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RFC Blog Archive - RFC July-Sept 2012

 

30 September 2012:

THIS WEEK:  Arturo Sandoval 
Viper Alley, Lincolnshire, Illinois
Friday, October 5,  8:00pm

We have an expanded special feature about this performance, which is the start of a much longer US Tour, in our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog.  The venue opened last year, and we saw Arturo's 2011 show there.  It's a great room for him and perhaps a 40-minute drive, más o menos, from the Loop, a little more than an hour from Milwaukee.  See our Sin Clave blog for more.  

Also playing:  Septeto Nacional de Cuba
Old Town School of Folk Music
Friday, October 5, 7pm and 10pm     

See our September 23 post for more details. 


23 September 2012:

THIS WEEK:   SOUND CULTURE PRESENTS PEDRITO MARTINEZ GROUP and ECOS DEL PACIFICO AT THE MAYNE STAGE, CHICAGO ILLINOIS
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 8:00pm

Also: PEDRITO MARTINEZ GROUP with BUYA BOMBA ENSEMBLE, Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1440 N. Sacramento Ave., Chicago IL 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 6:30pm

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so here's some recent video with the current lineup.   Did we mention that admission is free since this is part of the World Music Festival? Catch them while you can; their show here last year was fantastic, and we just heard great things about the shows they did in the Bay Area over the weekend: 

ALSO THIS WEEK:  Chico y Rita
Instituto Cervantes, Chicago Illinois
Thursday, September 27 at 6:00pm
If you missed this animated tribute to Afrocuban Jazz musicians in La Habana and New York in the 1940s and 1950s, here's a second chance to see it.  The great Bebo Valdes was in charge of the soundtrack.  We saw this last year at Chicago's 47th International Film Festival and consider it a must-see (with the advisory that there is one brief nude scene, so not a movie to take the whole family).  

Next Week:  ARTURO SANDOVAL AT THE  VIPER ALLEY, LINCOLNSHIRE, ILLINOIS
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 8:00pm

Arturo Sandoval has had an amazing career in both Cuba and the United States, and his shows have traditionally included a mix of straight-ahead Jazz, Latin Jazz and other Latin music. Earlier this year, he released a spectacular tribute CD to Dizzy Gillespie titled Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You). We heard Arturo at the Viper Alley last year; it's a great room for him and not far from the city. We'll say more about this show in the near future.    In the meantime, you can read our review of Dear Diz in our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog, and you can visit the venue's website for more details about the concert. 

Also Next Week:  SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA AT THE OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Originally known as Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro, this group has been around since the 1920s (with different personnel then of course).  Its founder was one of the most important figures in the development of the modern Cuban son, and the group today continues to keep that sound alive and vital. We heard them last year at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and they put on an excellent, high-energy show.                                                                                                                   

Chicago, you have a new charanga,  if you can keep it. We're borrowing a phrase (sort of) from Ben Franklin because it has been many years since Chicago last had an ensemble devoted entirely to Charanga. (Why the mix of small and capital letters there?  It is because the word charanga refers both to a special violin/flute based instrumentation and the music played by that type of ensemble.)   A new (as in a couple of months old) group, Charangueo, is on the scene,  we caught their set earlier this week, and we like how they sound.   Read more about them by clicking here.


16 September 2012:

EVENT ALERT:  SOUND CULTURE PRESENTS PEDRITO MARTINEZ GROUP and ECOS DEL PACIFICO AT THEMAYNE STAGE, CHICAGO ILLINOIS
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 8:00pm
The Pedrito Martinez Group has been been putting out some remarkable music including some Timba in New York with a small combo that sounds twice as big as it is.  His group did a great show here last year and is back as part of the 2012 World Music Festival.  If you have heard them already, you'll know why this is a must see. If you haven't, the is video on the Mayne Stage event page for this - check it out.  Ecos del Pacifico, a Chicago-based Afro-Colombian ensemble, also performs. 

EVENT ALERT:  ARTURO SANDOVAL AT THEVIPER ALLEY, LINCOLNSHIRE, ILLINOIS
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 8:00pm

Arturo Sandoval has had an amazing career in both Cuba and the United States, and his shows have traditionally included a mix of straight-ahead Jazz, Latin Jazz and other Latin music. Earlier this year, he released a spectacular tribute CD to Dizzy Gillespie titled Dear Diz (Every Day I Think of You). We heard Arturo at the Viper Alley last year; it's a great room for him and not far from the city. We'll say more about this show in the near future.    In the meantime, you can read our review of Dear Diz in our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog, and you can visit the venue's website for more details about the concert. 

