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Fotos Del Día [hide]
PRIMERA PLANA - FRONT PAGE
Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival 2014
Giraldo Piloto & Klímax have just finished their winter European Tour and in only six weeks Piloto will be busy with the 2014 Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival "Guillermo Barreto in memoriam", which will take place March 11 - 16 at venues throughout Havana. This is really an event to see if you will be or can be in Havana during this period. The festival includes competitions in percussion categories as well as in casino dancing, shows by Cuban and international bands and dance companies, as well as masters classes in percussion and dance.The competitions are open to both Cuban and international participants.
For more information in English, including instructions on how to sign up for the competitions, check out our Fiesta del Tambor 2014 link. The official website has been updated, but it is all in Spanish. In the meantime we share with you a video look back at the 2013 Havana Rhythm & Dance Festival.
Tom's Havana Reunión Photos
Click here for Tom Ehrlich's latest gallery, from the amazing December reunion concert of Melón Lewis, Jimmy Branly and Carlitos del Puerto.
El Niño y La Verdad
El Niño y La Verdad pack the house with their matinee at Casa de La Música Miramar
In March 2013 Emilio Frias "El Niño" and Wilfredo Naranjo "Pachy" decided it was time to leave Orquesta Revé, Cuba's greatest music school, and create their own orchestra. Joining them was Roberto "Chino" Vázquez, formerly bassist for El Trabuco, and shortly thereafter Pascual Matos "Sinsonte" of La Revé. We all know what a tough crowd the timberos of Havana are, but Emilio's popularity as a singer and the strength of the band's repertoire have made them an overnight success. Their Friday matinee at Casa de la Música Miramar is always well-attended and the atmosphere is great! Advice: If you are going to Havana, make sure to catch them at the Friday matinee!
I went to see them on January 17th and the show surpassed expectations. To keep the tourists happy Miramar has become nothing more than a sea of tables with no space left for a dance floor. But everyone was on their feet dancing anyway, as you can see in the picture above, from El Niño's Facebook page. They were filming for a promotional DVD that day. I'm looking forward to seeing the results! There were several guest artist in attendance. Juan Guillermo took a turn on stage with Emilio, and Arlenys ( El Niño's mujer) sang one of her own songs much to the delight of the audience. El Niño and Arlenys are definitely a power couple in Havana.
Towards the close of the show, Oderquis Revé took the stage but even as he was singing "estás loco" the CDLM was struck by an apagón. Apparently power outages continue to be a problem for Habaneros. We adjourned to the bar in the garden, and I spent some time talking with Pachy and Sinsonte.
In 2013 El Niño y La Verdad released a five-song demo, which has been very popular among DJs and dancers around the world. Fans will be happy to know that the band went back into the studio on January 24th to begin work on their album! Currently they are promoting the 5th single from the demo "Dime Cuanto". You can check it out in the Timba.com radio below. Alaroye no, alaroye y bien!
Tribute for the 161st Anniversary of José Martí's Birth
Today is the 161st anniversary of the birth of José Martí. Cubans around the world have been honoring this great father of the Cuban nation in various ways. Exactly one week ago I had the good fortune to attend one of the first celebrations, which took place at Teatro Mella. The event was called "Motivos Martianos" and was put on by the José Martí Cultural Society under the Artistic and General Direction of Israel Rojas. Rojas is also the organizer behind the upcoming Martí tribute album where each number is either inspired by Martí or in some cases the song lyrics are based on Martís poetry.
The event was sold out, and as you can see by the poster above, it featured a cast of stars from various musical genres and even a childrens' acting company. From a timbero's perspective some of the highlights were Clave y Guaguancó and of course Los Van Van, who closed the event with the song "Dicha Grande". Other performances that particularly struck me were the accoustic offerings of trovadores Eduardo Sosa, Leonardo Garcia and Polito Ibañez. Buena Fe guitarrist Dairon Lobaina and singer Javier Milanes performed a beautiful ballad dedicated to mothers and D'CoraSon will have another hit on their hands with the piece they have written for the Martí album.