Kevin Moore - 2003

Saturday, December 27, 2003 - Daily Havana Reports from the Blogster! - Bill Wolfer is in Havana and will be submitting daily reports via his "Blogorama" column. So far he's seen Issac sitting in with Los Van Van and a Tirso Duarte matinee. Click here to read the latest installment.

Friday, December 26, 2003 - Attention Drummers and Drum Students! - Jimmy Branly, ex-drummer of Issac Delgado and NG La Banda, and current drummer of Mamborama and many other groups, has written a method book called "The New method for Afro-Cuban Drumming". It's $25 plus shipping and includes a CD with 97 nicely recorded, brilliantly played audio examples. You can order the book directly from Jimmy by email. His address is jbranlydrums@aol.com. It's not exclusively about Timba, but it has more legitimate Timba drumset patterns than any book I've seen, and the audio examples, including extensive solos, are fantastic. The musical notation is very clear, and the written explanations, while brief, are very useful and written in excellent English. In addition to Timba patterns, there are extensive sections on Guaguancó, Chachacá and 6/8.

And for all the congueros who have been waiting from the 3-volume Tomás Cruz Timba Conga Method that Orlando Fiol, Mike Gerald and I have been working on for the last year and a half, Mel Bay Publishing has promised it will be released by late January. Stay tuned.

Don't Forget to Vote! New Year's Eve is the last day to vote for the timba.com awards. En español or English.

Thursday, December 25, 2003 - El Clan - Lots of updates from Ivette throughout the El Clan section. Click here.

More Paulito Lyrics - Ilán has added Menéate from PFG's first CD, Tú no me calculas.

Only one more week to vote in for the timba.com Awards - En español or English.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - The Alain Pérez Interview! - The English translation of Pepe Martínez' interview with one of Timba's great geniuses is finally online. Now you can read it in English o español. Of all the interviews on timba.com, this one has had the biggest impact on me. It got me started studying batá and other folkloric rhythms and Alain is defnitely right when he talks about their massive influence on Timba.

Los Van Van está en la calle otra vez! The next studio CD hasn't been released yet, but Cuban radio has been playing three burning hot new songs from Los Van Van: "Agua", sung by Mayito, is an instant Formell classic. Qué tiene Formell que sigue ahí? I wish I knew. Simply amazing. Roberto also has a powerful new number called "Ven", and Lele's semi-autobiographical "Anda quiéreme" is yet more proof that Van Van is alive and well. And, as if he needed any further accolades, Juan Formell was recently awarded the prestigous Premio de la cultura nacional by the Cuban Ministry of Culture.

Sorry to tease you with news about new Los Van Van songs that can't be purchased outside of Cuba, but here's something you can finally buy -- Van Van Live at Miami Arena. I finally got my hands on this 2-CD/1-DVD set and I was very happily blown away. For those who don't remember, Los Van Van won the Grammy for best album with "Llegó Van Van" in 1999, and on the way back, stopped off to play for the first time ever in Miami. There was all sorts of ludicrous controversy and the story was all over the national media for several weeks. A significant amount of protestors showed up, having to be forcefully restrained by the riot squad at times, but the hall was also packed full of equally emotional LVV supporters -- some of them, as you can see on the DVD, were moved to tears, and all were moved to dance to and sing along with a riveting two hour concert. This was still a couple years before the departures of Pedro Calvo and Pupy Pedroso and the band was pumped up with adrenaline in a big way. The extra long concert has some great LVV classics that many of you may not have heard live, such as "La sorpresa (Voy a publicar tu foto)", Pupy's masterpiece "Ni bonbones ni caramelos", a long version of "Sandunguera" with fiery solos by about half of the bandmembers, and "Azúcar" with Pedro adapting Angel Bonne's biggest LVV hit to his own style. There's also a powerful version of Soy todo, with Mayito at the peak of his improvisational powers, and of course, Te pone la cabeza mala. If you could only own one LVV album this would clearly the one. The DVD footage is fantastic, featuring, among many other things, Pedrito Fajardo's wonderful Ochosi violin bow dance -- I can't describe it -- you just have to see it. It comes on "Ni bonbones ni caramelos".

Meanwhile, not to be oudone, ex-Van Van co-founder Pupy Pedroso, with fellow ex-Vanvanero and musical legend, Changuito, is scheduled to tour the US this spring, and like LVV also has three great new radio hits. As wonderful as it is to have Van Van back on the cutting edge, let's not forget that Pupy has been out there alone as the hottest Timba band in Cuba for almost two years and his new songs are as strong or stronger than anything he's ever done. Los tres del domingo and De Timba a Pogolotti are both sung by Mandy Cantero and Pepe Gómez sings Cuéntame. So Los Que Son Son and Los Van Van have six great new hits between them, living up brilliantly to my "Sorcerer's Apprentice" theory -- if you break up a great Cuban band, the fragmented parts are likely to reform into two or more new bands which are as good or better than the original. Another brilliant LVV spinoff band is Angel Bonne, who is also going strong and has a new hit called "Quiero pensarlo bien". Qué tiene Van Van que siguen ahí, juntos y separados!

Three More Paulito Lyric transciptions from Ilán Greenfield- click here for the ever-expanding Paulito Lyrics section.

Meanwhile, Charanga Habanera is about to celebrate their 15th anniversary (the first 5 years were as a traditional charanga band) and Ivette has promised us pictures and a concert review, as well as the latest new photos and updated bio pages for El Clan.

Monday, December 15, 2003 - Lyrics to PFG's Qué vas a decir ahora - click here for Ilán Greenfield's transciption of the lyrics to this great song from El bueno soy yo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 - Earth to George! Earth to George! Jorgito! Are You Reading Me? (Can you read?) - CLICK HERE POR FAVOR -- Confirming the prognostications of esteemed political analyst Kevin Moore, The Miami Herald has conducted a poll which shows that Florida voters, (not unlike the rest of the freaking country), favor legalizing travel to Cuba by a margin of 64 to 24 percent. GEORGE! Listen to me! That's an even larger margin than the one you lost the popular vote by in 2000! Whoa, dude! Wait a second! 64 to 24? That's a WAY larger margin! -- that's almost double, isn't it? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? George -- seriously -- can we talk? -- I'm trying to help you out here -- did you ever wonder what's in those cigars you've been smoking with those Miami lobbyists? Did you ever wonder why your predecessor found a safer use for them?

Monday, December 8, 2003 - Upcoming Events - Gonzalo Rubalcaba with Gola on bass (ex-Manolín) and Ignacio Berroa on drums. Tonight at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA.

"Timba meets Rueda de Casino" - a soirée on the 12th of December in NY at Taller Latinoaermicano.

Sábado, 6 de diciembre 2003 - La Nueva Música de Tirso Duarte - Ilán Greenfield ha escrito un nuevo artículo con 21 ejemplos de audio, la mayoría de ellos provenientes de una reciente presentación de Tirso y la Leyenda en La Habana. En palabras y música, el artículo celebra el glorioso pasado de la timba y la gran importancia de Tirso Duarte para su futuro. Pon clik aquí.

The New Music of Tirso Duarte - Ilán Greenfield has written a great new article with 21 audio examples, most of them excerpts from a recent Havana performance of Tirso y la Leyenda. In music and words, the article celebrates Timba's glorious past and the pivotal importance of Tirso Duarte in its future. The audio examples, many of them from live recordings which are not available commercially, are so great that you'll be able to follow the article even if your Spanish is minimal. Click here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2003 - New Album from Pupy y Los Que Son Son is completed! - After the phenomenal Qué cosas tiene la vida, Pupy has just finished recording his second CD since leaving LVV and his fifth overall. It was recorded at Abdala Studios and will be released by Termidor's new "Timba" label. Among the 9 tracks are compositions by Pupy, his frequent collaborator Rodolfo Cárdenas (who wrote Que le den candela, La protesta de las gallinas, CH's El coleccionista, etc.), Alina Torres (who wrote CH's "El cantinero") and José Valladares (who wrote Issac's "La vida sin esperanza"). There are also modernized versions of two of Pupy's LVV classics, "Disco Azúcar" and "El buena gente".

In Pupy's own words: "Te diré que terminamos un Disco en los estudios ABDALA con Termidor del sello TIMBA done hice 9 temas y entre ellos hay varios de otros compositores, a la vez le hice arreglos a Azúcar y El Buenagente, con dos versiones riquisímas, hay temas de Rodolfo Cárdenas (inédito), José Valladares , Alina Torres etc..etc..."

Wednesday, December 3, 2003 - More Charanga Forever Lyrics - Thanks, once more, to Michelle White & The Timba Geeks, for contributing the lyrics to Sueno equivocado, another of the tracks from the exciting new Charanga Forever CD. This is one of the best Timba albums of the last 3 or 4 years, but you can't buy it at timba.com or any other store that we know of, on or offline. You'll have to go to a Charanga Forever concert and buy a quemación directly from the band, as Michelle did. This is a particularly interesting track which, as Michelle puts it, "starts out sweet and sappy and then gets tough". After the CD's opening track disses David Calzado and his new band in no uncertain terms (Te llevaste el melón, pero te faltó el concepto -- Popular, popular -- ¿Popular de qué? Popular, Popular es mi sello") this one borrows a catch phrase from the same CH ("manos pa' arriba si te gusta mi Charanga") and then repeatedly quotes "La chica mamey", a classic track from Ritmo Oriental, the seminal pre-timba group which launched the career of not only DC, but Tony Calá as well. Plenty of creative homage is also paid to the Charangueros' 70's funk and soul roots as well. Click here for a sneak audio preview of this great new track. Everyone from the politicians to the musicians is trying to kill it, but Timba is alive and kicking -- you just have to know where to find it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003 - Bamboleo Tour Cancelled by Last Minute Visa Sabotage - Please write to your senators and congressmen. The Bamboleo tour was ready to begin. Half of the members had their visas approved, and then at the last minute, the other half were denied with no explanation. If you hadn't already heard, the bill that both the Congress and the Senate passed to relax travel restrictions to Cuba was tabled by the GOP to "save the president the embarrassment of vetoing it". So forget about that until after 2004, (or 2008), (or 2112). But the incoming visa problem is a different issue. It prevents us from hearing Cuban music here in the US. The whole situation sucks and will not be resolved until enough people complain loudly enough.

Tips on Writing to Congress

Sunday, November 23, 2003 - Tema introducción - Ilán Greenfield has contributed his first feature article, Tema introducción with audio examples including a clip from the new Charanga Forever CD and concert clips from Los Que Son Son and Paulito FG. Ilán will also be writing a regular article called Marcando la distancia. We've changed the name of the Reporters section to Contributors and Columnists and added buttons at the top to make it easy to jump to the latest story from our growing team of writers.

Sunday, November 23, 2003 - Llegó la hora de la votación! - You can now vote for your favorites among the 5 finalists in each category in the timba.com awards. You can only vote once in each category and you only have to vote for the categories about which you feel strongly. For fun, we added an extra category: Best Charanga Habanera. To vote, click here, (o pon click aquí para español) or click the Awards link under the list of Artists. The voting will end at midnight December 31, and the winners will be announced January 1, 2004. Have fun!

New and Improved Charanga Forever Fotos - click here for Michelle's revised photo page from CF's summer tour of Scandinavia.

Saturday, November 22, 2003 - New Timba News Source - Check out Mambo Blogorama -- another timba column that's updated several times a week. In addition to news on Mamborama it's full of unique takes on the overall scene from noted timba pianist and journalist Hunter S. Wolfer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - Two New Sections Added - If you look to the left under Artists, note that we now have two additional sections at the end of the list: Reporters and Links. The Reporters section has mini-bios of various frequent contributors and links to our regular columns, such as the Duniel Deya Report, which has just been updated today with some very exciting news about Son de la Yuma. About a year ago we reported that this group had been founded by Luis Bu, one of the most potent forces in Timba, and the principal stylistic architect behind Manolín's funky-gospel brand of Timba dura. Now it seems to have finally come together and Duniel has heard studio tracks and swears up and down that it's hardcore Timba and not the type of watered-down compromise the too often results from transplanted Timberos trying to change their stripes. The singers include ex-Bambolera Yordamis Megret, and Joaquín "El Kid" Díaz (Manolín, NG, PFG), and the band is packed with the usual Miami suspects such as Los Pututi (ex-Manolín) and a powerhouse horn section of ex-Clan trombonists Braily and Bayron, plus "los chamacos", El Niche and William Polledo.

Our Guide to Timba on the Internet is just getting started, but already has a lot of great links, and is an easy way to quickly get to the wonderful CanalCubano site that lists all of the shows in Cuba.

Sunday, November 16, 2003 - Calixto Rocks Stockholm! - Another great concert report from Michelle White. Click here.

Also from Michelle we have the lyrics to the controversial opening song to the new Charanga Forever album, yet another wonderful musical by-product of the recently-rekindled CH/CF rivalry. Click here for the lyrics to Como pasan las cosas

Más páginas en español - Dany Lozada, Manolito, Bamboleo, Azúcar Negra y Los Van Van - traducido por Ilán Greenfield.

Alberto Alberto - Alberto began his career in Cuba singing with such groups as Irakere and Química Perfecta, and is now part of the growing Toronto scene, having recently recorded his first album as a solo artists, Click here for his new page in the Musicians' Directory.;

Friday, November 14, 2003 - 2 Concerts Tomorrow Night - If you're in Northern California, you can hear some really exciting Cuban jazz from two Grammy nominees, Omar Sosa and John Santos at the Capitola Theater (walking distance from my house!) and if you're in Sweden (a long walk for me) Calixto Oviedo will be playing in Stockholm. I've seen some clips of this band and it's real high-energy Timba with an all-star collection of transplanted members of the top Havana bands.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - Los Van Van in South America - As per Tony Martínez and Andy Pérez, LVV is headed for Ecuador and other South American countries for a 2 week tour. We've updated the LVV FOTOS page with some new shots of Juan Formell's family, graciously provided by his wife Diana. And timba.com now has the DVD/CD set "Los Van Van - Live at Miami Arena - 1999". See below for details.

More Lyrics! -- Michelle and the Timba Geeks (sounds like the name of a band) are burning the midnight oil and have added Somos los Cubanos and Chan Chan to the Charanga Habanera Lyrics Section as well as Mi medicina from the new Charanga Forever album.

La galería de fotos de Dayron - Gracias a Ivette León para añadir una nueva página de la sección de Dayron.

Calixto Oviedo Fotos -- Calixto has assembled quite a collection of top timberos in Denmark, including Carlos Pérez (ex-Paulito), Alexander Fernández (ex-Manolito), and Ernesto Manuit (ex-Klímax). Click here for Calixto's new Personnel page. The other pages of his section have also been updated with new fotos.

Martes, 10 de noviembre, 2003 - Entrevista con Lele Rosales, cantante de Los Van Van - comducido por Claudia D'Ammassa en Milán, Italia. Muy interesante! Pon clik aquí.

The latest on Calixto Oviedo's Band - The current lineup with Calixto's comments. Click here. Also, Calixto and Danish musician Peter Suwalski are working on a method book on Timba drumming.

Monday, November 10, 2003 - Nápoles & Mipa Heading to Miami! - Normally it's bad news when great Timba musicians leave the nurturing environment of Havana for the empty promises of the bleak and desolate Miami music scene. But ironically, as much as I complain about Miami, it's still the second most thriving Timba scene in the world today, and certainly much more likely to produce a great new Timba band than Mexico City, where the talents of these two legendary timberos have been wasted for several years. Alexis Cuesta "Mipa" is one of our 5 nominees for Best Timba Conguero. He was the conguero of Team Cuba and played on all 4 of Manolín's studio albums, as did Victoriano Nápoles, one of the funkiest bass-players I've ever had the joy of hearing. Tomás Cruz, another of the nominees for Best Conguero reports that a new, as of yet un-named group has already been formed and according to Tomás it will be serious hard-driving Timba with no compromises. "Pero con dos congueros?" I asked. It turns out that Tomasito has been playing gigs as a timbalero, so the lineup of this new group will be Nápoles on bass, Mipa on congas, Tomás on timbales, Reinier Guerra on drums, best pianist nominee Chaka Nápoles on piano & synth, and vocals by Joaquín Díaz "El Kid" and Elain Morales, who sang with Sello LA and Pachito Alonso, including the big hit "Chequendeque". The band will have two cover charts: the afore-mentioned Chequendeque, and "La dura" which El Kid recorded with NG La Banda. All of the other charts will be new originals by Nápoles. Stay tuned for more information.

Miércoles, 5 de noviembre, 2003 - Charanguero mayor en español - Ilán Greenfield ha traducido el artículo más grande de timba.com. Con 123 ejemplos de audio analizamos casi cada detalle de este disco histórico, incluyendo todas las letras y muchos ejemplos de midi de los tumbaos de piano y bajo. pon click aquí

Charanguero Mayor - This was the first album that Charanga Habanera made after the famous breakup in the summer of 1998. It's an astounding piece of work. The deeper you delve into each track, the more treasures you find. This comprehensive study takes each song and analyzes it section by section. There are 123 audio examples along the way to illustrate each observation, including multiple MIDI examples recorded by Tirso Duarte which allow you to hear the piano and bass tumbaos out of context before hearing them in the dense polyrhythmic texture of the actual CD recording. In English, and now, thanks to Ilán, in Spanish.

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2003 - THE GREATEST TIMBA ABUM OF ALL TIME!!

Greatest Timba Album of All Time

Phew! That's it! All the nominees are now in. Voting will begin soon. Stay tuned.

Full List of All Nominees
Todos los finalistas

Monday, Nov. 3, 2003 - THE GREATEST TIMBA BAND OF ALL TIME!!

Greatest Timba Band of All Time
Best Timba Band to Hear Live

More Nominees:

Best Timba Songwriter
Best Timba Lyricist
Best Timba Arranger

More Lyrics!: courtesy of Michelle White: Paulito FG: Te deseo suerte, CH: Entra en mi vida, CH: Despedida.

Sunday, November 2, 2003 - More Nominees:

Best Timba Singer of All Time!

Best Timba Bandleader of All Time!

Best Timba Horn Section
Best Timba Coro Section

Saturday, November 1, 2003 - More Nominees:

Most Attractive and Charismatic Male Singer
Most Attractive and Charismatic Female Singer

Friday, October 31, 2003 - More Nominees:

Best Timba Lead Singer (guías)
Best Timba Lead Singer (improvisation)

Thursday, October 30, 2003 - More Nominees:

Best Dancer (among singers)
Best Coro Singer
Best Place to Hear Timba Live
Best-recorded Timba CD
Best Timba Guitarist

Wednesday, October 29, 2003 - More Nominees:

Best Violinist
Best Instrumental Soloist

Best Dancer among instrumentalists

Calixto Oviedo's European Tour Dates: see Calixto's News page

Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - Paulito FG Concert Review - click here for more tales and photos from the Euro-Timba scene from Michelle White.

Joel Domínguez & Melón 6 nights a week in Madrid! Desde el lunes, 3 de noviembre, Joel Domínguez comienza una temporada de conciertos en Madrid en el conocido local madrileño "La Comercial Cubana" - Calle Alberto Alcocer y Paseo de la Habana. Irá acompañado por:

Iván González Lewis "Melón" - piano
Yuri Nogueira - percusión
Majito Aguilera - percusión
Lisandra Silva - coros y percusión menor.

Los conciertos serán de lunes a sabado a partir de las 12:30 de la noche.

Monday, October 27, 2003 - Best Timba Guitarist Nominees- click here

Thanks to Michelle White, with help from the Timba Geeks. for sending the lyrics to one of favorite Charanga Habanera songs, "Gozando a lo cubano". Click here.

Saturday , October 25, 2003 - New Klimax and Ceruto discs being recorded- Marcos Crego reports that Piloto is recording Klimax's 4th Timba album and 5th overall. Although he now performs with Gardi, Marcos will play piano on the Klímax recordings, as he did on Oye Como Va and Klimax & Friends when he was still a regular member of the group. Marcos is also contributing an arrangement which will be sung by none other than Mayito Van Van! Continuing the trend of recording with all-star invitados, Piloto is using Alexander Abreu on trumpet and Amaury Pérez on trombone, both nominated for timba.com awards in their respective categories.. Another guest singer will be Piloto's mamá, no doubt singing one of his modernized rearrangements from the extensive catalog of his famous father, Giraldo Piloto, Sr. of the legendary Piloto y Vera songwriting team. Photos of the recording sessions are one their way.

Meanwhile, Marcos is also using his newly-acquired computer skills (gracias a yours truly, I might add) to print out the individual parts for a new recording by Juan Ceruto. Anyone who has seen one of Ceruto's scores will know that Marcos has quite a job on his hands. Ceruto, like Mozart, composes everything in his head first and then quickly writes it down without using a piano or computer. The results are always brilliant but reading his microscopic hieroglyphics is quite a skill that only a few copyists in Havana have mastered.

Friday , October 24, 2003 - Carlos Manuel Tonight at Tropigala, Miami - Duniel reports that CM will play at the Tropigala Club at the Hotel Fontainbleu in South Beach, tonight at 11:45. Tickets will be on sale at the door. Also, Pimienta Records should have already released the Los Van Van CD/DVD set, documenting their historical 1999 concert in Miami. We don't know why the release has been delayed.

US/Cuba Travel Redux - Here we go again. Click here for the bird's eye lowdown from the NY Times. The short version is that if you live in the US and you want to travel to Cuba, you should email El Presidente and ask him not to veto the Treasury spending bill to which the language easing the travel ban has been attached. This would be particularly effective if you're a registered voter in Florida.

But I'm really tired of being accused of being partial on this issue, so I feel compelled to offer this equally cogent piece of advice to those loyal timba.com readers who oppose the easing of the travel ban -- those who hate "the regime" so much that they want to deny the rest of us the right to hear Cuban music: Eat more Wonder Bread! I know you've been watching your carbs, but if you're really serious about stopping Cuban music and the imminent threat it poses to our national security, you're going to have to pull your share of the weight and eat more grain products! Think about it. The Senate is not raising this travel issue once again because Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) is dying to despelotearse to the throbbing beat of Tirso y La Leyenda at La Tropical -- it's just that US farmers want to sell their grain to Cuba. The only way to stop these commie-sympathizing rednecks is to devour every last morsel of their amber waves of grain before they have a chance to ship any of it to the regime! And even if you can't eat all of it, remember that the more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you do eat, the less concerned the grain lobby will be about opening up the Cuban market. What? It makes perfect sense to me. I've even got a slogan for you guys: "A Loaf a Day Keeps the Pigs at Bay". Too edgy? How about "Keep Eating Pizza to Bring Back Batista"? No, that's way too edgy. "The Embargo is Dead if You Don't Eat Your Bread"? "If You Don't Eat Your Pan, You'll Be Hearing Van Van"? I guess none of these is really the right slogan. I'll think about it tomorrow morning over a bowl of Wheaties and try to come up with something better.

Still more timba.com award nominations! (todo en español también) - Click here for the Award Index - The latest categories to be added are Best Synth-Player, Best Trumpeter, Best Trombonist, Best Saxophonist, and Best Flautist. True Timba Geeks may remember that there was no flute category -- we forgot -- but, the occasional CH retro-charanga tribute song notwithstanding, there turned out to be only 4 full time flautists among the major Timba bands. Finally, WE HAVE A WINNER! The envelope please ... and the Greatest Timba Cellist of All-Time is ... [drum roll] ... by a unanimous vote of the readership of timba.com ... [drum roll] ... Orestes Calderón of Manolito y su Trabuco. He admittedly had the advantage of having no competition, but he's still one bad-ass cello player.

Still more CH Lyrics! - "Mi Vecina", written by the afore-mentioned Mr. Duarte, is now online. Click here for the newly updated Charanga Habanera Lyric Archive.

Thursday, October 23, 2003 - The timba.com awards - We got sidetracked but we still hope to begin the final vote on November 1. Here are the latest nominations (todo en español también):

Best Timba Pianist of All-Time
Best Timba Bassist of All Time

Four more sets of Charanga Habanera Lyrics! - Click here for the newly updated Charanga Habanera Lyric Archive. The new ones are all from the new CD, Soy cubano, soy popular. We now have a total of seven sets of lyrics from that album, all lovingly transcribed by Michelle White, with help from the Timba Geeks.

Miércoles, 22 de octubre, 2003 - Entrevista con Tony García, sonidista timbero - pon click aquí para leer la entrevista del sonidista de Carlos Manuel, y ex-sonidista de Bamboleo, Azúcar Negra, Revé, Lele Sr., y el programa famoso "Mi Salsa". Entrevista por Andy Pérez.

Interview with Tony García, Timba Soundman - click here for Andy Pérez' interview with the soundman of Carlos Manuel, and former soundman of Bamboleo, Azúcar Negra, Revé, Lele Sr., and the famous Cuban TV show, "Mi Salsa".

Martes, 21 de octubre, 2003 - La última sobre El Clan - Ivette nos ha mandado más noticias y más fotos de El Clan. Pon clik aquí para ir a su página de noticias.

Interview with timbale maestro Amadito Valdés - Thor Anderson of Planet Cuba conducted this interview in February of 2003 in Havana. Click here.

Lunes, 20 de octubre, 2003 - Tirso Duarte en español - pon clik aquí para leer la nueva sección sobre el nuevo grupo de Tirso Duarte! Traducido por Ilán Greenfield. click here for the new Tirso Duarte section

The latest changes to Azúcar Negra - from Marcos Prado-Mas. Click here to go to the Azúcar Negra NEWS page. Tanya's replacement, Bionaki, from Colé Colé, has received rave reviews. Vannia Borges will be making a series of guest performances, and El Nene is still with AN, in spite of rumors of his departure for Manolito y su Trabuco.

Jacqueline Castellanos Sighting - All right, she's not exactly a timbera, but Jacqueline Castellanos is one of most repected and revered singers in the history of Cuban music. Ariana Reguant-Hernández, Harvard musicologist and longtime friend of timba.com, is touring Spain, and chanced to find Ms. Castellanos singing pregones at "La Paladar del Son", a small restaurant in Barcelona, owned by Alberto Concepción, former choreographer of La Tropicana. Opening the show was "El Indio de Revé" a great singer from the Orquesta Revé of the late 80's, (not to be confused with El Indio, the current singer of Manolito or El Indio the jazz trumpeter). So it looks like things are picking up in Spain. At this rate they'll be ready for En la Calle and Me Sube la Fiebre by about 2010!

