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RFC Blog Archive - RFC April 2011

22 April 2011 EVENT ALERT: Omar Sosa's Afreecanos Quartet, Mayne Stage , Chicago, IL, Sunday, May 1, 7:30 PM (Doors open 6:30 PM)

Omar Sosa, born and raised in Cuba but now living in Barcelona, Spain, is a prolific and eclectic jazz pianist, percussionist and composer who has already released an impressive amount of solo piano, small combo and big band work and is busily recording more. His Afro-Cuban and spiritual roots show deeply throughout his work, but he also draws upon many other musical sources thoughout Africa and beyond. We interviewed him via telephone a few weeks ago and also took a closer look at some of the most recent of his many recordings. Omar is bringing a quartet to the Mayne Stage and as always will be performing original material. Our interview with him says more about what he is bringing to the Chicago date, his other current projects and many other subjects:

Click here for more about Omar including interview


19 April 2011 EVENT ALERT: Arturo Sandoval at Viper Alley , Lincolnshire, Illinois Friday, April 22, 9:15 PM (Doors open 7PM)

Legendary, Grammy-award winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is renowned both for his early work in Cuba with Irakere and other groups/projects and for his work here in the United States with his own groups/projects over the past couple of decades. Arturo excels at both Afrocuban jazz and a wide range of straight-ahead jazz along with the occasional forays into other genres. He has also played and recorded with a number of other jazz greats over the years. He is bringing a small combo to Viper Alley for a jazz set that should be a don't-miss performance.

20 APRIL UPDATE: Arturo graciously gave us a telephone interview from Minneapolis this morning.

CLICK HERE FOR INTERVIEW!


18 April 2011 The Cubanos Are Coming!!

See our Concerts, Events & Reviews page for some important news about the following upcoming concerts: Legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval is playing in Lincolnshire this Friday (the 22nd), Omar Sosa (an excellent Cuban jazz artist now living in Barcelona) is coming in at the first of May, and Maraca is scheduled to bring up a 13-piece band from Cuba in July!

Last week, we saw Septeto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro at the Old Town School of Folk Music. They put on an excellent show, and before they did, Chicago's own DJ Timbero Mayor and I did an interview with two of them (the director and lead vocalist, "Raspa", and the bongosero, "El Matador"). We're still processing the audio and transcript, but stay tuned for the results very soon - they had quite a bit to say about the music's roots. Meanwhile, we have posted two other interviews for your listening pleasure. The first is with Josué Joseph , who recently brought the film La Epoca - The Palladium Era to Chicago. The second is an extended interview with Omar Sosa , who is performing here in a couple of weeks. In this interview, Omar went deep into the creative process and a few other musical subjects. (Both of these interviews are in English.)

Tuesday, we took in a very nice set by a small-combo version of Angel D'Cuba's band at Cafe LaGuardia. Angel sang for a few groups in Cuba including Mezcla, and he tells us that they are working intensively on a CD by his full band. We're going to hold off on a full writeup until they get closer to the completion date and/or we get a chance to catch the full band in action. We will mention that one of the songs that Angel's group did that night was LVV's hit Sandunguera (Por Encima del Nivel ). This was a real treat since actual Songo and Timba pieces by locally-based bands are sometimes rarer than Elvis sightings in Chicago these days.....

Also This Week: Cuban Timba In Chicago , Green Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland Av, Chicago IL, Wednesday, April 20, 8PM-Midnight .

CTIC is now a weekly event (every Wednesday) and remains Chicago's only public dance event where you can go listen and dance to real timba on a regular basis. If you are a timba fanatico, that's reason enough to go. If you have never heard real timba, this is a great place to get introduced to it in a friendly, welcoming setting. Kudos to Violet Jaworska and Jessi Koivukoski for having the drive and persistence to make this a public oasis in Chicago's Timba desert.


