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Cimafunk - El Potaje

Cuban funk artist Cimafunk, known for his hit "Me Voy", is back with a new song and video featuring filin legend Omara Portuondo and the legendary charanga Orquesta Aragón – formed in 1939 and still at it!

Cimaunk - El Potaje

Cimaunk - El Potaje


Another new Cuban music video this week – is this great video of rumberos Los Papines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvEaiSLuXFs

Music from Happy Soul All-Cuban night

I did a DJ set the other night at Happy Soul Dance Studio here in Halifax, NS the other night. It was an all-Cuban night, perhaps the first of a once-a-month thing. Here is more or less the set. As a set it’s fairly uneven – was a last minute thing – but the tunes are strong. Maybe I’ll add a podcast RSS feed to my website at some point, but at the moment you can listen on SoundCloud...

https://soundcloud.com/user-279765430/happy-soul-dance-studio-cuban-salsa-practice-sat-oct-26-2019 
 

Book

Nationalizing Blackness

Robin D. Moore

University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997


Robin D. Moore’s Nationalizing Blackness focuses in on music in Cuba in relation to afro-cuban culture in Havana in the years 1920-1940.

The book covers various topics, including: afro-cuban culture as seen through the lens of blackface theatre, son, carnival comparsas, afrocubanismo, the rumba craze, and the relatively obscure "Minorista" group of artists that included classical musicians affiliated with American and European avant-gardists such as Charles Ives and Henry Cowell.

It’s a complicated tale of racism, suppression, fascination with afro-cuban culture, the co-opting  of afrocuban culture for nationalistic, popular and art music,  the outright theft of afrocuban culture by unscrupulous musicians, and of middle-class blacks who rejected afro-cuban culture, whilst the rest of the world was celebrating it, in an effort to distance themselves.

It was a very rich period in Cuban musical history, and a fascinating topic at first glance. Moore has clearly put a lot of research into the book and there are certainly some interesting details here, but in my opinion the writing is relatively artless, and as such the book is not a particularly enjoyable or edifying read.
Events
  • Nov 7-10 - Havana en Belgrado - in Belgrade, Serbia - short event but with an extremely impressive roster of teachers including Jennyselt Galata Calvo, FredyClan and other illustrious names in Cuban dance, as well as concerts by Maykel Blanco with Mayito Rivera and 2019 Cuba Disco winners El Niño y la Verdad. 
  • Nov 17-22 - Baile en Cuba – 6 days of workshops and concerts in Havana, with an unbelievable lineup of bands: Van Van, Septeto Santiaguero, Pupy, Adalberto Alvarez, Manolito Simonet, Haila, Maykel Blanco, Alan Daniel, Elito Revé, Havana D'Primera and Los 4. Includes 22 hours of classes at all levels with instructors from the top national schools of the arts ...
  • Dec 7-8 - Casino Festival Barcelona - 2 days of workshops and parties in Barcelona
  • Jan 4-12 - 7 days in Habana - $950 USD package tour includes dance instruction, clubs, activities, transportation to activities, airport transfers, accommodation, breakfast, dinner etc – put together by Julio Montero from Casino Tradicional
  • Feb 8-23Rueda in Playa Del Carmen - very open-ended opportunity to do and learn rueda in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico with people from Boston Rueda
  • Feb 25 - Mar 3 - Festival de la Salsa En Cuba - 5th edition of the Havana salsa festival that Maykel Blanco organizes. Workshops with dance Cuban dance superstars Maykel Fonts and Jenyselt Galata Calvo and concerts from a literal who’s who of Cuban timba plus an as yet unnamed international artist.
  • Feb 13-16 - Salsa Rueda Festival - in San Francisco. The 2020 schedule is not up yet but you can see from the 2019 schedule that it will be an impressive program
  • Mar 7-15 -  7 days in Habana - $950 USD package tour includes dance instruction, clubs, activities, transportation to activities, airport transfers, accommodation, breakfast, dinner etc – put together by Julio Montero from Casino Tradicional
  • Mar 15-27  - 10 days across Cuba - $1150 USD package tour includes dance instruction, clubs, activities, transportation to activities, airport transfers, accommodation, breakfast, dinner etc – put together by Julio Montero from Casino Tradicional
  • Mar 29-Apr 5 2020 - Havana Dance Experience 2020 - Group from Halifax, NS going to Cuba for private classes and dancing. $1349 fixed price includes accommodations, breakfast, a SIM card, classes and taxi dancers as well as some daytime activities. Airfare, transportation and admission to dance clubs not included.  
  • Apr 20-26 2020 - Ritmo Cuba – includes 7 days of workshops and classes (30 hours of classes I believe, with four tracks to choose from), tours, a pool party, a beach party, as well as admission every night to the best clubs in the city with top bands in Cuba
  • May 29-31 2020Rueda Fest - in Brighton UK - has some intriguing workshops on rueda in all kinds of funky formations and more
  • Jun 20-28 7 days in Santiago - $950 USD package tour includes dance instruction, clubs, activities, transportation to activities, airport transfers, accommodation, breakfast, dinner etc – put together by Julio Montero from Casino Tradicional
Halifax Events
  • Thu Oct 31 - 1313 Hollis - White/Glow Halloween Party – 9-11pm, $3, Latino dancing social Halloween party with a glow paint booth - wear white if you have it!
  • Fri Nov 1 - Free To Move - social with a salsa/bachata room that skews slightly towards Cuban sounds, as well as a kizomba room, 9:30-12ish – $5, at Bayers/Oxford
  • Sat Nov 2 - Día de los Muertos with Son Latino - 9pm-1am at Monte’s Show Bar, $10
  • Nov 6 - Son Latino at Obladee - their usual monthly gig at Obladee 
That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!
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