Sunday, October 19, 2003 - Tirso Duarte is on Fire! - click here for the new Tirso Duarte section. with colorful new photos from Andrés Vargas.

I got my hands on a live tape of one of Tirso's recent concerts and this is the most excited I've been about a new band in a long time! I started listening to Timba at the beginning of 1999 and in the five years since then, only two new groups have emerged which thrill me as much as the groups that already existed in '99 -- Pupy's Los Que Son Son, and this new band of Tirso's. These are songs with excitingly new and different tumbaos, great rhythm section playing, great lyrics, great coros, and great songwriting. Beyond that, Tirso's vocals, even on this casual live gig, have reached an even higher level that he had attained on "Qué cosas tiene la vida". His voice is richer, more melodic, and more mature and his delivery and pacing are masterful. The new arrangements contain plenty of the ultra-creative musical ideas that Tirso contributed in his Charanga Habanera days, but also show the deep and well-assimilated influence of not only Pupy's new work, but the earlier work of Pupy & Formell in Los Van Van. Tirso's year and half with el maestro Pedroso was very well spent!

You heard it here first. If Timba is to return to the level it reached in the late 90's, this band will be the catalyst. The first-generation Timberos -- Formell, Pupy, Calzado, Piloto, Lázaro Valdés, etc. -- continue to produce, but what stalled the Timba Revolution, in my opinion, was the failure of others of that generation, such as Issac, Manolín & Paulito, to retain the services of the second great generation: Alain Pérez, Melón González, Juan Carlos González, Luis Bu, Yaniel "El Majá" Matos, Chaka Nápoles, Tomás Cruz, Yoel Páez, Joel Domínguez, Angel and Alexis Arces, Georvis Pico, Pepe Rivero, Yosvel Bernal, and Manolín himself for that matter ... the list goes on and on. Not one of these great innovators is still in Havana, and between them they have yet to produce any new Timba since leaving to seek more lucrative musical employment abroad. Being a behind the scenes musical genius did not pay well enough to allow the Havana music scene to hold onto this crucial second generation, which fueled the creative explosion of the late 90's. Havana is still packed to the gills with great young players but it will also require great young writers and arrangers to keep this thing going and the mass exodus to Miami & Spain was a huge blow. From my vantage point, Tirso Duarte is the greatest hope we have of regaining the torrid momentum of the late 90's.

Dayron y El Boom -- Ivette León has added an Artists section for this popular new act. Click here. Dayron's music, like the more recent work of Carlos Manuel, is a mixture of Timba with various flavors of non-Latin pop and non-Cuban Latin pop.

Friday, October 17, 2003 - Judy Cantor was on hand for the surprise visit of Los Van Van and their historic concert in Key West. It's a long article and a great read. Click here to visit the "Street Miami" site and read Ms. Cantor's excellent piece, "On the road with Los Van Van". Catch it while you can because this type of link doesn't always last forever and this article is a must-read.

Azúcar Negra & Bamboleo Play Musical Chairs Again! - Marcos Prado-Mas reports that Tanya Pantoja, former lead singer of Azúcar Negra has now joined Bamboleo, and Vannia Borges, a founding member of Bamboleo who left the group about a year ago, has agreed to perform on a part-time basis with Azúcar Negra. Meanwhile, one of Azúcar Negra's male singers, El Nene, has taken Carlos Calunga's vacated spot with Manolito y su Trabuco.

For those who want more detail, here's a quick recap of the Azúcar Negra - Bamboleo saga. AN's leader and composer, Leonel Limonta, (who owns two of the five nominations for Best Timba Song of All-Time in our ongoing Award Vote), started his career writing a string of huge hits for Charanga Habanera, Issac, and others. Meanwhile, Bamboleo founder Lázaro Valdés Jr. and the afore-mentioned Vannia Borges were playing with Pachito Alonzo. When they broke away to form Bamboleo, they joined forces with the young Haila Mompié, now a solo artist. Limonta came aboard later, and wrote almost all of the songs for Bamboleo's second album, "Yo no me parezco a nadie", which I personally consider to be one of most important masterpieces of Timba. The combination of the charismatic singing and dancing of Vannia & Haila, the songwriting of Limonta, and the arranging and rhythm section concept of Lázaro gave Bamboleo a sound which was unique in all of Latin music. But personality clashes split the band into two parts. This resulted in a phenomenon I like to call SAS, or "Sorcerer's Apprentice Syndrome". A band with multiple creative forces splits in half (or into thirds in the case of CH), each retools itself from the endless stream of brilliant young musicians coming out of the conservatories, and the intense rivalry pushes each band to great new accomplishments. This has happened with Charanga Habanera-Charanga Forever-Dany Lozada, Los Van Van-Los Que Son Son, and NG-Issac-Klimax. In this case, Limonta, Haila and some of the other Bamboleo musicians broke off to form Azúcar Negra, which went on to record another indispensable Timba classic, "Andar andando". Lázaro replaced Haila with Yordamis Megret, now in Miami, and commissioned songs from a variety of sources, including Piloto and Manolín, resulting in the equally brilliant "Ya no hace falta". I've long been meaning to write a huge timba.com article comparing and contrasting these three brilliant albums. The singers continue to come and go, but Limonta and Lázaro have remained focused and an eagerly anticipated album is expected from each of them in the next few months.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 - timba.com is back online and better than ever!- We've moved to a new, bigger, faster, and more secure server and the transition is almost complete. See below for a flood of new material added in the last few days.

If you live in Northern California, don't miss Cuban piano genius Omar Sosa at Capitola Theatre On Saturday, November 15th. In addition to featuring the great John Santos (leader of Machete) on percussion, it's also a charity event for a very worthy cause. Click here for the full details. See you there!

Monday's concert by Rebeca Mauleón-Santana was a revelation. It featured Bill Ortiz (my favorite living trumpet player), Jesús Díaz (brilliant conguero, singer, writer, and leader of one of the few California Timba bands, QBA), living legend Orestes Vilató, and a supporting cast of the Bay Area's very best musicians. Being a certifiably-insane timba addict, I will admit that it takes one HELL of a lot of Latin Jazz to get my jaded heart pounding, but this concert did it. The band kept me completely enthralled for a set and a half before launching into the 30-minute finale, which literally sent chills down my spine. It was a piece that Kuumbwa Jazz Center had commissioned Rebeca to write called "The Music of Migration", a seamless integration of all manner of Cuban folklore, Debussy, late John Coltrane, Manuel de Falla, and, mostly, Rebeca Mauleón-Santana, one of the true wonders of the world. We're trying to find out if the concert will be released as a CD or if there's a studio recording of this important new work.

New Additions to timba.com:

1) updates to the pages of Yoel Páez
2) lyrics to three new Charanga Habanera songs from Michelle White
3) nominees for Best Timba Pianist of All-Time
4) updates to the pages of Dantes y su Ricky Band
5) new fotos from Andrés Vargas in the pages of Denis y su Swing
6) new updates from Ivette on El Clan

Monday, October 13, 2003 - Server Problems!- We have been unable to update for several days. First of all, don't forget Rebeca Mauleón-Santana, tonight at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz, CA, and Omar Sosa, Wednesday, at the Capitola Theatre in Capitola, CA.

WHILE WE WERE OFFLINE:

Los Van Van played a free concert in Key West! How the visa situation was resolved we don't know. Perhaps the emails Florida timba.com readers had an effect!

Here's a brief description from Lara Greene: "Just got back . . .AMAZING. Formell was there in full force, and they played for at least 2 hours. I don't think there were even 1000 people there. It really wasn't advertised.
much."

Maraca brought the house down at Sportman's Lodge in LA and Roccapulco in San Francisco. I was at the SF show. Local flute hero John Calloway sat in and dueled Maraca to a draw ... well, damned close anyway! Here are the remaining dates of the Maraca tour:

10/17 : Madison, WI, the Barrymore Theater
10/18 : Milwaukee, WI, the New Latino Auditorium

Thursday, 9 de octubre - The "timba_geek" Yahoo group is thriving with interesting conversation on Timba dancing clave, lyric analysis, and other subjects. To throw in your 2-3 bits, click here.

The Duniel Report Updated - click here - Duniel Deya has updated his column with news about the new Revé CD and the feud between Revé and Michel Maza over the catch-phrase "Uyuyui" (whatever the heck that means!).

If there are any Havana entertainment lawyers reading this, please send us your legal opinion. We know that you can sue for plagiarizing a melody or sampling a drum beat, and we know you can't sue over a song title or chord progression, but what about coros? I know what you're thinking: there ARE no entertainment lawyers in Havana. Not so! There are always at least a dozen at any given point, but they're only there to buy cigars to smuggle back to LA. When they and the big record companies start going there on business, then we can look forward to the Havana Cuban music scene being as wonderful as the one we have on the other side of "el puente". Now's there's a scary thought ...

Speaking of scary thoughts, The Duniel Report also breaks the story that the artist formerly known as El Médico de la Salsa will be taking his new "pop" act on the road soon. Here in California we're just hoping the visas come through.

And speaking of California ... Maraca is Here! He got rave reviews at NY's SOB's and at other stops on his tour.

Remaining Maraca Tour Dates:
10/10 : Los Angeles, Sportsmen's Lodge, CA
10/11 : San Fernando, CA, Menudo's festival
10/12 : San Francisco, Roccapulco
10/17 : Madison, WI, the Barrymore Theater
10/18 : Milwaukee, WI, the New Latino Auditorium

Your music starved reporter is looking forward to a rare 3-concert week. After seeing Maraca at Roccapulco, Santa Cruz will host two brilliant pianists. On Monday night at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Rebeca Mauleón-Santana will lead an all-star group featuring, among others, the legendary Orestes Vilató. Then, on Saturday, November 15th, the Capitola Theatre, also in the Santa Cruz area, will present the great Omar Sosa with percussionist and Machete bandleader John Santos. I'll have more details on these shows soon.

More Nominees: Since we missed a few days, we'll give you both the bongoceros and the güireros with the usual request that you send us any information that's missing or incorrect. This now completes all 5 percussion categories. Tomorrow we'll move on to the strings and horns.

Best Timba Bongocero

Best Timba Guiro-player

Ricky Ricón: Ex-Charanguero Dantes "Ricky Ricón" Cardosa's new career as the leader of "Ricky Band" is heating up, thanks in part to his business manager (and father). In addition to being the father of el Ricky, the elder Dantes Cardosa Yaser is also a distinguished Cuban journalist and veteran war correspondent. After a crash course in HTML from timba.com contributor Ivette, Dantes Sr. continues to make daily changes to Ricky's pages while the band is in Italy shooting videos. Click here for the latest info, the working cover of his soon to be released CD with arrangements by Tirso Duarte and Fernando Soria, and photos of Dantes posing with gorgeous Italian models. The musician's life is a rough one ... no one ever said it was gonna be easy!

Martes, 7 de octubre - Muchas noticias nuevas sobre Adalberto Álvarez y su Son. El Salón rosado de la Tropical se vistió de gala en la presentación del disco "Para bailar Casino" del maestro Adalberto Álvarez. Pon clik aquí para la página de noticias de Adalberto.

Adalberto Álvarez y su Son is on the rise again, with a highly-acclaimed new disc, "Para bailar Casino". Its release will be celebrated at a special gala presentation at the recently re-opened "La Tropical". Click here for the full details.

Also hot right now is a new group called Dayron y su Boom, which, along with the latest on Los Van Van, is the subject of today's report from one of our best Havana connections, Celia San Martín. If anyone's Spanish is worse than mine, Juan Formell's health has forced him to cut back on his bass-playing, and is often replaced by a young ENA graduate named Pavel Molina. JF, however, is continuing to write and produce, including a new bolero project. Meanwhile, one of the hot new groups, Dayron y su Boom, will officially launch their first CD this Saturday. I've only recently heard a little bit of this group. It has a lot of rock chord progressions and electric guitar and of course plenty of Timba & Son influences, but also a strong flavor of various types of non-Cuban Latin pop and even a bit of flamenco. It's got some catchy hooks, but for my money, the most exciting new music I've heard lately are some tidbits of Pupy's new CD and a blistering new album that Charanga Forever was selling on their recent European tour. Good luck finding a copy though. It apparently has no distribution outside of Cuba. I haven't heard a note of the new Manolito or the Lázaro Valdés jazz fusion CD, but Mamborama pianist and producer Bill Wolfer has given them both two thumbs up.

The Celia Report - 6 de octubre, 2003:

NOTA DE VAN VAN: Juan Formell, director de Los Van Van, está preparando los temas de su próxima producción musical, que incluirá boleros.Mientras eso sucede, un nuevo bajista participa en las actividades de los Van Van, se trata de Pavel Molina, un graduado de la ENA, y amigo de algunos músicos de la agrupación quien ha encajado muy bien, en "el estilo VAN VAN"..

NOTA de La Orquesta Novel "DAYRON Y SU BOOM": El sabado 11 de octubre, será el lanzamiento del PRIMER CD de la agrupacióon, "Mi tumbao", esta agrupación logró pegaren La Habana, durante el verano un tema "Justo al medio" del propio CD.Estarán invitados para el lanzamiento de la joven agrupacion, entre otros, Músicos de EL CLAN, el duo Buena Fe y La Charanga Habanera.

Monday, October 6, 2003 - Here at timba.com we receive a lot of mail accusing us of being communists, to which we respond by quoting Vannia's classic line just before the false ending of the wonderful live version of "El protagonista" from Bamboleo's album "ñññño": "Mentira tú!". Hey, we admit that the revenue from our (new and improved) Timba Store (with track listings in many cases) doesn't even come close to covering the costs of maintaining this site, but that doesn't mean we're not trying to be capitalists! Do we accuse the airline industry's executives of being communists just because we pay their obscenely high salaries with our tax dollars? No, we here at timba.com are capitalists and proud of it ... we're just not very good at it. And to the hate mailer who accused us of funneling funds to "the regime", guess again, dude. Any money we make goes towards server space to hold all of our long-winded articles.

Of course, we realize that we brought all this grief on ourselves with our inflammatory and preposterous assertion that Los Van Van, having toured the United States about 30 times, could safely be allowed to return. Look, if we thought Juan Formell had a bomb in his bass and was planning a suicide attack druing the next to last coro of "Soy todo", why, we'd burn every last one of our LVV CD's ... well ... all right, we'd probably keep the CD's themselves ... but for sure we'd skip the concert ... well, we'd at least stand in the back ... but make no mistake about it -- and read our lips while you're at it -- you can be damned sure that we'd stand right behind our President in his contention that JF is detrimental to US interests! It's just that we're 100% positive that it's utter nonsense to think that Cuba, and most especially Cuban musicians, pose any threat whatsoever to US interests. And we have this sneaking suspicion that neither does George Bush. We think -- now sit down, because this may shock you -- we think that this whole business of preventing Cuban musicians from playing in the United States might really be nothing more than an attempt to gain political support in Florida! No...really! I know, I know, I'm starting to sound like just another crazy conspiracy theorist ... maybe it's just that it's been so long since I've heard a Timba concert that I'm starting to lose my mind.

But anyway, as our paranoia began to increase, we wondered if all these false accusations had anything to do with the puzzling fact that none of the major networks has contacted us about televising the timba.com awards. But when we checked into it, they told us that it was because we didn't have a catchy enough name for our award, like "Emmy", "Tony", "Grammy". That's when it came to me! How about the timba.commies? What? You got a problem with that? Oh all right, maybe not. We'll keep working on the name, but in the meantime, without further ado, we present the first father & son nominee combination in the long and hallowed history of the timba.com awards! Care to hazard a guess? No, silly! It's not George & George W! They don't even play timba ... what were you thinking? Click the links below for the real answer:

Best Timbalero / Mejor Timbalero de todos tiempos:

Best Timbalero
Mejor timbalero

Domingo, 6 de octubre, 2003 -

Saturday, October 4th, 2003 - Pupy celebrates the 2nd anniversary of Los Que Son Son with a new singer at Casa de la Música tonight - Joel D'Alexander, previously with Denis y su Swing, is now singing with Los Que Son Son, replacing Tirso Duarte who has formed his own group. The band will play material from its upcoming album at tonight's show, including a new song, "La Borrachera". On a more personal note, Paulito FG's sister and corista, Ana Laida, has just given birth to her second child, and tomorrow José Luis "El Tosco" Cortés will celebrate his birthday. Thanks to Celia San Martín for the news!

Pupy y Los Que Son Son celebrarán su 2do aniversario en La Casa de la Música Galiano ... con el estreno de un nuevo cantate, Joel D'Alexander, ex-miembro de Denis y su Swing. También Pupy estrenará temas de su próximo CD y enfatizó uno que se llamará "La Borrachera". Ana Laida, la hermana de Paulito acaba de ser madre por segunda vez, hoy día, el 4 octubre, de otra linda niña. Finalmente, el cumpleaños del maestro José Luis Cortés "El Tosco" será mañana, el día 5 de octubre. Gracias a Celia San Martín para todas estas noticias!

Sábado, 4 de octubre - Best Timba Conguero /Mejor Conguero Timbero de todos tiempos:

Best Timba Conguero
Mejor conguero timbero

Noticias sobre el concierto de El Clan de anoche - pon clik aquí

Friday, October 3, 2003 - Best Timba Drummer/Mejor Baterista Timbero de todos tiempos:

Best Timba Drummer
Mejor baterista timbero

Most Danceable Timba Song- This is the third and final song category. There are a few songs in each category for which we're missing the CD and or composer. Please help us if you can!

Best Timba Dance song
Mejor tema bailable de la timba

Master List
Lista de todos

Thursday, October 2, 2003 - Best Lyrics in a Timba Song - It's interesting to note that there's only one song in common between the nominees for Best Lyrics and Best Song overall. Coming soon: Best Timba Dance Song/Mejor tema bailable de la timba.

BEST LYRICS IN A TIMBA SONG
MEJORES LETRAS EN UNA CANCIÓN TIMBERA

Master List
Lista de todos

The New and Improved timba.com store- Bruce has fixed and updated the store. It should show new releases sooner, and some but not all of of the "click for more info" buttons show the track listings. If you can't find a new release send an email to requestcd@timba.com.

Miércoles, 1 de octubre, 2003 - ¡Empiezan a Llegar los Resultados de la Primera Ronda! - Toma mucho tiempo escribirlos a computadora, y por ello daremos sólo algunos resultados a la vez. Cuando hayamos terminado de anunciar a todos los finalistas y candidatos secundarios, iniciaremos la segunda etapa de votación para determinar a los ganadores entre los cinco nominados de cada categoría.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - The Results of the First Round Begin! - These take a long time to type up, so we'll give you a few results at a time. When all of the finalists and runners up have been announced, we'll begin the voting to determine the final winner in each category from the 5 nominees.

BEST TIMBA SONG OF ALL TIME
LA MEJOR CANCION DE TIMBA
DE TODOS LOS TIEMPOS

Master List
Lista de todos

Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - Last Day to Vote for the timba.com awards - As of midnight, La Habana time, the first round of voting will end. In a day or two we'll give you the full list of every song, album and artist considered by the readers of timba.com to be among the 5 best of all time. We'll give you the runners up in order and then the next day the voting will begin for the 5 finalists in each category, except those which have already been decided because only 5 or fewer people were nominated.

If you haven't voted already:

Pon click aquí para votar para los premios de timba.com (español)
Click Here to Vote for the timba.com awards (English)

Timba.com Auszeichnung für Exzellenz - Die Besten aller Zeiten - Runde 1 - Nominationen

Domingo el 28 de septiembre, 2003 - La última sobre El Clan ... ¡con frecuencia! - Ivette de la Habana escribirá con frecuencia sobre las noticias de El Clan. Para la última sobre su nuevo video clip y un concierto especial con Eblis y Kelly Valdivia compartiendo escenario, vete a la página principal de El Clan y pon click en NOTICIAS.

Saturday, September 27, 2003 - UPDATES! - We have a new section on Dantes y su Ricky Band, including a new dossier from his promo department, updates to the pages of the members of El Clan, and Pupy Pedroso's Discography in English y en español, traducido por Ilán Greenfield.

cuban music, musica cubanaMiércoles, 17 de 2003

La Encuesta Política de timba.com

1) ¿Estás registrado para votar en Florida?
2) ¿Consideras que Juan Formell, o cualquier otro músico cubano, sea malsano para los intereses de los Estados Unidos?
3) ¿Eres menos propenso a votar a favor de George Bush en 2004 como resultado de su negación de visas para Juan Formell y otros artistas cubanos?

El presidente Bush aparentemente cree que los cubanos de Florida estarían más dispuestos a votar a su favor si él logra evitar que músicos cubanos realicen giras en los Estados Unidos. También parece creer que ganar el estado de Florida es crucial en miras a su reelección. Oprime aquí para enviar un correo electrónico a la Administración de George Bush explicándole como su posición política ante la música cubana afectará TU voto. ¡No tengas miedo de escribir en español! Son los votos de la comunidad hispanohablante los que el presidente quiere influenciar con sus actos.

Englsh translation: click here to send email to the White House to explain that banning Cuban music is not going win any votes in your household!

===We interrupt this diatribe to announce===

cuban music, musica cubanaThe Aramís Galindo European Tour! - Of course, if you live in Europe, you can actually ATTEND Cuban concerts instead of just reading about them! We've updated Aramís' timba.com page, added the full list of European concert dates on his new NEWS page, and added a link to his home page at Cuba Chévere, which contains a nice bio written by El Tosco, and audio files.

===And now we return your to our regularly scheduled political ranting===

Monday, September 15, 2003 - The Smoking Gun: George Bush's Campaign Against Cuban Music Gets Personal - Click here for Brett Sokol's article in the Miami New Times. The president has personally, and permanently, categorized Juan Formell, Muñequitos de Matanzas leader Diosdado Ramos, and others, as "detrimental to the interests of the United States", thereby preventing not only their attendance at the Latin Grammy's but also all further tours. Click here to email the Bush Administration, especially if you happen to be a Florida voter.

It takes a lot to get me to stop thinking about clave long enough to write an email to a politician, but this issue warrants it. Political action is massively influenced by opinion data these days and email is as important as other types of polls. The politicians are not going to read your emails, but someone is going to read enough to identify your position and enter it into a spreadsheet. Those numbers are taken very seriously. E-mail is easy and free, and one email is probably a lot more effective than one vote because the politician hears about it while he's still able and motivated to act on it.

THE DUNIEL REPORT! - Duniel Deya is back from Cuba and has a lengthy report with news on every band and lots of pictures. CLICK HERE!

Domingo, el 14 de septiembre - 2003 - El Clan!- Pon click aquí para la nueva sección sobre El Clan, construída por Duniel y Ivette.

A new section has been added for El Clan, Carlos Manuel's old group, now led by pianist Pedro Camacho and featuring lead singer Kelly Valdivia, younger brother of Ebblis Valdivia of la CH. Both singers got their starts with Klimax, and are among the few Cubans whose names contain double consonants which are not pronounced. Pedro Camacho, who also played on the first Soul y Sol CD, is a brilliant musician who will hopefully lead the Clan back from the depths of Calypso/Mariachi depravity to which it sank with CM at the helm.

Maraca Dates: Believe it when you see the whites of their eyes, but once again it's rumored that a Cuban band will tour the USA. Supposedly they actually have their visas in hand this time. If it happens, don't miss it, because you may not get another chance for a long time. ¡Castígala!

09/19 : Albany, The Performing Arts Center NY
09/20 : Chicago, World Music Festival
09/21 : Wilmington, Grand Opera House DE
09/22 : NYC, SOB's, NY
09/25 : Bloomington, IN, Lotus Festival
09/27 : Seattle, Century Ballroom, WA
10/04 : New Orleans, LO, Twiropa
10/09 : Las Vegas, NV, venue TBA
10/10 : Los Angeles, Sportsmen's Lodge, CA
10/11 : San Fernando, CA, Menudo's festival
10/12 : San Fransisco, Roccapulco
10/17 : Madison, WI, the Barrymore Theater
10/18 : Milwaukee, WI, the New Latino Auditorium

Friday, September 12, 2003 - Los Van Van Rumors Flying - First of all, there will definitely be an elaborate new Los Van Van boxed set, "Van Van Live at Miami Arena". It will contain 2 CD's and also a two-hour DVD of the historic Miami concert which caused so much controversy several years ago. Second, Duniel Deya, just back from Cuba, reports that LVV bandmembers told him that a new US Tour would take place in October and November, including a concert at Cayo Hueso in the Florida Keys. This is contradicted by another rumor from a very credible source that Juan Formell's passport has been permanently denied by US Customs. Issac Delgado's Monterey Jazz Festival appearance has also apparently been cancelled due to visa problems. Meanwhile, the US Congress, for the third straight year, has passed legislation ending funding for the enforcement of the ban on travel to Cuba by US citizens. However, George W. Bush, great patron of the arts that he is, has vetoed the bill each time and there's no reason to believe he won't veto it again this time. It would take 67% of the members of the House and Senate to override such a veto, so again, we ask you to find out how your elected representatives voted, and if they voted against lifting the travel ban, to deluge them with letters, phone calls, and most important: email. Here's the link:

Tips on Writing to Congress.

Duniel also promises us a new section on "El Clan", Carlos Manuel's Havana group, now led by pianist Pedrito Camacho. In the meantime, click here to email their publicist, Ivette, for more information.

And then there's Carlos himself, whose first Miami concert was roundly panned as sounding like "Mexican music" (among other things) by no less than Jordan Levin, in my opinion one of Miami's two best writers on the subject of Cuban music. Click here for the review. It's the first out and out negative review I've read by her. I didn't hear the concert, but it sounds like CM is following in the ill-advised footsteps of Manolín -- away from Timba and towards the graveyard of pop mediocrity.

