Beyond Salsa Bass Vol.3 - Salsa, Songo & The Roots of Latin Jazz - Afro-Cuban & Latin Bass Instruction

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Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2014 san jose jazz fe...
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Musicos: Yosmel Montejo
Reportes: Report From Chicago
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Wednesday, 06 August 2014, 01:54 AM


Thurs. at Kuumbwa - Sat. at SJ Jazz

Today's incarnation of Conjunto Chappottín is probably as close as we'll ever get to experiencing what the legendary Arsenio Rodríguez Conjunto sounded like live. When Arsenio left for New York in the early 1950s, his trumpeter, Félix Chappottín, took over as leader and the band has been inherited by Félix's grandson, Angél Jesús Chappottín, and Miguel Cuní, Jr., the son of the group's original star singer. As they explain in this excellent mini-documentary they've really taken to heart the idea of recreating the sound and flavor of a real conjunto.

They'll be at Kuumbwa Jazz Center Thursday - one admission covers the whole night and the dance floor will be open. They'll also play twice on Saturday at the San José Jazz Festival. Tomorrow I'll have much more on the rest of the fest - the best lineup I've ever seen for a Latin festival, included three separate appearances by The Pedrito Martínez Group, Calixto Oviedo, Viento de Agua, Jimmy Bosch, Jerry González and Fort Apache, a tribute to Armando Peraza by Pancho Sánchez and John Santos, Bootsy Collins, David Sanborn, Donald Harrison, Snarky Puppy and virtually every top Bay Area group. SJ Jazz starts Friday evening and runs all weekend.

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Tuesday, 05 August 2014, 05:51 PM

New reviews of Cuban CDs and Photo Galleries From La Habana

Nuevas reseñas de CDs cubanos y galerías de fotos desde La Habana

ENGLISH:  This week, we have published three new photo galleries from La Habana:
ESPAÑOL:  Esta semana, publicamos  tres nuevas galerías de fotos de La Habana:
Michel Herrera  César López & Habana Ensemble    Julio Valdés Fuentes & Pentajazz

Also, there are several new reviews of recordings made in Cuba in our Reviews section. 
ESPAÑOL: Además, hay varias nuevas reseñas de grabaciones hechas en Cuba en nuestra sección de Reseñas

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Saturday, 02 August 2014, 07:42 AM

Remembering Juan Formell

On the Occasion of his 72nd Birthday

Juan Formell in 2008 with the Grammy for Llegó Van VanJuan Formell 2008 at home with the Grammy from Llegó...Van Van

Today marks what would have been the 72nd birthday of one of the most iconic and widely loved figures of Cuban contemporary dance music. A musical pioneer and innovator, Juan Formell enjoyed the challenge of experimentation and creation and the interplay between the dancer and the musician. This is well summed up in "A ver que sale" from the 1974 Areito release known today as Volume III: 
Eh, te voy a cantar y tú vas a bailar a ver qué sale / Eh, tú muévete que yo cantaré a ver qué sale / Pontele atención al de violín, te cantaremos hasta el fin / Y tú serás el bailarin a ver qué sale / Que si sale o si no sale la cosa de aprendizaje.

Over time Juan Formell and Los Van Van became the international symbol of the excellence of contemporary Cuban dance music. It remains to be seen how the younger generation will step up to meet the challenges that Cuban dance music faces today.

Below is the beautiful musical tribute that the Cuban musicians put together for Formell. I invite you all to post your own tribute to Formell in the comments. Felicidades Maestro y que pases tu cumpleaños de fiesta con Arsenio, El Beny y todos los grandes.

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Friday, 01 August 2014, 04:25 PM

Bay Area: This Time For Sure

Havana d'Primera at Yoshi's SF Tonight & Tomorrow

San José Jazz's Epic 2014 Lineup


It's been a historically disappointing summer, full of last minute cancellations and crushed expectations, but we can now confirm that (although the opening Miami and LA shows were canceled due to system-wide visa bugs that, for once, have nothing to do with Cuba) Havana d'Primera is now in the Yuma and ready to roll for Yoshi's SF TONIGHT and Saturday, Minneapolis on Aug. 7th, Chicago on Aug. 8th and at B.B. King's in NYC on August 12th. More details as they come in, but tonight is definitely on - see you there!

Meanwhile, The 2014 San José Jazz Festival (Aug. 8, 9, 10) will be one for the ages and there are no visas involved (phew...) , except for Conjunto Chappottín, who are (I'm 99% sure) already in the country and will also be playing a dance show at Kuumbwa Jazz Center on Aug. 7th. Chappottín has gotten rave reviews on the East Coast. And the REST of the SJ Jazz lineup is just unbelievable - Pedrito Martínez Group, Calixto Oviedo, Fort Apache, Jimmy Bosch, Viento de Agua (hot plena), Donald Harrison, QBA, Pacific Mambo, Pasión Habanera, Orquesta Borinquen, Avance, Wayne Wallace - on and on - and many, including Pedrito Martínez, play more than once. [Kevin Moore, all photos by Tom Ehrlich]

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