Good day dear blog readers, listeners, followers ¡y todos los amantes de la musica Cubana!
Today we shall discover an interesting story, of music going a full circle, back to its roots… the story of the band Africando!
As we all know, Cuban (and other Caribbean) music has its roots in the musical traditions of west and central Africa, as these regions are the origins of a large % of Cuba’s population, descendants of slaves brought over by the Spanish imperialists to toil on plantations since the mid XVI century.
These slaves of Congo, Yoruba, Bantu, Caravali and other African ethnic origins brought a rich culture with them, a culture which had well developed music and dance traditions.
Cuban music in the last 100 years has been influenced quite strongly by these musical traditions, and this is imminent in rhythms, instruments, melodies, themes, harmonies… you name it!
Thus, it is very interesting to see Cuban music reemerging in Africa, and this is the story of Africando.
Cuba has been assisting in peace keeping missions in Africa since the late 1960s, so Cuban soldiers were present in the thousands, and naturally brought Cuban music with them.
This added to the popularity of classic Cuban genres such as Son, which has been enjoyed by the masses in several African countries since the 1930s.
More recently, during the 1970s, Cuban music artists from new york, registered under the “Fania records” label, also performed a concert tour of the continent, sparking more interest in the field.
It was, thus, inevitable for a project such as Africando to emerge, and not so long after the above mentioned events, it did!
Africando was formed in 1992 by producer Ibrahima Sylla from Cote d’ivoire, arranger Boncana Maiga from Mali, vocalists Nicolas Menheim, Pape Seck and Medoune Diallo from Senegal, and various musicians of Latin American origin based in New York.
Over more than two decades of musical career, more and more African and Latin American musicians have joined the band, forming a unique and original style of music – Afro Cuban music, mainly classics of the various genres, but sung in Wolof and other African languages, some times also in a mix of those with Spanish.
Later on, the orchestra also started incorporating original compositions of popular African artists, performing them with stylistic influences of Afro Cuban music.
Over the years, 9 albums have been released.
Today’s composition is called “Viens Danser Sur le Son Africando”, is from the 2006 album “Ketekuba”, and is a Son Montuno with Guaguanco, sung in Wolof, French and Spanish.
Hope that you’ll like it, and always remember… ¡Sigue disfrutando la musica Cubana!