The Havana Hit Parade: Special thanks to Osvaldo Martínez for providing me with a sampler of the biggest hits of the summer in Havana. The most exciting was a new Los Van Van song, written by Juan Formell and sung by Lele, called "Ahora quiéreme". Formell's has reused a couple of his earlier musical ideas, but it's a great song nonetheless and the second coro is dynamite, as are Hugo Morejón's mambos. There are four strong new hits from two other legendary groups, Elio Revé Jr. y su Charangón ("Se sigue comentando", "Lo que tú esperabas", and Adaberto Álvarez y su Son ("La rueda de casino", "Deja la mala noche"). If only it weren't so derivative of "La macarena", I would say that David Blanco's "Mueve la pachanga" is the catchiest attempt yet at injecting a Cuban flavor into "moña". I'm still waiting for someone to realize how well hiphop would work if it were combined with a really healthy dose of batá, rumba, and timba tumbaos. There's also a new song from NG, sung by Tony Calá, called "El Papi". It's not without musical interest, but don't be expecting "Picadillo de soya"!

In summary, as Timba Geeks mailing list founder and timba.com contributor Michelle White recently reported - "Timba is in a quet period right now, but definitely not dead".

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 - The new timba.com!- We're moving to a bigger, better server, so many pages will fail to load for a few days. We've also improved our ordering system. Although we can get most new releases immediately, it takes a long time for them to appear in our "timba.com store" database, so if you want a recent CD, such as the exciting new jazz fusion release by Bamboleo leader Lázaro Valdés, "De tal palo...tal Valdés", just send an email to requestcd@timba.com.

Jueves, 4 de septiembre, 2003 - El Puente, parte 2 en español - Ilán Greenfield ha terminado la traducción de ambas partes de mi artículo preferido de timba.com: la revista de «El Puente» de Manolín. A medida que se analiza el contenido musical de este histórico disco doble en vivo, se repara en la carrera arística de Manolín, en las trayectorías de sus varios colaboradores brillantes, en la historia de la timba en general, de timba.com y de mi propia obsesión con la timba. Representa además un punto de vista foráneo sobre la «Historia de Dos Ciudades» -- La Habana y Miami -- y las consecuencias de la relación compleja entre esta historia y el pasado, presente y futuro de una de las culturas musicales más grandes del mundo.

Es el artículo más controversial de timba.com y no esperamos que todos estén de acuerdo con las opiniones vertidas, pero como siempre, incluimos docenas de archivos de audio mp3 de las cuales podrás sacar tus propias conclusiones.

El Puente, parte 1
El Puente, parte 2

El Puente, part 2 in English - This is my favorite timba.com article: the review of Manolín's "El Puente". As it tells the story of Manolín's historic double live CD, it also reflects on his overall career, the careers of his many brilliant collaborators, the history of timba in general, the history of timba.com, and the story of my own personal obsession with Timba. Finally it presents an outsider's view of the "Tale of Two Cities" -- Havana and Miami -- and the impact of their intensely complex relationship on the past, present and future of one of the world's greatest musical cultures.

It's timba.com's most controversial article, and we don't expect you to agree with all of it, but as always, there are dozens of carefully chosen mp3 audio files from which to draw your own conclusions.

El Puente, part 1
El Puente, part 2

Wednesday, September 3, 2003 - The Timba Geeks Mailing List! - Michelle White, whom you know as the author of the recent review of Charanga Forever's European tour, has started a Yahoo Groups mailing list for the discussion of Timba! To subscribe, click here. If you've never been on a mailing list, here's how it works. If you have something to say, you send an email to the list server, which in turn sends it to everyone on the list. There are 3 ways to participate. If you choose to receive mail directly, you'll get a LOT of email about timba. If you choose to receive the "digest", you'll get just one big email every day with all of the messages that were sent that day. Finally, you can not subscribe and just go to the website and read the messages when you feel like it. This way you get no email, but can still read and send messages.

Domingo, 31 de agosto, 2003 - Juan Formell: Sobre Los Grammy y Miami - Pon click aquí. Y si no les gustan los Grammy, recuerden que tienen hasta el 30 de septiembre para votar para algo mucho más importante: Los Premios de timba.com!

Pon click aquí para votar para los premios de timba.com (español)
Click Here to Vote for the timba.com awards (English)

Timba.com Auszeichnung für Exzellenz - Die Besten aller Zeiten - Runde 1 - Nominationen

Politics & Music: If you live in the United States, please write your congressman and both senators OFTEN and let them know how you feel about the US goverment's actions in recent years to make it nearly impossible to hear live Cuban music here. Here's a fantastic website which tells you everything you need to know about emailing your elected officials: Tips on Writing to Congress.

Miércoles, 27 de agosto, 2003 - Riki Ricón en Italia! - Dantes Cardosa (riki.timba.com) comenzará su gira de Italia el 24 de septiembre. Para más información, aquí está el sitio de su agencia, Polvere di Stelle 2003.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003 - Mamborama! - Today is the official release date of the second Mamborama CD, "Entre La Habana y el Yuma", distributed by Cuba Chévere, the same folks who brought us the 4th Klimax album. Follow the links below for much more information, but first click here for an excerpt from "La gata loca", featuring, like much of the album, the nucleus of Manolito y su Trabuco and its lead singer El Indio.

Full review with audio examples
Mamborama personnel
New Mamborama homepage

Live 365 - Okay, maybe I'm the last one to find out, but check THIS out! Your local scumbag "mega" radio station in Miami, New York or Los Angeles doesn't play Cuban music, right? And they're not planning on it either. But your PC or Mac can receive a radio station that plays new Timba 24 hours a day! Joel Lemus sent me a tiny ".PLS" file and when I double-clicked it, it launched Real Player and suddenly I was hearing Ángel Bonne, some new Paulito, and one of the great Timba classics, Manolito's "El águila", sung by El Gallo de la Salsa, and then several hot new Timba tracks that were so new that even I didn't recognize them! Then "Sube y baja" by La Charanga. Whoever is programming the playlist definitely has his or her act together! Every so often an announcer comes on with a commercial and to explain the concept of Live 365, which is: SCREW CORPORATE RADIO! Me encanta ese sentimiento! I don't understand it fully yet, but here's how to check it out:

1) Right-click here and choose "save target as..." to download PLAY.PLS to your hard drive. Remember where you put it.

2) Double-click PLAY.PLS. If you're lucky, strains of sweet Timba will start to pour out of your PC speakers!

3) If not, go to www.real.com and download their free real audio player, install it, and then double click PLAY.PLS. Winamp, which is less obnoxious than Real, is supposed to also work, but I had no luck.

Viernes, 22 de agosto, 2003 - JV en Miami esta noche - CANCELADO (llamen al club para más información) El nuevo grupo de Jeáns Valdés, director musical de Manolín, iba a tocar esta noche en Key Biscayne: "Sundays on the Bay", 305-361-6777. Pon click aquí para más información, y aquí para la página principal de Jeáns.

Live 365 - Okay, maybe I'm the last one to find out, but check THIS out! Your local scumbag "mega" radio station in Miami, New York or Los Angeles doesn't play Cuban music, right? And they're not planning on it either. But your PC or Mac can receive a radio station that plays new Timba 24 hours a day! Joel Lemus sent me a tiny ".PLS" file and when I double-clicked it, it launched Real Player and suddenly I was hearing Ángel Bonne, some new Paulito, and one of the great Timba classics, Manolito's "El águila", sung by El Gallo de la Salsa, and then several hot new Timba tracks that were so new that even I didn't recognize them! Then "Sube y baja" by La Charanga. Whoever is programming the playlist definitely has his or her act together! Every so often an announcer comes on with a commercial and to explain the concept of Live 365, which is: SCREW CORPORATE RADIO! Me encanta ese sentimiento! I don't understand it fully yet, but here's how to check it out:

1) Right-click here and choose "save target as..." to download PLAY.PLS to your hard drive. Remember where you put it.

2) Double-click PLAY.PLS. If you're lucky, strains of sweet Timba will start to pour out of your PC speakers!

3) If not, go to www.real.com and download their free real audio player, install it, and then double click PLAY.PLS. Winamp, which is less obnoxious than Real, is supposed to also work, but I had no luck.

La Manzana in The Big Apple - Andy Pérez, brother-in-law of Carlos Manuel's soundman, reports that Carlos Manuel will be playing this coming Monday, August 25ths, in New York at SOB's. Click here for the full details.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - New Klimax Article - The new issue of Global Rhythms magazine has an article by Robert Kaye on Klimax with an interview with Giraldo Piloto.

Monday, August 18, 2003 - Rumor Confirmed! - Duniel has it on good authority that Carlos Calunga has in fact parted ways with Manolito y su Trabuco. Calunga's soaring tenor will be forever associated with such Klimax masterpieces as the live version of Catarro chino, the ballad version of Mi estrella, and Juego de manos, the latter of which Manolito had recently re-arranged for Calunga to sing with el Trabuco. When El Gallo left Manolito to join Orqueta Revé in January 2001, Manolito persuaded Calunga to leave Klimax and quickly made great use of his incredible set of pipes on the massive hit "Linda melodía" from the 5th Trabuco CD, Rompieron los termómetros. But during the recording of the upcoming 6th CD, Cuban tempers flared and el Trabuco is now in Japan without Calunga. Maybe he'll go back to Klimax?

Duniel also reports that Carlos Manuel's first big Miami concert was a big success (The LA Times doesn't have very good circulation in Hialeah). CM played his biggest Cuban novelty hits, "Malo cantidad" and "La manzana", and also a new sensation called "La Coca-Cola del olvido". His old drummer Eugenio and previously-relocated Clansman Braily and Bayron were in the band and the new pianist is Jorge Gómez, from Albita's group. Gómez replaces Pedro Camacho, who has become the new leader of "El Clan" back in Cuba. El Clan's new lead singer is Kelly Valdivia, the younger brother of Ebblis "El Boni" Validivia of la CH. Ironically, like Calunga, both Valdivia brothers started out with Klimax. You've got to give Piloto credit for finding great talent. Every time a band with more money steals one of his members, he lands on his feet with somebody even better. On the other hand, finding a great musical talent in Cuba is even easier than finding a Karaoke machine in a Miami salsa club...

Okay...did you catch all of that? There'll be a pop quiz later!

Saturday, August 16, 2003 - Much More Charanga Forever in Europe - Thanks to Michelle White, Magnus Lindgren, and Åsa Martén for bringing our Charanga Forever section up to date! We haven't heard the new CD, but click here for Michelle's cover scans, fully-autographed, no less. She and Magnus have also provided a large page of new (and somewhat R-rated) photos, which illustrate Michelle's excellent review of two of the concerts.

Tony Rodríguez -- About a year ago, Tony replaced both of Issac Delgado's keyboardists, Rolando Luna and Ernesto "Prida" Puentes. Like Bamboleo, Issac has switched to using one player to cover both piano and synth. Tony is also now Musical Director of the group. We've updated his page with several new photos. Click here.

More on Rey Ceballo -- The original Azúcar Negra pianist has sent us more information on his career, past and present. Click here. If anyone is reading this from Warsaw, Poland, please send us a concert report on Rey's band Calle Sol.

El Clan -- Juan Tomás García has returned from Cuba and confims that Carlos Manuel's old group has reformed, under the leadership of Pedro Camacho, and using singer Kelly Valdivia, the younger brother of Ebblis Valdivia. JTG reports that Tirso's new band is started to gain momentum, but that right now the hottest band in La Habana in undoubtedly La Charanga Habanera. We've also heard from El Clan's promo dept. and should be getting more info on them soon.

Calunga leaves Trabuco? -- That's the rumor. Apparently he and Manolito had a falling out during the recording of the new CD, due out in December. El Trabuco is apparently in Japan now, so if anyone there is reading this, please confirm or deny!

Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - Charanga Forever in Europe - We've added a NEWS page for Charanga Forever, with concert reports, personnel, the tracks of the new CD and new photos from Europe. CLICK HERE. Also a LIVE page with a very interesting and candid 2-concert review by Michelle White with photos by Åsa Martén.

Francois Begin reports that Adalberto Álvarez has a new CD out called "Pa' bailar casino". Let's hope it starts a Casino craze in California, where salsa dancing often looks more like ballroom dancing! Francois says he hears that the CD is Adalberto's most timbafied effort to date, which reminds me that one of the highlights of last weekend's San José Jazz Festival was an electrifying and deeply-timbafied version of Adalberto's "Si no vas a cocinar" played by the Northern California band Quimbombo, one of the few American groups to take up the challenge of playing Timba.

Martes, 11 de agosto, 2003 - Entrevista con Mayito Van Van - Duniel Deya condució esta entrevista en junio de este año. Pon click aquí.

Monday, August 11, 2003 - Two live Timba CD's nominated for Latin Grammy's! - Charanga Habanera: "Live in the USA" and Los Van Van: En el Malecón de La Habana have both been nominated for "Best Contemporary Tropical Album". There are many other Cuban nominees, including Orishas, Polo Montañez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Los Munequitos, Eliades Ochoa, Raíces Habaneras, Mercedes Sosa and Chucho Valdés. For a complete list of all the nominees, click here.

Domingo, 10 de agosto, 2003 - Anuncio especial para los músicos que viven en La Habana - Duniel Deya va a estar en la Habana entre el 20 de agosto y el 1 de septiembre. Si ustedes tienen información que quieren añadir a tus páginas en timba.com, pueden contactar a Duniel por email (dunield@hotmail.com o duniel@timba.com) o, en La Habana, a 830-.0189.

Nueva música de Jeáns Valdés - Pon click aquí para escuchar el demo de "JV", el nuevo grupo de Jeáns Valdés, saxofonista y arreglista de Manolín.

Saturday, August 9, 2003 - ¡Cubanismo Underway! - Cubanismo began their month long tour of the US last night at Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. Today they play for free outdoors at the San José Jazz Festival at 6:00, and tomorrow, also for free, at San Francisco's Stern Grove. The Kuumbwa concert was heaven for your faithful reporter! After spending a full year working on the Tomás Cruz Conga Method, I've been dying to see a first-class Cuban rhythm section and soak up all the details of what I've learned from Tomasito. Unfortunately the Musical Axis of Evil (US, Cuba, Miami) has deprived me of that opportunity, except for one Los Van Van show last June which was such a wild circus scene that I could scarcely tune in on the congas and drums "con detenimiento" as Majela would say.. But the Kuumbwa show was perfection. The sound was pristine, not a bit too loud, and I was able to sit by the side of the stage and see a great Cuban rhythm section churning out a relaxed but fiery groove for three hours. It was exactly the same band as last year except for the departure of the young singer Gardi, who has formed his own group. Gardi's replacement, Fernando "El Jibaro" Ferrer (who sang on the first two Cubanismo CD's, was unable to make the trip, but Rolo Martínez and Jesús Cantero had no problems picking up the slack. The band's personnel list reads like a "who's who" of timba stars: Riverón, Carlos Álvarez and Papiosco from Klimax, Emilio Maza from la CH, Pérez Pérez and Peruchín from NG, Pepe Espinosa from Bamboleo, Azúcar Negra and Dany Lozada, and of course Jesús Alemañy himself, who played brilliantly as always and now speaks better English than any other Cuban musician I know! ¡Qué inglés! Click here for the full tour schedule and don't miss this band!

Thursday, August 7, 2003 - LOTS TO REPORT! First of all, the votes are pouring in for the timba.com awards. Don't forget to add yours. And you can now vote in German, thanks to Thomas Voirol.

Timba.com Auszeichnung für Exzellenz - Die Besten aller Zeiten - Runde 1 - Nominationen
Click Here to Vote for the timba.com awards (English)

Pon click aquí para votar para los premios de timba.com (español)

Timba in Hebrew! - We now have Hebrew language-selection buttons to display Alex Gendelman's excellent translations. So far he's translated most of the NG pages and part of LVV. Click here for an example, and don't forget to read from right to left!

Cubanismo in Northern California! - Tomorrow, Friday, Cubanismo will play 2 shows at Santa Cruz's Kuumbwa Jazz Center, which, in addition to being one of the best places in the world to hear live music, is also located a mere 10 minutes from the IATS (Institute for Advanced Timba Studies), otherwise known as my house! Then they move northward for two daytime festival gigs: The San José Jazz Festival on Saturday, and Stern Grove in San Francisco on Sunday. Click here for the latest information on the tour from Cubanismo's booking agents.

Rey Ceballo - We've finally tracked down the founding pianist of Azúcar Negra in Poland, and he's a wealth of information on many of the details of the "golden era" of the late 90's. We've added a Rey Ceballo page and will be adding much more soon.

Miércoles, 6 de agosto, 2003 - Manolín: El Puente - pon click aquí para la revista en español, pt. 1 - Hemos publicado la traducción al español de la revista/crítica del disco doble "el Puente", el último trabajo del controversial Médico de la Salsa. Como saben nuestros fieles internautas, timba.com no desea causar controversias de ningún tipo, nuestro lema es más bien celebrar lo que hay de grandioso en la música cubana, ¡pero este disco y el propio Manolín han instigado temas tan acalorados en nosotros mismos que quizás, en este caso, nos hemos pasado con la polémica! En todo caso, existen varios ejemplos de audio y una revisión de todos los temas del primer disco. Pon clik aquí para leer nuestra versión de "El Puente" ¡La traducción de la revista del segundo disco está en camino!

Gracias a Thomas Voirol por mejorar las páginas de la votación. Thanks to Thomas Voirol for sprucing up the voting pages. Don't forget to vote! Click the links above.

Click Here to Vote for the timba.com awards (English)

Pon click aquí para votar para los premios de timba.com (español)

Lunes, 4 de agosto, 2003 - LA VOTACION - Las urnas están siendo llenadas a su medida... y todo está sucediendo sin mayores contratiempos, salvo por tres malentendidos frecuentes:

1) LUGAR PARA ESCUCHAR LA TIMBA: Con esto queremos decir club nocturno! Por favor no digan "La Habana"! Estamos buscando algo tipo «Anfeteatro de Marianao - La Habana», o «Casa de la Música Miramar, La Habana».

2) CALIDAD/FIDELIDAD SONORA: Aquí queremos decir un disco en particular, y no un grupo. Por ejemplo, el nuevo CD de la Charanga ha sido grabado con tecnologías muy distintas a las del primer disco! No estamos hablando de contenido musical, sólo calidad de sonido.

3) MEJOR SECCIÓN CORISTA/METALES: Dígannos, por favor, el periodo histórico de la banda en mención. Por ejemplo, si dicen Charanga Habanera, están hablando del grupo que empezó en 1998 con Yunio, Carmelo, Osmani, etc. o el grupo original con Polledo, Osmil, Maza, etc.

Si ya votaste y quieres aclarar algún voto, por favor envíanos un e-mail a kevin@timba.com.

THE VOTE - Votes are pouing in and everything is going smoothly except for 3 frequent misunderstandings:

1) VENUE: This means a club! Don't say "La Habana"! You have to say something like "Anfeteatro de Marianao - La Habana", or "Casa de la Música Miramar, La Habana".

2) RECORDING QUALITY: This means a single album, not a group! For example, the new Charanga Habanera CD has much different recording quality that the first one! This is only the quality of the sound, not the musical content.

3) BEST HORN/CORO SECTION: You have to say which period. For example, if you say Charanga Habanera, do you mean the group that started in 1998 with Yunio, Carmelo, Osmani, etc. or do you mean the original group with Polledo, Osmil, Maza, etc.

If you've already voted and want to clarify your votes, please sent email to kevin@timba.com.

Click Here to Vote in English

Pon click aquí para votar en español

KLIMAX NEWS: Marcos Crego has left Klimax. The new pianist is Harold López. It's interesting the both pianists are the sons of legendary Cuban jazz musicians. Marcos' father is trumpeter "El Greco", an original member of NG's Los Metales de Terror, and Harold is the son of Hernan López Nussa. Marcos is now with Gardi Vásquez, a young singer who might be most closely compared to Paulito. Gardi had previously been singing with Cubanismo.

JEÁNS VALDÉS: Jeáns, who plays sax and arranges for Manolín, has formed his own group, called simply "JV". They will be playing Sunday, August 22 in Key Biscaine. For details, go to Jeáns NEWS page, and for more on the group, see his home page.

Sunday, August 3, 2003 - CAST YOUR VOTES FOR THE TIMBA.COM ALL-TIME AWARDS! - Please vote! Only one ballot per person. The first round of voting asks you to type in your choices and will go through Septermber 30. Then on October 1, we'll have a second ballot with multiple choice for the top 5 vote-getters in each category. There are a LOT of categories and you don't have to vote for each one. If you don't have a favorite guiro player, just leave that category blank, or if you only have one favorite, leave the other 4 spaces blank. We want to record only the votes that people really care about. Also, put your choices in order, as your first choice will get more points that your second choice and so on. Last but not least, these awards are for the best of ALL TIME. Later we'll do another vote for the best of 2003.


LOS PREMIOS TIMBA.COM A LA EXCELENCIA - Habrán dos rondas de votación. Para la primera, la ronda de nominaciones, pedimos que nos envíes listados con tus candidatos favoritos. Esta vuelta concluirá el 30 de septiembre. A partir de ese día, contaremos los primeros cinco nominados con el mayor puntaje de votación para cada categoría. Serán estos los que llegarán a la ronda final, a suscitarse al cierre del año en curso.

Entonces, manos a la obra. Recuerden que esto se trata de votar por canciones y artistas de «Timba». Puedes utilizar tu propia definición de la timba, con tal de que entre en la categoría general de la música popular cubana de fines de los 80 hasta la actualidad. Puedes incluir músicos timberos fuera de Cuba, con tal de que su música tenga el sabor suficiente como para repletar salas de concierto en La Habana.

Puedes ingresar hasta 5 de tus candidatos favoritos en cada categoría. Puedes votar por menos si es que quieres. No tienes que votar en cada categoría. Salta las categorías en las cuales realmente no tengas una opinión muy fuerte.

El candidato/a que coloques en la primera plaza contará más que aquél/la que coloques en la segunda, y la segunda plaza contará más que la tercera, por lo cual rogamos que piensen en un orden de preferencia antes de votar.

Pon click aquí para votar en español

Friday, August 1, 2003 - Agustin Gurza of the LA Times, one of the very best Latin music writers, has written a great article about Manolín and Carlos Manuel. Click here for "Freedom's Downside". You'll have to got to "Arts and Entertainment" and then go through an obnoxious "registering" process to read the article, but it's worth it...at least if you want to become very depressed! The article paints a bleak and detailed picture of the extreme difficulty that Cuban music and Cuban artists have had in their attempts to succeed outside of Cuba and makes a convincing argument for the case that an artist who is doing well in Cuba is much better off staying there.

My take on this is that while there have been many great records which have been been successful financially, no great music have ever been created as a result of trying to sell records. The artistically productive part of the career of any artist, Cuban or otherwise, stops dead in its tracks the minute that artist stops making music to please himself and the immediate public which loves and understands his music and begins to try to figure out what kind of music could be made to please the audiences which don't love and understand the music which comes from his heart.

The primary audience for Cuban music is Cuba and the rest of the world has a lot of dues to pay before it catches up. Manolín and Paulito may be as old as Compay Segundo before the non-Cuban audience grasps the greatness of De buena fe and Con la conciencia tranquila, but if and when the rest of the world does catch up, the inevitable and ironic question will be:

"But why didn't they make any MORE albums like that?".

And the answer, if anyone remembers it, will be as distressing as Mr. Gurza's brilliant article.

Thursday, July 31, 2003 - Vete pa' Madrid! Roberto Van Van with Joel Domínguez AND Melón! - Last night's show went great. Someone PLEASE try to make it tonight and sene a report! Here's the lineup:

piano: Melón
percusión : Yuri Nogueira
percusión: José Aguilera (Majito) - de Venezuela
trombón: Geandelaxis Bell (Mandela)
trombón: Daniel (ex de Grupo Niche)
coros: Isandra Silva , Melón y Joel.
bass y voz : Joel Domínguez
voz : Robertón "Van-Van"
sonido: José Mendoza (Venezuela)

Melón, Joel, Mandela...these are the guys who were right at the heart of the Timba explosion of the 90's. This is a truly exciting group.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - Tonight and Tomorrow: Roberto Van Van with Joel Domínguez! - Because of the LVV tour, Roberto was unable to perform, as had been previously planned, at the festival which featured Paulito, El Indio and Alain Pérez accompanied by an all-star group led by Joel Domínguez. But tonight and tomorrow night it will be just Roberto, and most likely featuring material from his upcoming solo album. If you're in Spain, don't miss it! And send us your concert report and photos!!

ROBERTO VAN VAN con JOEL DOMÍNGUEZ
LUGAR: SABOR HABANA
CALLE LÓPEZ DE HOVOS

144 MADRID, ESPAÑA
FECHAS: MIÉRCOLES Y JUEVES, 30 Y 31 DE JULIO

For more information: click here to email Joel.

Lunes, 28 de julio, 2003 - ¡Cubanismo! - Ya está tocando en Europa y viene a la Yuma. Pon clik aquí para la revista por Ilán Greenfield del último concierto de Paris.

Click here for the latest information on the tour from Cubanismo's booking agents. For miserable Bay Areans like myself, we hope to hear THREE shows: Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, the San José Jazz Fest, and SF's Stern Grove, on August 8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively.

And in the bad news department, Maraca's US tour has been cancelled...you guessed it: Visa Problems. Please: if you live in the United States, email your congressman, both senators, and president@whitehouse.gov and let them know that Timba and terrorism are entirely unrelated and that you request their urgent action to end this ridiculous violation of our right to cultural exchange with Cuba.

Saturday, July 26, 2003 - Too good to be true? Click here and bookmark this site! It appears to be a complete listing of upcoming shows at all the major venues in Cuba, and not only La Habana. At the moment it only goes as far as tomorrow night, but if they update it daily, this could make the Timbaviajero's life a lot easier. As anyone who's gone to Cuba to hear Timba knows, there are more concerts and better concerts every night of the week than anywhere else in the world, but finding out about this is always an adventure. Nothing is planned more than a week in advance at the most, and the list of who's playing where seems to change almost hourly. Each night you have to call every club to get the latest scoop. Of course, the irony of this site is that getting on the internet once you're in Cuba is no easy task, but at least we see what we're missing!