ALSO COMING SOON:  SEPTETO NACIONAL DE CUBA AT THE OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC
Friday, October 5, 2012 at 7:00pm and 10:00pm
Originally known as Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro, this group has been around since the 1920s (with different personnel then of course).  Its founder was one of the most important figures in the development of the modern Cuban son, and the group today continues to keep that sound alive and vital. We heard them last year at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and they put on an excellent, high-energy show.   

Both on the same night - ¡Ay! - So what's to do?  Well, definitely take in one of them, both if you have a clone or one of those Star Trek transporter things.  If you have neither, our advice is thatArturo Sandoval is a must-see if you like regular and/or Latin Jazz;  if you aren't into Jazz but like the dance music, Septeto Nacional puts on a great show.  

This week:   Check our Calendar of Events page for this week's listings, but we especially wanted to mention that Chicago now has a fairly new Charanga called Charangueo on the scene.   We heard just a slice of them a few months ago, and they showed some promise then. They have local gigs both Sunday (tonight)  and Thursday. 

Finally, see our Nuestros Primos Musicales page for Afinca'os new music video, Tu Falsedad


9 September 2012:

Who would have guessed that a fine Colombian restaurant would be one of the best places to go in Chicago to hear a very good Irakere cover?   Don't feel too bad, we wouldn't have either until we actually went.  But Sabor a Cafe, a north side Colombian restaurant, is operated by a serious lover of Latin Jazz and Caribbean music generally, and it is home base for  a band, Son De La Habana, that is definitely worth checking out.   Click here to read about this band..

Last week's El Comando De La Clave concert was excellent as well.  Click here to read about the concert and view our photo gallery.

EVENT ADVISORY:  Pedrito Martinez is coming back to Chicago to the Mayne Stage on Tuesday, September 25th as part of the World Music Festival.  More about this next week, but meanwhile, you can check it out on the Mayne Stage's website. 

As usual, you should check out our Event Calendar page for the week - this is a pretty busy week.  


26 August 2012:

EVENT ALERT:  
SOUND CULTURE PRESENTS: JERRY GONZALEZ & EL COMANDO DE LA CLAVE
MAYNE STAGE, SUNDAY, 2 SEPTEMBER 2012 AT 7PM 

Trumpeter/conguero Jerry Gonzalez has a long and distinguished resume in both the Salsa and Latin Jazz worlds, but his latest project,El Comando de La Clave, is of special interest in part because this quartet features Cuban expat virtuosos Alain Pérez (bass/vocals), Javier Massó (keyboards) and Kiki Ferrer (drums). Mr. Gonzalez counts Los Muñequitas de Matanzas and John Coltrane among the influences for this project.  Any one of these artists would be a must-see even by themselves, and their first CD, also named El Comando de la Clave, was killer.  This is a must-see Jazz set.   

As we write this, Chicago's own (by way of La Habana) Angel d'Cuba's CD Heritage is being considered for a possible Latin Grammy nomination in several categories.   Congrats Angel and crew, and good luck in the hunt.  For those of you who have been living in a cave, their website,angeldcuba.com, now has some sound samples from the CD on its front page.  Check it out, you'll want this recording in your collection, and you'll want to catch their live performances as well. 


19 August 2012:

It's  "rush hour"  in the industry right now due to some key periods in the Latin Grammy and regular Grammy processes.   We still have pix of Tony Perez coming and also recently caught Latin Inspiration, which we'll review soon.  Right now, check out our Nuestros Primos Musicales page for some of what's in town and our Sin Clave blog for some info about the Latin Grammys (including Chicago's own Angel d'Cuba).  


12 August 2012:

We're taking a quick but much-needed breather after Festival Cubano and its aftermath.  One of the best events that came after was at Sabor a Cafe, when monster pianist Tony PerezAngel d'Cuba and others held forth in a great descarga last Wednesday.   Pictures next week.   


8 August 2012:

Festival Cubano wrapped up with Issac Delgado Sunday night, and his show proved that Chicagoans will embrace Timba if presented to them the right way.  
For the complete report and photo galleries, click here

The music hasn't really stopped yet;  You can see Angel d'Cuba with Grammy-winning pianist Tony Perez at Sabor A Cafe on Wednesday night at 8PM 

5 August 2012:

Festival Cubano is still in progress today (Sunday, August 5), and the rainstorm of the year didn't prevent some heavy hitters from taking the stage after the rain passed last night.   Come back later this week for our special Festival writeup and photo gallery.  Meanwhile, if this is Sunday and you are reading this in the Chicago area, what are you doing looking at this screen??!?  Go check out what's happening  outside already, and as usual, see our Events and Reviews page for other action this week. 


