Monthly Archives: March 2016

25.03.16 : El Nino y La Verdad – Ese Soy Yo

Good day dear readers!

Today I’m glad to present you another song by the wonderful Habana band, El Nino y La Verdad.

The nice thing about this talented band, made both of newly discovered talents and veteran musicians from great bands as Orquesta Reve and Manolito y Su Trabuco, is that they will be performing live this spring \ summer all over Europe!

If that alone wasn’t enough, one of the concerts is to take place on 19.06.2016, during the 7th festival internacional de Guaguanco, one of the best Cuban dance festivals outside Cuba, produced by Jorge Camaguey.

If you are planning to attend, and you definitely should, the best thing to do is get your pass from a promoter, as this gets you a discounted price.

Anyway, here’s the song, and I for one am quite glad to say that I’ll be hearing it live quite soon 🙂


18.03.16 : Irakere – Esta Noche

Good day dear readers and blog followers
Tonight is kind of special;
The best Cuban party of the local dance community where I’m currently at takes place, an event only happening once a month!

So, a great night deserves a great song by a great band.
In my opinion, there are only a few as great and with as much influence on modern Cuban music such as Irakere.

Meaning “forest or dense vegetation” in Yoruba, the band was formed by Chucho Valdez, son of the great pianist Bebo Valdez, in 1973, from a previous group, “orquesta Cubana de musica moderna”, which in turn was founded in 1967 with the purpose of taking Cuba to the top of the international jazz scene.

Irakere’s music was very different from the music of its predecessor, and fully reflected the vast talent and musical education of its members;
All manifested as a perfect storm of sorts, which included Afro Cuban folkloric music (Irakere was the first major orchestra to incorporate Bata, Abakua and Arrara drums, chequere and erikundi), traditional Cuban music, popular modern Cuban music (called by Chucho “electroson”, being similar to, but differing from, Songo), jazz, funk, rock and even classical music.
All those and some other genres were often mixed, and had a great deal of influence on both Latin jazz and modern popular Cuban music, with many elements used by the band becoming staples of Timba later on.

Speaking of Timba, during the 1980’s and 1990’s the Irakere produced several wonderful albums in the Songo \ electroson, and later on, Timba genres, with the culmination being the album from which today’s song comes from, Babalu Aye, released in 1997.
This album contains some wonderful Timba hits and an interesting Afro-jazz number with Lazaro Ros bearing the album’s name.

The band received much international acclaim, by the way, mainly in the jazz scene, winning Grammy and numerous other awards and taking part in many of the top international jazz festivals over the years.
In Cuba, and among Timba fans, the band is also known and highly valued for its wonderful electroson and Timba, such as the song I gladly present you here today!

So, here it is, Esta Noche!
May tonight pass very well for all readers who made it this far 🙂

11.03.16 : Mayimbe – Lo Que Te Gusta a Ti

Good day dear readers and blog followers!

Nowadays there are much hype and buzz about the new disc which just came out… which unfortunately means that most people have forgotten the “oldest”, and no doubt, best disc which Orquesta Mayimbe made… De La Habana a Peru!

It is quite unfortunate, IMO, that people make so much noise about something new simply because it is new… it’s not because it is of better quality, more interesting etc., it’s just because it’s new… that’s definitely no reason to forget the older stuff, especially if that stuff is much much better compared to the newly released.

The song I present today is exactly such a case.
The group’s 1st disc was just a little short of genius, and was the driving force behind the group’s international acclaim and rise to fame.
And unlike most “intro” numbers bands play at concerts, which mostly contain a sequence of solos from each and every musician in no particular order, “lo que te gusta a ti”, also known as “intro del Mayimbe” and “llego Mayimbe”, is a standalone masterpiece.

I choose to share a live version of this wonderful composition, but one can hear the album version here.


04.03.16 : Azucar Negra – Andar Andando

Good day dear readers and blog followers!

Today I present you a wonderful Timba classic by Azucar Negra.
Those who have been following the blog for some time now definitely remember the story of this band, that split from Bamboleo in 1998.

After the split, the band released several “demo” songs on Cuban radio, which were later gathered into a collection unofficially named “Vengo de Estreno”.
All songs were true masterpieces, and the song for today is included in this compilation.

The song is also the title song of the 2000 album “Andar Andando”, the first official studio album of the band, now made of former Bamboleo members and new talents, quickly becoming a Timba bestseller, and taking some of the top spots on the charts of that year in Cuba.

Several international tours followed, and in 2004 the next album, “Sin Mirar Atras” was released, followed by “Toque Natural” in 2006, which featured the young, yet immensely talented, Ailyn Dallera on vocals in most of the songs, adding a lot to them.
This album was also the first (and definitely not last) time for the band to make a large scale collaboration with many of Cuba’s leading singers and musicians, as one can hear in Toque Natural.

Several more albums followed in 2009, 2011 and 2013, and the band continues creating music to this day, although some personnel changes did happen, effecting the quality of the compositions more for worse than for better.
Still, even the recent albums contain some solid tracks, and the singles released from time to time are also, at times, quite decent.

So, here is the wonderful song for today;