Cuba Insight – Join the list

Cuba is not just another country with music.

It’s nothing less than the Mother Ship of Afro-Latin music.

With its habanera, danzon, changüí, son, son montuno, rumba, mambo, cha-cha-cha, timba, and wide variety of Afro-Cuban spiritual musical forms, Cuba has been as important to the music of the world as the United States has been with its blues, jazz, rock … Read more

Jamming at “La Maganette”

From the YouTube collection of Neil Axelrod.

Beautiful footage from a wonderful time. Dave Valentin shines as host and leader of an impromptu flue summit.

Now out of business, La Maganette was a salsa magnet.

Here’s how New York Magazine described it:

Midtown’s kitschy old-Italian La Maganette (825 Third Avenue, at 50th Street) specializes in charanga, with performances by such … Read more

Ray Barretto – Canto Abacua – 1975

Filmed in 1975.

Ray Barretto with vocalists Humberto “Tito” Gómez and and Rubén Blades. Composition by Rubén Blades.

Posted to YouTube by Salserodel70.

Click here to learn more about Abakuá

Lyrics:

Se escucha el sonar de tambores
Anuncian la misa pa’l que tenga fe
Y en medio de la noche oscura
Avanzan los fieles con rumbo al bemb

Se oye … Read more

Son in Havana 1928-30

Imagine being able to go back in time and actually SEE classic Son ensembles of the 1920s perform in Havana.

Thanks to an unexpected discovery hidden in the archives of the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Research Collections you can do that now.

Ensembles like this are the root of everything.

In the late 1930s, they evolved into … Read more

The cats in Havana – 1977

The year: 1977.

The place: La Habana, Cuba.

President Jimmy Carter thawed the freeze between the United States and Cuba a bit by allowing a boatload of American musicians to travel to Havana to perform with Cuban musicians, the first such officially sanctioned visit since 1961.

Check out the young, very serious and (very thin) Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D’Rivera.… Read more