For Cuban music fans, as well as the wider reading public interested in history and culture, Ned Sublette’s Cuba and Its Music is the English-language book to interpret the roots, offshoots, and trajectory of Cuban music and the creators and practitioners firmly situated within their surrounding historical and cultural context.
Eddie Bobè is a master percussionist, vocalist composer and arranger. His expertise extends across the full spectrum of Afro-Caribbean music and traditions.
Haitian classical guitarist Frantz Casseus came to New York with the ambition to compose a distinct music, fusing the European classical tradition with Haitian folk elements.
This past august I talked for a couple of hours with pianist Bebo Valdés on the occasion of the release of El arte del sabor (Blue Note), his trio album with bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez and conguero Carlos “Potato” Valdés.
As spring slowly warms to summer, casting off the heaviness of winter, anyone who has patiently endured the nasty weather is entitled to at least one guilty pleasure—a little azúcar to further sweeten the transformation from heavy scarves and smothering hats to bare, brown shoulders, and flip-flops.
Downtown, no-wave, rock, free-prov guitarist Marc Ribot ventures intrepid into “prosthetic” Cubanismo on his album Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos. David Krasnow asks: “What’s this Jewish guy from Jersey doing playing the son montuno?”
Cuban musician Jesús “Chucho” Valdés grew up listening to the legends: his father Ramon “Bebo” Valdés played with Nat King Cole and Erroll Garner at the famed Tropicana; the pioneers of Afro-Cuban jazz assembled and jammed in their home.
Albita is about to put her name on our lips. While the music of this 33-year-old Miami-based Cuban singer couldn’t be more puro, her new CD, Dicen Que (SONY/Epic/Crecent Moon) will surely result in some “crossing over.” Not by her, though, but by English-speaking fans, especially those who like to dance from the hips down.