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Resenas: Vacilón Santiaguero (Circle 9 ...
Grupos: Pupy y los que S... : Discography - 1995- F...
Reportes: From The St... : Cubadisco 2...
Staff: Bill Tilford
Reportes: From The St... : Jazz Plaza ...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : Irakere 50th Annivers...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : Irakere
Resenas: Joey Altruda Presents: El Gran ...
Timbapedia: 09. Interviews -... : Carlos del Pino ...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Fotos: Tom Ehrlich : 2023 Monterey Jazz Fe...
Grupos: Tirso Duarte
Grupos: Tirso Duarte : Discography

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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.
Authentic Latin Music Catalog for SYNC - TV & Film Music

SpanishEnglishEntrevista con Enrique Lazaga - Page 4

Yes, the band carried on, but well, we began to play the metales [brass instruments] game, that is how it is period…It is like everything else, when you don’t have work…Our country was living a new reality. Because before, people, just like baseball players, like athletes, they lived for their jersey, but not anymore. Now, you have a job and someone else comes and offers you a couple of pesetas [TN: equals .20 cents of a Cuban peso] more and you move on. And so people loose the love, that thing that they once had. I could have been in Los Van Van, because when Formell formed the orchestra he came looking for me and our timbale player Daniel Díaz and we said, no, no, no, no way, we play with the Ritmo. And we struggled and we made it, but what happened was we never got the support, that thing you know…

Tell us about your son Eduardo, the first timbalero of Charanga Habanera. What was his childhood like? Did you teach him to play?

I have three sons that are musicians. The eldest who plays at the Cohiba, is a percussionist; Eduardo, who is now in Spain; and the youngest, who graduated as a violinist and is currently doing his social service. They all had a normal childhood, three boys whom I enrolled in music school.

Did you teach them to play as well?

I put them into school, I didn’t teach them how to play, because nobody teaches anybody how to play. You are born with the ability, which is then perfected or given technical background. Eduardo first studied violin, just like my eldest son who first studied the flute, but later they left the school. It is like this, your children always study what they want to study, because if you force them to study something, it just doesn’t work. So I told them, well, if you want to study music, become musicians. And they dropped out of music school. And they started studying other things, but they dropped that and were called up to do their military service.

So, when they had to do their military service, I was working as a teacher in the school, I teach percussion. And I went to talk to the director of the band and I said to him, ‘Look man, I have a problem… I have my kids…’

He said, ‘What do they play?’

‘They are percussionists.’ And so we taught them right then and there how to drum and they did their military service in the band. They finished their service and from that moment on they were musicians. They became musicians, and began studying again. Eduardo helped found La Charanga Habanera; he played the pailas. That was when he was the only drummer, they didn’t have a kit drummer; he was the drummer.

Are you still teaching at the school?


What school is it?

The Amadeo Roldan music institute, high school level. I teach percussion there, pop percussion and I run a workshop; I have a charanga with young kids. 

How many years have you been working there?

About ten years now, from 1996 or 1997.

Do you like your work there?

Yes I do. I do like it. Firstly, because the kids are really grateful; secondly, because at least I am teaching something that… here almost nobody plays anymore what is Cuban music. I mean traditional Cuban music, because, I don’t want people to think I am bitter or something. No, no, no. All music has its charm. I can’t expect young people today to be like I was. My youth was good, but tomorrow, the young people today will say their youth was good; but you can’t get stuck there, because maybe tomorrow I’ll have to play reggaeton, because I have to make some money.

It is not rocket science, what I have to do is play music; because the only thing that I learnt to do in my life was to play music.

But they like it, and there are even lots of them who have started to work right after they finished their studies with me and their social services. There is one who is now singing with Bamboleo, who was with me in the charanga, and he is now singing with Bamboleo. There is another who graduated as a flutist and is now working with a trio over in the Casona [TN: a nightspot in Havana]. There is a female cellist, a former student of mine, who is working with me in la Charanga de Oro and another over there, and so forth. I help them find work, because you have to help them carry on with their professional development and the truth is the kids that are graduating today are terrible, they are really good. Before, to hear a good musician, it was like a good doctor, you had to wait until their grey hairs started to show. Nowadays, there are kids, 18 or 19-years-old, who are phenomena. They are terrible, because of our music schools… The other schools are really good, schools of medicine, engineering, etc.

But because I make my living as a musician, I can say that the kids the music schools are graduating nowadays are terrible!

Saturday, 15 March 2014, 08:05 PM