3 August 2012:  Festival Cubano Special Edition

Hopefully you already read our July 29 post about this weekend's Festival Cubano below; if you haven't,  start there, it includes a link to some recent video for the closing act, Issac Delgado.  In addition, we were at a VIP party/preview last night where we got a taste of three of the many other groups that are performing.   With all of the other heavy hitters in the schedule, we didn't really stress Marlon Fernandez and Lefty Perez in our earlier posts, but hey, these guys are goooooooood too, and Orisha Dance Chicago is an opportunity to see some folkloric dance in action.  

Marlon Fernandez at the VIP reception.

For photos from the VIP party, see our new gallery.   
There are only so many ways we can say "Don't miss this Festival", which in addition to an impressive music lineup has food, games etc. and dance lessons if you need 'em.   


29 July 2012:

This Week:

The must-go this week is the 3rd Annual Festival Cubano at Riis Park (Fullerton and Narragansett) on Saturday August 4 and Sunday, August 5.  The festival organizers outdid themselves for the talent lineup this year -Issac Delgado closes the Festival on Sunday,Jose " El Canario" Alberto is the headliner Saturday night, the  "undercard" includes a stellar cast in its own right     (including for example the Celia Cruz All StarsTito Puente Jr, and the Machito Orchestra among others) and overall, there is an excellent mix of acts from the traditional to the current.  At a press conference at 90 Miiles last week, we also learned that the festival is dedicated to Celia Cruz this year, and there will be a special display of her memorabilia at the festival.   But don't just come for the headliners - two of our local acts on the bill, Angel D' Cuba andSureya, both have excellent 2012 recordings out, their full bands don't get out as much as they should, and if you haven't heard those lately, you're in for a treat.  This being a festival, there will of course also be food, vendors, things for the little ones etc.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Issac Delgado or haven't heard him lately, we posted a couple of live video clips of him in concert in Denmark earlier this year in our Sin Clave No Hay Na'blog.   For everything else you wanted to know about the Festival (who / what / where / when / how much), see their website at http://thecubanfestival.com/ 
This isn't just highly recommended - if you're in town and aren't working, we would be absolutely baffled if you didn't go.   You won't see this kind of deal in Chicago again until, well, probably until next year's festival....
Earlier this week, at the press conference, several local political and media figures were present. The first photo shows cofounder George Herrera at the microphone; the second shows cofounder Sandra Castro at the mic.....


22 July 2012:

This Week:

Tiempo Libre with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison, Wisconsin, Wednesday, July 25 at 7pm.   Madison, which is about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Chicago, más o menos, might be as close to us as Tiempo Libre, one of the very best Timba and Timba-Fusion bands in the United States, may get for a little while.  This concert will include some selections from Bach in Havanaand My Secret Radio along with some Cuban classics.  In their recent concerts with orchestras in other cities, they have played a set with the orchestra and a set by themselves, so we assume this will probably be what happens here as well.  Worth the drive if you're in Illinois, and if you're in Wisconsin, hey, you're already near there. See their website, tiempolibremusic.com for more details. 

Right here in town, check out our Event Calendar.  A lot is going on including Angel D'Cuba at Chicago Summer Dance on Saturday night and Conjunto at Katerina's later that same night.  Both of these fine local bands are carrying the torch for Cuban music in Chicago;  Angel d'Cuba's group plays some Songo and Timba (including some originals), and Conjunto is Chicago's top-secret charanga that also does some great latin Jazz.   

Coming August 4-5: 

If you have been out of state or living in a cave, it may have escaped your attention that the 3rd Annual Festival Cubano is coming up August 4 and 5 at Riis Park in Chicago.  We're very excited about this year's entertainment lineup, which includes a broad range of Cuban music styles. Did we mention Issac Delgado?   Yes Issac is on the roster, as are the Celia Cruz All-StarsTito Puente Jr., the Machito Orchestra to name just a few of the other acts, which also include (among others) local favorites Angel D'Cuba and Sureya, both of whom have released new recordings this year. This is a festival in the park  we're talking about here, so we're also talking food booths, vendors etc. etc.  For more information including the complete music lineup, advance tickets and more, see their website, which isthecubanfestival.com   Issac alone makes this a must-go, but the rest of the line-up is pretty  impressive this year as well, so you'll want to do both days.

