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Photos of the Day [hide]
CUBA @ LATIN GRAMMYS
Big Night for Descemer Bueno & Gente D'Zona
Congratulations are in order for Descemer Bueno, Alexander Delgado & Randy Malcom of Gente D'Zona, and Enrique Iglesias who won in three of the four categories for which they were nominated. "Bailando" won Best Urban Song, Best Urban Performance and the coveted Song of the Year. It's great to see Cuban musicians getting such international recognition. There is still a long way to go, since the original version of the song recorded and released in Cuba would probably not even have garnered a nomination (note: this is my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of Timba.com). I hope to see renewed international interest in what is happening in Cuban music as well as a continuation of interational artists collaborating with Cuban musicians, as we have seen with Andy Montañez, Gilberto Santa Rosa and El Canario. Most recently Marc Anthony has released the official video of his version of Polo Montañez' "Flor Pálida" and collaborated with Cuban audiovisual producer Alejandro Pérez, who also produced the "Bailando" videos.
Billboard recently published a good interview with Descemer Bueno titled: "Meet Descemer Bueno, The Talent Behind Enrique Iglesias' Smash Hit 'Bailando'.
The guys are currently touring Europe and were in their hotel in Paris when the winners were announced. Thanks to Joel Collazo for posting a video of Enrique, Descemer, Alexander and Randy and their reaction to the GRAMMYs.
Best Latin Jazz Album LATIN GRAMMYS 2014
Congratulations also to Paquito D'Rivera & Trio Corrente ("Song for Maura") for their tie with Chick Corea ("The Vigil") for Best Latin Jazz Album. I am not a GRAMMY historian so I don't know how often ties happen. Maybe Bill has more comments in this area.
Grupo Danson Release 2nd CD
RUMBA,SON CON TIMBA
On Monday Grupo Danson, under the direction of trombonist Carlos Pérez, released their long-awaited second CD - "Rumba, son con timba" - at iTunes and Amazon. I was fortunate to get a hardcopy at their release concert held in Copenhagen Saturday, November 8th. The concert report and a CD review will be coming soon.
Briefly let me say that Grupo Danson is an outstanding body of musicians. The rhythm section has fantastic gears and the trombones are a powerhouse. I highly recommend catching them live, but more on that in the concert report. The CD contains songs by Alaín Pérez, Alexander Abreu, César "Pupy" Pedroso and Carlos Pérez and includes both Alaín and Mandy Cantero as guest singers along with Danson's own singer lineup of Ernesto Manuitt and Henri Benitez. But again, more on the CD in the full review.
Mezclando culturas A. Abreu arr. A. Abreu ,A. Pérez
Que buena suerte G. Pérez arr. A. Pérez
Sibaguaní C. Pérez arr. C. Pérez
Polvo del ayer G. Pérez arr. A. Pérez
Sabor de mi rumba G. Pérez arr. A. Pérez
José Andrés C. Pedroso arr. C. Pérez
Siempre cha cha chá G. Pérez arr. A. Pérez
Va y ven de hamaca C. Pérez arr. C. Pérez
Conga cubana G. Pérez arr. A. Pérez
In the meantime here is a brief interview with Carlos done shortly before the concert. It is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Laritza Bacallao on Carnival Cruise
Bar Brasil's annual Carnival Cruise Stockholm is fast approaching. Every year the Baltic Sea goes Caribbean for 23 hours with dancers, bands, percussionists, and DJs. This year over 100 artists will take part, including Laritza Bacallao - one of the most popular young artists in Cuba.
Laritza comes from a family of singers. Her grandfather Rafael "Felo" Bacallao and her father Ernesto Bacallao were both singers of the legendary Orquesta Aragón. It seems natural that Laritza would also study music - choral direction and piano - and become a singer. She has a versatile voice and can sing a bolero as well as cha-cha-chá a son or a reggaeton. But the style for which Laritza has become known is the pan-Caribbean dance music that swept her to the top of the charts in Cuba where she has remained for the past couple of years. The arrangements mix everything from samba to salsa to merengue to rumba and conga...you get the idea. She has collaborated with many Cuban artists, such as Pablo FG, Candido Fabré, JG, and Los 4 to name a few. Her infectious party music caught the attention of Puerto Rican salsa star Victor Manuelle, who will soon release a salsa version of her hit "Que suenen los tambores" by composer Osmany Espinosa.
Although she has toured Europe before, this will be Laritza's first Scandinavian performance. She will be backed by an eight-piece band. If you will be in the area, book your cabin now and get ready to rock the boat with the Scandinavian carnival elite. A YouTube search will give you a number of videos with Laritza, but in honor of the Carnival Cruise, I leave you with her hit "Carnaval".
Tribute to Bebo
Calixto Oviedo & His Latin Train
Mark this date in your calendar: Wednesday November 26, 2014. Calixto Oviedo & His Latin Train will offer a Thanksgiving Eve performance of their Tribute to Maestro Bebo Valdés at Catalina Jazz Club on Sunset Boulevard. The Master Percussionist honors the Master Pianist with a night of Afro-Cuban Jazz. Calixto took time from his busy schedule to talk to Timba.com about the concert. Click here to book your tickets now! For more information check out the event at Facebook.
How did the idea arise to do a tribute to Bebo Valdés?
The idea came from my producer Guido Herrera. We decided to use my first presentation at the prestigious jazz club Catalin to honor the great musician Bebo - also utilizing my experiences with him in Stockholm, Sweden where we both lived for many years.
For you personally, what did Bebo Valdés mean to Cuban music - what is his legacy?
I met Bebo Valdés in Stockholm when we both lived there. One day he called me at home and asked me to give drum lessons to his younger son Rickard. From that moment every Wednesday for two years was spent at his home. A great friendship blossomed between our families. Now the opportunity has been presented for my Latin Train Band to perform at the prestigious Catalina Jazz Club. I decided to dedicate my debut show to one of the most important and influential pianist of Cuba. Bebo is a very important part of the history of Cuban music. He trained great artists who later became world stars and his legacy will remain for life. Bebo is Cuba.
What other news can you give us about your band?
Well my band - I finally found the musicians I needed and who have very similar interests to mine. They are very young musicians but with a high musical level. They come from great bands and carry a large baggage of work. Yosmel Montejo on bass was formerly with Maraca and is a very accomplished musician and also an excellent person, which is very important to do a good job. He is a great connoisseur of the Latin Jazz genre and also an excellent Timbero. He is helping a lot with his compositions and arrangements.
Joel Nunez is a tremendous saxophonist/pianist who also plays the EWI electronic instrument that brings colors and tones which I love. He has tremendous talent. Nathaniel Molina is a boricua with tremendous BOMBA who plays piano, composes, sings - he is a great all-around musician. Studious 100 x 100, he is a connoisseur of drumming and he knows all the styles. Santiago is a brother from Matanzas with a great history in Cuban music. He is very responsible my brother of the old guard - a great person. The singer Lily D Oviedo continues captivating audiences and rising to the top. She can move between "feeling", samba and ballads with incredible ease. She is very versatile in addition to singing in English or Portuguese. Lily is great.
This is my band - Latin Train Band - and we are now preparing our first album. It includes songs by Yosmel Montejo, a few standards and some of my songs.