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FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
Yeni Valdés, Maikel Dinza & Sergio Vargas
Coming Releases by Oye Mi Musica Records
I had a little chat today with Luisin Martí, executive producer and president of Oye Mi Musica Records , and he told me about a few projects that they will release next year. Yeni Valdés of Los Van Van is recording her first solo album! The first single is called "Ya no me llevas de la mano".
Yeni Valdés single "Ya no me llevas de la mano"
coming soon by Oye Mi Musica Records
Don't worry, Yeni is not leaving Los Van Van. Luisin tells us "It is nothing related to what people are used to hearing Yeni sing with Los Van Van. It's a salsa dance track and recording is currently underway in Havana and Puerto Rico with the participation of outstanding artists such as pianist José M. Lugo of Guasabara Group. The album will have 10 salsa songs and some surprises". Luisin has promised to bring us back un cachito pa' huele when he gets back from Havana.
Another Oye Mi Musica project is Maikel Dinza's album "Regalando corazones" with the very sexy cover below. They expect to release it in January/February 2016. I've heard a number of his songs that are up at YouTube and am very much looking forward to his album.
Maikel Dinza - "Regalando corazones" should be released in early 2016
In 2016 Oye Mi Musica will also release a CD by Dominican singer Sergio Vargas. It is a collection of boleros he recorded in Cuba. Stay tuned for more info!
Dominican Sergio Vargas singing "Boleros en La Habana"
Cuban Dance and Music Congress
Saturday October 24-28, Isla Margarita, Venezuela will host the ¡Baílalo! Cuban Dance and Music Convention. It is an initiative of dance schools and organized by Kala Entertainment. The Congreso is eight days of Cuban dance workshops with parties every night featuring the best DJs and the top Cuban orchestras. Check out the poster above to see the dates and artists. There will also be a couples dance competition. We found out about it a bit late so I don't know what packages are still available, but I imagine at least the day passes must be. Click here to check out the convention packages . This is supposed to be an annual event so hopefully we'll be able to get the word out a little earlier next year. For now we leave you with the promotional video from their Facebook site.
Early Grammy(R) Action for Cuban Artists
The 58th Grammy(R) Awards Process Is Underway
The 58th Grammy(R) Awards process began today with the release of the official Entry List to it's academy members. Thankfully, this first round ballot acknowledges some truly great records by Cuban and Cuban music artists alike.
We begin with the already 2015 Latin Grammy(R) nominated and Cubadisco Winner "No Quiero Llanto - Tributo a Los Compadres" (click to read our review), a Tropical Latin double CD collaboration between world-wide salsa star José Alberto "El Canario" and El Septeto Santiaguero. The New York Times reported "The album, which came out earlier this summer as a double CD, reupholsters old music with relentless technical perfection." Sweet.
Other notables in contention under Tropical Latin are Austin, Texas mega-timberos Timberos del Norte with their self-titled debut album, Singer Xiomara Laugar "Tears & Rumba", and Miami's Tiempo Libre "Pánamericano", Sonlokos "Locos Por El Son", and Leslie Cartaya "Llévame Contigo".
Next we move to Latin Jazz -- a notoriously fierce and culturally important category -- where a not-to-be named album of midi sequences was somehow embarrassingly included under Latin Jazz in the Latin Grammys(R) and is fortunately not present here. Said controversy was avoided. Instead, we have a story of very interesting bedfellows.
Before getting to that we begin with Pure Mezcla, a live release from Pablo Menéndez & Mezcla. The record got a shining review in All About Jazz, who called it "Rare and beautiful music." Read it here. Another musician who left their soul in Cuba is Australian saxophonist Paul Van Ross, who recorded "Mi Alma Cubana" in Havana with the participation of slamming players including master percussionist José Luis Quintana "Changuito". Next we visit NATURA, by bassist and now residing in Denmar Yasser Pino & The Latin Syndicate. Interestingly, the entry list also includes records from fellow players of his Latin Syndicate: percussionist Eliel Lazo "Eliel Lazo & The Cuban Funk Machine" (in which Yasser also performs) and drummer extraordinaire Calixto Oviedo "Como Suena". More on Calixto soon as he will play a CD release concert in New York at SUBROSA on Monday November 30. For tix and more info click here. Dang... they could form a grammy nominee band. Are we talking after-party? I hope so.
It is also important to note that one of TIMBA.com's favorite pianists -- Iván "Melón" Lewis -- who is already nominated for Best New Artist and Best Latin Jazz in this year's Latin Grammys (R), has a great record on the entry list "Ayer y Hoy". Here's a reminder why... enjoy!
More Grammy(R) news to come as we dig deeper into the list and report on other notable entries. ¡Que viva la música cubana!
SÓLO SE VIVE UNA VEZ
Havana D'Primera & Los 4 Stockholm Oct. 23
Lo mejor que suena ahora
Tomorrow - October 13th in Madrid - Havana D'Primera begin their Autumn European tour, which will take them to 27 cities in 12 countries. Click here to find the concert closest to you. Los 4 are also currently on tour and will be in Bologna tomorrow. For the remaining Los 4 concert dates, click here . Both groups are at the height of popularity in their respective genres and both have relatively new albums they are promoting.
Here in Stockholm Cuban music fans will be blessed with a joint concert by Havana D'Primera and Los 4 on October 23rd. It will be the concert of the year and they are calling the event "Sólo se vive una vez". It will be held at Quality Hotel Friends and the technical details are in the hands of Stockholm's best light and soundmen. I will - of course - be reporting on it. Doors open at 8:00pm and close at 03:00am. It is simply going to be awesome!
Due to the popularity of the event the promoters and the hotel have arranged special pricing for concert-goers who are traveling to the concert from other countries or cities. For information on how to take advantage of the special pricing, click here. The pre-concert tickets are nearly sold-out, so get yours before the price goes up. To book concert tickets now click here. VIP tickets are also available for those who want to hang with the bands.
To whet your appetite I leave you with two recent videos. The first is "Regalito de Dios", is one of the most popular songs from Havana D'Primera's album "La vuelta al mundo". The second is a recent collaboration between Los 4 and La Charanga Habanera "Lo que tengo yo". You've gotta love the Star Wars intro!
Havana D'Primera "Regalito de Dios"
Los 4 & La Charanga Habanera "Lo que tengo yo"