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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series

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Saturday, 21 January 2012, 04:42 PM

Cuban Music News - In Brief - January 21 2012

Havana Live Music - Samuel Formell - Contrabando - La Raza Latina

Havana weekly listings are up - Need a live music and performance schedule for Havana next week? Check it out in our new section =

Music form the Cuba All Stars Festival in Perú - check some live tracks from the festival: Mandy Cantero with Los Van Van on Que Sorpresa and Alex Abreu y Habana D Primera with Cuando El Río Suena. Both on Radio Timba right now. 

Samuel Formell collaborates with Mexican guitar heroes Rodrigo y Gabriela - Ready to be released in the US this upcoming Tuesday, January 24th, Area 52 contains nine (9) of the duo's favorite songs from their own catalogue re-arranged and re-configured for a 13-piece Cuban orchestra comprised of some of Havana's finest young players, collectively known as C.U.B.A. This two-disc set includes a 30-minute 'making-of' documentary on DVD. Area 52 - New album Rodrigo y Gabriela with Samuell Formell of Los Van Van - Cuban Music News - Noticias de música cubana source

Area 52 was mixed by Rafa Sardina, one of the leading studio musicians in the Latin music world, and arranged by London-based pianist, composer and arranger Alex Wilson. Recording took place in the Miramar district of Havana, Cuba, at Abdala Studios, founded by the Cuban folk hero Silvio Rodriguez, as well as at Rodrigo & Gabriel's studio in Ixtapa, Mexico. Other players on the record include: bassist Carles Benavent (Paco De Lucia, Chick Corea, Miles Davis), drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, Testament, White Zombie), sitarist Anoushka Shankar and drummer Samuel Formell (Los Van Van)

Radio Timba has an excerpt (with spoilers) of Samuel's killer solo (listen to track #1) of the album's first cut, entitled "Santo Domingo". Check out Rodrigo y Gabriela's iste at =

CubaAntwerpen (title song for the festival), new video from Grupo Contrabando - Hey shameless plug, but it's always It's a great feeling to see and hear a song you mastered. I worked with leader and trombonist Andrés Fernández on this and the video blew me away. Check it out:

Felipe Lamoglia & Urban Beats in Miami - Cuban Timba All Star (Tomasito Cruz version) and ex-NG La Banda saxofonist Felipe Magnolia will be playing his special brand of Afro-Cuban jazz in Miami Beach tomorrow. Fellow CTAS drummer Reinier Guerra is also on the bill. 

Legendary, classical-style, afro-cuban "salsa suite" to be performed with 40 musicians - Pianist Larry Harlow's magnum opus "La Raza Latina" will be performed Friday night at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami as part of the Jazz and Roots series, with the composer conducting the local Mario Ortiz All-stars Band and a stellar lineup of musicians that includes the 90-year-old Cuban percussionist Candido Camero and Grammy-award winner and violinist Federico Britos. This will be only the second production of the show, first performed Aug. 14, 2011 at New York's Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, with Blades, now a Hollywood actor and former cultural minister of Panama, in the lead role. In Miami, Blades' part will be sung by vocalists Emo Luciano and Luisito Rosario. source

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Friday, 13 January 2012, 01:05 PM

Upgrade your salsa band to TIMBA! - No more excuses

Beyond Salsa for Ensemble Vol.1 Released

Includes full sheet music for Pupy's El Buenagente (2005 Pepito Gómez version)

Upgrade your salsa band to TIMBA! The motherlode has finally arrived. It is now impossible to argue against this instructional behemoth. "Well I love it and I can play in that style, but of the band doesn't, so I can't do my thing .... We can't get charts for the songs we like ... The charts are always wrong and incomplete".  NO MORE EXCUSES. 365 pages and 465 audio tracks (753 MB) later, INCLUDING the full sheet music transcription for César Pupy Pedroso y los que Son Son's EL BUENA GENTE (2005 version w/ Pepito Gómez), Beyond Salsa for Ensemble is HERE  !

Immediately download the FREE, 46 page sample PDF
Beyond Salsa for Ensemble - Cuban Music News - Noticias de música cubana

             order the hard copy book              order the eBook & audio (sold separately)

Once you taste TIMBA you can ask for the salsa on the side. Beyond Salsa for Ensemble Volume 1 is now THE STANDARD for instruction of modern tropical dance music styles. This new series is designed to teach modern Cuban rhythm section techniques to college and high school bands, and working professional bands. Each volume contains extensive exercises that systemically teach each of timba's many rhythmic and formal innovations and each contains a full chart of an important timba hit, ready to play at concerts and gigs.