Por ejemplo: Tonight and tomorrow night, were you so lucky to be en La Habana, you would have the following choices -- and remember that about half of the major groups are in Europe or Canada:

¡¡¡SUFREN!!!

· GRUPO AIRES Sat_26/7/2003 Mesón de la Flota Flamenco
· CONJUNTO FOLKLÓRICO NACIONAL Sat_26/7/2003 Gran Palenque Folclor
· PACHITO ALONSO Y SUS KINI KINI Sat_26/7/2003 Casa Música Galiano Salsa
· LA CARO BAND & ZARABANDA Sat_26/7/2003 Cerro Mi Ciudad Baila
· MANOLITO Y SU TRABUCO Sat_26/7/2003 Casa Música Miramar Salsa
· JAVIER ENRIQUE Y SU BANDA CRISTAL Sat_26/7/2003 Copa Room Salsa
· COTÓ Y SU ECO DEL CARIBE & YORUBA ANDABO Sat_26/7/2003 Casa Música Miramar (matiné) Son y afrocubana
· PAULO FG Y SU ÉLITE Sat_26/7/2003 Habana Café Salsa
· DOBLE IMPACTO & RAP LHA Sat_26/7/2003 Arroyo Naranjo Mi Ciudad Baila
· HABANA FLAMENCA Sat_26/7/2003 Gran Teatro Danza
· PAGOLA LA PAGA Sat_26/7/2003 Club Cocodrilo Humor
· PAPÁ HUMBERTICO Sat_26/7/2003 Anfiteatro Almendares Peña de rap
· JÓVENES CLÁSICOS DEL SON Sat_26/7/2003 El Diablo Tun Tun Son
· HABANA FLAMENCA Sun_27/7/2003 Gran Teatro Danza
· GEORGINA AROZARENA Sun_27/7/2003 Parque Almendares Poesía
· SELLO L. A. Sun_27/7/2003 Casa Música Miramar Salsa
· CHISPA Y LOS CÓMPLICES Sun_27/7/2003 Casa Música Miramar (matiné) Salsa
· PAULO FG Y SU ÉLITE Sun_27/7/2003 Disco Macumba (matiné) Salsa
· CAFÉ AMARGO Sun_27/7/2003 El Diablo Tun Tun Son
· ALBERTO TOSCA Sun_27/7/2003 Anfiteatro Almendares Trova
· OBBINI BATÁ Sun_27/7/2003 Teatro A. Roldán Folclor
· ELOY MACHADO & ALDEN KNIGHT Sun_27/7/2003 Hurón Azul - UNEAC Boleros
· LÁZARA RIVADAVIA & JUAN CARLOS PÉREZ Sun_27/7/2003 Anfiteatro Almendares Trova
· MANOLITO Y SU TRABUCO Sun_27/7/2003 La Tropical Salsa
· TECNOCARIBE Sun_27/7/2003 Expocuba (matiné) Rap
· GUSTAVO GALÁN & RAUL IGLESIAS Sun_27/7/2003 Gran Teatro Tenor y piano
· DANNY LOZADA Sun_27/7/2003 Bar Amelia Salsa
· CLAVE Y GUAGUANCÓ Sun_27/7/2003 Callejón de Hamel Rumba
· ANAIS ABREU & LINO BORGES Mon_28/7/2003 Dos Gardenias Boleros
· IL GARDELLINO Thr_31/7/2003 Basílica S. F. Asís Antigua y barroca
· OBSESIÓN Fri_1/8/2003 Teatro América Rap
· MANANA REGAE Fri_1/8/2003 Parque Almendares Peña
· REYNIER MARIÑO Y SU GRUPO Sat_2/8/2003 Jaruco (pueblo) Flamenco
· ARIEL BARREIRO Sat_2/8/2003 Teatro A. Roldán Trova
· WILLIAM VIVANCO & FREE HOLE NEGRO Sat_2/8/2003 Parque John Lennon Fusión y rap

Miércoles, 23 de julio, 2003 - Majela y Maraca! - Ha regresado Majela Serrano, con una entrevista muy interesante! Majela habló con Orlando Valle "Maraca" que está de gira con su grupo extraordinario en Europa. Pon click aquí.

Tremendo Delirio y Chan Chan Charanga de la CH - Ilán Greenfield ha traducido los artículos sobre estos dos discos. Lo de Tremendo Delirio tiene una sección extensiva para cada canción, con la letra completa, ejemplos de mp3, y mucha más información interestante. Pon click aquí: Tremendo Delirio - Chan Chan Charanga.

Yoel Páez Update: Click here for Yoel's comments and pictures from the Encuentro de Bateristas y Percusionistas.

January Release Date for the Tomás Cruz Conga Method, Volumes I-III - Orlando Fiol, Mike Racette and I spent a full year putting together this series for Mel Bay Publications. Tomás, who played congas with Paulito FG and now with Manolín, covers the basics of congas as taught at la ENA in Volume I, the roots of Timba in Volume II, and finally, in Volume III, he explains all the details of not only the congas, but also the "gear" structure of the rhythm section of the 1997-98 Paulito band, generally considered one of the two or three greatest Cuban bands ever assembled. Each book is about 80 pages long and comes with a two-hour DVD showing tomasito demonstrating each rhythm at full speed and in slow motion.

News from La Habana - Our pal Eduardo Bernal reports that Tirso's new band is sounding very strong, that Pedro Camacho has reformed "El Clan", replacing Carlos Manuel with a singer pilfered from Klimax. Don't quote me, but I think this is the younger brother of Eblis Valdivia whom David Calzado pilfered from Klimax earlier this year. On the subject of Eblis, his singing on the new CH album sounds extremely good to me. He sings on two of the best songs: "El boni" and "Mujeres". Another standout is the brilliant title track. Those are the three songs written by David Calzado himself, and so far they're my three favorites.

Timba Awards Coming Soon - Start thinking about your favorite Timba songs, albums, singers, etc. of all time. We'll have a special online ballot this week.

Sunday, July 20, 2003 - Tribute to the Legends - Latin music has lost so many of its greatest stars recently. Today we just want to pay tribute to two of Cuba's greatests figures Celia Cruz and Compay Segundo, and in the recent past, Mongo Santamaría, Polo Montañez, Elena Burke, Puntillita Licea, René Touzet, Tito Puente, and, Raúl "El Yulo" Cárdenas. Click here for a SalsaPower's tribute to Celia and Compay.

Friday, July 18, 2003 - Two Los Van Van concert reports from from England: Click here for the LVV NEWS page.

Thursday, July 17, 2003 - Adalberto Alvarez Pages Added - click here for our new section on Adalberto, with a long biography, his complete discography, mp3 examples, and more!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003 - The Timba.com Awards! -- As determined by our readers! This will be coming soon, so start thinking about your choices for best song, best album, best singer, best trombonist, etc. The first awards will be for the best of all-time, and then we'll do a yearly reader poll at the end of each year, starting with 2003. Voting will be done online to make it fair, so don't email your selections in. The voting page will be announced in La Última very soon.

Solar de la Timba - A great new bilingual Timba site with all sorts of interesting stuff, including a section on Cuban slang, an article on La Tropical, an interview with Osvaldo Chacón, and more! Click here.

Great new photos of LVV, Azúcar Negra, Charanga, and others: At Tango Web: Click here.

Monday, July 14, 2003 - Tirso Duarte played his first gig as a bandleader at Casa de la Música. Not sure whether it was Playa or Galiano, but Paola Arias' email source says, and we quote: "Tirso Duarte hizo su propia orquesta y se estrenó en la Casa de la Música, siendo lo más duro de Cuba en estos momentos".

El Clan sin Carlos - Meanwhile Gabriel Wilder's sources report that members of Carlos Manuel's group are now playing as "El Clan".

Carlos Manuel on the Silver Screen - Meanwhile, Carlos himself is off to an impressive start in his conquest of the Yuma. His first acting gig will be in the upcoming movie "Dream City", starring Héctor Elizonodo and María Conchita Alonso. His first concert since arriving in the US will be at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach on August 16th. According to his label, Ciocan Music, an extensive tour of the rest of the country is being planned.

Sunday, July 13, 2003 - Kevin's Top 30 - As you scour the internet for news of some new and exciting Timba CD, could there be any past masterpieces you may never have heard? A frightening thought! Here's a list of 30 Timba CD's that I myself could not live without -- in alphabetical order: I could quickly add at least another 30, pero sin estos, la vida no vale nada.

Azúcar Negra: Andar andando
Bamboleo: Yo no me parezco a nadie
Bamboleo: Ya no hace falta
Charanga Habanera: Hey you, loca
Charanga Habanera: Pa' que se entere La Habana
Charanga Habanera: Tremendo delirio
Charanga Habanera: Charanguero mayor
Charanga Habanera: Chan Chan Charanga
Charanga Habanera: Live in the USA
Issac Delgado: Exclusivo para Cuba
Issac Delgado: La fórmula
Los Van Van: Disco Azúcar
Los Van Van: Lo último en vivo
Los Van Van: Ay Dios, ampárame
Los Van Van: Te pone la cabeza mala
Los Van Van: Llegó Van Van
Klimax: Mira si te gusta
Klimax: Juego de manos
Klimax: Oy como va
Klimax & Manolito Live: Concierto Eurotropical #1
Dany Lozada: Tanto le pedí
Manolín: De buena fe
Manolín: El puente
Manolito y su Trabuco: Para que baile Cuba
Manolito y su Trabuco: Se rompieron los termómetros
NG La Banda: En la calle
NG La Banda: Échale limón
NG La Banda: La bruja
Paulito FG: Con la conciencia tranquila
Pupy y Los Que Son Son: Qué cosas tiene la vida

Saturday, July 12, 2003 - Llegaron los botones de traducción! Ahora tenemos botones de traducción en las secciones de cada artista. Inglés, Español, Alemán, y vamos a tener Hebrew también. Cuando llegues a una página, pon clik en el botón de español hasta que se parezca en español. Al veces tienes que poner clik 2 veces.

Las páginas que ya tenemos es español son:

HOME: NG La Banda, Klimax, Paulito, Issac
DISCS: Klimax, Issac, NG partes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, Pupy: Qué cosas tiene la vida
PERSONNEL: Klimax
LIVE: Issac en Los Ángeles antes de los Grammy

CHARANGA HABANERA PÁGINAS ESPECIALES: Los Bloques de la Charanga, Conversaciones en Timba, Clave de la CH, "La desintegración en adalante", los discos Me sube la fiebre, Hey you loca, Pa' que se entere la Habana, Live in the USA. Todo lo que escribió Majela Serrano orginalmente en español, como la entrevista con David Calzado, Los Charangueros de ayer, Los Charangueros de hoy, "On tour". La entrevista con Pedro Pablo, el artículo por Juan Carlos González, y el artículo por Allan Johnston sobre el estilo de Pedro Pablo.

También muchas páginas del Directorio de Músicos están en español en en los dos idiomas, el el artículo por Majela sobre Team Cuba.

Friday, July 11, 2003 - Muchas Noticias! - First, the Issac Discography page has been updated again with even more rare audio clips. . Click here for the English version. Hay una nueva página sobre la discografía de Issac con mucha más informacíon. Pon clik aquí para la versión en español.

También las páginas del gran arreglista Joaquín Betancourt ahora están en español, gracias a Ilán. Pon clik aquí.

El Tosco on NG! I've received a second positive review of NG in Europe...this one from El Tosco himself! I guess my grandmother was wrong! You catch more flies with vinegar! In any case, Tosco confirmed that the group currently touring Europe is neither what was left of the old NG, nor the Karaoke group that recent visiting Timberos have complained about, but something new. Tosco said, and it makes sense, that he didn't want to keep reliving the past and needed to do something completely new, so he's added fresh new blood and is going for a completely new approach, which is not necessarily Timba or Latin Jazz. Based on this, I officially reverse my earlier advice and encourage people to go see this group and report in, as Lionel Rogier did the other day.

Lionel has now written back with the full lineup of musicians, with Fernando Soria replacing Emilio Morales. The complete list is posted to NG NEWS. Tomorrow, some photos.

Thursday Afternoon, July 10, 2003 - Update to Issac Discography page - While still nowhere near where it should be, this page has been updated and several mp3 audio excerpts, including live material, have been added. Click here for the English version. La página en español llegará pront con nueva información sobre arreglista Joaquín Betancourt y otros.

Bamboleo in Europe cancelled? It looks that way. Click here for an excellent link for up to date European tour information.

In response to various complaints: Many feel that timba.com is biased because we have such a mountain of information on CH & NG. This is not the case! We just started in 1989 and and those , Marcos Morales, and many other in putting together the enormous CH section. We're adding as fast as we can, but please be aware that all of the material published on timba.com is donated by the authors and photographers. The amount of money made from selling CD's doesn't even cover the maintenance of the site. Timba.com is entirely a "labor of love". We're going as fast as we can, but unfortunately we also have to do our "real" jobs to support ourselves and the site.

Tomando en cuenta una serie de quejas recibidas últimamente: Muchos sienten que timba.com es parcial hacia las bandas de NG y la Charanga Habanera por las montañas de información que hemos incluido sobre ambas agrupaciones. ¡Este no es el caso! Empezamos nuestro recuento histórico desde 1989 y esos eran los primeros dos grupos que encaramos, y claro, tuvimos la GRAN ayuda de Majela Serrano y Marcos Morales, y muchos más para poder reunir la información y coordinar, por ejemplo, la inmensa sección de la CH. Estamos añadiendo cosas lo más rápido posible, pero les pedimos a todos los timberos allá afuera que tomen en cuenta que mucho del material que se publica en timba.com ha sido donado por los autores y fotógrafos. Lo que se recupera en ventas de CD ni siquiera cubre los costos de mantener el sitio web a flote. Timba.com les llega a todos ustedes, desde un principio, por el amor entrañable que le tenemos a esta música. Estamos trabajando sobre la marcha, pero desafortunadamente también constamos de «empleos» verdaderos a los cuales debemos responder para sustentar tanto a nosotros mismos como al sitio web.

Thursday Morning, July 10, 2003 - Positive NG Review! - We've added an NG La Banda NEWS page and the first entry is an email from Lionel Rogier who saw Tosco's new group in Europe and loved them! Click here to hear the other side of the story. Balancing that out have been reports from Havana of NG's act there containing Karaoke performances of the love theme from "The Titanic"!! We await further evidence from other Europeans timberos!

CH & Riki Ricón both in Rome - Paola Arias reports to say that not only is CH playing in Italy this week, but that Dantes "Riki Ricón" Cardosa, CH's controversial ex-singer, is also there with his own band. We, like Paola, are eager to get up to date on "Rikiband", so please send in your pictures and concert reports.

Catch this one if you can: On July 19, at Fort Napoleon, France, Bamboleo and Azúcar Negra will both be on the same stage! Bamboleo has joined NG, LVV, CH, Azúcar Negra, Rikiband, Maraca, Clan 357, and La Barriada in Europe, where there are no Visa problems. Is there anyone left in Cuba? Meanwhile, in the music-starved US, even Sierra Maestra was denied a visa and had to cancel its tour! They will try to re-book the tour later this year.

The Musicians' Directory pages of Pupy's tecladista, Osiris Martínez and Manolito's güiro player, Jorge Luis Guerra have both been updated. Click on the names to go to the pages.Thanks to Lionel Rogier for the info and new jpg.

Finally, we will soon have an updated version of the Issac DISCS page, correcting some omissions.

Tuesday Night, July 8, 2003 Pupy back in the studio! - Los Que Son Son's leader, César "Pupy" Pedroso, has checked in by email to tell us that today the group returned to the studio to record radio demos to start the promotion for their second CD (not yet recorded). The band is currently performing with one of Carlos Manuel's corista backing up Mandy & Pepe. Pepe Gómez, by the way, has also written a new song which Pupy is very excited about and which is being recorded today. Pupy is planning on hiring a third lead singer to replace Tirso and is taking his time sifting through the many job applicants for the perfect match. Los Que Son Son is probably the hottest act in Havana this year and there are a lot of young singers who would love to inherit Tirso's vacant spot.

More Charanga Tour Fotos - including a guest appearance from Tanya Portoja of Azúcar Negra, also currently touring Europe. Thanks to Bart DeBruycker for finding these fotos on the excellent Belgian tangoweb site.

Tuesday Morning, July 8, 2003 - Charanga Habanera in Copenhagen- Click here for a concert report from Michelle White.. Click here for her new photos.

Monday, July 7, 2003 - Los Van Van - Amsterdam and Apeldoorn Concert Reports from Edwin Hautus. Click here for the reviews and the rest of the tour dates.

Lyrics to Santa Palabra - Thanks to Maarten Hendrik Lieffrink for sending this excellent transciption of the NG La Banda classic. Click Here.

Majela on Maraca- Majela had rave reviews for Maraca and his band. Catch them if you can.

Europe Summary - Europe is the place to be this summer! Currently touring are LVV, Charanga Habanera, Azúcar Negra, Maraca, La Barriada, Guaco and a group billing itself at NG La Banda. Here's a quick report on NG's most recent show: Jorge Baglán wasn't playing, Tosco has 3 women (singers), Tony Calá, one sax, one trumpet, Bombi (Tosco's brother) plays congas and bongó and Emilio Morales plays now piano and keyboards. In other words, no Arango, no Pan con salsa, no metales de terror, no drummer! Kevin's NG Warning: Please don't go see NG based on the many articles we have about NG in the early 90's. It's not even close to the same band, or the same level of musical creativity. I don't know why Tosco has become so cynical. It's very sad. That said...hey...you might like them anyway. There's always a chance that there's something interesting about the the new configuration, but I personally would go see any of the above-listed groups before NG.If you DO go, however, please send in a concert report and let's hope I'm wrong!

Sunday, July 6, 2003 - Maarten Hendrik Liefrink's Review of Charanga Habanera in Belgium: Click here for the Charanga Habanera NEWS page.

Alejandro Borrero leaves Bamboleo - This just in from Andrés Vargas. Alejandro, who has been with Bamboleo since Osvaldo Chacón left in about 1997, has left to pursue a solo career. No details yet as to who will replace him or the details of his new band.

Según Andrés Vargas, se ha ido de Bamboleo el cantante Alejandro Borrero para formar su propio grupo.

Friday, July 4, 2003 - Mayito with LVV in Sweden and Belgium- Two concert reports from our friends Magnus Lindgren and Bart DeBruycker. Click here to read them both. Bart also reviews Azúcar Negra who opened for LVV and tells us that Charanga is playing today. There's also a link to pictures from the concert Click here for the reviews and the rest of the tour dates.

Manolín: Lara Greene reports that the Manolín concert was all timba except for one song and well received. More details to come.

La página principal de Issac Delgado está en español ahora, traducido por Ilán Greenfield. Pon clik aquí.

Manolín in Miami - 6:00 p.m. today - Bayfront Park - Thanks to Mimai conguero Lara Greene for the tip. It will be Tomás Cruz on congas and Alexis "Pututi I" on drumset. Sounds like at least part Timba.

Los Van Van should have played Stockholm last night. If anyone was there, please send a report! kevin@timba.com.

Wednesday, July 2, 2003 - Calling all Canadians! ¡La gente de Canada pongan click aquí!!- Click here for The Ottawa Bluesfest, which takes place between July 4th and 13th. Klimax will play, apparently several shows, at the "Cabaret" and will also be the opening act on the main stage for none other than Elvis Costello. Strange as this sounds, it's an incredible matchup. Elvis Costello and Klimax's Giraldo Piloto share the distinction of being among the very best songwriters in their respective languages. In addition to writing several hundred English-language classics, Costello has co-written many more great songs with the likes of Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach. Manolín, Paulito, and the rest of the timberos who are now determined to cross-over to what they call "pop" would be well advised to stop listening to the drivel that they think is English-language pop and check out the likes of Costello to see what la Yuma really has to offer. But enough with the "moña" already. Aside from Klimax and Costello, there's another very exciting reason to make the trip to Ottawa. The Arango Brothers. Feliciano Arango, the "father of Timba bass playing", who played on every classic recording of NG La Banda has been talking for years about putting together a group with his brother, and now that Tosco has stopped clinging to his last shred of sanity and has turned NG into a drum machine-driven lounge act, Feliciano has finally made his move. The Festival also features Jane Bunnett, Bellita, and The Allman Brothers, among many others. Are Americans allowed to fly directly to Canada or do we have to sneak in through Cuba?

Great New Azúcar Negra Photos - by Marco Prado-Mas. Azúcar Negra is really on a roll lately with new singers, a new album, and a new European Tour just starting. Stay tuned for more. Click here for the new photos and here for the latest news.

Aramís Galindo - Aramís and his band, featuring the phenomenal young drummer Alberto Centelles, have just returned to Cuba after an extended 3 month engagement at Disco Azúcar in Cancún, the nightclub immortalized in song by Los Van Van in the early 90's. Galindo will be preparing for a tour of Finland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, England, Holland in Italy in September and October. He'll also be recording his second album for Cuba Chévere, produced by Icelys Bauditz-Roche S. This is the company which produced the Klimax Latin Jazz CD and is scheduled to release the long-awaited second Mamborama CD with El Indio, Piloto, Pupy, Manolito, Jimmy Branly et al.

Tuesday, July 1, 2003 - New blood in Miami - Duniel reports that he ran into Wilfredo Cardosa at a Miami music store. The ex-Bamboleo sax player/arranger has been in South America and has recently arrived in Miami where he's putting together an all-star band featuring Tomasito, Yordamís, Chaka and the rest of the Usual Suspects. Miami has too many great musicians, too few gigs, and way too few great arrangers. Let's hope Wilfredo can do something about at least the latter! More soon.

Monday, June 30, 2003 - LVV European Tour Dates - Click here to go to the new Los Van Van NEWS page. Thanks to David Whitford for showing us where to find them!

Azucar Negra Personnel Page Updated.

Jacira Castro reviews Los Van Van's Tampa Concert on SalsaPower. In English y en Espanol.

Azúcar Negra concluded a tour of Cuba with a major concert on the Malecón and leave for their European Tour tonight. Para leer todas las últimas noticias de Azúcar Negra en español, pon clik aquí.

Sunday, June 29, 2003 - LVV in San Francisco - It was probably the last San Francisco Timba concert for the forseeable future, but Los Van Van made it a memorable one. Bimbo's 357 Club was sold out and the crowd and band were both on fire. KPFA DJ Luis Medina opened with a perfectly-chosen 90 minutes of classic and more recent Timba tracks before Van Van, sin Mayito, played a two hour plus set that was met with a rock concert-like response by the deeply-deprived denizens of the Bay Area. The songs were Llegó Van Van, Tim-pop con Birdland (this time sung by Lele), Popurri (medley of LVV hits from the 70's), Mi Mimi (Yeni Valdés lived up to her reputation as a brilliant improviser and topped it off with a gender-bending version of the old Pedrito Calvo routine -- pulling a (phenomenally good) male dancer from the crowd and ripping off some tembleque moves that put even Bamboleo to shame), new song (sung by Lele, a slower, funky minor groove), Te Pone La Cabeza, Ven Ven Ven (a new song written by Cucurucho and sung by Roberto), Qué cosas tiene la vida, Yo sé que Van Van, and a riveting encore: Quién no ha dicho una mentira. Bimbo's is not as intimate as Yoshi's and much of the band was hard to see from the packed dance floor, but from the middle and back of the club the sound was clear, undistorted, well-mixed and at a significantly lower decibel level than the average Latin concert. From here, LVV returns briefly to Cuba and then on to Europe, where they play Stockholm on Thursday. If anyone has the rest of the European dates, please send them in. And send Van Van back here while you're at it!

Saturday Night, June 28, 2003 - LVV in San Diego - Timberos can heave a collective sigh of relief. Mayito Rivera will not be relocating to the Timba Graveyard (aka, Miami, Florida). He'll rejoin the band in Cuba before they begin the European swing of their tour, but apparently won't be present in San Francisco tomorrow night.

Like LA's LVV show, San Diego's Belly Up Tavern was sold out with timba-starved fans, and the SF show at Bimbo's is already nearly sold out as well. LVV played the same set they played in LA, which includes three items of extreme interest to those of us who have become almost too familiar with the same set they had been playing ever since early 2001. Lele has two new songs, one by Juan Formell and one by the new pianist Cucurucho. Both have gotten strong early reviews. The third change is simply that in Mayito's temporary absence, Roberto is singing "Tim-pop con Birdland", previously known as "Sol natural". Roberto is one of only about three living Cuban singers who can be considered the equal of Mayito and to hear him singing one of Mayito's numbers on short notice is a thrilling prospect, He's apparently risen to the challenge brilliantly. Were the situation reversed, I'd love to hear what Mayito would do with "Te pone la cabeza mala"! And it might well have been reversed as it's no secret that Robertón was less than thrilled to have had to drop out of the great "Team Cuba II" concert in Madrid last weekend which Melón tells us went very well.

In preparation for tomorrow's show, I listened to the most recent LVV album, "Concierto en Vivo: En el Malecón de la Habana", and have added it to the long list of great albums which timba.com needs to review! Cucurucho and Irving, the new violinist, sound great and the old tunes have lots of interesting new coro harmonies, revised mambos and inspired new guías. More importantly, the new material gets stronger with each listening. In terms of pure musicianship, this may be the best Van Van group ever, and from a creative standpoint, old JF & Co. still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Another titan of Timba who cannot yet be counted out is David Calzado. I'd been hesitant to dig into the new Charanga Habanera album, "Soy cubano, soy popular" for fear that DC, without the presence of an alter-ego of the calibre of Juan Carlos González or Tirso Duarte, would fall prey to the devil "moña", but I'm pleased to report that I can't get the title track out of my head! It's classic Calzado -- with all the brilliant twists and turns that we've come to expect. Add another CD to the list of albums that need to be added to timba.com. NG and Manolín may have gone down the tubes, with Paulito nipping at their heels, but the reports of the demises of Juan Formell and David Calzado have been greatly exaggerated!

