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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.
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Sin Clave No Hay Na

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Saturday, 29 September 2012, 12:33 PM

Arturo Sandoval's Fall 2012 US Tour

First Stop: Viper Alley in Lincolnshire Illinois

Arturo Sandoval, who first came to our notice as a key figure in Cuba's legendary Irakere and as the leader of his own combo in Cuba, has since had an even more remarkable career in the United States (and worldwide) with 6 Grammy Awards (17 nominations), 6 Billboard awards, 1 Emmy and numerous recordings,  television appearances and film work to his credit (along with a long and successful teaching career).    He is about to start a multi-city US  tour schedule  with some of his best work yet (in this writer's opinion).  His most recent recordings, Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You)  and Tango Como Yo Te Siento currently have 5 Latin Grammy nominations between them (4 for Dear Diz and 1 for Tango).  We haven't picked up Tango yet, but we've been listening to Dear Diz for hours. 

The first tour date we have is at the Viper Alley in Lincolnshire, Illinois, on Friday, October 5 at 8pm.   The club is a little north of the city of Chicago,  about 45 minutes from Chicago's loop and a little more than an hour from downtown Milwaukee.   This venue just opened in 2011, and we saw Arturo do a great show there last year.  We look forward to this week's appearance as well.

Dear Diz was a special recording for Arturo because Dizzy Gillespie was a key figure in his life and career.  We spoke with Arturo by telephone on Tuesday while he was in Miami working on a new film soundtrack and about to leave for a few days in Lebanon.  Unfortunately, the quality of the telephone connection was too poor for us to share audio here, but we will mention that he is very excited about Viper Alley performance and the rest of the upcoming tour, and he will be bringing his regular touring band including Zane Musa, the phenomenal saxophonist who also shined through in Dear Diz.   He also mentioned during our conversation that the Viper Alley performance will include some selections from Dear Diz but probably not from Tango because that second project used some key personnel that won't be on this tour.

In lieu of our sharing the poor audio from our own conversation, we are going to direct you to an interview Arturo did with Guy Raz for NPR's All Things Considered in May 2012.  He talks about his introduction to Dizzy Gillespie and what followed from that first meeting.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012, 06:42 AM

Sneak Preview: Innovation by The Music Connection

Preestreno: Innovation por The Music Connection

This won't be released for a few more weeks yet, but Rafael Monteagudo, leader of The Music Connection, was kind enough to give us a sneak preview of the debut CD Innovation, which will soon join the ranks of the best new Latin Jazz releases to come out of New York (or anywhere else) this year.  To read our review in English, click here.

Esto no se será lanzado hasta que unas semanas más han pasado, pero Rafael Monteagudo, lider de The Music Connection, tuvo la amabilidad de darnos un preestreno de su debut CD Innovation, que pronto se unirá a las filas de los mejores estrenos de Latin Jazz desde Nueva York (o cualquier otro lugar) este año.   Para leer nuestra reseña en español haga clic aquí.

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Sunday, 16 September 2012, 07:50 AM

Reviews: Arturo Sandoval; Poncho Sanchez

Reseñas: Arturo Sandoval; Poncho Sanchez

Arturo Sandoval and Poncho Sanchez have both released tributes to Dizzy Gillespie during the past year.  Both are excellent recordings.  Arturo's recording is a spectacular Jazz album, and Poncho's recording is an excellent dance album.  To read our reviews of both in English, click here.

Note that Arturo will be performing at the Viper Alley in Lincolnshire, Illinois on Friday, October 5!

Arturo Sandoval y Poncho Sanchez han lanzado homenajes a Dizzy Gillespie durante el último año.  Ambos son grabaciones excelentes.  El proyecto de Arturo es un álbum de Jazz espectacular, y la grabación de Poncho es un disco bailable excelente.  Para leer las reseñas de ambos en español,  haga clic aquí.

¡Tenga en cuenta que Arturo se estará presentando en Viper Alley en Lincolnshire, Illinois el viernes, 5 de Octubre!


