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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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domingo, 18 marzo 2012, 07:29 am

Timba and The United States, Part II

The Initial Reception of Timba in The United States

La Timba y  Los Estados Unidos, Parte II: La Recepción Inicial de la Timba en los E.E.U.U
(Para leer este artículo en español oprima aquí)

          If musical merit was the only ingredient necessary for mass popularity  in the United States, Timba would have quickly  taken the country by storm the same way that the Mambo did years earlier.  However, that  is not enough, as many Jazz musicians have also learned the hard way over the years.   An infrastructure to support the music is  also required for any genre to reach large numbers of listeners, and that was not in place for Timba when its sounds first reached the United States. In order to fully understand the reasons for this, we first need to briefly revisit the three decades prior to Timba’s emergence as a distinct style.           

          In the 1960s, there was no significant ongoing cultural exchange between the United States and  Cuba.  This does not mean that there was no exchange of ideas of any sort -  musicians both here and there were listening to each other by various means, and radio enthusiasts such as this writer were keeping up with what was happening in Cuban music via shortwave stations such as Radio Habana Cuba, Radio Rebelde etc.  However, most of the general American public remained....click "continue reading" below for the full article

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jueves, 08 marzo 2012, 05:38 am

Happy International Women's Day!

Today is International Women's Day, so here's a shout out to all of the women in the music, past and present, especially Orquesta Anacaona, Cuba's all-female band that is still going strong after 80 years with a new generation of performers:

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lunes, 20 febrero 2012, 11:17 am

Los Hermanos Arango and Habana Sax in the US!

Coming Soon: Interactivo

Three phenomenal groups from Cuba are performing in the US in short order:

Los Hermanos Arango are at the Berklee Performance Center at 8:15 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, February 21.  Can't get there?  No worries, the performance will be carried by a live video stream! Here is this link for the live stream::

Next up:  Habana Sax, which is scheduled to perform in Miami at the Art of Freedom/La Cueva Azul, 1388 SW 8th St., Miami FL on Friday, 24 February and Saturday, 25 February.  Call the venue for performance times at (305)-857-9848.

Finally, Interactivo is scheduled for a concert in Miami Beach on Sunday, 1 April at 7PM  at the North Beach Band Shell (Collins and 73rd St., Miami Beach.).  For more details, click continue reading to see the official flyer or see the Fundarte announcement a http://goo.gl/xtZjJ

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viernes, 27 enero 2012, 08:15 am

Timba and The United States, Part I: The Globalization of Timba

by Bill Tilford

(La Timba y Los Estados Unidos, Parte I: La Globalización de La Timba)

This is Part I of a series of articles about the status of Timba in the United States, covering both international and U.S.-based groups. para leer este artículo en español oprima aquí

(Photo by Tom Ehrlich)

     The genre called Timba, like Jazz, has been declared dead by some music critics more than once over the past several years.  Like Jazz, it is very much alive,  but our favorite tropical genre does face some of the same challenges for a variety of reasons.  These articles will examine those reasons in depth and discuss some possible ways that the community of musicians and supporters of the music might help address some of these.   We will be covering several topics over time, including the music press, radio, audience tastes, financial risks and other related issues.  
     The first thing that we need to do is point out that while  Timba was born in Cuba, and Cuba remains its epicenter, the genre has also  become a truly international  movement  for three reasons:  
Over the last couple of decades, it has developed an international fan base.   In addition to Cuba, Timba music is now (thanks to both recordings and extensive live tours) popular throughout several Latin American countries, much of Europe, parts of Asia and Africa, and it has a fan base in North America as well. 
Some Cuban musicians that play Timba reside all or part of the time in other countries, and they have introduced the music to both new musicians and new listeners.  
Musical groups that play Timba have been formed in several countries.   In some cases, these groups play very high-quality music  music of high caliber at a very sophisticated level.  Just a few of the  examples are Mayimbe in Peru; Calle Real, La Tremenda, Gilito y su Clave, La Jugada and  Soneros All Stars in  Sweden; Monica y su M.P. in France; Pan Con Timba and Doble Jugada  in the Netherlands;  Contrabando in Belgium; Grupo Danson in Denmark; Jose Torres y Salsa Tropical in Poland,  and El Zorro in Switzerland.   Within the United States, Tiempo Libre, Timbalive and the Pedrito Martinez group play Timba.  Some bands such as Rumbankete now play both Timba and Salsa.    
     What does all of this mean? For openers, after almost two decades, we can safely say that Timba is an established genre rather than a passing fad, and it has a truly global listening audience, as well as a truly global musical community that plays and enjoys the material.   These are important points to remember as we examine the status of Timba within the United States. 

Next:  Timba’s Initial Reception in the United States

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