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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

Sin Clave No Hay Na

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012, 06:20 PM

Latin Jazz and the Latin Grammys

Angel d'Cuba's "Heritage" also worthy of consideration

This was an absolutely wonderful year for output from Latin Jazz artists globally, and for a time, when it appeared that Latin Jazz would no longer be recognized as a distinct category in the regular Grammy awards, recognition of a Latin Jazz recording in the Latin Grammys was about to assume even greater significance than it already has.   Even with the restoration of a distinct category in the regular Grammy awards, the Jazz community is looking at the Latin Grammys with a reinvigorated awareness of their importance.    Since we are, at our core, a Cuban music website, we aren't going to go into detail about the wonderful recordings that came out by Brasilian, Argentine or other artists this past year, but we will mention that there were several that are worthy of attention by any serious Jazz aficionado. 

The following are recordings released in this award cycle that we feel deserve serious consideration in the Latin Grammy process and were either made by Cubans based in Cuba or led by important Cuban-American artists:

I.  Cuban artists based in Cuba

EL PAÍS DE LAS MARAVILLAS - Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio

All four of these are wonderful, and so far we have reviewed two of them here:

Click here for our review of El País de las Maravillas

Click here for our review of Reencuentros

II. Cuban-American artists as leaders

LIVE IN CHICAGO - Chuchito Valdes
THE OTHER SIDE OF ME - Chuchito Valdes
NESAMAH - Hilario Bell

Again, all wonderful recordings, so far we have reviewed New Cuban Express:

Click here for our review of New Cuban Express

There is so much great music here that we aren't going to attempt to anoint an individual favorite, but we will state that if technical virtuosity, personal composition by the artist AND breaking new ground were all considered equally important, New Cuban Express deserves an especially close look.   El Pais de las Maravillas and Reencuentros also stand out on both the performance and songwriting fronts.  All of the recordings mentioned above are beautiful.  


We're mentioning this separately because the buzz is that it may be under consideration in multiple categories, but Angel d'Cuba, who performed with several groups including Mezcla in Cuba and now leads a group in Chicago under his own name, released his debut album Heritage during this cycle, and this recording deserves consideration as well. In the interests of full disclosure, we need to mention that Bill Tilford liked this eclectic world music project (which does include some Cuban tracks among its other offerings)  well enough to write liner notes for it.    
Read more about the recording here

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Wednesday, 08 August 2012, 03:07 AM

Issac Delgado Brings It To Chicago

Issac Delgado's performance was the climax of Festival Cubano in Chicago, an event that helped prove that Chicagoans are becoming more openly Timba-friendly as they get to know the music better. Read all about it and see our photo gallery by clicking HERE. 

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012, 11:32 PM

New Timbalive Single: Estoy Como Que Loco

Timbalive, one of the best US-based Timba groups,  has just released a new single, Estoy Como Que Loco, which is available on I-Tunes. We listened to it earlier this week, and it's worth having.   As with many Timbalive numbers, it opens with some fusion passages  early on and then settles into a solid Timba groove for the rest of the song.  You can find it at

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Saturday, 28 July 2012, 03:34 PM

Coming to Chicago: Issac Delgado

Issac Delgado is scheduled to appear  in Chicago Illinois as the closing act on August 5, 2012 for the 3rd Annual Festival Cubano, which takes place Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5. Issac has been around for a while, so those of you who know his work may be wondering what he sounds like these days.  Well, thanks to Michelle White, here's a taste from a live concert in Denmark earlier this year...


Now, as we said, this is a two-day festival chock full of a wide spectrum of talent from the traditional to the current. For complete information about the festival, visit the website at http://thecubanfestival.com/

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