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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

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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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Monday, 03 December 2012, 09:46 AM

Gotham Gets Her Groove Back, Part I:

The Odyssey of Alexander Abreu

Article and Photos by Bill Tilford -- All Rights Reserved

     I’m going to bend a journalistic rule and write parts of this in the first person because it will be easier to read that way.  Permit me to begin by saluting the people of New York and New Jersey for keeping your spirits high after the recent damage from superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. I was inspired - moved, even - by how well and how quickly you got your spring back in your step. 

     I also need to perform a brief reality check with some of my trash-talking friends in the Bay Area about the metro New York music scene. New York is a big place with a lot of music, and New Yorkers have choices.  In addition to the five performances that I enjoyed in New York and New Jersey, there were a few others, including Yoruba Andabo at Carnegie Hall and Pedrito Martinez at Guantanamera, which I could have taken in as well if I could have figured out how to be at two places at once.    (As I’m typing this, Los Papines are scheduled to perform in New York tonight.) Don’t get me wrong, the Bay Area is a wonderfully loving and supportive host and audience for touring bands, and it has some extremely talented musicians of its own as well, so keep doing what you’re doing.  But remember:  when you go to that Pedrito Martinez concert that you love to rave about, Pedrito plays regularly in his home city, which is New York.  There is also an entire platoon of New York musicians (such as Manuel Valera, Yosvany Terry and Rafael Monteagudo to name just a few examples) who could be melting your ears by playing Timba but have chosen instead to spend most of their time blowing the minds of those of us who also listen to Jazz.  It may possibly have a short supply of writers who are both able and willing to cover that scene, but the scene is very much there.  

     So why call this The Odyssey of Alexander Abreu?   Well, in the original Greek epic poem, Odysseus spent ten years attempting to return home after the Trojan War.  He was delayed and obstructed by sirens, a Cyclops, witches, storms, captivity and monsters among other things.   Alexander’s voyage to New York was closer to ten months than ten years, but he faced his own versions of sirens (in the form of multiple promoters involved in a scramble over terms), a Cyclops (in the form of a venue which was ultimately cancelled after it appeared that the operating terms and conditions would have almost guaranteed a failure), captivity (his wonderful cd Pasaporte was pulled from distribution in the middle of his US tour for a couple of track substitutions at the very time when US sales would have peaked if the cd had remained available) and even Scylla and Charybdis in the form of superstorm Sandy and its aftermath. The storms knocked one of the venues (S.O.B.s) out of action for eight days and took another venue (The Park Theater in New Jersey) out of the game for the duration.  For a time, it seemed as if the gods themselves were determined that Alexander Abreu and Havana d’Primera would not be permitted to perform in New York. 

But - he finally made it and played and sang his heart out when he arrived (in more ways than one, as you will read as the story unfolds).  One good thing about the need to reschedule after the storms was that a lot of other Cuban music hit town at the same time, and the end results for the fans were wonderful. 

In Part II, I’ll begin sharing what it was like when the music started.  That's a phenomenal story in itself.   
Coming Next:  Part II:  Havana d’Primera at S.O.B.s  and El Tosco’s Revenge

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Thursday, 29 November 2012, 02:26 PM

Havana d' Primera is Tearing Up The East Coast

Lots of pix and a writeup coming up next week.  Right now, I have a concert to enjoy.  This band and the crowd are both going wild. If you're out East, catch it while you can.  And San Francisco, I love you, but you can still go to Hell.  New York and New Jersey are happening right now!  [Bill Tilford]

Havana D'Primera @ SOBs - Cuban Music News - Noticias de musica cubanaHavana d' Primera - Photo by Bill Tilford - Sent live directly from SOBs

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Saturday, 24 November 2012, 07:44 AM

"Innovation" by Rafael Monteagudo and The Music Connection Now Available!

Back in September, we wrote a sneak preview of this exciting new Jazz recording, but the actual release to the public was delayed until now.  (You can read our review here.)  Rafael Monteagudo and his bassist, Carlos del Pino, are part of the exciting and creative wave of Jazz artists originally from Cuba who now live and work in New York.  The pianist, Chiemi Nakai, is originally from Japan and made a name for herself in the music there prior to coming to the US. 
This CD, which we highly recommend for Jazz listeners (this goes triple for bassists), is now available on CD Baby. The page includes some audio preview clips. 

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Monday, 19 November 2012, 07:26 AM

Some Reflections about the 13th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards

Algunas Reflexiones Sobre La XIII Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY

Although there were no victories for Timba this year, there was some progress in gaining recognition for our music.  Bill Tilford explains why here.

Aunque no hubo victorias para la Timba este año, hubo algún progreso en el reconocimiento de nuestra música,  Bill Tilford te lo explica aquí.

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