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Timba Radio, TV, Internet
TIMBA RADIO, TV & INTERNET
In the beginning, there was radio.......
I grew up in the American Midwest. Not exactly a center of Cuban music or culture. But I was a child of the Cold War, every country was broadcasting to the world on shortwave radio, and I got into the hobby before I was even 10 years old. I listened to stations from everywhere, but some countries became special. Cuba was one of them. I fell in love with the music instantly and was able to listen to Los Van Van, Irakere and the other groups as they were being born. It began a lifelong affair that even led to my learning the music and diving in as deep as I could go. (I developed a taste for the food, the ladies and the culture as well.)
In the late 1970s, Chicago's northern suburb, Evanston, also had an FM station, WOJO, that aired a program, Latin Explosion, two hours a night on weekights and from after midnight until dawn Saturday night. That long-gone gem introduced many Chicagoans to what was happening with the music in the mainland US, Puerto Rico and occasionally Cuba (they even played Los Van Van's third album at a time when nobody else around here would touch it on the air).
.....and today, there still is!
.....along with TV and Internet resources we didn't have before. Here are a few of the best of them for your listening and viewing pleasure:
If you own a good shortwave radio, Radio Rebelde broadcasts 24/7 on 5025 khz. If you live in the northern half of the country, you may only receive it well at night. If you can't get it on shortwave, don't despair, it also streams live at www.radiorebelde.cu The programs worth catching are Hecho en Cuba, which varies either from 11:30am-12:00PM Eastern, or 12:30-1:PM Eastern depending on the time of year from Monday-Fri, and the flagship programs on Saturday night, which begin with Musica Viva from 8PM to 10:30PM and then changes to the main attraction, Todo Musica, from 10:30PM-3:00AM Sat night.
RADIO HABANA CUBA
RHC actually does English as well as Spanish broadcasts every night. The English language frequencies are 6000 khz for the Eastern US, 9820 khz for the Central US and 9550 khz. Every night has some incidental music, but the actual music program blocks used to be on Sunday nights. The programs rotated from The Jazz Place, From Havana and Top Tens. The last one was Timba oriented. Recently, the Sunday music programs appear to have been missing in action (budget?). I'm not certain whether this situation is temporary or permanent. RHC does not stream as reliably in real time in English as Rebelde does in Spanish, but you can usually bring it in with a cheaper shortwave set, and you can get a good Spanish-language internet stream and some archived English programming at www.radiohc.cu
Latin Explosion may be gone from the Chicago scene, but on Sunday afternoons, there is a program, Mambo Express, from 3pm-5pm on WDCB, 90.9 FM, that covers Cuban music from early times to now. Heavy on the older music, but it's all great stuff, and the host has great taste in the music. This also streams live at http://wdcb.org/newmedia/newmedstreams.php
A NICE SWISS CONNECTION FOR CUBAN RADIO AND TV
You can watch Cubavision online directly, but there is also a nice Swiss website portal that links to Cubavision as well as several radio stations including Radio Taino, Radio Progreso and several others: http://www.digiradio.ch/radiocuba/
WEB-BASED TIMBA AUDIO AND VIDEO
If you are reading this, you are already on a primo website (timba.com) for audio and video. Surf the rest of the site, and you'll see what I mean. There is also a huge amount of the music on You Tube now. One key channel is Timberamayor's channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/timberamayor
There is also a webradio channel, Timba Para Siempre , where you can get your fix 24/7 online. It streams at
This is a work in progress. We'll add some items over time. Do you have a favorite radio, TV or Internet resource that you think should be here? If so, write me at bill.tilford [at] timba [dot] com.