Team Cuba

I came across an incredible video recently.

Here’s the story: In 1998, a sort of Cuban timba version of the Fania All-Stars  came together for a short blaze of glory before disappearing into the sunset without hardly a trace.

Team Cuba, as it was called, was conceived by the legendary Juan Formell and comprised the top band leaders and their groups from the era: Adalberto Alvarez, Charanga Habanera, Manolín, NG la banda, Issac Delgado, Paulito FG, and of course Formell’s own Los Van Van.

The players involved were a who’s who – in addition to the illustrations names above were other luminaries such as David Calzado, Pedrito Calvo, Michel Maza, Alain Perez, Alexander Abreu, Pupy,  and many more.

Team Cuba played shows in Varadero, and Havana, and then did a tour of Europe. Sadly, they never recorded or released an album.

This video hints at the stunning music and energy of this incredible group. One can only begin to imagine how astonisingly good these concerts must have been, and to pine for the recording that never was!
Team Cuba documentary Que Suene La Timba
and on the subject of incredible collaborations:

Album: A Romper El Coco

Alain Perez, Alexander Abreu and Mayito Rivera

Alain Perez, Alexander Abreu and Mayito River released a collaborative tribute album, A Romper El Coco, that pays homage to classic Cuban ensembles, composers and performers from earlier times, including La Sonora Matancera, El Conjunto Casino, Arsenio Rodriguez, El Niño Rivera, Conjunto Matamoros and Johnny Pacheco, Conjunto Chappottin, Panchito Riset.

The albums starts strong with Alain Perez singing the title track, A Romper El Coco, followed up by Alexander Abreu singing a song that highlights the pilón genre and pounding sugarcane-inspired dance of the 1950s – and pays tribute to its creator Pacho Alonso – with a recording of the song Qué Rica Está Esto.

Things continue like this, winding through son, bolero, cha cha, guaracha and more for 46 minutes of musical perfection from three undisputed masters of their craft, winding to a stunning close with a tribute to Son 14 and songs written by the legendary Adalberto Alvarez.

A Romper El Coco is a terrific album, and for fans of Cuban music from times gone by – or any member of the all-star trio – that recorded it, it should not be missed.

Featured Move

Enchufla con Dracula

A pretty silly street rueda figure, Enchufla Con Dracula starts with a typical enchufla y dame. The lead mimics biting the neck of the follow as on the way to find the next follow.
Enchufla con Dracula
View this move
Events Of interest to our Halifax readers
  • Thursday May 23 – DJ Bill Graham - 1313 Hollis - 9-11pm $3 - Salsa, Bachata, Cha cha, etc.
  • Friday May 24 – Haliente - 8:45pm-12am $5 - Salsa and Bachata. Lesson at 8:45, dancing at 9:30
  • Saturday May 25 - Bachata Bootcamp at Trena’s Studio. 1-3pm. $25
  • Tuesday May 28 - Salsa at Brewsters on the Bedford Highway is now once a month
  • Friday May 31 - Son Latino plays two sets of Buena Vista Social Club plus a third-set of other  classics and recent chart-toppers at the Carleton $15 adv $20 door, 8:30-11:30pm
That’s all for this week, thanks for reading!
Copyright © 2019 Gordon B. Isnor, All rights reserved.

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