current fans include Arturo O'Farrill and Orbert Davis among many others.  

Now, Mezcla has just released a new album, Pure Mezcla, which contains the best parts of a live concert at Yoshi's Oakland in 2013.  The album is already getting airplay across the planet (literally, from Canada to Australia) and is drawing favorable reviews in the music press. Best of all, the intial release is an exclusive download with bonus content on Latin Pulse Music. Don't wait for something to turn up on Amazon or I-Tunes - those are fine services, but the label (Tilford Productions, run by yours truly) has no plans of putting it there in the near future because we were able to load liner notes, bonus content etc. on LPM, and these things matter to us. 
Click here for the album page, which includes sample videos, audio samples and review clips. 


II. Next
Weekend:

The 7th Annual San Francisco Salsa Rueda Festival

February 19-22, 2015
Hotel Whitcomb
1231 Market Street, 
San Francisco, CA 94103. 
Ticket Info
Quite simply the best and most important festival of its kind in the United States.  Of very special interest to TIMBA.com's visitors will be the performances by Mayito Rivera (who incidentally  also blogs for us from time to time) and Timbalive and two lectures by our Editor in Chief Kevin Moore on clave and its relationship to the basic dance step. People come from considerable distances to attend this event. Here's a link to Kevin's review of last year's performance of Mayito and Timbalive at this same festival.


III:  Happy Anniversary to Septeto Santiaguero!


Septeto Santiaguero, one of Cuba's best traditional Son bands and a group that has been working with an impressive collection of guest artists in recent years, celebrated its 20th Anniversary on February 2.   Their forthcoming new recording (in May 2015) will be No Quiero Llanto - Tributo a Los Compadres, a joint project with José Alberto El Canario. You can read our review of this excellent recording here in English and aquí en español


IV.  Meanwhile, in Chicago: 

Many Chicagoans are enjoying the 14th Annual
Chicago International Salsa Congress this weekend, and on Sunday, February 15, the Pedrito Martinez Group is doing two shows (5 and 8pm) at City Winery.  We aren't positive, but we think this may be the PMG's first visit to Chicago featuring their new lineup. PMG is a regular visitor here, and the winery has named one of its selections after them. 

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domingo, 08 febrero 2015, 08:00 pm

Cuban Cornucopia

Cubadisco, Eliel Lazo, Global Cuba Fest and more

ENGLISH: Cubadisco 2015 is now in the early stages of considering recordings for its awards program (Cubadisco is many things including Cuba's equivalent of the GRAMMY awards), and it is now inviting submissions for the Symposium that takes place during the event.  Each year has a central theme - this year that theme is symphonic and choral music. For more information (in Spanish) about the upcoming 2015 event, click here.  
There is a section dedicated to Cubadisco in which we recently posted the Edición Resumen, the final publication (in Spanish) of the annual event .  For more information, click here
ESPAÑOL: Cubadisco 2015 se encuentra ahora en las primeras etapas de considerar las grabaciones para su programa de premios (Cubadisco es muchas cosas, incluyendo el equivalente de los premios Grammy de Cuba), y ahora se está buscando las presentaciones para el simposio que tiene lugar durante el evento. Cada año tiene un tema central - este año  el tema es la música sinfónica y coral. Para más información (en español) sobre el próximo evento de 2015, haga clic aquí.
Hay una sección dedicada a Cubadisco en la que recientemente hemos publicado la Edición Resumen, la publicación final (en español) del evento anual. Para obtener más información, haga clic aquí.
ENGLISH: Eliel Lazo in Chicago:
Eliel brings an exciting mix of Songo and Cuban Funk to new listeners.  To see a photo gallery and summary of his performance in Chicago, click here
ESPAÑOL: Eliel Lazo en Chicago:
Eliel trae una mezcla emocionante de Songo y Funk cubano a nuevos oyentes.  Para ver una galería de fotos y un resumen de su actuación en Chicago, haga clic aquí.
ENGLISH: Global Cuba Fest:  
A VERY exciting festival featuring Cuban artists is coming up in Miami in March.  For more information, click here
FINALLY:  Congratulaions to Arturo O'Farrill for his GRAMMY win (Best Latin Jazz Album) for The Offense of the Drrum.  To read a review in English, click here

