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Cuba based rap duo, Zona Franka, blends traditional rhythms with the grit and swagger of hip-hop and rap vocal phrasings. Their clever shout choruses create instant tropical dance classics using their unique self-titled "changui con flow" style.
SPARK MINI de Positive Grid. Amplificador de práctica portátil alimentado por batería y altavoz Bluetooth® con integración de aplicación inteligente y sonido multidimensional grande y hermoso. ¡Lleva tu tono a cualquier parte!

Concert Report - Massachussetts - 1999

BAMBOLEO AT HOT TIN ROOF

"We are the future..."

Two days ago, I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to Martha's Vineyard to see Bamboleo who are on tour promoting their new CD, "Ya No Hace Falta". I was forewarned that what I was going to see would blow me away. My friend Kevin Moore saw each of their five shows in the San Francisco area. Why five? "Because that's all they played...if they kept playing I would have kept going."

Others raved about the incredible performance. And Timba, the new Cuban music, also known as Cuban salsa, enjoys a well deserved reputation for musical excellence. But these warnings did not prepare me for what I actually encountered.

Announcer Carlos Garcia of Ahi-Nama records introduced the band, and, like with many Timba songs, they started playing some sweet, almost gentle, saxophone-rich music, with leader Lazaro Valdes on keyboards, a percussion section consisting of a trap set, timbales and hard to hear congas, bass, two saxes and two trumpets starting out the evening with an instrumental number. But under the relaxed surface the tension was rising, the pressure building. Then out came the four vocalists, Alejandro Borrero, Jorge David, Vannia Borges and Yordamis Megret and the show took off.

The band was incredibly tight, every horn hit crisp, sharp, perfect, the coros executed in perfect unison. Saxophone player Carlos Valdes blew a great honking solo. But the two women, with their shaved heads and extremely sexy delivery stole the show. There wasn't a man in the place who didn't forget his date as Borges and Megret demonstrated the incredible Cuban ability to detatch the spine from the pelvis, while indicating EVERYTHING they could do if the love gods were smiling on you...

At the break, we were taken backstage for interviews. We spoke to Lazaro Valdes briefly, then the second half started. This we got to watch from backstage, parked right behind the timbalero, a perfect spot to watch drummer Ludwig Nuñez. Through Kevin Moore and Curtis Lanoue I have come to the beginnings of an understanding of the importance of the drummer to Timba. Nuñez is extrememly funky, drawn directly from the Parliament, James Brown, Clyde Stubblefield school, updated to 1999, with a Latin twist and the famous Cuban musical training. Up close I noticed that in addition to the drums and cymbals, he would tap out a rhythm on the stand... of course all four limbs were playing different rhythms...

After the show, we had the opportunity to sit down with Vannia Borges and Yordamis Megret who, for all their phenomenal onstage presence were very easy to talk to, pleasant, quick with a smile and very articulate. Click here to listen to the interview.

Bamboleo's new CD, "Ya No Hace Falta" has been out for a couple of weeks. It is, no surprise, a wonderful disk, a mix of soft and strong, sweet, rough, loud, with the added bonus of a translation of the lyrics, important to the rap element of Timba, which is, as Borges says, the music of the street, very idiomatic and as such, sometimes difficult to understand even for a native speaker.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011, 07:31 PM