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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA

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Monday, 10 March 2014, 10:46 AM

Interactivo in Miami and More...

Also: Some Key US Concerts This Week


Interactivo's performance in Miami was more than worth the time and expense to travel from Chicago to see it.   You can see a review and a very extensive photo gallery here

While waiting for the concert, this writer went shopping for recordings.  It is worth mentioning that the Museo del Disco (1301 SW 70th Ave in Miami) is not only stocking many of the EGREM, Colibri and Bis recordings that are reviewed on this website, but it may have the most impressive selection of those in the United States now and deserves special mention for its pro-active efforts to bring that music to buyers here. 

Key Concerts This Week:  Kelvis Ochoa is in Miami on March 15th, and the Pedrito Martínez Group is at the City Winery in Chicago, also on March 15th. 

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Sunday, 09 March 2014, 01:13 PM

Leonel Limonta & Azúcar Negra in Europe

Tour Begins Next Week!

Leonel Limonta & Azúcar Negra Europe 2014

In just six days Leonel Limonta & Azúcar Negra will be back in Europe for a month of serious timba y gozadera. Click here for the March dates and some of April. We will be updating again as soon as the final confirmations for April have come in. After their last release, "Bailar en Tacones", Limonta and the muchachos dulces are keeping with the sartorial theme with their latest single "Maltraando la Tela". I was fortunate enough to see Limonta in the process of creating this song, which came to life last year during the Latinoamericando Festival in Milan. Enjoy, and check back next week for April updates!

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Saturday, 08 March 2014, 04:41 PM

For Pastora Yuani Sayú

On International Women's Day

Pastora Yuani SayúsMarch 8 is International Women's Day and while it may not be well-known everywhere, it is very important both here in Sweden and in Cuba. As I sat here contemplating the many talented women who have helped shape Cuban music, it struck me that today I would like to honor one of the most internationally famous women in both salsa and timba: Pastora Yuani Sayú, better known to Latin music fans as Pastorita. Sadly, she passed away in 2013 at the age of 97, but her name has been imortalized and can probably be heard every week in some salsa venue around the world.

I want to thank Niurka Estrada, Mirlania Rodriguez and José Cuenca for the photo pf Pastora and for sharing with me the story about the origins of the song and the subsequent battle over the rights to the song which was resolved in June of 1976. But we'll get to that part of the story later.


Pastora Yuani Sayú

"El Guararey de Pastora" has been a hit many times over. First performed by Changüí Guantánamo, it caught the attention of Juan Formell during a visit to Cuba's easternmost province and was recorded by Van Van in 1974. The song became a hit in Cuba and in 1975 Ray Barretto recorded a salsa version, which also became a huge success in the salsa world outside of Cuba.

So what is the story behind the song that has had seemingly universal appeal? Well let me tell you. Pastora had a daughter who had caught the eye of Roberto Baute Sagarra, tresero of Changüí Guantánamo. He began a romance with her and Pastora was not happy with his attentions towards her daughter because Roberto, also known as Chito, was already married and 20 years older than the object of his affection. This was the source of Pastora's guararey (anger) with her friend Chito and the inspiration for the song.

At the time the song was written, Pedro Speck was the director of Changüí Guantánamo and he registered the rights to the song under his name. It wasn't until the popularity of Van Van's version that the subject of authorship  became an issue. In June 1976 the court ruled in favor of Roberto Baute when Pastorita herself testified on his behalf. Previously attributed to Speck or simply listed as DR, the song is now correctly attributed to Roberto Baute, although it was not officially registered with ACDAM under his name until 21 April 1981. However, I was told in Guantanamo that neither Speck nor Baute ever received any income from the recording or performances of other versions of the song.

Roberto Baute SagarraPhoto of Roberto Baute Sagarra in Casa del Changüí in Guantanamo

Below is a video of the group Suave Caribe performing "El Guararey de Pastora"  on January 9, 2014 at the Thursday night peña in Guantanamo. If you are able I highly recommend attending the National Changüí Festival, which will take place this year from May 29-June 1. It is a unique opportunity to really come face-to-face with the roots of the music and dance we know today as salsa and timba. For more information about the changüí festival contact General Coordinator José Cuenca or Ernesto Chacón.

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Saturday, 08 March 2014, 02:49 PM

Calixto Oviedo Quintet

24 April Mambos Café

Calixto Oviedo Quintet

The summer tour season will be kicking off soon and we are in the process of updating our tours section as the tour dates get finalized. We have already updated Calixto Oviedo's section with concert dates for the spring and early summer. He will be performing jazz with Calixto's Way Band and dance music with Lily d Oviedo Orquesta as well as going Masters Classes and performing with bands such as the Afro-Cuban Jazz Project. Click here for the full list of concerts as of this moment. 

Calixto has also put together a quintet featuring Josiel Pérez on trumpet, Natanael Molina on piano, Yosmel Montejo on bass, Christian Moraga on congas and percussion, and of course Calixto Oviedo on drums. The Calixto Oviedo Quintet plays a mix of Latin Jazz, Timba and Soul. They will be performing at Mambos Café 1701 Victory Blvd. in Glendale, California on April 24th.

Stay tuned for more tour updates for Azúcar Negra, Maykel Blanco y su Salsa Mayor, Los Van Van, Havana D'Primera, Oderquis Revé y su Changüí, Elito Revé y Su Charangón, Mayito Rivera & Sons of Cuba and more...

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