Giras: Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor
Giras: Van Van, Los
Giras: Emilio Frias "El Niño" y La Ve...
Giras: Revé, Orquesta
Giras: Rivera, Mario "Mayito"
Musicos: Alain Almeida Ma... : Videos
Musicos: Alain Almeida Ma... : Entrevistas
Musicos: Alain Almeida Manzanares
Giras: Havana D'Primera
Giras: Wil Campa & La Gran Unión
Giras: Buena Fe
Giras: Oviedo, Calixto
Events: 2015 Los Van Van USA Tour
Photos of the Day [hide]
FRONT PAGE - PRIMERA PLANA
At Nuyorican Poets Cafe - Dec. 13th
In many ways, one could say that the Cuban Music Community of New York City is currently going through an interesting, uncertain, but nonetheless exciting period in its development. Although modern Cuban Music has been present in NYC for a number of years, the genre is still very much coming of age in the city. Up until recently it has stood in the shadows of Nuyorican Salsa, finding a niche among only a small but discerning crowd. However, as groups such as the Pedrito Martínez Group and bands like them have brought new and much deserved attention to the genre, the rest of New York has almost been forced to pay attention, which in turn has resulted in some sudden yet nonetheless interesting developments.
On one hand there are new venues such as Subrosa, in which larger enterprises such as Blue Note are bringing Cuban music to the previously untapped attention of the Meatpacking crowd, serving up Música Cubana in an elaborate decor with drink and ticket prices to match. One the other hand there are the established Cuban hubs such as Guantanamera, whose regular groups have also found themselves in a new state of flux as Cuban acts juggle their itineraries with the new performances that are now opening up, allowing for a “changing of the guard” so to speak.
Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations
Artistas cubanos aprietan en las nominaciones del Grammy americano 2015
Lots of action this year for Cuban artists in the 57th Grammy® nominations! Here's a quick recap:
BEST LATIN TROPICAL ALBUM
Tremendo PALO! -- Afro-Cuban Funk group PALO! is buzzing hard after their LatinGrammy® nomination. The group -- singer Leslie Cartaya, Raymer Olande, Philbert Armenteros, pianist Steve Roitstein and saxophonist Ed Calle -- got a nomination for their live record Palo! Live. The group’s unique, danceable sound blends the allure of Cuban music with funky beats and jazzy improvisation. You can check out Bill Tilford's review of the record (click) here.
Click HERE to download Track 2 (La Malanga Resbala) from their album PALO! LIVE
Aymee Nuviola - Also following her LatinGrammy® nomination, "La Sonera del Mundo" Aymee's album First Class to Havana counts with guest artists Amaury Gutiérrez, Alexis Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba y also nominated percussionist Pedrito Martínez. The singer had a banner year after her participation in Sergio George's SALSA GIANTS tour.
BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM
Yosvany Terry - Matanzero and saxophonist Yosvany Terry got a nod for his album New Throned King, is the musical culmination of his spiritual exploration, and one of the most creative recordings of the year. "The entire set is comprised of music Terry composed, based on Arara "cantos" and rhythms, which for the most part have never been performed outside of Matanzas."-- AllAboutJazz.com
Pedrito Martínez Group - The highly anticipated, self-titled debut album from the Pedrito Martínez Group has been a delight to Latin jazz, traditional jazz and dancers alike. "Pedrito Martinez is undeniably one of the most talented young musicians in Latin music today and has become one of the most in-demand in the industry for both his beautiful voice and his exceptional percussion skills."-- AllAboutJazz.com
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra - Following in his father's footsteps, Arturo O'Farrill scores another nomination for Motema Music (same label as Pedrito Martínez Group;'s album) with his record The Offense Of The Drum.
"With The Offense of the Drum, O'Farrill nails that lofty goal. The sounds of a big band are here, the sounds of various Afro-Caribbean rhythms are here, and the sounds of some of New York's best musicians in any genre are here. But what's guiding the music is a vision that incorporates sounds from the streets today with a spoken-word performance that's manifesto-like in its call to recognize culture as something that changes and grows every day."-- NPR.org
BEST ARRANGEMENT, INSTRUMENTAL OR A CAPELLA
Alfredo Rodríguez - Alfredo puts himself on the Grammy map with an arrangement of Guatanamera, a track from his second record The Invasion Parade. "Co-Produced by Quincy Jones, Rodríguez’ champion and mentor, and featuring a superb ensemble that includes bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding, percussionist and vocalist Pedrito Martínez, and drummer and percussionist Henry Cole, The Invasion Parade comprises nine tracks including originals by Rodríguez as well as evergreens such as 'Guantanamera', Maria Teresa Vera’s 'Veinte Años', and 'Quizás, Quizás, Quizás'..." -- AllABoutJazz.com
BEST WORLD MUSIC ALBUM
Luis Conte - Santiaguero and percussionist Luis Conte partners up with musicians Daniel Ho and Wu Man for a collection of international popular songs adapted for traditional chinese instruments for the album OUR WORLD IN SONG. "So, a Chinese pipa player, a Cuban percussionist and a Hawaiian guitarist go into a studio cross-pollinating instruments and traditions in a series of musical selections from around the world... and successfully traversed genres with such delicious delight that audiences will find the combo hard to resist." -- WorldMusicCentral.org
There you have it.... Best of luck to all the nominees!
Another Full Concert (piano-bass closeup)
Van Van with Pupy & Pedrito - June, 2000
This is the legendary late 90s Van Van group with Pedrito Calvo, Mayito Rivera and Robertón Hernández.
If you want to see the band from the front with multiple camera angles, search for the Miami Arena 1999 video, currently on YouTube by Pimienta Records and others and probably still in print as a DVD/CD package.
This video, shot by pianist Robert Schwentker in June of 2000 at the Conga Room in Los Angeles, is of special value for a variety of reasons:
2) This also results in lots of closeups of Juan Formell's baby bass technique.
3) ... and to a lesser degree, closeups of Samuel Formell, who has a very unusual setup (for him), playing from a standing position as he did in his first job, with Issac Delgado. By this point, Samuel was almost always playing seated at a full drum/timbales set. Probably a snafu with the sound rental company, but as you can see, it doesn't seem to cramp his style in the least.
4) This is within 6 months of the departure of Pedrito Calvo and within 1 year of the departure of Pupy Pedroso.
Back to Van Van
Back on the topic of Los Van Van's 45th anniverary, we have the updated Discography section and the latest Beyond Salsa video - on the 2nd Pupy Pedroso book and concluding with an epic 18-minute mashup of the avalanche of hooks unleashed by Pupy in his final two decades with the band: