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Photos of the Day [hide]
Buena Fe & the 7th Art in Miami
September 18 - Miami Dade County Auditorium
In exactly one month on September 18 Buena Fe will return to Miami Dade County Auditorium, the site of their remarkable 2013 sold-out release concert for the CD "Dial" . This year Cuba's favorite pop-rock duo will bring the complete Havana experience including their horn section and a trio of strings. The concert will be an unprecedented audiovisual event combining the music of Buena Fe with clips that have marked Cuban cinema over the years, including "Memorias del Subdesarrollo" (ICAIC 1968), "Casa Vieja" (ICAIC 2010), "Habanastation" (ICAIC 2011), "Animados de Juan Padrón" (1981-2010), "Jose Martí, El ojo del canario" (ICAIC 2010) and "Cuba Va!" (ICAIC 1971) among others. Buena Fe sold out all 2500 seats last year so don't wait to get your tickets on sale now at Ticketmaster!
If you're not familiar with Buena Fe I can summarize by saying that while they are generally classified as pop-rock, their arrangements also include fusions with son, conga, changüí, rumba and even with classical pieces such as Lecuona's "La comparsa" and Leo Brouwer's "Un día de noviembre". But me the most outstanding aspect of the band is the lyrics. To learn more you can start by checking out their section here at Timba.com. They also have their own homepage and a very active and interactive Facebook page.
Or maybe I should just let the music speak for itself. Here is the video for "La culpa" from the 2013 CD "Dial".
Los Conquistadores de la Salsa
Vienen Conquistando Europa Otra Vez
Robert Armas & Los Conquistadores de la Salsa, Peru's pioneering Timba band, are finishing up their month long tour of Europe. They have played in Spain, France, Italy and Germany and this weekend August 9th they will be coming to my hometown Stockholm, Sweden, for the first time! During their tour this award-winning band has played important festivals such as Festival Cubain Bayamo in Seyne-Sur-Mer, France. They have delighted audiences with their energetic show and popular timba hits as well as performing estrenos from their upcoming fifth album, "Yo traigo mi tumbao". Last night I was able to reach Robert Armas by phone and ask him a few questions about the band, Lima audiences versus European audiences and what we should expect from them in concert. You can listen to the interview below (in Spanish).
Check out their updated section at Timba.com and one of their newest hits at Soundcloud: "A quien no le gusta Cuba".
The concert will take place this Saturday and is the penultimate concert of the tour which ends in Barcelona on Sunday. The evening will also feature Peruvian cuisine, four DJs and a performance and animation by Fredy Clan before Los Conquistadores take the stage. Check out Fredy's fantastic blending of dance and music in the video below. Stay tuned for a concert report.
Remembering Juan Formell
On the Occasion of his 72nd Birthday
Juan Formell 2008 at home with the Grammy from Llegó...Van Van
Today marks what would have been the 72nd birthday of one of the most iconic and widely loved figures of Cuban contemporary dance music. A musical pioneer and innovator, Juan Formell enjoyed the challenge of experimentation and creation and the interplay between the dancer and the musician. This is well summed up in "A ver que sale" from the 1974 Areito release known today as Volume III:
Eh, te voy a cantar y tú vas a bailar a ver qué sale / Eh, tú muévete que yo cantaré a ver qué sale / Pontele atención al de violín, te cantaremos hasta el fin / Y tú serás el bailarin a ver qué sale / Que si sale o si no sale la cosa de aprendizaje.
Over time Juan Formell and Los Van Van became the international symbol of the excellence of contemporary Cuban dance music. It remains to be seen how the younger generation will step up to meet the challenges that Cuban dance music faces today.
Below is the beautiful musical tribute that the Cuban musicians put together for Formell. I invite you all to post your own tribute to Formell in the comments. Felicidades Maestro y que pases tu cumpleaños de fiesta con Arsenio, El Beny y todos los grandes.
Maykel Blanco & Maykel Fonts @Latinoamericando
Maykel Blanco has just uploaded a beautiful video from the concert at the Latinoamericando Expo in Milan. It is "Bembé" from the CD "A toda máquina", with Yordys Larrazabal on lead and Maykel Fonts dancing. The song ends at 5 minutes during a drum solo by Alain Miguel Reboredo, but you get a feel for the quality of the performance and the professionalism of the festival, which is now in its 24th year. Enjoy!