11 April 2011 This Week

Septeto Nacional Ignacio Pineiro played an excellent, non-stop 2-hour set to a packed house last night at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Among other things, this concert proves that you CAN bring in bands from Cuba to play in Chicago and fill the room if you use the right venue and do the right promotional things. Kudos to the Old Town School for being one of the rare venues in town that can do Cuban music well. In the near future, we'll have a full review along with a review of their recent CD, Sin Rumba No Hay Son and an interview with them before the concert.

Cuban Timba In Chicago , Green Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland Av, Chicago IL, Wednesday, April 13, 8PM-Midnight .

CTIC is now a weekly event (every Wednesday) and remains Chicago's only public dance event where you can go listen and dance to real timba on a regular basis. If you are a timba fanatico, that's reason enough to go. If you have never heard real timba, this is a great place to get introduced to it in a friendly, welcoming setting.


4 April 2011: Event Alerts For The Week of April 4-April 10:

1. La Rueda de Guanabacoa (also titled La Salsa Cubana) , Instituto Cervantes, 31 W. Ohio, Chicago IL, Monday, April 4 at 8PM; also at Landmark Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL, Saturday, April 9 at 2:30PM

On Monday, April 4 and Saturday, April 9, the 27th Chicago Latino Film Festival presents La Rueda de Guanabacoa (also titled La Salsa Cubana) , a joint Cuba/US production following a dance group from Guanabacoa as it prepares for rueda de casino competition finals. Rueda de casino is a distinct form of Cuban dancing that is not seen in most of the United States (although it has caught on in some places like the Bay Area). This is an opportunity to watch this style of dancing as it is done in Cuba.

2. Cuban Timba In Chicago , Green Dolphin Street, 2200 N. Ashland Av, Chicago IL, Wednesday, April 6, 8PM-Midnight .

CTIC is now a weekly event (every Wednesday) and remains Chicago's only public dance event where you can go listen and dance to real timba on a regular basis. If you are a timba fanatico, that's reason enough to go. If you have never heard real timba, this is a great place to get introduced to it in a friendly, welcoming setting.

3. CALJE CD Release Party, Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway Av, Chicago IL, Saturday, April 9, 8PM-Midnight

The Chicago Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble is having a release party for its debut CD, Blueprints. This big band is one of Chicago's best-kept secrets and cites Irakere as one of its many inspirations. The band plays original compositions in a number a styles in addition to Afro-Cuban; we've heard the CD (and will be reviewing it shortly) and consider it one of the best Latin jazz releases we've heard in the last 5 years. The Green Mill's website is http://greenmilljazz.com

4. Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro de Cuba , Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Av, Chicago IL, Sunday, April 10, 7PM

In a period when our city has not appeared on the North American tour list of many bands from Cuba from any era, old or new, this is a rare opportunity for Chicagoans to hear a top-quality band from the island. Septeto Nacional is currently touring in support of its 2010 CD release, ¡Sin Rumba No Hay Son ! (We have heard this fine CD and will be reviewing it in the near future.) Founded in 1927, this Grammy-nominated ensemble is now in its fourth generation of musicians. The original group was one of the pioneers of the son habanero , and it continues to play in that style even today. The music is still alive and vital now because the son not only remains a popular genre by itself, but it has been used together with so many other rhythms (even many of the rhythms that drive today's timba) that it is fair to say that without the son, "salsa" and timba both would not exist, at least not as we know them. For listeners who are only familiar with current music, this is an opportunity to hear the son as it was originally played by one of its "founders" once it came to the city (tres, a type of guitar, instead of piano, bongo instead of "conga") and to notice that even after all these decades, it is as alive and danceable now as it was in the beginning. The Old Town School of Folk Music's website page (which includes a video) for this concert is http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2011/4/10_septeto.html

It is worth mentioning that the Old Town School also booked Maraca from Cuba a couple of years back. They are one of the few venues in Chicago that continue to book acts from the island now, so while you're there, you might wish to express your support and encourage them to look at booking other bands from Cuba as well for their world music series nights in the future.

Sunday, 15 January 2012, 07:49 AM