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What did you think of the NY Mega Timba Concert at the Copacabana on June 16?

 
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TrombonChica...

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10 posts

Did you go to this concert? What did YOU think of it? Fuiste a este concierto? ¿Qué te parece?

 
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DJ MORALES

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4 posts

I was skeptic about the whole thing; like many other people I waited a little before I purchased my tickets. When the May date was changed to June; many people I knew decided to not go at all, but I stayed positive. I was confused why there wasn’t more ads or promoting going on through the radio or even on television. This was supposed to be a big thing and it was treated like any other Cuban Timba Concert. I heard La Mega run the ad maybe two or three times.

The day of the concert itself, I went with my aunt. We were surprised to see that there were about 4 people on line and it was almost 5:30, (the show was to begin at 6). Little by little a line began to form and my aunt and I began conversing with people to pass the time. At around 6ish those with Meet and Greet VIPS were allowed in first. It might sound weird but that was more exciting for me than the actual concert. I was surrounded by legends and great musicians. Got to speak to many of them including el Noro who I have spoken with before when they last went to SOBS. Also spoke a little with Predito and reminded him of the first time I saw Los Van Van in 2001, New York City, under the Twin Towers!!!

Finally, the concert was ok at best. The DJ we expected to see (MELAO), wasn’t there;The total line up of performers were cut; and the audio was horrible. It was the cheer talent, energy, and love from the musicians that saved the night. El Noro and Roney (from Bamboleo) were really into the concert and helped stir the crowd. El Tosco helped along with some Cuban comedy. Overall, it was a historical night due to the amount of musicians that were present; but it sure wasn’t the best Timba Concert I’ve experienced; by a long shot. Lets hope that part 2 is better.

 
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TrombonChica...

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10 posts

DJ Morales, thanks for sharing. Since they never had a real sound check, the quality of the audio was probably highly variable depending on where you were in the room. I was near the sound board much of the evening, and the audio was probably better there (although it did still have some issues, especially with the vocals) than it was in many other parts of the room. One question – what are you referring to with “part 2” at the end of your comments?

 
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DJ MORALES

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4 posts

I was all the way in the front, by the barricades. Pedrito Calvo was standing close to me during some part of the night. I was standing right where the steps were where the singers had to go up to the stage. The DJ music was sub-par at best, (we didn’t get DJ Melao as advertised). Also, the sound from where I was; it was horribe. The instruments, (mainly the piano) were too loud and you could hardly hear the voices of the singers.

When I say part 2 I mean the second mega concert scheduled for October 12th of this year. It is said to take place at the Lehman Center in the Bronx, NY. Bands said to be on the list are: Havana De Primera (finally), Mayito Rivera, Pedrito Calvo, Pupy, Tirso Duarte, Rumba group Los Papines; and more!!!

Now apart from that there is also a duo concert of Mayito and Tirso the very next day (October 13th) taking place in the town I live in; Union City, NJ. The venue is Park Theater.

So what do you think about this news???

 
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TrombonChica...

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10 posts

DJ Morales, as to the idea of another multi-group concert, after the outcome (especially the local attendance level) of this first concert, I would be absolutely astonished if any reputable, intelligent promoter were to actually attempt something similar this year, and I will be writing more about this point in my own Part 4 very soon. Concerts with one or two bands continue to make good sense but I would question the sanity of anyone attempting to do five or six in the current concert environment. I do see that Los Van Van is booked at Lehman as a standalone act in October. As for Union City, if more bands from the island start booking engagements on that side of the river, this could actually be a good thing. A lot of potential concertgoers now live in New Jersey as well as New York anyway, Newark is an airport option for travelers from other cities etc etc.

 
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DJ MORALES

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4 posts

I see your point; there are many different events with multiple bands and performers. Coming up in July is El Megaton which features various performers; and as you know there are various Rock concerts that would feature many bands in one event. It can be done; the difference is that this is Timba. The point I am trying to make is that if you are going to make a Mega concert with just Cuban musicians; you would have to make it more than just Timba. I mean bring Los Van Van, but also bring Gente de Zona, and Los Munequitos de Matanzas, and while your at it bring Silvio Rodriguez. This would gather up many different types of concert goers. But, Timba by itself; it is difficult for it to be done. For starters you would have to bring in the big guns in order to get the turn out you want. You have to bring the most popular bands and then fill up the other spots with ok bands. I’m talking about Charanga Habanera, Paulito FG, and Los Van Van. I have personally seen how packed a place gets with Charanga and Los Van Van.

This Mega concert messed out on the top bands. Bamboleo isn’t a top band, Pedrito Calvo has been out of style for a long time, NG la Banda isn’t even heard in Cuba anymore. The only top band there was Manolito y su Trabuco.

Here in Jersey there are lots of Cuban music lovers. When Charanga came over here in December; the place was packed.

 
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TrombonChica...

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10 posts

DJ Morales, I agree with you that a more diverse spread of Cuban music would stand a better chance of filling a room or hall for a “Mega” type approach than an all-Timba lineup, especially if some of the acts targeted the younger generation, but even that may not be enough to do the trick. Any organizer or promoter that wants to try one of these now is faced with the challenge of restoring the confidence of the concert-going public, and that will take some very serious work.

 
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DJ MORALES

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4 posts

I think cuban music lovers have short term memory. We are used to having bad conditions, small spaces, bad audio, cancellation of shows, last minute shows, etc…

The problem is that most of these promoters don’t know what they are doing. They are a bunch of old guys that don’t understand whats popular now and what do people want to see. I mean NG La Banda…. Come on; they are passed their prime; they were great before but you are not pulling any youth with them. I think I was the youngest person there but thats because I wanted to see Mayito and Havana De Primera. If I would have known they weren’t going to be there I wouldn’t had gone.

The promoters need to get artists that pull both the older crowd and the youth. Like I said before; Gente de Zona charged over $60 at a show once and it got packed!!! It was full of both young adults and older adults. Charanga also pulls both crowds. These two bands by themselves would fill Copa Cabana more than the Mega Concert did. And if you want to squeeze in a Bamboleo and a NG la Banda that’s fine but don’t make them the main attraction because it will not work. I once went to a Bamboleo concert in New York; the place was literally empty. There were maybe 50 people and mind you I brought 5 people with me. Apart from having popular groups we need advertising and we got a chance at something good.

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