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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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SpanishEnglishCubadisco 2013 Nominees

Some Highlights of the Nominees in Cubadisco 2013

by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved

Cubadisco is part Cuba's equivalent of the GRAMMY Awards, part massive international music festival. Each year has a special theme (Cubadisco 2013 is dedicated to the young, concert music and the violin), and an extended festival takes place at the end of the process.  (This year's festival, which will include over one hundred concerts, will take place May 18-26, 2013 at multiple venues). Recordings that were released during the previous calendar year are eligible for recognition, and for most categories, Cuban artists living in any country (including the United States) are eligible for recognition. One category, the International Prize, recognizes artists from other countries, and Ecuador is the "Guest of Honor" country this year.  

An interesting change from 2012 is that there are now two Jazz categories - Jazz and Jazz Cubano. There has been vociferous debate within the United States about whether the need still exists for separate categories for Jazz and Latin Jazz in the GRAMMY awards, and thus far, those favoring two separate categories have prevailed in the debate.  We wonder if similar arguments have been taking place in Cuba recently.  

The following are some categories of special interest to readers of Timba.com.   In cases where we have reviewed the CD of a nominee, a link to that review is included.   

This category was called Current Popular Dance Music last year, and we have to say that this year's entries are much more exciting than the selections from 2012. Some of them are likely to be considered classics in the future.  We aren't going to pick a favorite, and we don't envy the judges for their obligation to do so.  We have already reviewed three of the recordings and will try to complete the set in the weeks to come.  The nominees are:

Pasaporte by Alexander Abreu y Habana d'Primera (Colibri)
There have been independently-released versions of this available in Europe and on the Internet,  but the official nomination roster now shows this as a submission under the Colibri label.   You can read our review of the independent release versions here.

Todo está bien by Giraldo Piloto y Klimax (Colibri)
You can read our review here. 

Salseando by Leoni Torres (EGREM)
Not yet reviewed

Tumbao pa'l bailador  by various artists (Ahí Namá Music)
Since Cubadisco's official listing shows this as an Ahí Namá release, there may be more than one version of this all star project (which includes, among others, Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco and Maykel Blanco y su Salsamayor) in international circulation.  You can read our review of the version released in Italy  (the photo is from the Italian release) under the Cubamusic label here.

Lázaro Buides Cubayende by Manolito y su Trabuco (Planet Records). This is also a nominee in the Recording  (engineering) category. 
Not yet reviewed

We have not reviewed any of these yet but hope to do so in the weeks to come.  The nominees are:

Poliscandú by Ruy López-Nussa (Colibri)
Not yet reviewed

Yo by Roberto Fonseca (Montuno Producciones). This is also a nominee in the Fusion category and the Design category. 
Not yet reviewed

Djazz en el Jalisco Park (en vivo) by Wichy de Vedado y Tony Rodriguez (independent release)
Not yet reviewed

Magic Place by Alfredo Chacón (independent release)
Not yet reviewed

Musae by Román Filiú (Dafnisón Music)
Not yet reviewed

2012 was an especially good year for this music.  It is too soon to declare it to be historic, but everything listed here is remarkable.  The nominees, which include two Cubans living in New York, are:  

Chucho Valdés presenta a Carlos Miyares by Carlos Miyares (Bis)
You can read our review here.

El trombón de Santa Amalia by Juan Carlos Marin (Colibri)
Not yet reviewed. 

Claroscuro by Alejando Falcón (Colibri)
Not yet reviewed.

Today's Opinion by Yosvany Terry (Criss Cross Jazz Productions)
You can read our review here. 

New Cuban Express by Manuel Valera (Mavo Records)
You can read our review here.


The title of this category is unchanged this year.  Some of Cuba's heavyweight soneros are included in this year's list.  The nominees are: 

La Habana tiene su son (CD/DVD) by Septeto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro (Bis)
Not reviewed

Los más reciente de Eliades Ochoa, Vol. 3, Eliades Ochoa y la banda del Jigüe (EGREM)
Not reviewed

Cantan en llano, Jóvenes Clásicos del Son (Colibri)
Not reviewed

Eternamente chachachá, varios intérpretes (Colibri)

Vamos pa' la fiesta, Septeto Santiaguero  (Picap)
You can read our review here.


Dial by Buena Fe (EGREM)  is one of the nominees in the Trova-Fusion category.  Michelle White has written extensively about this project. 
You can read her CD review here.

Charanga Light 2 by David Calzado y su Charanga Habanera (EGREM) is one of the nominees in the Latin Music category.  We haven't heard this yet.   

Otra forma más (DVD) by Vocal Sampling (EGREM) is the nominee (and presumed winner) in the Vocal Music category. It is also a nominee in the Live Recording category.  We have not seen this yet. 

Van Van 40 (DVD) by Los Van Van (Unicornio y Tostones Pitchors) is a nominee in the Live Recording category. We have not seen this yet. 

Mi Bajo Danzón by Yunior Terry & Son de Altura (Palo Santo Music) is one of the nominees in Vocal/Instrumental music.  
You can read Tom Ehrlich's review here.

Reencuentros (CD/DVD) by Maraca & his Latin Jazz All Stars (EGREM) is one of the nominees in the Instrumental Music category and the Liner Notes category. This was originally an independent release that has apparently been acquired by EGREM.  
You can read our review of the original independent release here. 

Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio (self titled, Dafnison Music) is one of the nominees in the Fusion category.
Not yet reviewed. 

You can download the complete official nominations brochure (in Spanish) here

Friday, 03 May 2013, 07:51 PM