Remembering Arsenio Rodríguez – Maestro de maestros

Rene Lopez pays tribute to Arsenio Rodríguez (Ignacio de Loyola Rodríguez Scull) born Güira de Macurijes, Matanzas, Cuba, August 30, 1911.

The Arsenio piece that Lopez refers to in his talk: “Yo Nací en África” (“I Was Born in Africa”)

A tasty instrumental version of “Bruca Manigua” recorded in 1963. Ffrom the album “La Magia de Rodríguez”

And while we’re … 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

West Side Story Reimagined (NPR)

Maria Hinojosa talks with Bobby Sanabria about “West Side Story Reimagined.”

This is our fourth article about this piece.

We did one before the premier.

One before the free streaming performance at Dizzy’s in New York City.

One before the release of the CD and the free outdoor show at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.

Why so much attention?… Read more

Bobby Carcassés y Afrojazz Blues con Montuno

The latest album from Bobby Carcassés: “Blues con Montuno”

The last time I was in Cuba, I had the great good fortune to spend time with Bobby Carcassés.

A man of vast skills and accomplishments, he is, in many ways, the lynch pin of the Cuban jazz scene and has been for many years.

Born on August 29, 1938, he … Read more

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