Early Warning:

Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Friday, October 5 at 7pm and 10pm.    Without the Son, we wouldn't have what came later (that's right,  no Salsa, no Timba), and Septeto Nacional, a band which is critical to the early history and development of the Son, is doing its best to last for a full century as a band.   However, as it proved during its visit last year (also to the OTS), it doesn't sound like a museum relic. The genius of the Son when it is played by people who truly know what they are doing is that is has a vitality that is timeless.  (That probably explains why it became a building block for so many other things.)  The OTS hasn't posted their October shows on their website yet, but this is in the printed brochure, and they are announcing the date at their other concerts now as well.  

If you're a serious Jazz fan, you'll have a bit of a dilemma about October 5, because Arturo Sandovalis coming to Viper Alley in Lincolnshire on the same date at 8pm.  Arturo released a wonderful CD earlier this year called Dear Diz, a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, one of the father figures of both Bebop and what we call Afrocuban Jazz in the United States.   This recording both honors and reinvents Dizzy's legacy. 

Decisions, decisions:   sublime Son, amazing Jazz, or find a way to clone yourself so that you can do both?   Sure glad we don't have to make that one for you, but you can't go wrong either way.  


15 July 2012:

The big action in Chicago for this week is covered in our Nuestros Primos Musicales section, but see also our Events and Reviews section for a pretty heavy Calendar of Events this week including an appearance by Angel D'Cuba on Wednesday at Carnavale.

Coming Soon in Wisconsin:  Tiempo Libre with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison, WI, Wednesday, July 25, 7pm.   Unfortunately for Chicago, Madison might be as close to us as Tiempo Libre, one of the best Timba/Fusion groups in the US,  gets for a little while, but it's about a three hour drive from here (mas o menos), so not impossible to get to.   This concert will include some selections from Bach In Havana and My Secret Radioalong with some Cuban Classics.  See their website,tiempolibremusic.com,  for more details and tickets. 

We would also like to refer you to our Sin Clave No Hay Na' blog for some reviews of recent concerts by Grupo Aché and Orchestre Poly-rhythmo de Cotonou.   Kudos to the Mayne Stage for the Cotonou booking. 


9 July 2012:

This Week:  See our July 1 Event Alert regarding Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou for this week's must-see event.  

New Release:   As a run-up to her forthcoming full-length CD Comence a Vivir  to be released this fall, Chicago's Salsa Cubana diva Sureya is about to release her debut single, Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir, as a download.  We listened to a preview, and it's a very good big band Salsa rendition of a classic 1930s song (it's an uptempo dance number.)  Watch her website, sureyaperez.com, for details; it should be available later this week (approximately July 11).    

New Band Review:  We could almost call it "Chicago's Hidden Charanga", but we do have a very good one, Conjunto, that doubles as a killer Latin Jazz band.  Read our review here


1 July 2012:

EVENT ALERT:  ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO DE COTONOU at the Mayne Stage 
Wednesday, 11 July 2012, 8:00 PM  

Also known as Le T.P. (tout puissant, or almighty) Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, this has been one of Benin's best and most important bands since the late 1960s  and still lives up to its name today. The African roots of Cuban music are most often described as tracing back to parts of what are now Nigeria and Congo, and that's all true enough, but Benin (known as Dahomey during colonial times) also belongs on the list - the Arará minority in Cuba is of that origin.  But this band has never been a museum piece - it has been and is one of the funkiest bands on the planet.   Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

This is just a very limited taste - the name Poly-Rythmo comes from the fact that they also do just about everything - some of their material in the 80s was even similar to what early Irakere sounded like. This is a must-see.   

Meanwhile,   we went to the Ricardo Lemvo concert (also at the Mayne Stage) Friday, and it smoked.  Chicago-arera conguero Victor Gonzalez was at the congas for the evening.   Hopefully Chicago is now on Makina Loca's regular annual itinerary.  To see a picture gallery of the concert, click here....

....and we also  checked out James Sanders Latin Jazz/Charanga ensemble Conjunto at Katerina's on Saturday. The group added Papo Santiago on flute and vocals, and it did a great combo Latin Jazz / Charanga dance show.   We'll be writing a lot more about this group, which has a regular monthly gig at Katerina's in about a week. 

Finally, Siboney Cuban Cuisine  recently mentioned that it is resuming at least some its Friday night DJ-driven Timba parties.  Check with the restaurant for more details. 


 

(See the RFC Archive for earlier posts)

 

domingo, 09 diciembre 2012, 09:11 am