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Kiki Valera - Vivencias en clave cubana - New Cuban Son album - Traditional Cuban Music

Timbera Mayor

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Sunday, 24 January 2010, 02:55 PM

Review - Animals of Cuban Music

Animals of Cuban MusicI am still way behind on my projects due to my five-week vacation, but I have finally published my review of "Animals of Cuban Music: salsa vs reggaeton", Jen Paz's second documentary in her contemporary Cuban music series. The DVD has been out since fall 2009 and really should have been on the gift list of all fans of Cuban music, no matter whether you like timba or reggeaton. For me the documentary is not about trying to convince anyone that one is better than the other or to make fans out of anyone. It is just an honest, unadorned look at what is really happening in Havana today. It also happens to be full of excellent concert footage from both timba and reggaeton concerts.  It is a must-see film for anyone who wants to keep up with the Cuban music scene of today. To read the full review click here.

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Wednesday, 20 January 2010, 03:14 PM

Azúcar Negra Planning March in Miami

Leonel Limonta tells us that the band is planning to be in Miami in March but they are still waiting for a  concrete date. When the first concert is confirmed we will post the information here. In a piece of Timba.com trivia, Azúcar Negra has a long history with Timba.com and it was largely because of the Azúcar Negra US Tour of 2000 that Timba.com developed from being an odd assortment of audio samples scraped together by Kevin into what we are today. Even as Timba.com has developed over the years, so has Azúcar Negra been through several changes having had  important female vocalists such as Haila Mompie, Monica Mesa, Tanya Pantoja, Biunaikis Marquetti and the current leading lady the lovely Ailyn Dalleras.

Ailyn was only 17 when she joined the band and 19 when she shouldered the role of lead female vocalist. She has always had a beautiful voice but with the years she has also developed a professionalism and a charismatic stage presence. Now at the ripe old age of 23 she will be hitting "El Yuma" for the first time. But Ailyn isn't the only singer. The ladies will enjoy Dayan, ex-Charanga Forever, who has a great voice and is an excellent dancer. He adds a shot of testosterone-loaded energy to the band. Speaking of Ailyn and Dayan, Gabriel from Yemayá's Verse in her 2009 Havana Report said: "Limonta must have two of the most charismatic singers in Havana in those two", and Gabriel is one of the most hard-to-impress people I know, so don't miss it when Azúcar Negra hits the States.

Azúcar Negra - "Con un canto en el pecho"
from the CD "Exceso de equipaje"

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Monday, 18 January 2010, 05:37 PM

Lily y Su Sonora Clásica

Concert Début in Stockholm

Lily y Su Sonora Clásica gave their début concert 18 January at Mosebacke in Stockholm. Lily Hernández is fast becoming one of the most sought-after lead singers in Europe, having performed with a variety of bands throughout Europe and in the United States. She is a versatile singer who is at home singing jazz, timba, salsa or son. For examples of her work you can see La Recompensa, Latin Train, Didara Band, La Liga Habanera, Richard Ortega y La Jugada, Latin Jazz Ensemble (USA 2006), and El Mena y Su Eyeife Band (Italy).

But now Lily has taken a step out on her own forming her own group, Lily y Su Sonora Clásica. Having her own orchestra allows Lily to express her passion for son but with a modern take or as she puts it: "traditional son with the energy of timba". The band is a septeto with an impressive list of musicians: Lily Hernández, Calixto Oviedo, Pepe Espinosa, Oldrich Gonzalez, Ramon Rodriguez, Oslen Ceballo, and with Yarién Oviedo and Whitney Hernández on vocals. You can check out a fan video from the first performance below.

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Sunday, 17 January 2010, 11:13 AM

Pepítin con El Trabuco

Está Pegando Bien

Pepitín with Salsa Mayor in FranceThe one constant on the Havana music scene is change. José Antonio "Pepitín" Rodríguez has recently joined Manolito y Su Trabuco replacing his ex-bandmate from Salsa Mayor, El Noro, who recently left the Trabuco for Pupy y Los Que Son Son. Pepitín makes a good addition to the Trabuco, which is known for being one of the timba bands that keeps closely to son. Since the departure of El Indio, the band hasn't really had a sonero style singer. The addition of Pepitín restores the original balance of voices: sonero (Pepitín), R&B (Amaray) and rap (Lázaro)

Maykel Blanco "discovered" Pepitín singing traditional son in a bar in Old Havana. Pepitín has also performed on Cuban television with Jóvenes Clásicos del Son, and in our last Pepitín update, we reported that he has been working on some demos of traditional music. Word from Havana is that the audience is happy with Pepitín's addition to the band. I am looking forward to seeing him on the Trabuco's next European tour!

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