1.Chan Chan
2.De Camino a La Vereda
3.El Cuarto De Tula
4.Pueblo Nuevo
5.Dos Gardenias
6.Y Tu Que Has Hecho
7.Veinte Anos
8.El Carretero
9.Candela
10.Amor De Loca Juventud
11.Orgullecida
12.Murmullo
13.Buena Vista Social Club
14.La Bayamesa

In 1996, composer, producer, and guitar legend Ry Cooder entered Egrem Studios in Havana with the forgotten greats of Cuban music, many of them in their 60s and 70s, some of them long since retired. The resulting album, Buena Vista Social Club, became a Grammy-winning international bestseller.


History of Cuban - Page 3


5. 1960s~today

The 1960s
Cuban revolution in 1959 gave Cuban music a big impact.
Fidel Castro closed down academias de baile (national dance academies), regarded as symbol of decadance and corruption. Some musicians who feared of the aftermath of the revolution refuged to the U.S. or to Europe, or to other latin american countries. Cuban government called them as "betrayer", and thier songs were banned.
White diaspora (many white people escapted from Cuba, feared of losing their prestige in pre-revolution period) increased black element in Cuban music, and at the same time people in Cuba started to look back the traditional music- partly as a national policy to grow the identity of nation. Yoruba Andabo, a rumba group formed in 1962 or Conjunto Folklorico Nacional, formed in 1962 in order to inherit Afro-Cuban culture are example of this tendency.

Influenced by R&B, Doo-Wap, and Bossa Nova, a new genre called filin (Spanish accent of "feeling" was born in the 1960s. Los Bucaneros and Los Zafineros are the groups from this movement. Los Zafineros played Cuban-Brazilian, and Calipso mixture music, with electric guitar.
After filin, nueva trova- Cuban version of U.S. folk song or latin american cancion protesta- came to be fashion. Based Centro de la Cancion Protesta, a center founded in Havana, Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez as frontmen, this music genre was well accepted in latin america.
Unfortunately this genre has an aspect of being official propaganda: but we should remind of its original motto: this was modern version of trovadores music.

This period gave birth to some new rhythm (boteo,timba and so on), but all of them were short-life, and couldn't get total Cuban popularity. An exception was pachanga- a new rhythm brought from New York.


The 1970s~today

Innovation and tradition
Los Van Van, a group formed by Juan Formell in 1969, showed a new direction of Cuban music which seemed to be stopped its evoltion.
Formell who had experimental spirit, tried to create a new music, using electric guitar or synthesizer. With his bandmed, percussionist Changuito and pianist "Pupi" Pedroso, he made it- songo, a new rhythm inspired by son, Yoruba rhythm, funk, pops etc. was born.
Almost same time songo was born, many new rhythm- malembe, gogocha, baston etc. were born.
In the 1990s, nueva timba, a developped version of songo appeared in Havana, and spread to the entire Cuba. Sometimes it is called "a Cuban answer to salsa". This dance also shows the difference of generations: grind dance, more materialistic lyrics. NG LA banda, formed in 1988, is the leader of this rhythm.

From the 1970s, