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Lo Nuevo[hide]

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
Grupos: Charanga Habaner... : 8. El bla bla bla
Grupos: Pupy y los que S... : Tirso Duarte

Fotos Del Día [hide]

cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana cuban music, musica cubana
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

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Sunday, 30 December 2012, 07:37 AM

Happy New Year!

A Look Back at 2012

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Una mirada atrás a 2012

TIMBA.com wishes you a happy and prosperous 2013, and as we prepare for the new year, we also wanted to take the opportunity to remember some key moments from this year:

TIMBA.com les desea un feliz y próspero año 2013, y mientras nos prparamos para el nuevo año, hemos quierido aprovechar la oportunidad para recordar algunos momentos importantes de este año: 

Music Industry Awards/ Premios de la industria musical:  

In Cuba's  CUBADISCO  2012,  Acabaito de Nacer (David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera) won the award for Best Album of Current Popular Dance Music.   It is worth mentioning that a band based in the United States, Timbalive, was also nominated in that category.  We believe that this is the first time that a band in the US has received that distinction. 

En Cuba, CUBADISCO 2012, Acabaito de Nacer (David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera) ganó el premio al Mejor Álbum de Musica Popular Bailable Actual.   Vale la pena mencionar que un grupo en los Estados Unidos, Timbalive, también fue nominado en esa categoria.  Creemos que esta es la primera vez que un grupo un ls EE.UU. ha recibido esta distinción.  

Also, Mis 22 Años (NG La Banda)  received a Special Prize along  with 30 Años de Son 14 (Son 14.)

Asimismo, Mis 22 Años (NG La Banda) recibió un Premio Especial junto con 30 Años de Son 14 (Son 14) 

In the United States, La Maquinaria (Juan Formell y Los Van Van)  received a nomination for Best Contemporary Tropical Album in the XIII Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.   Although this was not necessarily the best Timba recording to come out during this period, we were glad to see that a Timba recording from anyone did finally receive recognition from the Academy.   The Academy also created a new category, Best Tropical Fusion, that will be worth watching in the future.  

En los Estados Unidos, La Maquinaria (Juan Formell y Los Van Van) recibió una nominación al Mejor Álbum Tropical Contemporáneo en La XIII Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY.  Aunque esto no era necesariamente la mejor grabación Timba para ser lanzado durante este periodo, nos alegramos de ver que una grabación Timba de cualquier grupo hizó finalmente recibir el reconocimiento de la Academia.  La Academia también ha creado una nueva categoría, Mejor Álbum de Fusión Tropical, que ser digno de ver en el futuro. 


Juan Formell celebrated his 70th birthday this year.  Congratulations Juan, and thanks for all the joy that you have brought us during several decades of wonderful music.    Also, the late Celia Cruz was selected by popular vote in the United States to be recognized with a special portrait in the Smithsonian Institution.   For fans in North America, the most important news of the year may be that 2012 saw a significant increase in tours by bands from Cuba.  Hopefully this trend will continue. 

Juan Formell celebró su cumpleaños número 70 este año.  Felicidades Juan, y gracias por toda la alegría que nos ha llevado durante varias décadas de música maravillosa.  Además, la fallecida Celia Cruz fue seleccionado por votación popular en los Estados Unidos para ser reconocido con un retrato especial en la Smithsonian Institution. Para los fans en  América del Norte, la noticia más importante del año puede ser que el 2012 se registró un aumento significativo en giras con grupos de Cuba.  Esperemos que esta tendencia va a continuar. 

Most Exciting Band of 2012/Grupo más excitante de 2012

TIMBA.com doesn't have an official "Best Band" award, but if we did, it would be difficult to deny Alexander Abreu and Havana d'Primera the honors for 2012.  They sent audiences into a frenzy wherever we saw them play.  

TIMBA.com no tiene un premio de "Mejor Grupo", pero si lo hiciériamos, sería dificil negar Alexander Abreu y Havana D'Primera los honores en 2012.  Enviaron a un público en un frenesi donde  los vimos tocar.  

Nominado para el Mejor Álbum Tropical - Best Tropical Latin Album Gramy Nominee - CUBANO SOY - Raúl Lara y sus SonerosGRAMMY NOMINATION
Nominated for Best Tropical Latin Album (Mejor Álbum Tropical)  in the upcoming 55th Grammy Awards, CUBANO SOY by Raúl Lara y sus Soneros, is a wonderful tradional Son and Rumba project from a Cuban expat living in Sweden, which practically has its own colony of Cuban musicians now. Raúl studied extensively with José Luis Quintana (Changuito) when he was younger.  He has played with several groups, but Cubano Soy is his debut release as a solo artist.  Raúl's website, which includes some sound clips, is here.  

In Memoriam:

Luis Abreu, Sara González, Paquito Hechavarria, Gregorio "El Goyo" Hernandez

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Friday, 21 December 2012, 06:54 AM

A New Musical Hope For Chicago:

The 2nd Annual Afro-Caribbean Improvised Music Festival

Article by Bill Tilford
Photos by Bill Tilford (plus a Special Photo Gallery by Joshua Bennett)
All Rights Reserved

Pupy Cantor and the Edwin Sanchez Orchestra at the Old Town School of Folk Music    

     In the late 1990s, and for a brief period in more recent years, Chicagoans had the luxury of seeing some bands from Cuba and Puerto Rico at prices ranging from free to a minimal admission charge at various city festivals and events.   While it was wonderful to experience these performances while they were happening, as a long-term proposition, they may have conditioned audiences to expect to see this music at little or no visible cost (these performances were never truly "free" since payment came from a city budget that was experiencing escalating problems over the years).   More recently, the city has dramatically reduced its financial support for several musical events, cancelling some and dramatically reducing the scope of others.  Among other things, the Viva Chicago festival is no more, and the annual Puerto Rican festival in Humboldt Park has been shortened to adapt to budget cutbacks. The best information available to us indicates that this funding is unlikely to come flowing back in the foreseeable future, and increasing private (both for-profit and not-for-profit) sources will be needed to pick up the slack if Chicagoans hope to see this type of music live.

Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective at the Mayne Stage .

     Fortunately, two private venues have already stepped in to do what they can - the Mayne Stage and the Old Town School of Folk Music have been very aggressive in booking touring bands (including bands from Cuba) and have done a commendable job with the resources available to them.  The Old Town School in particular has used its outdoor festival as well as its indoor venues to help give the music a home.   More recently, a new privately-organized festival, Festival Cubano , has also emerged as a noteworthy annual event  (it is doubtful that this particular event will be in a position to book talent from outside the US, at least in the near future, but it has shown positive growth during its first three years in its ability to book a wide range of acts from within the United States).  
    One challenge confronting festivals and large concerts generally is....click here to read the full post...

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Tuesday, 18 December 2012, 01:36 PM

The Attack of The Killer Remakes:

A Dream Come True by the Cubana All Stars

It's large -- 40 musicians más o menos (it's complicated), it has two CDs, it includes many of the heavy hitters in Havana with some special invited guests, and it's coming at you!  Wait, don't run: read our review here first...

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Thursday, 13 December 2012, 05:19 AM

Gotham Gets Her Groove Back, Part IV:

What Does This Mean For The Future? (Second Half)

Article and Photos by Bill Tilford, All Rights Reserved

The opinions that follow are my personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions of TIMBA.com or of my colleagues.             

El Tosco was right!

     A very striking lesson from the Red Hot + Cuba  performance at BAM is that many of the people in the audience were not your usual suspects for a Cuban music concert, and although they clearly enjoyed the entire show,  there is no denying the fact that it was the Timba selections which really made them get out of their seats and move.  Various people in and out of the music industry have been declaring this music "over", "exhausted", "dead" etc. for years, and these shows clearly demonstrated that not only were the obituaries and eulogies premature, but also that the music can reach and engage new listeners if marketed effectively, presented well and performed with conviction. However, to fill a venue of this size,  presenters must reach well beyond the core community of existing Timba fans and bring in more of the general public (as happened here).  The BAM concert  is Exhibit A that if new listeners hear the music, many of them will become converts. 
     For that show (Red Hot + Cuba) , there was a crack battalion of production, technical and publicity people working behind the scenes as well as an institution, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, that already possessed a loyal cadre of audience regulars of its own. Without all of those ingredients, trying to present this type of "All-Stars" performance can be virtually a suicide mission, financially speaking.  I truly hope that we see shows of that caliber in other cities, but it takes a lot of infrastructure to make this type of extravaganza a success.  

What is wrong with this picture? 

     One final word to the fans:  this is a difficult matter to discuss, but it needs to be said, and the venues and bands won't tell you because they don't want to alienate you and risk causing you to stop buying tickets.  This is about that bootleg video so many of you are taking nowadays.  The venues don't like that you do this, but many of them aren't telling you to put those I-phones and whatnot away because they need your money.  So,  I am going to tell you something:  I don't like it when you do that either, for two reasons: 
     1.  Many Cuban bands lack the means to operate their own reliably-updated websites and Facebook pages, and this makes whatever does show up on the web even more significant for their public image. If you sell bootleg video, you are ripping them off, and yes, in the evolving Cuban economy, you are probably ripping them off as individual people now, so don't even try that excuse. If you post it free on Youtube or anywhere else seen by a lot of people, the audio quality of what you did is often so poor that if you think you are doing this out of love, I would almost prefer that you hated them.  Bad audio makes them sound bad and does not help their chances with those who are learning about them for the first time. Your little souvenir might even accidentally convince somebody that they really aren't worth checking out.  I know this probably isn't going to make you stop taking personal video, but if you must continue, please use your heads about what you do with it afterwards, OK?  (Venues might even want to think about whether there is a practical business model that would allow  them to charge for a VIP "video highlights" package in lieu of tolerating those twenty phones in the air, but that may be easier said than done.)

Next up on America's Dumbest Concertgoers?

       2.  A few of you have even graduated to wide-screen I-pads that are practically the size of TV cameras. If that describes you, has it ever occurred to you that in addition to blocking the sightlines of somebody that might be taking pro-quality shots and video on behalf of the band, you are also blocking the view of other people in the audience who are standing behind you?  Leave those I-pads in your bags, folks. Besides, isn't this dance music?  So why not dance instead already?  Please keep coming, but please also be kind to the bands, the venues and your fellow concertgoers.  

     Final thoughts:  Overall, this series of New York/New Jersey concerts goes in the "win" column for everyone involved, at least from a musical perspective.  For Havana d'Primera in particular,   this was part of a larger national tour that has reinforced that band's reputation as one of the most important groups performing the music today. For those of you who have to travel to New York to do this sort of thing, it is definitely worth the trip.  Always prepare a Plan B (this is true of anything that takes you there, not just Timba concerts), but there is never nothing to do there. Never. If you go to New York for any reason and leave disappointed, that's on you. In a way, I'm glad I don't live there - I would be broke from going to see too many bands and shows.  (Now, if we could only find a suitable regular New York reporter.....)

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