The most frequent question I've heard people ask about Cuban music is: "What's the difference between timba and salsa? "

There are many answers to this question, most of them having to do with lyrics, dancing, melody and chord progressions, but if we limit ourselves strictly to the percussion instruments and the rhythms played by the bass and piano, there are still many key differences and that's what these books are about.   read the full details >>>


4 piano training tumbaos in 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
2 traditional salsa marcha arriba in 2-3 & 3-2
2 piano & bass (tumbao) tracks for El BuenaGente
2 piano & bass (complete) tracks for El BuenaGente
10 coro harmony training tracks for El BuenaGente
24 marcha arriba training tracks fast & slow
70 efecto bongó tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
70 efecto conga tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
70 efecto timbales tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
70 efecto drums tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
70 efecto bass tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow
70 efecto no piano tracks 2-3 & 3-2 fast & slow


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Wednesday, 11 January 2012, 03:23 PM

Cuban Music News In Brief

New Alaín Video - Paquito - Chucho Valdés - Tiempo Libre

Hot off the press...Incredible feel, insane groove, funky rumba....all of these descriptions come to mind when you experience Alaín Pérez play bass. Check out this video teaser for the upcoming Beyond Salsa Bass, a new instructional book & video by Kevin Moore & Alaín Pérez ( ). Here Alaín demonstrates his unique bass movement and groove improvisation for the harmony of "No Me Mires", a song made popular by Issac Delgado.

Cubanos in New Jersey - Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center Chucho Valdés, Cuban pianist and composer, and the Afro-Cuban Messengers, plus the jazz pianist Hiromi and her Trio Project, featuring Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips. Jan. 22 at 3 p.m. $29 to $80. Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street. (888) 466-5722.

Also Cuban-born saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, winner of two 2011 Latin Grammys, performs at the Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37-$67. D’Rivera’s most recent release, Panamericana, won two 2011 Grammys, for “Best Latin Jazz Album” and “Best Classical Contemporary Compostion.” The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St., Morristown. For ticket information, call 973-539-8008 or visit

Cuban Music Experience @ University of Colorado Denver - 7th Annual Cuban Music Experience featuring Latin-jazz greats Brian Lynch, John Benitez, Michael Spiro, and Jesús Díaz as well as the amazing 10 piece dance band Timbalive from Miami. February 15-17, 2012. Auraria Campus. source

Rumba master Gregorio Hernández passes away - Dancer, singer and master percussionist Gregorio Hernández Ríos ‘El Goyo’, one of the best known performers of Afro-Cuban rumba, died in Havana on Sunday, January 8th, 2012. He was 75 years old. The Cuban Ministry of Culture and the Union of Artists and Writers of Cuba (UNEAC) expressed their grief by citing Gregorio Hernandez’s achievements and his contribution to Cuban culture. Gregorio Hernández Ríos was born in Havana on November 17th, 1936. He was the founder of the Conjunto Folclórico Nacional, which researched and recovered Afro-Cuban music of Yoruba and Bantu origin. source

Yoani Sánchez on Huffington Post - Famous Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez is now contributing to the Huffington Post (her current article reflects on Cuban music). Her book Havana Real: One Woman Fights to Tell the Truth about Cuba Today is now available on Amazon. 

Timba in Pittsburgh? - The rumor mill has it that a sensational timba group is forming in Pittsburg, PA and they are looking for a keyboard player. Anyone have a phone number to call? Hint: look on Craigslist.

Tiempo Libre with Cincinnati Pops Orchestra - "La fiesta más grande" is scheduled for January 20-21. Check out the enthusiastic video here =

New program allows legal visitation to Cuba - Our government now allows visitation to Cuba under a program called People to People Exchange. With permission from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Office of Foreign Asset Control, it is possible for Americans to visit there legally. U.S. tourism is sanctioned under this program for either humanitarian or educational purposes. So, many organizations are abiding by the strictures and planning trips along the lines of religious mission trips, contemporary art and music trips, architectural trips and history. source

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Sunday, 01 January 2012, 09:04 AM


Andy González & Friends -- Tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez

Feliz Año Nuevo & Happy New Year to all the timberos and timberas! To bring in the new year in style, photographer Tom Ehrlich was in New York City grooving to the music of Arsenio Rodríguez with Andy González & Friends. Enjoy his first video....

** Click here to read the full article and view the full photo gallery **

Tom reports: "It's not always easy to find the hip Afro-Caribbean music events in New York City, but if you do its usually something special.  I was lucky to hear Andy González interviewed on the radio explaining that he and some friends were going to do a concert of Arseñio Rodríguez music at The Stone, a small non-profit club run by musician John Zorn in the Lower East Side of NYC the day after I was scheduled to arrive in NYC to visit family.  I knew I could not miss this one. "

 Tony Rosas and Andy

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