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Monday, 10 September 2012, 06:53 AM

News About Cuban Jazz in the US

Noticias sobre el Jazz cubano en los EE.UU.

Chuchito Valdes, Jerry Gonzalez y El Comando de la Clave, Afro Cuban Jazz Project
Also:  Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Laura Sosa , Director of DClivemusic.com and singer in the Washington DC area, interviewed pianist and bandleader Chuchito Valdes during his recent trip to Washington.   Thank you Laura for sharing this interview with us (in Spanish):

Laura Sosa , Director de DClivemusic.com y cantante en el área de Washington DC, se entrevistó con Chuchito Valdés , pianista y director de orquesta, durante su reciente viaje a Washingon.   Gracias Laura por compartir esta entrevista con nosotros (en español).   

El Comando de la Clave is a project featuring four musicians now working in Madrid:  Jerry González, Alaín Pérez, Kiki Ferrer and Javier Massó.   We saw them live recently at the Mayne Stage in Chicago.   Click here to see our pictures and review .   

El Comando de la Clave
es un proyecto con cuatro músicos que trabajan hoy en día en Madrid: Jerry González, Alain Pérez, Kiki Ferrer y Javier Massó,  Los vimos recientemente en el Mayne Stage en Chicago.  Haga clic aquí para ver nuestras fotos y reseña .

Years ago, when this writer was in Los Angeles, California for a while, he had the pleasure of seeing "Long John" Oliva's AC Timba Jazz Project at a club called the Baked Potato.  That band had amazing musicians and great potential, but Long John died prematurely before it could be fully realized.  Recently, a new incarnation of that project, the Afro Cuban Jazz Project , has appeared on the scene  in LA.. This new group also has a very impressive roster: Fermin Sifontes, Luis Eric Gonzalez, Sawa Perez, Jimmy Branly, Joel Nuñez, Joey De Leon, Alberto Tomayo and guest artist Josiel Perez .  We will be watching the progress of this new group with great interest.  Click here to see their Reverbnation page, which includes audio and video clips.

Hace años, cuando el escritor se encontraba en Los Angeles, California, por un rato, tuvo el pacer de ver el " Long John Oliva's AC Timba Jazz Project" en un club llamado The Baked Potato.   Ese grupo tenía músicos increíbles y un gran potencial, pero "Long John" murió prematuramente antes de que pudiera relizarse plenamente.    Recientemente, una nueva encarnación de ese proyecto, el Afro Cuban Jazz Project , Ha aparecido en la escena de LA. Este nuevo grupo también cunta con una lista muy impresionante:  Fermin Sifontes, Luis Eric González,  Jorge "Sawa" Pérez, Jimmy Branly, Joel Nuñez, Joey De León, Alberto Tamayo y artista invitado Josiel Pérez.   Estaremos viendo el progreso de este grupo con gran interés. Haga clic aquí para ver su página de Reverbnation, que incluye clips de audio y video.

The Mambo has returned for real.  A  new and exciting big band, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra , is establishing a presence in California, and it is just a matter of time before it receives much wider recognition as well.   Click here to read our review of their soon-to-be released debut CD in English. 

El Mambo ha vuelto de verdad.  Una gran orquesta nueva y emocionante, el Pacific Mambo Orchestra, está estableciendo una presencia en California, y es sólo una cuestión de tiempo antes de que reciba la atención más amplia también.  
Haga clic aquí para leer nuestra reseña de su anticipado CD, que será lanzado en Octubre, en ingles. 

Finally, we are listening - and listening - to a soon to be released recording by Rafael Monteagudo and The Music Connection called Innovation .  Whatever they are drinking in New York, we want a bottle of it, because this new Jazz recording is yet another truly excellent release from there.  We'll review it here very soon. 

Por último, estamos escuchando - y escuchando - a una grabación que pronto será lanzado por Rafael Monteagudo y The Music Connection llamado Innovation . Lo que sea que ellos están bebiendo en Nueva York, queremos una botella de la misma, porque esta grabación nueva Jazz es otro lanzamiento realmente excelente desde allí.  Vamos a reseñarlo aquí muy pronto.   

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