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Pa' Ponerte en Talla
Tale of 2 Reporters - New York City Timba Mega Concert
Bill Tilford (Chicago) and Rosy Estrada (D.C.) provide the Timba 411
click on the READ MORE links immediately following each paragraph to read the full stories
Verse 3 - A Concert Against All Odds - by Bill Tilford
Story and photos by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved
When Saturday arrived, I knew that I wasn’t going to try to do the VIP “Meet & Greet” with the fans. For one thing, as a writer, I have learned over the years that it really is better for my own blood pressure to let the regular fans have their own time at those things. For another, I had no idea where and when it would be. (I later learned that it was in the Rooftop 760 section of the club complex.)
I did want to see the sound check, and after some effort and assistance, I was able to get into the club around 5 PM. (There was still no noticeable poster outside the entrance to the club. Did someone decide that the event was top secret?) I saw a few microphones and an engineer who was eagerly awaiting musicians and instruments. No musicians, no disc jockey, no sound, no sound check, just an engineer and equipment eagerly awaiting something to happen. As 6 pm approached, things didn’t look much different. Since the show was supposed to start at 6, this was not a good thing. More time passed. No real crowd was coming in either. One of the club’s staff, a brave young fellow named Denis, finally decided that there really should be music one way or another. By his own account, he was not a disc jockey and knew nothing about Cuban music but did know how to operate almost all of the equipment in the club including the DJ equipment. Heroically, he began assembling a downloaded playlist in the booth so that the audience would at least have something to dance to until the bands came in. By this time, there was no escaping the fact that this concert was going to start – sometime - without a sound check by the engineer standing near me. Bad sound can ruin even the best bands and sometimes has when bands from Cuba have performed in the United States, so I began mentally preparing myself for an impending disaster.
...Testing, zero, zero, zero...
As the crowd began trickling in, music began playing from the DJ booth.....click HERE to read Bill Tilford's full report on the New York Timba Mega Concert
De La Habana a New York Concert Review - by Rosy Estrada
June 16, 2012 - Despite a very late start, mass confusion about the VIP tickets, and technical sound difficulties, the only thing that saved De La Habana a New York from becoming a Mega disaster was the pleasure the audience drew from watching the pure raw energy pour out of the musicians. Bamboleo, Pupy Pedroso, and Manolito delivered an engaging performance in a rare appearance of all three groups at the famed Copacabana in New York City.
As the Washington, D.C. Timba.com correspondent and organizer of Distrito Cubano, DC's only Cuban social group, it seemed quite logical for me to organize and encourage a group of Cuban music followers/friends from our nation's capitol to travel to NY to soak in some live Cuban music. What I didn't know was how much the lack of communication from the concert's organizers would affect my overall enjoyment of the concert. Having attended both very successful Cuban concerts from visiting artists and others not so well promoted in the DC area, I still haven't been able to properly discern the root causes of what seems to be developing into a pattern and practice of over-promising and underdelivering when it comes to U.S. timba concert peformances.
In our case, we ended up purchasing the VIP Meet and Greet tickets....click HERE to read Rosina Estada's full report on the New York Timba Mega Concert