Finally, the Azúcar Negra pages have been updated. People were getting very confused about the departure of Haila Mompié and the arrival of her replacement, her cousin Tanya. We'll be adding more updates shortly as we get new information. The group has apparently finished its second album and is about to embark on a tour of Europe. We're eager to hear the latest compositions of another of the pivotal figures in the history of Timba, Azúcar Negra's leader and composer, Leonel Limonta.

Saturday Morning, June 28, 2003 - LVV already played Tampa! - We may have to change the name of "la última" to "yesterday's fishwrap". LVV played Tampa on Thursday night. You can read about it in the St. Petersburg Times Online at www.sptimes.com. Ya tocó en Tampa Los Van Van el jueves pasado.

El artículo sobre Charanga Habanera Live in the USA ahora está en español. Pon click aquí.

Friday Night, June 27, 2003 - Mayito Missing in Action - Los Van Van played to a jam-packed house at Albert Torres' Sportmen's Lodge in Los Angeles but without one key member. Bandmembers said that they pounded on Mayito's door at the hotel in Tampa but told them to go away. The band left without him and no one knows what his intentions are. Nevertheless, LVV played their asses off. Robertón sang Mayito's number, Tim-pop con Birdland, and Lele sang a new song which they had debuted in Puerto Rico. Other than that it was basically the same set as the recent live CD, plus the "Popurri" medley of old hits that they used to feature in the late 90's. Saturday they'll play the Belly Up Tavern in San Diego, and Sunday, yours truly will be present to hear them at Bimbo's in San Francisco. Stay tuned for further developments.

Mayito no estaba con Van Van en su concierto en Los Ángeles anoche. Se quedó en Tampa y nadie sabe lo que va a hacer. Van Van tocó un nuevo número cantado por Lele, y Roberto cantó por Mayito en Tim-Pop con Birdland. Vamos a ver lo que va a pasar en San Diego el sábado y en San Francisco el domingo. Para los que preguntaron, ahora pienso que era sólo un rumor que LVV iba a tocar en Tampa. El grupo estaba allí, y TODAVÍA está Mayito, pero el grupo van a tocar en Suecia el 3 de julio, y entonces, creo que no van a tocar en Tampa. Lean la última el sábado y el domingo para más noticias, y como siempre, disculpen mi español!

Thursday, June 26, 3003 - - La Charanga Habanera - Pa' que se entere la Habana- traducido al español por Ilán Greenfield. Fue un de los discos más importante en la historia de Timba. Este artículo tiene 36 ejemplos de audio, la letra y un análisis detallado de cada canción, la historia del estreno de Michel Maza, y mucho más! Pon clik aquí.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003 - La Charanga Habanera - La desintegraión en adelante - traducido al español por Ilán Greenfield. To' el mundo sabe que la Charanga original se rompió en 2 grupos: Charanga Habanera y Charanga Forever. Pero hay mucho más! Ahora pueden leer "el resto de la historia" en español. Pon clik aquí.

Friday, June 20, 2003 - Mamborama/El Indio sneak preview! - Mamborama's new CD, "Entre la Habana y el Yuma" is selling like hotcakes in Italy, but not yet released in the US. However, you can hear an excerpt of "La gata loca" on El Indio's home page. El Indio sings lead on several songs on the album and many other musicians from Manolito y su Trabuco and Klimax are also featured. Remember that you can go direct to El Indio's page by just typing elindio.timba.com into your browser. Likewise with most other prominent timberos.

timba.com server crash - proofreaders needed! Everything crashed hard earlier this week -- we think we've got it all back in one piece, but please email us at kevin@timba.com if you find any pictures, pages, or mp3's that don't work right. Thanks for your patience.

Más Charanga en español: Ilán ha traducido ell artículo sobre la clave en los arreglos de la CH. Pon clik aquí.

Danny Inglesias added to Musicians' Directory: Danny played piano, wrote, arranged and recorded with La Caro Band, and also LM Sobredosis before moving to México.Pon clik aquí.

Thursday, June 19, 2003 - El Tren is in the house! Los Van Van is here! Duniel has talked with Lele, Mayito, Roberto and others and has much to report. LVV has also been in the studio and has a new Juan Formell song, sung by Lele, which is already on the radio in Havana. Mayito's new song, written by Samuel Formell and Cucurucho, is called "Agua". Lots more details to come, but the main news is that Van Van is here will be playing lots of new material on the upcoming tour. There will NOT, as we hinted earlier, be a Miami show, but they will be playing in Tampa. In other news, Roberto has a new soon to be released solo album featuring such musicians as Rolando Luna and Alexander Abreu.

Timba Time Warp - As many of you have noticed, timba.com has been having flashbacks and keeps jumping back and forth in time. We've got it under control now, but it will take a few days before everything is completely restored.

Monday, June 16, 2003 - The Chisme Report! Our intrepid Miami reporter, Duniel Deya, has just checked in with the latest hot rumors from Havana, México and Miami.

The most shocking is that Tirso Duarte has apparently left Los Que Son Son. Los Que Son Son, led by César "Pupy" Pedroso, ex-pianist of Los Van Van, is without doubt the hottest and most popular band in Havana and one of the few which has continued to improve and stretch the boundaries of Timba, rather than to revert to feeble attempts at pop, like El Médico, Paulito FG, Dany Lozada, and even Charanga Habanera to some extent. On the other hand, Tirso Duarte is one of the two or three most talented Timberos left on the island. He ranks near the top in terms of singing, writing, arranging and of course piano playing. This could be one of the split-ups where everybody wins. Pupy's other two singers, Armando Cantero and Pepe Gómez, have been absolutely on fire, and as great as Tirso has sung with Pupy, he just has too much talent to not be writing his own music. Duniel reports that Tirso, who was previously reported to have already been working on a solo album, is now forming his own group, using, among others, some of the musicans Carlos Manuel y su Klan, returning to Cuba after their leader's highly publicized defection to the US about a week ago.

Following in CM's footsteps is Marcos Domenech, Paulito FG's longtime corista, who stayed in México during a recent tour to promote Paulito's album. Marcos is now trying to make his way to Miami. I hate to sound like the old monkey in "Planet of the Apes" who tells Charlton Heston: "Go ahead...but you you won't like what you find there", but let's just hope Marquito likes to sing with drum machines and sequencers.

Carlos Manuel is another story entirely. I wouldn't be suprised in the least if he becomes a major star in short order. He has more than enough charisma and good looks and his cheesy music is a LOT easier to play and write than Timba. Timba has failed in Miami because the Miami lifestyle isn't conducive to the long hours of rehearsal necessary to create the sophisticated arrangements that made the Timba celebrated here at timba.com so great. Equally important, the Miami public, satisfied to dress up in designer clothers and listen to Karaoke singers with drum machines, has failed to create the financial and emotional support and inspiration that the Havana scene provided for the Timba revolution. But Carlos Manuel seems perfectly suited to play the part of the US pop star. He, his family, his timbalero Jorge, and his sonidista Tony are all in Miami and should have a new band and some new pop novelty tunes in no time. Watch out, Ricky Martin! We only hope that our old pal Hugo uses some of the profits to continue the "Live in the USA" series!

BUT WAIT! Sorry to interrupt Duniel's latest report with my comentarios. Duniel was just getting started. Pachito Alonso is about to release a new album called "La Habana se queda chiquita" and three songs are already being played on Cuban radio.

Also, Lele of Los Van Van may already be in Miami, awaiting the arrival of the rest of the group, and they just might add a Miami date to their tour! Don't hold your breath though, Curtis. Remember what happened the last time they did that? Rioting nearly broke out, with rival political factions pelting each other with Karaoke machines.

Finally, Odelquis Revé, brother and former bongocero of the legendary Elio Revé, Sr., has formed a new band of his own in Havana which has gotten strong early reviews. More on this soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2003 - Yoel Páez enseñará 4 días de classes desde el 7 hasta el 10 de julio. Pon clik aquí para todos los detalles. Yoel Páez, one of Timba's all-time greats, who played drums with Paulito FG, Issac Delgado and Manolín, el Médico de la Salsa, will be giving a series of master classes from the 7th to the 10th of July. Click here for the full details, including a full-color poster of the event.

Saturday, June 14, 2003 - Me sube la fiebre por Charanga Habanera en español, traducido por Ilán Greenfield. Pon clik aquí. Y ahora pueden escribir a Ilán. Su dirección es ilan@timba.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2003 - Los Van Van in Los An-Angeles - We had the date right, but the wrong location. LVV will play at Albert Torres' Sportman's Lodge on June 27th. For reservations call (310) 450-8770. Los Van Van tocará el 27 de junio en «Sportsman's Lodge». Para reservaciones: (310) 450-8770.

Más timba.com en español: Gracias a Ilán Greenfield, ahora tenemos la página de HISTORY de Klimax. Pon clik aquí.

Y Paulito también: Está en español también la introducción de las páginas del Sofocador. Pon clik aquí.

Y de Pedro Pablo también: Pon clik aquí para el artículo por bajista Allan Johnston sobre el estilo de bajo del bajista original de la Charnaga Habanera.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003 - NG La Banda en español! - Ilán Greenfield ha traducido casi todas las páginas de NG La Banda!!

I. 1988-1992 - Periodo Inicial: «El nacimiento de la Timba» -- Este período nos ofrece temas de la talla de «La Expresiva» y «Los Sitios Entero» y protagoniza a Giraldo Piloto en la batería, todas las grabaciones de Issac Delgado al igual que las primeras de Mena. No es posible adquirir estos discos en su presentación original, pero muchos de los temas pueden ser hallados en compilaciones como «En la Calle» de QBAdisc.

II. 1993-1996 - Periodo Intermedio: En este período, con temas inolvidables como «Santa Palabra» y «Echale Limón», Calixto Oviedo reemplaza a Piloto en la batería. Estos títulos aún están disponibles en CD como fueron lanzados originalmente.

III. 1996 to 2001 - Periodo Ultimo: NG gradualmente empieza a alejarse de la Timba e introduce una variedad de experimentos dentro de otros géneros de la música popular. Quedan, sin embargo, restos de su propuesta original en temas como «La Medicina» y «La Dura».

IV. Compilaciones y sugerencias: Información sobre lo que está disponible, cómo vivir el universo de NG si sólo recientemente te han sido presentados, y cómo el fanático insasiable puede coleccionar hasta el tesoro más oculto.

V. Los miembros de NG como solistas: Lanzamientos recientes de Calixto Oviedo, El Kid de la Salsa, y Wickly. Por supuesto, tenemos páginas exclusivamente dedicadas a Issac y Klimax.

VI. Timba aparte: Un recuento de la extensa obra de NG en el ámbito del jazz latino y sus proyectos de acompañamiento con otros artistas.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - Carlos Manuel Update - Thanks to Jorge Artiles who reports that all of the CM musicians have returned to La Habana, and that Carlos himself is now in Texas going through immigration. Según Jorge Artiles, todos los músicos de CM han regresado a Cuba, pero Carlos Manuel estaba en Tejas ayer.

Monday, June 9, 2003 - Klimax en Español - Las páginas de INTRO y DISCS de Klimax ya están en español. Gracias a Ilán.

Azúcar Negra NEWS page added - Marco Prado-Mas nos ha mandado noticias sobre la gira de Europa de Azúcar Negra. Pon-clik aquí. We've added a NEWS page for Azúcar Negra with new information about their upcoming European Tour.

Good news and bad news: (do we ever have plain old "good news"?). Roberto Van Van will not be in Madrid for the June 23rd all-star festival mentioned earlier in La Última. The good news is that he will be present on the upcoming Los Van Van tour, and the even better news is that their visas have apparently actually come through. Here are the dates:

Gira de los Van Van
06/20/2003 San Juan, PR Hilton Caribe Hotel
06/21/2003 New York, NY Carnegie Hall
06/22/2003 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap Filene Center
06/24/2003 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
06/25/2003 Chicago, IL House Of Blues
06/27/2003 Los Angeles, CA Sportman's Lodge
06/28/2003 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
06/29/2003 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's 365 Club

NEW RELEASES: The new Charanga Habanera CD, "Soy cubano, soy popular", has been released in the US by Ciocan Music. There's also a non-timba pop record by Dany Lozada and a concert CD by Haila Mompié.More soon on all of these.

Sunday, June 8, 2003 - Ilán Greenfield sigue con sus traducciones - Pon clik aquí para Hey You, Loca por la Charanga Habanera.

Coming soon: timba.com in Hebrew! Click here for a preview. Los Van Van in Hebrew.

Pop Star Updates: In case you hadn't heard, Carlos Manuel has left Cuba, and is apparently in México with a good portion of his band, trying to make his way to Miami.

The Doctor is Out: Meanwhile, the last big Cuban star to do that, Manolín, has finally released his long-awaited "pop" album. What he didn't tell us was that it's the pop of the 70's! The first track sounds like "Drift Away" by Dobie Gray. It took us this long to write about the album because no one could think of the name of the song, so thanks to Abel Robaina, the human encyclopedia of pop music, for solving the puzzle. As for the album, it's hard to imagine this dated sounding material selling like hotcakes in La Yuma, but then again, we found it hard to imagine "De buena fe" not selling like hotcakes outside of Cuba, so what do we know? We do know that we'd greatly prefer it if the Cubans would stick to their guns and be Cuban instead of trying to please the lame global market.

In any case, Manolín's BMG release makes Paulito's flaccid attempts at pop sound like timba durísima in comparison! We wish Manny all the best, but our musical advice is to buy "El puente", Manolito's "Se rompieron los termómetros" and Pupy's "Qué cosas tiene la vida" and save your money for the upcoming Klimax CD.

Friday, June 6, 2003 - ¡¡ La sección de La Charanga Habanera en español !!: Ilán Greenfield, un colega ecuatoriano, músico y escritor radicado en París, nos está ayudando con la traducción de los artículos sobre la CH al español. Pon clik aquí para "Conversaciones en Timba", un análisis de los estilos de Tirso Duarte, Yulién Oviedo y la Charanga del 2000 que grabó el disco fenomenal «El Charanguero Mayor».

Saturday, May 31, 2003 -- More on "The Concert" -- Here's the personnel for the Marcha Latina Sandunga Festival in Madrid, June 23. Special thanks to Melon for sending the info.

 

Musicians:
Bass, Dir. Musical, Voz: Joel Domínguez
Piano: Iván "Melón" González
Teclados: Yuri Wong (?)
Drums: Georvis Pico
Timbal y Congas: Yuri Nogueira y "Majito" (*)
Trompeta: Fernando Hurtado
Sax Tenor: Inoidel González
Trombón 1: William Paredes
Trombón 2: Geandelaxis Bell

Singers:
Robertón (Van Van)
Sixto "El Indio" (Manolito y su Trabuco)
Paulito FG
Alain Pérez
Joel Domínguez
Arais (*)

(*) -- Majito is an excellent Venezuela who's been living in Madrid and has recently recorded for Celia Cruz. Arais is a young female Cuban singer now living in Madrid.

Latest from Havana-- Our trio of Havana reporters, Bill Wolfer, Jennifer Pearce and María Carlota Domandi have been sending in a variety of interesting news. Tirso Duarte has a solo album in the works; Pupy Pedroso has a hot new song; Manolito won the Cubadisco award for best album for "Rompieron los termómetros"; Juan Formell and Yeni Valdés are both looking healthy and performing with Los Van Van; David Calzado is talking about releasing an album of all ballads (ay mamá!); Klimax will record a new Timba album soon. More to come.

Friday, May 30, 2003 -- Good News and Bad News: If you live in Spain, the news is good. Joel Domínguez has put together an all-star rhythm section including Melón on piano to back singers Roberto Van Van, Sixto "El Indio" Llorente, and Paulito FG at the Marcha Latina Sandunga Festival (it's a very slow loading link) in Madrid on June 23. Also on the bill are El Canario, Ketama, and members of Grupo Niche. We're waiting for more details on the band and the songs.

If you live in the US, the news is not so good. As Tirso Duarte sang in his famous guest appearance at Casa de la Música on December 31, 1999, "Si tú no bailas con Issac, la vida no vale nada". Applied to 2003, the English translation is "Life Sucks in La Yuma". Like over 75% of the announced US Timba tours since Bill Clinton moved to Harlem, Issac Delgado's tour has been cancelled due to visas. Pupy has also been postponed. There's still apparently hope that Los Van Van will come and Cubanismo may still be on track for August, but we don't expect you to hold your breath on those either. La Última is beginning to sound like the boy who cried wolf. Nothing ever materialized on the Bamboleo rumor either. We'd move to Spain, but Bill Wolfer says the live music scene there is totally dead except for festivals.

May 17, 2003 -- We've added a NEWS page for master baterista Yoel Páez, who played with Paulito FG, Issac Delgado and Manolín, before moving to Spain.

As a representative of Yamaha, Yoel will be giving master classes for the Assocation of Percussionists and Drummers in Valencia, Spain. The classes will cover the adaptation of batá, conga and bongó rhythms to drumset soloing in Jazz and Latin Pop. For more information, email Yoel directly.

Later in July he'll be giving a similar class for Sedajazz of Valencia, this time representing Yamaha, Zildjian, Evans, and the latest addition to his list of endorsements, Toca Percussion.

Last but not least, next Tuesday Yoel will be recording all of the percussion parts on a new CD from the group Aguita Sala.

Thursday, May 1, 2003 - Marco Prado Mas has written an extensive new article on Leonel Limonta and Azúcar Negra.

Osvaldo Chacón, ex-singer of Bamboleo and Paulito FG, and an excellent songwriter as well, is perhaps the only bandleader who has been able to keep a full-time Timba band thriving outside of Cuba. He's just released his 2nd CD in England. Check his excellent website for the latest tour dates in Europe and more about the album.

On the Los Van Van front Andy Pérez of New Jersey writes to say that he spoke with LVV singer, Lele, who says the tour is on and LVV will be playing NY onthe 21st of June and San Francisco the 29th, as well as Puerto Rico. Lele also said they've been rehearsing new songs which will hopefully be played on the tour.

Tuesday, April 29, 2005 - ¡¡Un montón de noticias!! - Where to start??

Well, Hugo Cancio of Ciocan Music reports than the new Charanga Habanera CD, "Soy Cubano, soy popular" will be released in the United States "en los próximos días".

cuban music, musica cubanaMeanwhile, our intrepid reporter Duniel Deya has got the scoop on the long-awaited "pop" album of Manolín, el Médico de la Salsa. It features several important contributers to Manolín's epic Timba albums, including Angel "Pututi II" Arce, Armando Gola, and Alexis "Pututi I" Arce. And here's the song list, which sheds new light on what to expect (see comments).

1- Tal como soy
2- Quién eres tú
3- Que has hecho de mi (Duniel reports hearing this one live in Miami)
4- Dime que hago
5- Esperanza (Manolín has played this since his last band in Cuba with Los Yoeles. It's a very pretty minor-key pop ballad. It lacked a high energy Timba 2nd half back then, so perhaps Manolín was already plotting out his idea of going "pop" before leaving Cuba)
6- Una aventura loca (This is the title of Manolín's first hit, and the title track of his first album -- probably reworked in "pop" fashion)
7- Giro Total
8- Que está pasando, que no pasa nada
9- Lo que tú no sabes
10- Jugamos al amor
(Manolín played this at Yuca in Miami in the summer of 2001. It's a ballad version of "La mitad de La Habana" from his second album, "Para mi gente".
11- La vida no es tan tan (This is from the fourth album, "Jaque mate" -- again no doubt a de-timbafied version.

Manolín the Latin Pop Star? We shall see...

But wait, there's more! Promoter Elena Peña of EManagement confirms that the Issac Delgado US Tour is definitely on, including a 4-night stand at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA, from June 19 to June 22. Issac has a hot new bassist, Raúl "Avis" Gil García, and a new tecladero, Raúl Rodríguez. Issac will be back in September for the Monterey Jazz Festival and an East Coast tour, and the debut tour that everyone's been waiting for, Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son, is also looking solid for August. Also, although she's not personally involved with the tour, Elena has ascertained that the visa situation is looking good for Los Van Van in June.

As for the rumored Bamboleo tour, it remains in the rumor stage. Based on their performance in California last summer, I would rank Bamboleo's current group as one of the three or four hottest in Timba. If you want to hear them, click here to send some email to the booking agents, Ritmo Artists and let them know!

Siguiendo a Azúcar Negra, nuestro amigo François Bégin nos ha mandado nuevas fotos que van a acompañar una nueva sección sobre Azúcar Negra escrita en español por Marco Prado Mas, que, con su esposa, va a ayudar con la promoción del grupo en los EEUU y Europa.(Look for an updated Azúcar Negra section with lots of new photos soon).

Meanwhile, the tireless Pedro Aizcorbe continues his quest to reunite all of the genius-level Cuban expatriates in Boston, Massachussetts. He's already been involved in bringing Tony Pérez, and the late summer arrival of none other than Iván "Mélon" González himself, the greatest of the Timba pianists, is almost assured. Now Pedro is working on bringing Alain Pérez, probably the greatest Timba bassist and brilliant writer/arranger/singer as well, to Berklee School of Music to give master classes and workshops. Manolín may have to update his famous coro to "La Habana se fue pa' Boston".

Returning to the latest reports from Duniel Deya:

1) a posthumous Polo Montañez album with never before released material will be released soon on the Lusafrica label

2) after sampling the latest on the Cuban airwaves, Duniel, also a prominent Miami DJ, lists the following as the most popular new hits:

1-Van Van - Víve
2-Paulo FG - Me gusta tanto
3-Adalberto Alvarez - Deja la mala noche
4-Chispa y sus complices - Adivíname
5-Paulo FG, Pedrito Calvo, Jenny (Van Van) y Mario Rivera - Un cazador
de estrellas (A song dedicated to the beloved Polo Montañez)

3) Paulo FG won the "Video Mas Popular del Año" in the recent Cuban "wanna
be MTV Awards", the Premios Lucas, with his song "Te deseo suerte"

4) Luis Bu, (the genius arranger behind much of Manolín's best work), is nearly done recording his first album as a leader, with his group, Son de la Yuma, which features ex-Bambolera Yordamis Megret, ex-NG La Banda singer El Kid de la Salsa, and the cream of Miami's best Timba musicians.

5) A new interview with Bamboleo's Lázaro Valdés, Jr. is coming soon.

6) The new Haila Mompié album is out in Cuba, continuing her trend away from Timba towards more traditional material, including re-recordings of "Quimbara" and "Bemba colorá".

Thursday, April 24, 2003 - Cuba Chévere is at it again. After releasing the heralded Klimax Latin Jazz CD last year, they've just finished recording another Latin Jazz CD with members of Bamboleo, including leader Lázaro Valdés. They're also close to acquiring the licensing rights to the upcoming Mamborama CD we've been raving about.


Wednesday, April 23, 2003 - The Afro-Cuban All Stars, with special guests Pedro Calvo (previously with Los Van Van),Cubanismo's Jesús Alemañy, and brilliant trumpeter Julio Padrón, are touring the US, including a dance show at the Santa Cruz Civic. The Santa Cruz show is on May 5 at the SC Civic Auditorium. Click here for more info and to buy tickets. And for the full list of all the dates of the tour, click here.

Special thanks to Duniel Deya and "El Manisero" for providing the latest scoop on Haila Mompié. She's finished recording her second album, featuring arrangements by Juan Ceruto and an allstar band comprised of musicians from Issac's band and top Havana studio musicians such as Alexander Abreu, Amaury Pérez, Andrés Cuayo, Alfredo Hechevarría, and Rolando Luna. She's accompanied on one track, "Un sincero amor", by Charanga Habanera, and elsewhere there are guest appearances by Issac Delgado, Chucho Valdés, and Mayito Rivera.

Duniel has also written a major update for the page of singer Gardi Vásquez. Duniel's contact, María Isabel, reports that Gardi has recently finished his second album, featuring Yusef Díaz of Klimax, and a variety of other top musicians including bassist Roberto Riverón, percussionist Pepe Espinosa, pianist Rolando Luna, and timbalero Andrés Cuayo, with production by NG alumnus Germán Velazco.

Thursday, April 17, 2003 - Maarten Hendrik Liefrink has updated his transcription of the lyrics to NG La Banda's Crónica Social. Click here.

Upcoming Timba Concerts in Northern California:

Issac Delgado at Yoshi's - June 19 - 22
Los Van Van at Bimbo's 365 Club - June 29
Cubanismo at Kuumbwa Jazz Center - August 8th
Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son at Yoshi's - dates TBA
Issac Delgado at the Monterey Jazz Festival - Sept. 20

Osvaldo Chacón's European Tour: click here

Tuesday, April 14, 2003 - Joel Domínguez, who has been living in Barcelona for several years, reports that a large festival, "Sandunga", is being planned in Madrid. The tentative date is June 13. It will feature ex-musicians from the groups of Issac & Paulito and guest starts such as Roberto Van Van, Paulito FG, and El Canario. Joel will also be performing songs from his new CD, made with his own group in Spain. Here's Joel's message in Spanish:

 

Te escribo para comentarte que en junio (aproximadamente el día 13) se va a
realizar en Madrid un gran festival de música cubana se llama "Sandunga". Va
a ser un evento para 10000 o 15000 personas en un recinto enorme, hasta
ahora contamos con la participación de Paulo FG, Robertón (de Van Van),
José Alberto "el Canario" y algunos más. Yo voy a acompañar a los cantantes
con mi orquesta casi todos los músicos van a ser ex músicos de Issac
Delgado y Paulito que residen aquí en España, también voy a tocar temas de
mi nuevo CD.

Meanwhile, I just returned from Los Angeles where I was blown away by the final mix of Bill Wolfer's new Mamborama CD, Entre La Habana y el Yuma. The vocals are by El Indio, who also co-wrote some of the songs, and the tracks feature Bill's piano with three different configurations of Cuban musicians: one made up entirely of musicians from Manolito y su Trabuco, one of musicians from Klimax and the last a group of LA-based Cuban all-stars such as Jimmy Branly. There are also guest solos from Manolito, Pupy Pedroso and Julio Padrón. Bill hopes to have the CD released in about a month.

