Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga in Madrid

Filmed at Café Central in Madrid.

I haven’t been to Madrid in Spain yet, but it looks like it’s a good place to enjoy Cuban music.

Not long ago, we featured Chicas de Habana who are based there.

Here’s another young Cuban group in Madrid having fun with Gandinga, Mondongo y Sandunga, the classic Frank Emilio composition.

“Having fun” is … Read more

Quinteto Instrumental de Musica Moderna
From the film “Nosotros La Musica”

Released by the Cuban National Film Institute in 1964

There’s a myth in some people’s mind that Cuban jazz began with musicians like Chucho Valdes and Arturo Sandoval.

With all due respect to those gentlemen, no.

The show starts at the 00:35 point after a brief piano prelude and then a second group comes on at 5:30. This music is … Read more

Alexander Abreu and Havana D´Primera

Filmed June 1, 2013 at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco

The jam (“descarga”) is based on Cachao’s “Las Boinas.”

The Cuba-based band Havana D´Primera is led by Cienfuegos-born trumpet player Alexander Abreu.

Back home, this very popular band is known for its “Timba” music, a combination of salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music.

Sabrosa. … Read more

Manteca by Chicas de la Habana

I think Dizzy would have loved this band and this version of the classic he wrote with Chano Pozo.

Chicas de la Habana are, well, chicas de la Habana, young women from Havana.

They’re currently based in Madrid, Spain.

As is the case for so many outstanding Cuban musicians, it’s not easy finding information about them, but their music speaks … Read more

Harvard in Cuba

You’ve got to hand it to Harvard. They’ve got money and in this case they knew how to spend it.

This short video is an excellent musical and visual survey of some of the best that the western part of Cuba has to offer music lovers.

Cuban saxophonist, percussionist and composer Yosvany Terry directs the jazz bands at Harvard where … Read more

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