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martes, 03 febrero 2015, 01:50 pm

Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival - 2015

Guillermo Barreto in Memoriam

March 3-8

Fiesta del Tambor 2015 Havana

One month from today sees the start of the 2015 Havana Rhythm and Dance Festival. This is one of the major Cuban music and dance events every year with masters classes and performances as well as competitions for hopeful young percussion musicians in the categories drums, timbales, congas, bongos and batá. The Festival also hosts the International Competition in Casino Dance. Prizes are provided by the event sponsors, which include Hotel Palco, Melia Hotels, Havana Club S.A., Sabian Co, Pearl Drums, Evans, Regal Tip, Bucanero S.A. among others. The competitions are open to both Cubans and non-Cubans. If you are interested in participating, you can click here for contact information

After an intense day of classes and competitions, relax in the evenings with the top bands in Cuba including Havana D'Primera, Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor, Manolito Simonet, Paulo FG, Klímax, Robertico Carcarsés and Interactive, Companía Santiago Alfonso, Companía Liszt Alfonso, Havana Dance Compás, Muñequitos de Matanzas, Afrocuba Matanzas, Osaín del Monte, Yoruba Andabo, Rodney Barreto, Oliver Valdés, Ramsés Rodriguez, and Eliel Lazo among others.

The complete program with times and venues for all events will be released shortly so stay tuned! As travel opportunities open up, this festival is a must for musicians and dancers who want a chance to learn from the very best. Click here for the full announcement with contact information.

Dale cliq aquí para leer la convocatoria en español. 

If you need any more convincing, just check out this video from the 2014 Festival!

Klímax - "Aquí estoy" Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival 2014

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viernes, 30 enero 2015, 03:39 pm

Interview with Samuel Formell

Formell y Los Van Van 2015 United States Tour

Celebrating their 45th Anniversary & New Album "La Fantasía"

Formell y Los Van Van 2015 United States Tour

I spoke to Samuel Formell today and he was about to leave Miami and return to Cuba. The orchestra will be in the US in July 2015 through August 25th.

Read our "La Fantasía" album review (in English) here 
Oprima aquí para leer nuestra reseña del nuevo disco de Los Van Van "La Fantasía" (Español)

Formell y Los Van Van 2015 United States Tour"This year marks the 45th anniversary of LOS VAN VAN and preparations are underway for this summer's 2015 USA Tour, in support of our new album La Fantasia, created an as homaje to my father, Juan Formell." Samuel said. "Jenny, Roberton, Lele and Mandy will be singing on this tour. We have dates already booked for San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Miami with many more to come. We look forward to the return of EL TREN and he will be performing with a 15-piece band."

Searock Music LLC proudly announces the U.S. 2015 tour of Formell y Los Van Van, Cuba’s legendary, Grammy-winning dance orchestra.  Performance dates will be posted on www.Searockmusic.com and on Facebook under SeaRock Entertainment.

Heralded as Cuba’s greatest dance orchestra and known throughout the world for their iconic live performances, Los Van Van return to then US, reuniting with Leo Tizol, the producer and creative force behind their 1996 debut tour of the U.S.

Founded in 1969 by Juan Formell, Los Van Van continue to dominate as one of the world’s foremost interpreters of contemporary Afro-Caribbean music.  Fans can expect to hear the group’s greatest hits along with work from their more current CD releases. 

Continuing the legacy of the late Juan Formell, his son Samuel, the band's artistic director, has left no doubt that the group will follow the footsteps of his father. The tour of Los Van Van will present compositions from their latest production entitled La Fantasía ("The Fantasy"), a collection of danceable tracks incorporating innovative, contemporary arrangements of Juan Formell’s hits from past

“La Fantasía es el mejor album de los Van Van”- Samuel Formell

For group availability, contact:
Searock Entertainment - Leo Tizol - Tour Producer/Artist Representative
mundolibremusic@aol.com
 (917) 687 - 2486

Ernesto Lago - Tour Producer 
(917) 617 - 5708
ernesto@searockmusic.com

Formell y Los Van Van 2015 United States Tour

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