Thursday, March 27, 2003 - Lots of News! Duniel Deya has updated the page of "El Kid de la Salsa" and created a new page for talented young Miami percussionist Danny Barrios.

The king of the Los Angeles salsa dance scene, entrepeneur Albert Torres, is bringing Los Van Van to Sportsman's Lodge in North Hollywood in late June. LVV will then continue on to SF to play Bimbo's 365 Club. Albert is also very exciting about a new Timba band, Elaine y su Orquesta Cubaney, who will be doing a west coast tour in mid April. For more info on these shows and on Albert's Salsa Congress and other dance events, drop him an email at .albert@atpevents.com.

In other good news for the long suffering timba fans of the United States, there's a strong chance we'll also be seeing Issac, Bamboleo and Pupy Pedroso in the next few months. Northern Californians can check Yoshi's website where Issac is already being advertised for June 19th through June 22nd, and Pupy from August 7th through August 10th.

We're also getting close to several exciting new CD releases. Azúcar Negra has gone back into the studio to record their second CD. Mamborama's Bill Wolfer is working with Jimmy Branly, Coqui García and other giants of the LA scene to finish the album he began in Cuba with members of Manolito y su Trabuco and Klimax. He vows to have the album mixed, mastered, and shrink-wrapped in time to bring copies on his upcoming trip to Cuba. I'm still salivating over what I've heard of this album, feature powerhouse drum Roicel Riverón and maybe the greatest of all the timba singers, El Indio.

Finally, our favorite Australian timbera, Gabriel Wilder is back in Cuba and should be passing on the latest news on the timba scene there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - Special thanks to Martin Blais from Montreal, Canada, who has contributed the lyrics to "Es que me la llevo" from Manolín's live CD, El Puente. Click here for the lyrics, and click here for our collection of Manolín lyrics.

Saturday, March 8, 2003 - New Song from Los Van Van online - the Cubasí website has a streaming example of a new Los Van Van studio track, "Vive". click here

Thursday, March 6, 2003 - click here to see the updated European tour page with pictures of the cover and liner notes of Charanga Habanera's new CD, Soy cubano, soy popular. Special thanks to our good friend Magnus Lindgren for providing the scans. The cover is terrific and features on of Peter Maiden's spectacular photos from CH's 2000 tour of California.

Wednesday, March 5, 2003 - Charanga Habanera's European Tour - click here to go to a new page with interesting information about the new album and concert descriptions from European fans.

Ángel Bonne - Just below "La última" you can see that timba.com now has the new Ágel Bonne CD, "Bonne & Bonne Co.". Like his previous two discs, this is a real gem. We've haven't written nearly enough about this soulful singer and writer. To be honest, timba.com, even with it's 1,000+ pages, is only about 25% of the way towards its goal of doing justice to the massive amount of great music that's been created in Cuba in the last 15 years.

Ángel Bonne sang and wrote for Los Van Van in the early 90's, and has since formed his own group and released 3 great albums. He writes most of the songs, almost all of the arrangements, sings lead, plays sax, and in some cases, even records the bass and piano parts -- an incredibly talented guy, but more important is his uncanny gift for finding the most soulful note to sing in every phrase.

Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - Charanga Habanera's 8th Album - is called "Soy cubano, soy popular" - and has apparently been released in Cuba. Various lip-sync videos of the new songs are showing on cuban television. Hugo Cancio, president of Ciocan Music, reports that his company will release the CD in the United States, possibly as soon as April.

Including "Live in the USA", David Calzado has now released four CD's since the members of the original Charanga Habanera departed, in three stages, between the summer of '97 and late '98. This is the first album with no creative contributions from Tirso Duarte or Juan Carlos González, the two genius pianist/arrangers who have been Calzado's principal collaborators in construction of Charanga Habanera's astounding body of work. For complete reviews of each of CH's albums, including hundreds of mp3 excerpts, click on the link to go to the Charanga Habanera Discs pages. Many more articles on every aspect of the group are linked to the Charanga Habanera Home page.

Monday, March 3, 2003 - Bamboleo European Tour Dates - click here - The tour has already begun!

Sunday, March 2, 2003 - Bamboleo in Europe - Singer Alain Daniel Pico reports that Bamboleo arrived yesterday in Italy to begin a month long tour or Europe, including Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Holland, Spain, Finland Norway and Luxembourg. There are also plans for a tour of the USA in June & July. The Bamboleo homepage has a link at the top which always has the latest info from Ritmo Artists, who organize the group's tours.

Alain Daniel is also working on his soon to be released solo album, "Avísale a mi gente", which will be released on the French Avanti label. He's actively looking for a US distributor. Stay tuned for details. Si quieres escribir directamente a Alain Daniel, pon clik aquí.

Catching up on Bamboleo: A few years ago Bamboleo was playing more tours than any Cuban band other than Los Van Van, but they've only been able to come once since the twin catastrophes of 9/11 and the 2000 presidential election, which between them have slowed the flow of US Timba tours to a trickle. During that period of heavy touring, the personnel of the group remained very stable and two albums were released: Ya no hace falta, and the live album Ññño. Today, four key members of that group have left. Singer Vannia Borges is pursuing a solo career; singer Yordamis Megret has moved to Miami; singer El Gafas left for parts unknown (replaced by Alain Daniel); and bassist Rafael Paceiro is now with Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son. The good news is that all of the replacements sound great, the band has enough exciting new material for a new album, and most important, the rhythm section and the torrid Bamboleo groove remain at full strength.

If you're lucky enough to be reading this in Europe, see Bamboleo as many times as you can while they're there, because this is one of the remaining groups that's still pushing the envelope and producing great new Timba.

Monday, February 24, 2003 - Robert Hernández, a longtime friend of timba.com, has left his full time post as manager of La Charanga Habanera. He still works with that group, but is now involved in many other interesting projects as well, including tours to various cities of México, The Cuban Grammy's, and Haila Mompié. Roberto reports that Haila is currently performing as a guest star with the Orquesta de la Tropicana in the Canary Islands of Tenerife, Spain. She'll be there until the 30th of May. In June she'll tour Europe and she'll be in Japan in July, August and September.

Another of Roberto's projects, The Cuban Grammy's, features various nominees and winners of Latin Grammy awards, including Issac Delgado, Eliades Ochoa, Haila, Los Papines, Chucho Valdés and Vocal Sampling. This group will play 14 dates in Europe later this year. More details and future updates can be found on Roberto's site: www.musicaliaonline.com. En español también.

New Yoel Páez Photo Gallery -- Yoel Paéz, one of Timba's greatest drummers, and an alumnus of Paulito FG y su Élite, Issac Delgado and Manolín, among many others, has a new email address, and has sent us a wonderful series of pictures which chronicle his career and include dozens of legendary musicians he's played with along the way. Click here for the new gallery, but check out the changes to the Yoel Páez Dossier as well. O, para leer en español, pon clik aquí.

Sunday, February 23, 2003 - New updates to the Musicians Directory from Duniel Deya: Carlos Averhoff Jr. and Carlos Manuel dancer Freddy García.

Saturday, February 22, 2003 - Dantes "Riki Rikón" Cardosa, who sang on the last three Charanga Habanera CD's, is now touring Europe promoting his upcoming CD, "Amor de primavera". Stay tuned for more information. It's rumored that some or all of the arrangments are done by Tirso Duarte, another ex-Charanguero who is now singing lead with Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son.

Alfredo Hechevarría, who played bass with Issac Delgado until recently, is now involved in a new project. Stay tuned for more information, but this is apparently an all-star group featuring the likes of Giraldo Piloto, Enrique Pla, Alexander Abreu, Juan Ceruto, Haila Mompié and others.

California pianist Dan Filip has recently returned from Havana and reports that Azúcar Negra will be back in the studio this month to record their second album. All the songs are composed by Leonel Limonta and arranged by pianist Aismar Simon. Dan saw Azúcar Negra play and rehearse several times and was very impressed with them. Hopefully they'll be back on tour soon. Dan also returned with rave reviews of Manolito y su Trabuco, and Pupy y Los Que Son Son. If all goes well, Los Que son Son will be in the US in August.

Saturday, February 15, 2003 - Manolín in Miami Tomorrow - This just in from Tomás Cruz: Manolín's band will be playing outdoors at a festival in Cocoanut Grove, Miami, at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, Sunday, February 16th.

Tomás, who recently completed filming for his upcoming 3-volume book/DVD conga course for Mel Bay, will be in Madrid in early March, with Willie Chirino, where he hopes to meet up with many of the great timberos he played with in Cuba, such as Yoel Páez, Joel Domínguez, Julio Montalvo, etc.etc. etc.

Speaking of Spain, it's a beautiful and romantic country, blessed with a huge contingent of Cuba's greatest musicians, but cursed with a public that has little understanding of their music. Mamborama's Bill Wolfer, returning from a MIDEM-related European tour returned with the depressing report that "Europe is almost as bad as the US in terms of supporting a strong live music scene". But Madrid's loss could be New England's gain, as it's looking more and more likely that Melón González will be moving to Boston this spring and Alain Pérez and Calixto Oviedo are both planning visits. If only the dozens of great timba musicians who have fled Cuba could be brought together in one city with a public sophisticated enough to appreciate them. So far, the areas which have had the opportunity -- Miami, Madrid, Minnesota and Los Angeles -- have failed to create the fertile environment that the Timba musicians who have relocated to these cities need to thrive. Maybe Boston can rise to the challenge. It will if hard-working Cuban music-lover Pedro Aizcorbe has anything to say about it. Pedro is in constant communication with Berklee School of Music and the best of the expatriate Cuban timberos and is determined to bring as many as possible to the Boston area.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003 - Latest News from Ciocan Music - Hugo Cancio's Ciocan Music has several new releases in the works, including the new Cuban hip-hop band Clan 357. Click here for more on this group.

Also coming from Ciocan Music are a new Charanga Habanera CD, "Soy Cubano, Soy Popular", a Latin Jazz offering under the direction of José Luis "El Tosco" Cortés featuring no less than thirty of Cuba's top players, and the third installment of the Live in the USA series -- NG La Banda, which will reportedly tour Miami and possibly elsewhere in the US in May. Stay tuned for more details on all of this.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003 - La última nueva! - As you can see "La última" is no longer a popup window -- now it's built right into timba.com's main home page. You can still click the link to open a separate window and hear the theme song.

Peter Maiden's Exhibit - Very impressive indeed to see the original photos beautifully framed in a gallery setting. If you're within striking distance of the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San José, check it out. Entrance is free and the framed masterpieces can also be purchased for a reasonable price if you like. (see the Jan. 28 entry for more details).

Great New Klimax Foto - from Duniel Deya. click here

Monday, February 4, 2003 - New Interviews with Chuchito Valdés, Michel Maza & Mundo & Lele of Los Van Van. By Thor Anderson with photos by Chuck Smart.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - New Bamboleo Photos - The Bamboleo Photos section is now divided into 4 sections, with photos by Peter Maiden (see below for more on his new show), Tom Erlich, and brand new photos from Duniel Deya and Andrés Vargas. The Vargas page shows the two new female vocalists performing in Cuba. Very soon this page will be updated with more information on the new members and the band's recent developments.

The Peter Maiden Photography Show is almost here! Timba.com will be covering the opening this Friday, January 31st, in San José, California. Peter Maiden will be presenting a show of his black and white and color work called “Images of Latin Music.” The show will be up January through March at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, located at 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, at King Road. It will be shown in the lobby of the theater, which is open every day. There will be a reception Friday, January 31, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All Timba fans are invited to see this exciting display! Click here for more details and three sneak preview photos,of Albita, Issac Delgado's band and ex-Paulito percussionist Carlos Caro.

Monday, January 27, 2003 - Very exciting news from intrepid reporter Duniel Deya: Luis Bu, the arranger of many of Manolín's greatest hits, has formed a new band - Son de la Yuma - featuring many of the greatest Miami timberos.

vocals: Yordamis Megret (from Bamboleo), Joaquín "El Kid" Díaz (NG La Banda, Paulito, Manolín), Mónica (wife of Pututi I)
piano: Chaka Nápoles (Manolín)
congas: Danny Barrios (a phenomenal young percussionist)
timbales: Angel "Pututi II" Arces
drums: Alexis "Pututi I" Arces
trumpets: El Niche & William Polledo (both from Manolín)
trombones: The Brailey brothers, (from Carlos Manuel & Manolín)

coming soon: Pictures and info on the new Bamboleo singers; news on Tomás Cruz' trip to the west coast and his instructional book series, Alain Pérez interview in English, news on tours from Pupy & Issac; and more!

Saturday, January 11, 2003 - Los Angeles-based composer/pianist Bill Wolfer is rapidly completing work on his second "Mamborama" CD. The first, "Night of the Living Mambo", was inspired by his initial exposure to Timba on his first trip in early 2000. But his Timba fixation and his ambitions grew and grew until, last month, after a second trip and almost 3 years of woodshedding, writing, and careful planning, he set off for Havana armed with a digital recording device and enough charts to record the second Mamborama album on location, using the best musicians in Cuba. I just got an earful (car stereo to cell phone to land line) of some of the basic tracks he managed to bring back, and I have to say I fell right out of my chair. Rather than to put together a group of hired-gun all-stars, Bill used the entire nucleus of Manolito y su Trabuco, including lead singer Sixto "El Indio" Llorente. He also did one track with the nucleus of Klimax, Piloto included. One beauty of this approach is that the musicians have played together almost daily for many years and the other is that Bill intentionally left his songs and arrangements partially unfinished so the Trabuqueros could add their own creative input unencumbered, as they do in their own group. For example, Bill wrote out sets of lyrics as best he could and then gave El Indio carte blanche to adapt them to his singing style -- the collaboration works brilliantly. I heard all of a track called "La gata loca". It sounded like, well, it sounded like Manolito y su Trabuco with El Indio completely in that zone that only he can attain.

Bill hasn't yet written up an account of his latest adventures (as he did with his Hunter S. Thompson-esque second trip [click here]) but from his verbal accounts, the third trip sounds like the greatest example yet of the famous old adage (that I made up) -- "In Cuba, everything always goes completely and irreparably wrong -- but somehow turns out much better than originally planned".

Beeeel, as he's known in Cuba, is now doing overdubs with Jimmy Branly and the Los Angeles contingent of transplanted timberos. Stay tuned for more news on this project. [Kevin Moore]

Friday, January 10, 2003 - We're still alive! Sorry for the lack of new updates. Kevin is currently working on Volumes I & II of the Tomás Cruz Conga Method. Volume III should be published soon by Mel Bay Publishing. Those interested in learning Timba congas should be very pleased with this book/DVD package.

Majela and her group Havana Open are contemplating a move from Germany to Canada, and Thomas Voirol is definitely moving from Switzerland to Australia. Bruce has his hands full with the Timba Store, so as you can see, we're all very busy! The English translation of the Alain Pérez interview is still coming.

Only rumor on the horizon is the hope that Pupy Pedroso will come to the US in mid-2003. Actually there's one other very exciting rumor involving Bill Wolfer and Mamborama, but we're not at liberty to mention it just yet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 12, 2002 - Julia Peschel has contributed 8 new photos to accompany Maarten Liefrink's recent interview with NG La Banda's José Luis "El Tosco" Cortés. Click here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - timba.com contributor, photographer Peter Maiden, will be presenting a show of his black and white and color work called “Images of Latin Music.” The show will be up January through March at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, located at 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, at King Road. It will be shown in the lobby of the theater, which is open every day. There will be a reception Friday, January 31, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All Timba fans are invited to see this exciting display! Click here for more details and three sneak preview photos,of Albita, Issac Delgado's band and ex-Paulito percussionist Carlos Caro.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - Lyrics to NG La Banda's Crónica Social transcribed by Maarten Hendrik Liefrink with photo by Julia Peschel.

Major Update to Amaury Pérez Page. (amaury.timba.com). We've added his curriculum vitae with the full details of his illustrious career as one of the most sought after recording artists in Cuba.

Monday, December 9, 2002 - Entrevista con Alain Pérez por Pepe Martínez. English version coming!

Calixto Oviedo acaba de escribir un artículo muy interesante - "El 'polémico' tema de la Salsa". Pon clik aquí.

Just in from Duniel Deya: Maraca ofrecerá su único concierto de; 2002 en Cuba el día viernes, 13 de diciembre en el Teatro Nacional, sala avellaneda a las 08:30 PM y como invitado estelar está el famoso Yoruba Andabo. Pon clik aquí para más información.

Saturday, December 7, 2002 - Osvaldo Chacón has a new album - Osvaldo Chacón (chacon.timba.com) was a key singer/songwriter for the original Bamboleo, among other things, and has been in England for several years where he has his own Timba band, which has just released "Salsa Timba - Voy a Entrar". For more info, contact: sharon_long1@virgin.net

Alain Pérez Interview coming very soon, first in Spanish, then English. Stay tuned!

Saturday, November 30, 2002 - Major Update to Pupy Pedroso Pages - In celebration of Pupy's incredible new album, "Qué cosas tiene la vida", we've just added:

Full review of "Qué cosas tiene la vida", in English, with 30 audio examples, by Spanish Timba bassist Pepe Martínez. This article is full of fascinating insights into Pupy's music and Latin music in general, including an in-depth discussion of "quoting" in Timba and comparisons between the new CD, Pupy's previous CD, and his work with Los Van Van.

Revista de "Qué cosas tiene la vida", en español, con 30 ejemplos de audio, por Pepe Martínez, bajista y timbero de España,

Discography of Pupy Pedroso - His work with LVV, his 3 solo albums, made while still in LVV, and his first release since leaving.

Maarten Hendrik Liefrink's Interview with El Tosco and NG La Banda Concert Report -- This great article combines a concert report from El Tosco's recent concert in the Netherlands with an El Tosco interview in which he pulls no punches, speaking candidly on his censored song "Crónica Social", the Buena Vista Social Club and Timba in general. Click here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002 - Polo Montañez has tragically died. Majela Serrano will have an article about his life soon.

Monday, November 25, 2002 - El Royal Jazz Festival Hall y el Momos Bar de Londres fueron escenario del espectáculo "Ruma de fin de siglo", donde actúa el Maestro Calixto Oviedo junto a la leyenda de la percusión cubana, el Señor Tata Güines. Nina Oviedo es la bailarina principal del show. Los planes inmediatos de Calixto? Se regresa a Cuba a ofrecer workshops en el ISA y grabar con su orquesta y la de Issac Delgado. Regresa a Italia con Augusto y concluido este proyecto viaja a Noruega a "sinfoniar" (de nuevo a su poryecto con la Orquesta Sinfónica local) y también prepara unas actuaciones con La Recompensa. En marzo se marcha a la "Big Apple" a trabajar intensamente. Bastante apretado su "schedule", don’t you agree?

Arriba México! A disfrutar de la gira de Issac Delgado que se extiende hasta el 9 de diciembre. A bailar con Issacito, el "chévere"!

Polo Montañéz continúa hospitalizado y en condición crítica. Su estado general lo agravan una serie de lesiones cerebrales, que, aún corriendo la mejor de las suertes, imposibilitarían su total recuperación.[Majela Serrano]

Calixto Oviedo played in London at the Royal Jazz Festival Hall with fellow percussion legend Tata Gúines. Calixto's lovely wife Nina was the principal dancer of the show. Calixto has just returned from Cuba but will be returning soon to give classes at the ISA and to record with his own group as well as with Issac Delgado's. He'll be playing with a symphonic orchestra in Norway and is making preparations for performances with his group "La Recompensa". In march he'll be heading for NYC.

Meanwhile, Issac will be in on tour in México until the 9th of December.

Polo Montañez is still hospitalized in very critical condition with cerebral lesions. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones.

Sunday, November 24, 2002 - Did you know... how much timba.com has grown? We're determined to give Yahoo and CNN a run for their money. Our Artists section alone contains over 770 individual pages, (and some individual pages exceed 10,000 words!), 540 audio examples, and almost 1,200 pictures.We're #1 on google.com for almost any timba-related search, and we're still growing daily. The downside of this is that you can get lost for days in the depths of this site and still miss things you might find very fascinating. Hence, our founder and resident genius, Bruce Ishikawa, has devised a simple and brilliant system of direct addresses. You can jump directly to hundreds of timba.com's pages by simply typing the artist's name followed by ".timba.com".

For example... let's say you're a big fan of Los Van Van singer Mario "Mayito" Rivera. Just open your browser and type mayito.timba.com. (Don't use "www"). Simple! If you're Klimax fan, type klimax.timba.com, or piloto.timba.com. Either one will take you where you want to go. Trying to learn more about clave? Type clave.timba.com. You can get to Manolín's pages by typing manolin.timba.com or medico.timba.com. And it goes well beyond the household names. If you're a big fan of Issac's conguero, you can find him with his last name savon.timba.com, or his nickname, papacho.timba.com. Don't know how to spell the first name of Paulito's legendary drummer? He spells it with a "y", but you can find him at yoelpaez.timba.com or joelpaez.timba.com. Did you ever wonder what happened to the guy who played drums on NG La Banda's Santa Palabra, Echale Limón and El Trágico? Try typing calixto.timba.com. Want to hear some rare clips from the legendary "Team Cuba" tour? Type teamcuba.timba.com. It goes on and on.

Our next big update, but the way, will be at pupy.timba.com, and should be online within the week.

Saturday, November 23, 2002 - Congratulations to Hugo Cancio and Ciocan Music! - It's been only 14 months since Ciocan Music's first CD release -- "Chan Chan Charanga" by Charanga Habanera. Since then, they've released Vocal Sampling's "Cambio de tiempo", which received 3 Latin Grammy nominations, and the two live double Timba CD's we've been talking about so much: CH's "Live in the USA" and Manolín's "El Puente". All told, they've sold over 50,000 units. Watch the main page of timba.com for a special anniversary sale beginning later this week.

Clave Changes in German! Musicians will no longer have to learn Spanish or English to sit around arguing and pulling their hair out over the wonderful, but infuriatingly complex subject of clave and clave changes! Now you can pull your hair out in German! Thomas Voirol has completed another excellent translation. click here

Friday, November 22, 2002 - Polo Montanez Hospitalized - Very sad news. The popular singer-songwriter Polo Montanez is hospitalized in Havana after a fatal accident Wednesday which claimed the live of his wife's son. Polo's condition remains grave. He has become extremely popular this year with a huge hit, "Guajiro natural" and his song "Un montón de estrellas" has been recorded many times in Cuba and elsewhere.

El popular cantautor Polo Montañez está hopitalizado en La Habana después de un fatal accidente ocurrido el miércoles donde perdió la vida el hijo de su esposa. La situación del cantante es muy grave aœn. Polo alcanzó la popularidad con su primer CD, producido por Lusafrica, titulado "Guajiro Natural", y su tema "Un montón de estrellas" tiene ya varias versiones en Cuba y el extranjero.

Thursday, November 21, 2002 - Long Lost NG Song! - As pointed out in our massive NG pages, probably the hardest NG La Banda song to find is "Crónica Social". It was censored by the Cuban governement and never recorded. We've finally tracked down a live performance from La Piragua in 1996. Check it out and email us your thoughts on why you think it was censored. click here to hear Crónica Social.

Juan Carlos González at it again? The legendary co-mastermind of the first four Charanga Habanera albums and Dany Lozada's Tanto le pedí has been out of circulation in Italy for years. His name appears on the new Mónica CD, but those recordings were done in 2000. So what has JCG been up to? Mysterious as always, he refuses to give the details, but hints that something new is in the works which he says will continue at the creative level of his mid-90's work. Stay tuned!

More on Dantes Cardosa - It's no longer a rumor. Dantes' new band, called "Rikiband", has recorded radio demos which are now being heard on Havana's Radio Taíno.

Mamborama II - Mamborama's Bill Wolfer is about to leave for Cuba where he plans to record tracks for the second Mamborama CD. He'll be there a month and will hopefully send us updates.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 - Exciting News! The latest chisme from Majela's sources is that Dantes Cardosa, aka "Riki Ricón", who sang with Charanga Habanera, and then briefly with Bamboleo, is forming his own group which is rehearsing for a European tour, and which includes, among others, Paulito's ex-drummer William (we don't know his last name). But the most exciting part is that the arrangements are reportedly being done by Tirso Duarte, the composer of the song which made Dantes famous and gave him his apodo, "Riki Ricón".

Along with David Calzado, Tirso was the main creative figure in the creation of CH's epic album, "Charanguero Mayor". Tirso has been singing brilliantly with Pupy y Los Que Son Son, but his composing and arranging skills have been dormant. It's no secret that the creative frenzy of the 90's has died down in recent years and if Timba is going to continue to grow creatively, the younger generation of timberos will have to step up, and in my opinion, Tirso is among the leading candidates to follow in the footsteps of Formell, Tosco & Co.

This latest development also shows that perhaps Dantes has a little bit more common sense than fellow matinee idols Michel Maza and Paulito FG, both of whom have tried and failed to reach their previous levels of musical brilliance without the help of the genius arrangers (Calzado, JC González, & Ceruto) who helped make them the stars that they are.

- 6 more photos of Carlos Manuel in Miami - from Duniel Deya and Juan Tomás García. click here/pon clik aquí.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 - "Lost Van Van" -- Since winning the Latin Grammy for best album in 2000, Los Van Van has yet to give us another studio release, but thanks to Majela Serrano, we've unearthed a lost treasure: "Soy Caramelo". Juan Formell wrote this song for his daughter, who recorded it for RMM under the name "Vanessa". Nowhere on the CD is the name "Formell" listed, but in the acknowledgements she makes reference to her brother Samuelito, and there are plenty of other clues, musical and otherwise, to reveal the indentity of the composer.

The album is called "Nueva Ilusión" (RMM0282840642). Click here for a streaming mp3 of the Formell composition.

Más sobre Leo García - pon clik aquí para leer el artículo de Majela Serrano sobre este percusionista talentoso de Afrocuba, Willie Chirino, y otros.

