2015 Salsa Rueda Festival - San Francisco - February 19-22 - Hotel Whitcomb - Biggest Cuban Dance Festival in the U.S.A.

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Friday, 19 December 2014, 12:58 AM

Mini-Documentary: Los Van Van in the 1990s

This is the longest of the Beyond Salsa youtube series, with all sorts of backstories, lyrics, live video clips and photos - covering a truly unbelievable part of the Van Van story.

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Saturday, 13 December 2014, 03:35 PM

Todo lo mejor a Jazz Plaza 2014

All The Best To Jazz Plaza 2014

La Habana, Cuba del 17 al 21 de diciembre, 2014

ESPAÑOL:   Jazz Plaza en La Habana, Cuba ha evolucionado en uno de los más maravillosos festivales de Jazz en el planeta. Ahora celebrando su trigésimo año, su nombre puede ser engañoso hoy en día ya que no tiene lugar solamente en una plaza (bueno, ALGUNAS de los conciertos, pero sólo algunas), sino también en teatros grandes, clubes, hoteles y otros lugares. Toda la ciudad está escuchando la música y músicos de muchos países vienen a tocar y escuchar (Este escritor asistió al Festival 2013 y lamenta profundamente que él quedará atrapado en su oficina durante el evento de 2014.) El horario del evento siempre se aparece al el último minuto debido a la complejidad del evento, pero se puede oir casí cualquier estilo de Jazz alrededor la cuidad durante la semaña.  Hay un minisimposio sobre Jazz también. 
Según el sitio web suenacubano.com, y de especial interés para nuestros lectores norteamericanos: Arturo O'Farrill, un nominado actual al GRAMMY® en la categoría de Jazz Latino (The Offense of the Drum) presentará en el festival con todo su orquesta, y más tarde, él va a grabar un nuevo proyecto en los estudios Abdala, titulado La conversación continuada
¡Todo lo mejor y mucho éxito a Jazz Plaza 2014!

ENGLISH:  Jazz Plaza in Havana, Cuba has evolved into one of the most wonderful jazz festivals on the planet. Now celebrating its thirtieth year, its name can be misleading today as it does not take place  only in a square anymore (well, SOME of the concerts do, but only some), but also in large theaters, clubs, hotels and other places. The whole city is listening to the music and musicians from many countries come to play and listen (this writer attended the 2013 Festival and deeply regrets that he will remain trapped in his office during the 2014 event.) The final schedule for  the program always appears at the last minute due to the complexity of the event, but you can hear almost any style of Jazz around the city during the week. There is a mini-symposium on Jazz as well.
According to the Suenacubano.com web site, and of particular interest to our North American readers: Arturo O'Farrill, a current  GRAMMY® nominee in the Latin Jazz category (The Offense of the Drum) will perform at the festival with his whole orchestra, and later, he will record a new project in Abdala Studios titled La conversacion continuada
All the best and much success to Jazz Plaza 2014!

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Friday, 12 December 2014, 01:16 PM

Salsondria

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.    

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Wednesday, 10 December 2014, 05:36 PM

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

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations
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

Palo! Live nominanated for 2015 Grammy Best Tropical Latin Album

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations

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

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations
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

Click on the photo below to visit Tom Ehrlich's photo gallery for Yosvany's performance last year at Yerba Gardens in San Francisco.
Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations
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

Click on the photo below to visit Tom Ehrlich's photo gallery for Pedrito Martínez Group's performance last year at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz.

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy Nominations

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy NominationsArturo 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

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy NominationsAlfredo 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

Cuban Artists in the 57th Grammy NominationsLuis 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!

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