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 🙂

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