Monday, November 18, 2002 - More fotos of Carlos Manuel, from Duniel Deya, and new fotos of ex-Klimax singer Lesmer Solenzar, (lesmer.timba.com) now in Sweden. Speaking of Swedish timberos, Calixto Oviedo (calixto.timba.com) has just returned from Havana. He'll be involved in a new all-star production produced by Issac Deglado next year. Who does Calixto think are the hottest bands Havana today? Manolito y su Trabuco, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, and Klimax.

Angel Bonne's new CD, Bonne & Bonne Company, is fantastic. It gets better and better with each listening.

Saturday, November 16, 2002 - NG La Banda in Holland - This just in from Maarten Hendrik.

Date: November, 30th
Place:"RASA WERELDCULTURENCENTRUM"
Telephone: +31 (0)30 2 31 60 40 or +31 (0)30 2 33 01 23
City: Utrecht
Country: The Netherlands
Start: 21.30 hrs
Entrance Fee: EURO 16,-
Info from website: www.salsa.nl/snl_home.htm

Pupy Pedroso - We have a review of the new album with audio examples, and a revamped homepage coming soon. Also, Pepe Martínez may have an interview coming in the works with one of Timba's greatest bassists and composers, Alain Pérez. (alain.timba.com)

Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - New Carlos Manuel Fotos - click here for photos of Carlos in the studio with Hugo Cancio, Tony Hattenbach and Duniel Deya.

El último miembro del Directorio de Músicos: Leo García - pon clik aquí leer el artículo de Majela Serrano sobre este percusionista talentoso de Afrocuba, Willie Chirino, y otros.

Saturday November 9, 2002 - Carlos Manuel in Miami - This time it's really happening. They played Chicago last night and will open for Carlos Vives in Puerto Rico Nov. 10th, then SOB's in NY Nov. 11th and finally Miami on the 15th. Since they're already in the country, we can now safely say that this is a sure thing. Enjoy these shows while you can. The visa situation is still bad and getting worse and there's nothing else on the horizon at this time.

Carlos Manuel y su Clan
Cristal Night Club
5th Street at Lenox Ave.
Miami Beach
(305) 604-2582
$25/regular -- $40/VIP

Tickets on sale the night of the event. For advance reservations call (305) 829-2277.

Manolín at Rancho Gaspar: November 17th.

Tuesday, November 5, 2002 - Good Article on Manolín in the Miami Herald - click here. It's written by Lydia Martin, who says she listened to cuts from the upcoming "pop" CD while sitting in Manolín's new BMW! There are also very interesting quotes from both Chaka & Luis Bu.

Pupy Pedroso's Qué cosas tiene la vida is really hot! Seriously.We'll have more on it soon, but a very effective review can be written intwo words: "buy it". I've never made this kind of recommendation before because Timba is so varied and its fans so opinionated. But it's impossible to imagine any Latin music fan not immediately loving this record. There's nothing fancy -- it just swings -- for days!

We're also working on an article on Luis Enrique and his new album Transparente which features the playing and creative input of half a dozen of Manolín's musicians and ex-musicians. A little over half the album is produced and played by that group of musicians and the other half by Sergio George and some of the same top NY musicians who played on Issac's new CD. Both teams come up with some very interesting and satisfying results which are hard to categorize in terms of what genre they are, but very exciting to listen to. "Qué cosas tiene la vida" and "Transparente", although they couldn't be more different from each other, have taken over my car's CD player and refuse to give it back!

Monday, November 4, 2002 - Carlos Manuel in Chicago- After many failed attempts it looks like the Clan will finally make it to the Yuma. They'll be in the Windy City on Friday, November 8th at the Hothouse (www.hothouse.net).

Other dates: New York City: SOB's November 11
and opening for Carlos Vives at Roberto Clemente Stadium, Puerto Rico Nov. 10

Doble Impacto Pages - Antonio Cosme's Doble Impacto has been on the Havana club scene for several years. Their new direct address is dobleimpacto.timba.com. Or click here. Thanks to timba.com's new contributor, multi-linguist and net-head Thomas Voirol (thomas@timba.com), note that the links in La Ultima now take you to a new window instead of opening the pages in this window.

Manolín returns to Rancho Gaspar! - Just when it looked like it was all over, Manolín's Timba band is starting to play again! Maybe he read our article? Okay, probably not! But in any case, you can catch him at the world's greatest Timba club, Rancho Gaspar, in Hialeah, on November 17th.

Sunday, November 3, 2002 - Majela's Paulito FG Interview - now in English! click here

Friday, November 1, 2002 - Danilo Cardona reports that the Manolín concert sounded great and featured the extraordinary 3 piece percussion section of Tomás Cruz, Reinier Guerra, and Angel "Pututi 2" Arce. There were subs on bass and synth.

An unconfirmed rumor has the band returning to Rancho Gaspar in mid-November. We're trying to sort through all the conflicting information.

Musicians' Directory Updates: Jeáns Valdés, Angel Charles, Lesmer Solenzer.

Thursday October 31, 2002 - Manolín Tonight...see below.

Quick takes: both the new Pupy Pedroso CD and the new one by Angel Bonne sound great.

Monday, October 28, 2002 - Manolín CD Release Concert Halloween Night! This could be the last chance to see the group that recorded El Puente. Send us your concert reports! kevin@timba.com

Thursday, October 31st (Halloween night).
Café Nostalgia
66 So. 6th St.
Miami
(305) 358-1900

NG La Banda in Berlin November 24 -- At Club "El Barrio" (www.el-barrio.de). We don't know the rest of the tour yet. Chapottín has reportedly left the band.

Carlos Manuel Tour in November? -- It's a possibility that Clan Fans will finally get to see "el malo cantidad" in concert in the US (probably NY & Miami). Keep your fingers crossed. We'll let you know if and when it's confirmed.

Sunday, October 27, 2002 Die erste auf Deutsch übersetzte vollständige Besprechung eines Timba-Albums ist da! Lies jetzt die Stück-für-Stück-Analyse von "Tremendo Delirio" der Charanga Habanera. Welche Seiten möchtest du als nächste auf Deutsch übersetzt sehen? Lass es uns wissen: thomas@voirol.com

The first complete German translation is now online! Thomas Voirol's excellent translation of the Tremendo Delirio article.

Thursday, October 24, 2002 - El Puente DISC TWO Review- The two discs of El Puente correspond to the two sets of Manolín's famous Rancho Gaspar concert. They're very different, and each has its own full length review with extensive audio examples. Go to Manolín/DISCS, or click here for the new review of Disc 2. It's a lot more opinionated than usual, but -- well -- .it's about Manolín, so what did you expect?

FANTASTIC ISSAC INTERVIEW!! - Abel Delgado, with help from Orlando Fiol, has put together one of the best and most complete interviews I've ever read. It's published at descarga.com. It goes through Issac's life and career blow by blow with extremely intelligent questions and followup questions, and even more amazing, the answers are also extremely intelligent and thorough. In addition to thoughtfully answering each question, Issac even volunteers information and refers back to earlier questions.

Abel Delgado's translation to English is also very smooth and completely natural sounding... as if Issac were giving the interview in colloquial English. [Click here]

Charanga Forever in Europe - Joel Domínguez was in attendance at the recent Madrid concert and reports that the remaining original members are Mario "Sombrilla" "Mayito" Jiménez, Victor "Vitico" Sagarra, and Leonel Polledo. All the others were younger players new to the scene since Joel moved to Spain. He said the band sounded good, and played a few new songs, but mostly repertoire from the mid to late 90's.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002 - Sprichst du Deutsch? Viele Seiten im Bereich "Artists" von Timba.com werden zur Zeit von Thomas Voirol, unserem Schweizer Korrespondenten, auf Deutsch übersetzt. Sieh dir die Seite [click here] an. Schau regelmässig hier vorbei, um zu sehen, was sich Neues getan hat.

That's right...you heard it here first. Thomas Voirol has begun to translate parts of timba.com to German! Here's the first sample of his work. [click here]

Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - The Making of El Puente - Interview with Hugo Cancio & Waldy Domínguez. Under artists/interviews. Or click here. Hugo Cancio, the president of Ciocan Music, and Waldy Domínguez, the lead engineer on both El Puente and Charanga Habanera's Live in the USA, discuss the making of the CD, future plans for Ciocan Music and the Live in the USA series, Vocal Sampling's 3 Grammy nominations, and other topics of interest.

More Details on Pupy's new CD - I still haven't heard it, but I've seen the cover now, thanks to Duniel. It has two remakes of Los Van Van classics: La bomba soy yo (no doubt sung by Tirso Duarte), and Seis semanas. There are also six songs from his last album, now re-recorded by his working band, and two that are apparently brand new: El pregonero and Ay papá. Timba freaks should be thrilled to have new versions of the previously released songs, but those who want to minimize their CD purchases may be frustrated, as two of the very best songs from the previous CD, "Timba: The New Generation of Latin Music", are not included on this one. These two are La voluminosa and the great descaraga track Vamos a gozar hasta fuera featuring great guías by Tirso and El Indio and a long timbale solo from Changuito.

Monday, October 21, 2002 - Charanga Habanera News - Aned Mota reports to Duniel Deya that la CH is getting ready to record their next CD. Aned says it will be "demasiado caliente y viene echando humo". (translation: smoking hot). David Calzado has a new song for singer Eblis Validivia called "El bony", (short for bonito) which is apparently similar in character to "Riki Rikón", the somewhat less than modest autobiographical lyric that vaulted Eblis' predecessor, Dantes Cardosa, to stardom. Diehard Sombrilla & Michel fans have expressed concern that la CH may have to change its name to "la GQ", but from what we've heard of Eblis' work with Klimax, he may be the real deal. A new photo of Eblis with Aned can be found under charangahabanera/FOTOS.

New Haila Mompié CD Coming - Aned also reports that his wife Haila has recorded a new live CD at the Teatro Nacional, with guests Issac Delgado, Mayito Rivera, Chucho Valdés and member of Charanga Habanera.The band, directed by Juan Ceruto, is comprised largely of members of Issac's band. There are two new photos on Haila's autobiografía page (go to http://haila.timba.com and click on the "autobiografía" link.One shows Haila singing with Rolo Martínez and the other is a baby shot of Haila & Aned's son, Hamed.

coming soon: The Making of El Puente -- an interview with producer Hugo Cancio, president of Ciocan Music, and recording engineer Waldy Domínguez of Wave Sound.

still coming: Part II of the El Puente review -- the second set.

Thursday, October 17, 2002 - The New Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son CD - As confirmed by a mysterious but reliable source, at least one copy of this highly awaited release has made it over "the bridge". Pupy recorded his 9-song 3rd CD, (BMG-89757-2), with "borrowed" musicians while he was still in Los Van Van. After officially quitting, he put together his own working group that has gotten rave reviews in Havana. They've set up several US tours, all of which have fallen through for the usual reason. In any case, Pupy's new CD is said to have more that 9 tracks (y Pupy sabe más que cuatro cosas), including some new versions of songs from the previous disc, some new versions of songs Pupy wrote for LVV, and some altogether new songs. We'll keep you posted on this one.

El Puente Review - part II - coming soon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - El Puente Review - part 1 - This covers the first disc (the first set of the concert), and has 17 audio examples. Under Manolín/DISCS, or if you don't mind it coming up in the "la última" window, click here. The DISCS section is also updated to include a brief review of Jaque Mate as well as the Manolín Intro and the article on live timba recordings [click here] Stay tuned for Part II of the El Puente review, coming soon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002 Live in the USA to Continue: If there's a more controversial figure in Cuban music than Manolín, it's Hugo Cancio, but all of the controversy that he, Manolín, and all of Miami and Havana can muster between them is dwarfed by the artistic impact of this series of live Timba CD's from Cancio and engineer Waldy Domínguez. Ciocan Music plans to continue this "Live in the USA" series of Timba CD's recorded at Rancho Gaspar and the rumor is that the next band may be Manolito y su Trabuco, definitely one of the hottest bands to see live, and rarely seen in the States. What band would you like to see recorded at Rancho Gaspar?

New Timba Band in Miami: Singer Elain fronts an all-star band at Café Nostalgia on October 17th. The band includes Reinier Guerra on drums and Hamed Barroso on guitar (both from the Manolín band which recorded El Puente). Before leaving Cuba, Elain was the singer on Pachito Alonso's big hit, "Chequendengue", written by Juan Formell. For further information contact duniel@timba.com.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002 - Lots of new fotos from Charanga Habanera. Go to the Charanga Habanera page (charangahabanera.timba.com) and click on the FOTOS button for links to two new galleries, courtesty of Aned Mota and Majela Serrano.

More on Yoel Páez - If you ask Mike Gerald (Sol y Soul), Orlando Fiol and Calixto Oviedo to name their favorite Timba drummer, you'll get the same answer: Yoel Páez, alumnus of Paulito, Issac and Manolín. We've greatly expanded our Yoel Páez section, the most recent addition being his full Dossier in English, detailing his career chronologically. We already have an mp3 of a solo he played in tribute to the late great conguero El Yulo, and he's promised to send us more solos in the near future. Because there's so much confusion about the spelling of his name, we've created two direct addresses: http://yoelpaez.timba.com, and http://joelpaez.timba.com. Take your choice.

COMING SOON: A full length review of Manolín's "El Puente" with multiple audio examples.

Monday, October 14, 2002 - Majela Serrano, recovering nicely from her close encounter with the lunatic drivers of Aburremania, has provided new updates to the pages of Charanga Habanera trumpeter/dancer Junio Romero (junio.timba.com) and Paulito/Issac/Chucho bassist Frank Rubio (eldiablo.timba.com), plus new photos for her May, 2002 Paulito interview and Yulién Oviedo's page (yulien.timba.com).

Jacira Castro's review of Manolín's "El Puente" is now online at www.salsapower.com. My own review is still only half done, but will be coming soon.

Yoel Páez' curriculum vitae now available as a link to his page at http://yoelpaez.timba.com. He's still working on sending us his personal collection of drum solos, which will be available as mp3's.

Miami's newest resident, ex-Bambolera Yordamis Megret, has promised to supply new information for her page (yordamis.timba.com) ... as soon as she figures out how to use her hotmail account!

Wednesday, October 9, 2002 - El Puente has definitely been released - I'm holding it in my hot little hand! For the uninitiated, this is the live double CD recorded by Manolín, el Médico de la Salsa about a year ago at Rancho Gaspar in Miami. It's his first recording with Reinier Guerra on drums (actually I think it's the first recording of Reinier, period), his first recording with ex-Paulito conguero Tomás Cruz, his first recording outside of Cuba, and apparently his last recording as a Timbero. It also has several previously unreleased songs, including "Dios sabe", and of course, the infamous "voy a hacer un puente" coro that was the direct cause of Manolín being blacklisted in Cuba, leading to his eventual defection. This album merits a lot of serious study and I'll have a full review in a few weeks. -Kevin Moore

Press Conference and Manolín Concert: There will be a press conference (not open to the public) at the new Café Nostalgia, at 66 So. 6th St. in Miami, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.on Thursday, October 31st (Halloween night).

Following the press conference, Manolín will play his first Timba concert in several months, which will be open to the public. Call (305) 358-1900 for reservations and further information.

The CD will actually be available in Miami record stores on October 15th and timba.com is shipping it now.

Thursday, October 3, 2002 - Signs of Life! - Mil gracias a Gabriel Wilder, who spent 6 weeks in Cuba this summer and just sent us a video of a Cuban TV show with 2 new songs by Dany Lozada y su Timba Cubana. It's immediately obvious that the song, arrangement and singing are along the same linesl as 1999's Tanto le pedí, one of the best Timba albums ever recorded.

I'm in the final stages of completing Tomás Cruz' instructional conga book, which focuses primarily on the Paulito FG group of 1998 with Yoel Paez and Joel Domínguez and I've been reflecting daily on how incredibly good that group was and how today's Timba, with a few notable exceptions, has failed to live up to the standards set in the late 90's, so these new Lozada tracks have raised my spirits considerably. -Kevin Moore

Monday, September 30, 2002 - Yoel Paez Solos on timba.com! - Yoel Paez (joelpaez.timba.com) is one of the funkiest and most important drummers in the history of Timba, having played with Paulito FG, Issac Delgado & Manolín. We've recently caught up with him in Spain where he's been playing with a major Spanish pop/rock group, Café Quijano. His page has a lot of new information, and a breathtaking solo he played with Issac in 1999. Yoel will be sending us some of his personal recordings of other solos and these will be added to the page as they come in! Click here or go to http://joelpaez.timba.com.

Thursday, September 26, 2002 - Yordamis Megret on Miami Television - Now that the artist formerly known as El Médico de la Salsa has given up Timba to become the next Ricky Martin, perhaps Yordamis Megret (yordamis.timba.com) can pick up the pieces of the world-class Timba band he brought to Miami and abandoned. (Do I sound bitter?) In any case, the charismatic ex-Bamboleo diva made her debut on Miami television with a small group featuring several Timba giants, including Eduardo "Chaka" Napoles (chaka.timba.com) and Angel "Pututi II" Arce (pututi2.timba.com), both of whom have played with el Médico, Luis Enrique, and El Kid de la Salsa (elkid.timba.com) The next step would be enlist the arranging talents of Luis Bu (luisbu.timba.com) and "Los Chamacos". This is beginning to sound like the plot to "The Blues Brothers", but timba in the US has fallen on hard times of late, so you can't blame us for dreaming!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002 - Bamboleo News -- Dantes "Riki Rikón" Cardosa, the ex-Charanguero, has now joined Bamboleo and his first lead vocal is a song called "El Americano". With both Vannia and Yordamis having left the band, there's now only one female singer, Yariagna, who previously sang with Anacaona. Her first song, which is currently getting a lot of airplay in Havana, is called "No puedo estar sin el". Another new song getting airplay is "Aparentemente ideal", sung by Alain Daniel Pico Roque, who is also our source for this new information. Alain also tells us that Bamboleo will begin a trip to Lima, Peru, where Riki Rikón is extremely popular, on October 9th.

Monday September 23, 2002 - Joaquín Betancourt Receives Grammy - El pasado día 17 fue entregado a Joaquín Betancourt y Cary Diez, productores del CD "La rumba soy yo", el gramófono correspondiente al premio Grammy latino alcanzado por dicho álbum, en una sencilla ceremonia en el "Delirio Habanero" del Teatro Nacional. Felicidades!

Joaquín Betancourt and Cary Diez, producers of "La rumba soy yo"finally received their Grammy awards at a ceremony at Havana's Teatro Nacional. Congratulations!

Friday, September 20, 2002 - Close Call! - timba.com's writer, interviewer, and resident musicologist, Majela Serrano, was a passenger involved in a major automobile accident in Germany and will leave the hospital tomorrow after being there several days. Fortunately there were no permanent complications, but she'll be unable to write or perform with her group, Havana Open, for a while. You can send get well cards to majela@timba.com. And remember to DRIVE CAREFULLY and fasten your seatbelts!

September 11, 2002 - Musical Chairs! Here's a recap of the latest personnel changes.

Carlos Averhoff, Jr. no longer playing sax with Issac
Orlando Vásquez no longer playing trumpet with Issac
Elpidio Chapottín no longer playing trumpet with NG La Banda
Prida Puentes no longer playing teclado with Issac
Vannia Borges no longer singing with Bamboleo. Plans to have child and possibly pursue solo career.
Yordamis Megret no longer singing with Bamboleo, now in Miami.
Dantes Cardosa no longer with Charanga Habanera, now with Bamboleo
Eblis Validivia moved from Klimax to Charanga Habanera, replaced in Klimax by his brother Kelly Validivia.
Trombonist Corchón no longer with Manolito y su Trabuco
Carlos Manuel's entire horn section has departed.
Rolando Luna on a one month leave of absence from Issac to play with an all star trova-son group in Europe, also featuring Juan Ceruto, El Panga, Alexander Abreu, Amaury Pérez and Oliver Valdés.. Subbing for him is Tony Rodríguez.

Some, but not all of these changes may be related to a reported recent change in Cuba's quasi-capitalistic economic system, whereby musicians who were normally paid in cash for Havana gigs will now be paid monthly be a Cuban agency, with substantial taxes deducted.

New Visa Troubles for Grammy Nominees: Check out Judy Cantor's excellent article on the travails of multiple Grammy nominees Vocal Sampling: http://miaminewtimes.com/issues/2002-09-12/music.html/1/index.html

New Baggage Charges: Cuba has also apparently changed its regulations on the weight of baggage which can be brought into the country without paying fairly extreme taxes. Make sure to research this before flying into Havana.

September 9, 2002 - The Lewis Trio, a Latin jazz group featuring Timba giants Melón González and Alain Pérez, now has its own website: www.lewistrio.com, and will be playing October 22 in France at the Clermon-Ferrand Jazz Festival.

September 4, 2002 - Pupy Pedroso's New CD, "Qué cosas tiene la vida", with production assistance from the great Joaquín Betancourt (betancourt.timba.com) will have two brand new songs, plus new recordings by his working band of some of the songs from his last CD,and some of his songs with Los van Van, such as "Seis semanas" and "La bomba soy yo". See below for the song list.

Y ahora, la sección de Pupy (pupy.timba.com) tiene su propia sección de NEWS.

NUEVO CD DE PUPY Y LOS QUE SON, SON!
El título de esta nueva obra maestra es "Qué cosas tiene la vida", como uno de sus temas. La orquesta ha grabado los temas del CD anterior con nuevas versiones. La mezcla estuvo a cargo del maestro Joaquín Betancourt, y la grabación por Orestes.

Los títulos son:
Que cosas tiene la vida
El Vecino se mudó
El Gato amaga
Mamita pórtate bien
La bomba soy yo
El Pregonero (estreno)
Ay Papá (otro estreno)
Juégala
Te molesta que sea feliz
Seis Semanas

September 2, 2002 - Majela puts the Manolito Rumors to Rest- After talking to Roicel Riverón, Majela has confirmed that only one member has left Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, a trombonist called "El Corcho". Everybody else was getting ready to film a TV programm, and they are traveling next month to Martinica.

Después de hablar con Roicel Riverón, Majela confirmó que sólo un miembro de Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, un trombonista llamado "El Corcho", dejó el grupo. El grupo se estaba preparando para la filmación de un programa de TV, y el próximo mes viajan a Martinica.

August 31, 2002 - www.salsamania.it - a great new site from Francesco and Enzo Bove, is online! The site is still partially under construction but it already features a large collection of photo galleries from Italian tours of the top Timba bands -- organized by concert and viewable as slideshows. It's a very clever format and the photos are excellent. There are multiple concerts from Charanga Habanera, Paulito FG, Los Van Van, NG La Banda, Issac, Adalberto and others. Check it out! http://www.salsamania.it. Francesco and Enzo are also planning an exclusively Cuban site called www.cubamania.it which should be up and running shortly.

August 30, 2002 - New photos of Issac Delgado with Eliades Ochoa and Francesco Bove. See issac.timba.com and click on PHOTOS.

- New concert dates for ex-Bamboleo singer/writer Osvaldo Chacón, who now has a Timba band in England. See chacon.timba.com. Osvaldo will be releasing his second CD soon, "Voy a Entrar".

August 29, 2002 -- Riki Ricón joins Bamboleo! -- This weekend Bamboleo will play its first concert with a new lineup of singers. Yordamis Megret (yordamis.timba.com) stayed in Miami, and founding member Vannia Borges (vannia.timba.com) has now left the group. Longtime male vocalist Alejandro Borrero (alejandroborrero.timba.com) and recent addition Alain Daniel Pico (alaindaniel.timba.com) are now joined by ex-Anacaona vocalist Yariadna, and Havana heart-throb Dantes "Riki Ricón" Cardosa (dantes.timba.com), who left Charanga Habanera earlier this year in a dispute over his moonlighting as a solo act in Peru.

Another hot rumor involves possible departures from Manolito y su Trabuco, including possibly the dynamic drummer Roicel Riverón (roicelriveron.timba.com). The Manolito rumors are unconfirmed but the Bamboleo changes have definitely taken place. We're hoping to get concert reports on both bands this weekend from our Australian correspondent Gabriel Wilder, who is on the scene in Havana. Gabriel tells us that Dany Lozada's band is tearing it up and playing all new material; as is Klimax and their strong new singer, Eblis Valdivia's replacement. We still don't have his name.

timba.com updates to the following musicians' pages: chaka.timba.com, juanmanuel.timba.com, jeans.timba.com, leonid.timba.com, osmani.timba.com, calixto.timba.com, pupy.timba.com.

August 29, 2002 -- Entrevista con Pupy Pedroso - por Majela Serrano. Vete a pupy.timba.com, y pon clik en INTERVIEWS o pon click arriba.

August 28, 2002 -- Calixto Oviedo -- de la timba a la sinfónica! After performing in Italy with Augusto Enríquez in the new edition of Pavarotti and Friends of Luciano Pavarotti, Calixto Oviedo plans to play in Norway with the Synphonic Orchestra of Radio and TV. See the NEWS page of of the Calixto section for more news en inglés y español and upcoming European concerts of Calixto's Timba band, La Recompensa.

- New pages on Alain Daniel Pico Roque, the new singer of Bamboleo. Including an interview by Duniel Deya, edited by Majela Serrano. Go to alaindaniel.timba.com.

August 26, 2002 -- The Timba Genealogy Chart. This rather strange "family tree" shows the history of Timba by showing the relationships between key musicians, composer and arrangers. Click here to check it out.

August 21, 2002 -- Entrevista y autobiografía de Haila Mompié. Vayan a haila.timba.com!

August 13, 2002 -- Vocal Sampling has been officially invited to perform at the televised Latin Grammy Award Gala.Congratulations to VS and Ciocan Music

August 8, 2002 -- Manolín, el Médico de la Salsa, after a 4 year battle with his old label, Caribe Productions, has just signed an exclusive 4-year record deal with BMG Latin and is about to begin shooting on his first MTV-style video clip. That's the good news. The bad news is that, according to a reliable source close to the artist, "this album is going to be a big surprise for Manolín's fans. It's not a Timba CD -- it's pure pop with infusions of Cuban rhythms."

What will Manolín's music sound like without the creative contributions and monstrous playing of the great Cuban musicians with whom he's worked so closely on each of his previous efforts? We'll just have to keep an open mind and see for ourselves. There's no release date set for the BMG Latin album.

Meanwhile, Ciocan Music says that its own new Manolín CD, "El Puente" will be released "in a few weeks". This one, definitely a Timba album, has much in common with Charanga Habanera's incredible "Live in the USA". Both are double CD's recorded live at Miami's Rancho Gaspar. The Manolín release is even more eagerly awaited because it includes four previously unreleased songs, including the "Dios sabe", probably Manolín's strongest track since "Somos lo que hay". The album will also be interesting because of the way it was made -- recorded live, but with extensive studio overdubbing. We haven't heard it, but are hoping that it will combine the power and energy of a live performance with the accuracy and detail of the studio. Ciocan Music has also hinted that other double live CD's may be in the works with other top Timba bands. Stay tuned.

August 6, 2002 -- Yordamis Megret (for more about her, go to yordamis.timba.com) has apparently left Bamboleo after singing with them for over three years, and is relocating to the US.

Pupy Pedroso's US tour has been cancelled or delayed due to the new visa restrictions imposed by the US government. For information on joining in the protest against these new restrictions, go to www.salsapower.com.


July 31, 2002 -- Paulito FG Lyric Page now open. The first set of lyrics, courtesy of Majela, is to the 1997 classic, "No te lo creas".

July 30, 2002 - Wickly Nogueras' CD will be re-released by Fonosound Records (and Universal Latino) on August 6th, and is already getting airplay in Miami on Radio El Zol, FM 95.7. The title is now "From NG to the USA" and the cover is greatly enhanced as well. There's a review in the NG La Banda pages and wickly.timba.com will be receiving updates shortly.

- New phfotos from Majela Serrano on these pages: ana.timba.com, pavelrodriguez.timba.com, coqui.timba.com, lazarito.timba.com, lele.timba.com.

July 26, 2002 - 3 Grammy Nominations for Vocal Sampling's new CD! Best contemporary tropical album ("Cambio de Tiempo"), Best engineered album, Producer of the year. Full list at www.grammy.com. Other Cuban artists nominated were Omar Sosa, Chucho Valdés, Síntesis Lázaro Roz (again!) and Celia Cruz. [correction: Cambio de Tiempo is listed on the Grammy site as being from Unicornio, but it's actually released by Ciocan Music].

July 23, 2002 - Majela is back on the road with La Charanga! We'll soon be adding her reports and photos. After seeing them in Italy, she reports that the new singer, Eblis Valdivia, is sounding fantastic and sings exquisitely in tune! There are two additional new songs since the last tour: "Mrina", sung by Yulién, and "Las mujeres tienene el mando", sung by Eblis.

July 22, 2002 - Photo story on Bamboleo -- in concert in Santa Cruz, CA. Photos by Tom Ehrlich. See Bamboleo/CONCERTS, or click here.

July 19, 2002 - European Tour Dates announced for Aramís Galindo and Chispa y su Cómplices. These artists are managed in Europe by the same people who produced the new Klimax Latin Jazz CD, www.cuba-chevere.com.

Aramís:
07 / 27 / 2002 Muffathalle München.
08 / 01 / 2002 Achern
08 / 02 / 2002 Neu Ulm
08 / 03 / 2002 Festival Latinoamericando Milano Italien
08 / 07 / 2002 Berlin
08 / 09 / 2002 Antilliaanse Feesten Hoogstraaten Belgien
08 / 08 / 2002 Kopenhagen (Denmark)

Chispa:
09 / 21 / 2002 Schweden Stockholm
09 / 25 / 2002 Finland Helsinki
09 / 26 / 2002 Finland Helsinki
09 / 27 / 2002 Finland Helsinki
09 / 28 / 2002 Finland Helsinki
09 / 29 / 2002 Finland Helsinki

Hey You Loca finally re-released! Click here to read our extensive article on this Timba masterpiece. Multiple audio examples.

July 11, 2002 - Bamboleo in Miami on July 23- Polish American Club 1250 NW 22nd Ave. (305) 373-1273 - Bamboleo really lit it up in Santa Cruz. They have nearly a whole album of great and different new material. A lot of the new stuff is in a major key, a rarity for Bamboleo, and there's a bit of a Manolín flavor to some of the new coros. Even the old tunes have some exciting new twists. The new male vocalist is great and the new bassist is doing a fantastic job of replacing the monstrous Rafael Paceiro, now with Pupy Pedroso. And Vannia's graceful dancing has not suffered in the least as a result of the small matter of being about 8 months pregnant.

Europe - NG La Banda is already there and Van Van, Klimax, and La Charanga should be soon.

Issac's tour was a great success and the band is now back in Havana. Check out Judy Cantor's beautifully-written new article/interview at the Miami New Times website.

Tomás Cruz has finished some last minute güiro overdubs for the long-awaited live double Manolín album, which is now scheduled for a late July release. Having seen the track listings, it will be worth the wait! The song Dios sabe has got to be Manolín's best since Somos lo que hay.

Timba is infiltrating mainstream Latin pop! Luis Enrique's great new album Transparente has significant contributions from the Pututi brothers, both in the percussion and arranging departments and his new live band also features Manolín pianist Chaka Nápoles.

Ciocan Records will soon re-release several of the greatest Timba albums ever recorded: Issac's Exclusivo para Cuba, CH's Charanguero Mayor, Juan Ceruto's Gracias Formell and Adalberto Alvarez' Sonero Soy.

July 5, 2002 - Klimax European Tour - see Klimax NEWS for a full itinerary.

Issac's final Miami show announced - at the Polish American Cluba, 1250 NW 22nd Ave. (305) 373-1273.

Bamboleo Tomorrow Night: Saturday July 6. See below for details.

June 27, 2002 - Bamboleo in Santa Cruz! Saturday, July 6 at the Cocoanut Grove Santa Cruz. Scenic, if frigid, Santa Cruz, home town of your intrepid music editor, once boasted more Timba shows per capita than any city in the world other than Havana, but in recent years we've fallen on hard times, so if you're within striking distance, try to make the trip. Lots of cheap hotel rooms in the desolate wasteland that was once Silicon Valley!

Meanwhile: Tomás Cruz is in Santa Cruz working on his instructional DVD series and will be in the Bay Area Sunday and Monday for those seeking lessons with the conguero of Paulito FG, Manolín, Celia Cruz, Willie Chirino, etc.

June 25, 2002: Click here for a press release from Lula Lounge, Toronto on Issac's uupcoming concerts on July 4th & 5th. Also, New Yorkers please note that the concert at SOB's is cancelled. More details coming. This week Issac is in the Boston area.

Also! For sale only at Issac's live shows is a fabulous, professionally filmed DVD of a concert on the Malecón in Cuba.

June 14, 2002: More Issac concert reports from Yoshi's, and a special article from pianist Bill Wolfer on the show in Pomona. Eight new Issac photos from Peter Maiden. See Issac/Concerts.

June 8, 2002: Issac at Yoshi's. Longer report coming, but the first 4 shows have been great. Each set has been different. Last night's second set featured a full-on Latin Jazz arrangement and various exciting instrumental solos on other songs as well. Rolando Luna played several great solos and was unbelievable in general. On "Nadie me quiere bailar", Averhoff Jr. (sax), whom I'd never heard solo, was shockingly good, playing with powerful broad phrasing worthy of Kenny Garrett.After a blazing conga solo from Papacho (no shock, as his soloing is already legendary), Ceruto played a gorgeous flute solo and then young "Barretico" just blew the roof off the place with a drum solo that derived its power from groove and content and not just technique. The sound was very clean and wonderfully not-too-loud...no earplugs necessary for your intrepid reporter! Haila comes out about 45 minutes into each set and by that time she's completely fired up and has put on an incredible show. And Issac...what needs to said? Both shows sold out Friday. The first has been starting promptly at 8:00 and to get the best seats (they're all good at Yoshi's actually), you have to get there at 6:00 to stake out your spot. Then you can leave and come back. Two shows tonight, Saturday and a 2:00 matinee and 8:00 evening show Sunday.

June 5, 2002: ISSAC IS HERE! And timba.com will be covering the 5-week North American tour in detail in the CONCERTS section of Issac¹s pages. So far, we¹ve added an introduction with all the details on the band and the new album, and concert reports with lots of photos from the first shows in Tampa and Miami¹s Rancho Gaspar. Here¹s the short version: Don¹t miss it! Issac is in top form; the band is on fire; the personnel even better than last year; lots of great new music from the soon to be released album, "Versos en el aire"; guest stars Haila Mompié and Juan Ceruto -- need we say more?

The band travels to Oakland today, Wednesday, for 4 straight nights at Yoshi¹s in Jack London Square on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Many consider Yoshi¹s the best venue in the world to hear Jazz and Latin music. The beautiful room features a Myer sound system and the dance floor will be opened for these shows. There will be two separate shows per night Thursday through Saturday (8:00 and 10:00), and a 2:00 matinee and 8:00 evening show on Sunday. The room holds about 300 and shows are likely to sell out. Tickets are available at www.yoshis.com. The next tour stop is Southern California, with shows in Pomona (Copacabana), Los Angeles (The Conga Room) and San Diego (The Belly Up). See Issac/NEWS for a full tour schedule. (note: SOB's has been changed to another venue -- details forthcoming).

ENTREVISTA CON PAULITO F.G. POR MAJELA SERRANO ­ Majela habla con el Sofócador sobre su carrera, las nuevas miembros de la Élite, y sus planes para un disco nuevo. See Paulito/INTERVIEWS.

May 15, 2002 - Issac Delgado Tour Confirmed! - The visas have been approved! We heard that Jimmy Carter's new favorite song is "La Sandunguita" so that could have turned the trick. In any case the full tour is posted under "NEWS" in the Issac Delgado pages, or click here. The cities, in order will be: Tampa, Miami, Oakland (4 nights at Yoshi's!), Pomona, LA, San Diego, Greater Boston Area (5 concerts!), New York, Chicago, Montreal, Toronto (4 nights), Detroit, Ontario, Miami Beach. Issac will be bringing his new corista, Enríque "El Gordo" Pérez and Haila Mompié will be along to sing a couple numbers each night.

Also confirmed: Manolín at Tropigala in Miami on May 25.

May 14, 2002 - The Cancio Report - first update from Cubadisco is now online. Click here.

May 13, 2002 - The Directory of Musicians is growing rapidly, includes some audio examples, and you can now access the pages of your favorite musicians directly: For example:

mayito.timba.com
vannia.timba.com
aned.timba.com

If you have any information to add to any of the pages please email us - kevin@timba.com

May 7, 2002 - Stunning new Peter Maiden photos from Cubanismo's concert at the Fillmore in San Francisco. These can be found in the Peter Maiden pages, the Cubanismo pages and also in the Musicians' Directory entries for Emilio Maza, Gardi Vásquez, Pablosky Rosales, Rolo Martínez, and Roberto Riverón.

May 5, 2002 - This just in: Majela Serrano is in the process of interviewing Paulito FG for a lengthy article covering his full career..Stay tuned!

Paulo FG recibió la Orden por la Cultura Nacional de manos de Abel Prieto, Ministro de Cultura, en ocasión del décimo aniversario de la Elite, en un concierto en La Piragua, La Habana.

Paulo FG received the "Orden por la Cultura Nacional" (the most important medal for an artist in Cuba) from Abel Prieto, Minister of Culture, on April 19th, when his Elite was celebrating its 10th aniversary, in a concert in La Piragua, Havana.

Bárbara Valladares reports that Cubanismo brought the house down at the Fillmore and is now heading for LA.

Many more pages added to the Musicians' Directory, and many more on the way.

May 3, 2002 - Cubanismo was the best I've ever heard them last night in Santa Cruz. Peruchín on piano, Pepe Espinosa on timbales, Papiosco on congas, Riverón on bass -- a monster horn section comprised of Maza from CH, Carlos Alvarez from Klimax, Pérez Pérez from NG, newcomer Eduardo "Pescuezo" Rodríguez, and of course Jesús Alemany himself. A searing hot show! Catch them if you can! See Cubanismo/tours for the dates and venues of the remaining shows.

May 2, 2002 - Charanga Habanera US Tour in early June- East Coast only. Dates under Charanga Habanera/news.

Calixto Oviedo Pages- 2 extensive interviews and plenty of other information on this incredible drummer and bandleader. One of the first of our new "easy URL's". Just type:

calixto.timba.com -- no "www" necessary.

May 1, 2002 - TEAM CUBA in English. Go to the Team Cuba link under artists. The link to the English version is near the top.

Another European tour from Charanga Habanera! Oye, David! When are you coming to the States? For the dates, see Charanga Habanera/news.

A photo of Paulito's foxey new corista, Yamilé - see PaulitoFG/fotos.

April 29, 2002 - TEAM CUBA! Ya está el artículo de Majela Serrano sobre este grupo de todos estrellas -- Manolín, Issac, Paulito, los Formell, Tosco, Roberto, Mayito...y muchos más! Con fotos por Ulrich Wode, y 4 ejemplos de audio. Four audio examples of Team Cuba in concert in Havana and Matanzas. Está en la lista de artistas en la sección de artistas, o pon clik aquí.

The Directory of Musicians in also growing rapidly.

April 26, 2002 - The Directory of Musicians - This idea is just getting started. For a preview, click on the link at the end of the Artists list. We'll eventually have all the players who have played in the major Timba bands, with photos, bios, and contact information, sortable by name, instrument and group.

Lyrics to Manolín's "Tengo mi mecánica".

April 24, 2002 - Lyrics to "Romeo y Julieta" and "Pelo Suelto y Carretera" from Manolín's "De Buena Fe". See Manolín/lyrics.

Ciocan Records has acquired the rights to an unreleased album by "Los Chicos de la Salsa", a group which included Tirso Duarte, Aned Mota, Randolph Chácon, Yulién Oviedo and Helder Rojas, just before they joined Charanga Habanera. Stay tuned for more news about this exciting musical discovery.

April 23, 2002 - Biography of José Armando Gola, Manolín's current bassist. Written by Duniel Deya and Majela Serrano. See Manolín/bios.

Timba bands touring Europe - This just in from our intrepid European reporter, Bart De Bruycker:

LOS VAN VAN are announced for the "Couleur Café" festival Saturday 29th June in Brussels, Belgium
ADALBERTO ALVAREZ is programmed at the Disney Latino Festival at EuroDisney near Paris, France on Sunday 16th June.
ARAMIS GALINDO and HAILA with SEPTETO TURQUINO are coming to the 20th edition of the Antilliaanse Feesten, Hoogstraten, Belgium, 9-10th August.
AZUCAR NEGRA is rumoured to be in Brugge, Belgium the same weekend of 10th August.
Let's hope they all get their visas! - Bart De Bruycker


April 22, 2002 - NEWS FLASH! - David Calzado has replaced singer Dantes "Riki Ricón" Cardosa with Eblis Valdivia Díaz, a well-known young Cuban actor/singer who was previously singing with Klimax. We saw some video of him with Klimax and he sounded great. No word as to where Dantes will land. Expect another game of Cuban Musical Chairs! For an interesting autobiography of Eblis Valdivia, go to the Charanga Habanera/bios page.

- Danny Lozada Lyric Page complete! Thanks to the tireless efforts of César Díaz, Chris Smalt and Sinai Herrera Pérez, we now have complete lyrics to all of the tracks on the incredible "Tanto le pedí" CD. See Danny Lozada/lyrics.

April 21, 2002 - part 2 - Two more lyrics from Danny Lozada's Tanto le pedí: "Quién la tira más dura que yo" and "Me voy y bien". Thanks again to César, Chris and Sinai.

- Two more Charanga Habanera photos from Paola Arias.

April 21, 2002 - Three more bios added to the Manolín pages - Dayamí Sánchez, by Duniel Deya, and the phenomenal "Pututi" brothers, Alexis and Ángel Arce Isla, by Majela Serrano.

New Charanga Habanera photos from Paola Arias. See Charanga Habanera/fotos.

English translation of Majela Serrano's biography of David Calzado. See Charanga Habanera/bios

Lyrics to two of Manolín's greatest songs: Somos lo que hay and No lo comentes. See the Manolín/lyrics.

More Danny Lozada lyrics coming soon.

April 20, 2002 - Reinier Guerra bio, in English and Spanish, in the Manolín section. We're starting a new approach - for each group, we'll try to list all the musicians, present and past, and give each of them a personal page with photos, articles, and hopefully interviews. If you have information on the histories of the members of various groups, please email us! We begin with the Manolín's unbelievable young drummer -- Reinier Guerra, with articles by Duniel Deya, Majela Serrano and Kevin Moore. Many more coming soon, and also a flood of new lyrics from Manolín and Danny Lozada.

The exciting new live double CD by Manolín, "El Puente", recorded at Rancho Gaspar in Miami, is getting close. It includes the controversial song "El Puente" and also "Dios Sabe", which may be Manolín's hottest track since "Somos Lo Que Hay".

April 18, 2002 - Audio Interview with Ralph Irizarry! In a fascinating audio interview, Ralph discusses his career with Ray Baretto and Rubén Blades, his solo work with Timbalaye, his participation, in Cuba, on Issac Delgado's soon-to-be-released new CD, and his thoughts on Timba. Go to artists/interviews, or click here.

April 17, 2002 - Lyrics to Danny Lozada's "Que venga lo que venga" - this has got to be the most under-appreciated Timba CD! Transcribed by César Díaz, Chris Smalt and Sinai Herrera Pérez. See artists/danny lozada/lyrics.

April 16, 2002 - Several summer tours are firming up. Bamboleo's confirmed tour dates can be found at www.ritmoartists.com. There will be a link to this page on the timba.com Bamboleo home page for the duration of the tour. There's also an unconfirmed possibility of Bamboleo on June 22 at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall.

Issac Delgado is already being advertisted at www.yoshis.com for June 6, 7, 8, & 9.

There are rumors about Charanga Habanera, but no hard evidence yet, and Cubanismo is here now. The current Cubanismo lineup is full of alumni of the top Timba bands: Peruchín and Rolando Pérez Pérez of NG La Banda, Roberto Riverón of Klimax, Maza of the original Charanga Habanera, and José Espinosa, who's recorded with Danny Lozada, Issac and Juan Ceruto. See Cubanismo/Tours for dates.

April 15, 2002 - Lyrics to Danny Lozada's "Allá va eso" - what a great track! Transcribed by César Díaz, Chris Smalt and Sinai Herrera Pérez. See artists/danny lozada/lyrics.

April 10, 2002 - We finally added the article on the unreleased songs of Charanga Habanera (and others). It's linked to the Charanga Habanera home page.

Majela Serrano is working on an article on the legendary Team Cuba tour. If you were lucky enough to attend any of these concerts or have information on them, please contact her at majela@timba.com.

Oscar Valdés, Jr. has definitely left Issac's band. We're trying to find out the new drummer's name. There's a new female corista and Enrique Luis Pérez, El Médico's longtime corista, has also joined. Haila Mompié will accompany Issac on the tour and sing a few of her numbers in the middle of the show, but she won't be singing coro this time. The tour should begin in Miami in the final days of May. Keep your fingers crossed.

Ciocan Records has acquired the rights to the only recording of the legendary "Los Chicos de la Salsa". This was the group where Tirso Duarte got his start. It also included a very large selection of great musicians who went on to Charanga Habanera, Bamboleo and others. Release date is unknow as of yet.

April 7, 2002 - Lyrics to Danny Lozada's "Encima del Boom", courtesy of Sinai Herrera Pérez & Christian Smalt. See artists/danny lozada/lyrics.

Looks like Melón will be arriving sometime in June.Bill Wolfer of Mamborama is already booking his flight. The pilgrimage begins!

Issac is slated for Yoshi's in Oakland for June 6-9 - two shows a night. Keep your fingers crossed. We'll post the rest of the tour as it gets confirmed. A late June/early July Bamboleo tour is also beginning to look like a serious possibility.

April 6, 2002 - Melón is coming to the US! The greatest Timba pianist of them all will be coming to California this summer as a guest of the legendary La Peña Cultural Center (www.lapena.org), where he'll be giving classes on piano and arranging. To learn more about Melón (Iván González Lewis), his years with Issac Delgado, and his jazz career, see his artist pages. We'll publish the dates of his visit as soon as we have them.

April 5, 2002 - Charanga Habanera - Live in the USA. An article on the making of the album and on the history of live Timba recordings, with a full length mp3 of Usa Condón. Look under discs on the Charanga Habanera page, or click here.

April 2, 2002 - Cubanismo is on tour. For the dates, go to the Cubanismo page and click TOURS, or follow this link.

April 1, 2002 - Manolín is no longer playing Café Nostalgia in South Beach, Miami -- at least for now. His replacement this month is Albita.

We're beginning the Manolín LYRICS page. Somos Lo Que Hay will be added first, within a few days.

Timba.com will soon have streaming audio of two tracks from the almost released Live Charanga Habanera CD.

We'll believe this when we see it, but hopes are high that Cubanismo and Los Muñequitos de Matanzas will be in the US in May, followed by Issac and Bamboleo in June and Pupy Pedroso in September. Keep your fingers crossed.

March 20, 2002 - Manolín Update: The band will play Nostalgia this coming Friday. The ongoing situation is still up in the air.

Issac Delgado: Manolín ex-corista, Enrique Luis Pérez, who recorded on all four of his albums, is now singing coro with Issac Delgado, along with longtime Issac corista Alexander Díaz. Oscar Valdés Jr. has reportedly left as drummer and musical director.

new photos from Paola Arias: In the Charanga Habanera section under "Los Charangueros de Hoy". More coming.

March 15,, 2002 - At least three tours are in the works and, barring the problems which have cancelled almost every Timba tour in the last year, we can expect major tours from the following artists:

June - Issac Delgado
June - Bamboleo
September - Pupy Pedroso y Los Que Son Son

also:

now: Muñequitos de Matanzas
June: Maraca

Issac's new CD is done but not yet mastered and tentatively entitled "Versos en el Aire". This is the tribute to Trova composers such as Silvio Rodríguez and Palo Milanes, with modern arragements by Juan Ceruto and Joaquín Betancourt. Issac brought in New York legends Jon Fausty and Ralph Irizarry to collaborate on the CD. We hope to have some sort of interview with one or both of these figures in the near future.

The Manolín rumors continue. He may or may not be leaving Nostalgia. Our advice: see him while you can!

March 13, 2002 - According to sources in Miami, the last chance to hear Manolín at Nostalgia in Miami is this Friday -- it will be the last night of their standing engagement there. Stay tuned for updates.

March 11, 2002 - Our most ambitious article to date, the "thesis" on Charanga Habanera's 5th album, EL CHARANGUERO MAYOR, is now online. Coming in at just under 11,000 words (not counting the lyrics), it includes 77 audio examples, including a number of utterly fascinating Tirso Duarte's MIDI performances of many of the tumbaos. In addition to clips from the album itself we've also included a number of very interesting live performances by Charanga Habanera and others. For each song we give you, on a separate page, the complete lyrics along with a structural analysis. Also included along the way are dozens of insights provided by timba.com's Majela Serrano, who was present at many of Charanga Habanera's rehearsals and concerts during this period in their history.

Having now finished the six Charanga Habanera albums, we'll soon be shining the in-depth timba.com spotlight on a new artist, "El Médico de la Salsa".

March 10, 2002 - 4 more sets of lyrics in the Charanga Habanera lyrics section.

March 9, 2002 - A new photo of Issac Delgado in the recording studio working on his upcoming CD. See Issac Delgado/Photos.

March 8, 2002 - Announcing a music festival in Havana.Caliente.

March 7, 2002 - Well, we now have it from Yosvel's brother, Edduar, also the producer of Sol y Soul, that Yosvel has NOT returned to Paulito FG. So we'll assume PFG's pianist is still Dariel Tellez, ex of Charanga Forever.

We're starting to get close on the Charanguero Mayor article. This one is guaranteed to blow the minds of all aspiring Timba pianists, as it contains extensive MIDI recordings of Tirso Duarte, as well as full lyrics, stories behind the songs, etc. Stay tuned. Also on the horizon are three more English translations of Majela Serrano articles already published in Spanish, and a whole section on Calixto Oviedo and his new band, featuring Mena of NG and Melón.

The Joel Domínguez interview has been fixed. There were some missing paragraphs, and we've added some new pictures.

There's a great new b&w photo in the Peter Maiden section.

March 6, 2002 - Yosvel Bernal has now RETURNED to Paulito FG's group, playing piano, rather than synth as before. He's still keep his trombone gig at the Tropicana. Now if Paulito can just get Ceruto, Alexander and Tomasito and Los Dos Joeles back...

The Copa Room (formerly El Palacio de la Salsa) now seems to be the top nightclub again. Thursday will be Charanga Habanera, Friday Los Van Van and Saturday Paulito FG. See you there! (we wish!!).

The timba.com FORUM is back on line -- now at Delphi. Check it out by clicking the "guestbook" link at the bottom of any timba.com page.

March 3, 2002 - Another new edition of The Cancio Report.

March 2, 2002 - A new edition of The Cancio Report. Dateline Havana Cuba.

March 2, 2002 - Las últimas noticias directo desde La Habana: Haila María Mompié abandonó definitivamente la agrupacion Azúcar Negra para dedicarse por completo a su carrera de solista; Paulo FG ha incorporado tres miembros nuevos a su élite, tres mujeres, una de las cuales toca el güiro. Y seguimos en la élite...el último de los antiguos miembros claves de esta agrupación también la ha abandonado. Yosvel Bernal, tecladista, corista y director musical, está actualmente en Tropicana como trombonista.

The latest gossip from Havana: Paulito now has 3 female singers to his band; Yosvel Bernal, PFG's keyboardist/corista of 5 years, and most recently his musical director has quit and is now playing trombone with the Tropicana Orchestra, and if you didn't already know, Haila Mompié has left Azúcar Negra to pursue a solo career. Her replacement is her cousin Tania.

March 2, 2002 - Por Majela Serrano - La Charanga Habanera 'On Tour' - "detrás de la fachada" - el reportaje de Majela sobre los conciertos recienes de la CH en Europa

Wednesday, 23 March 2011, 03:32 AM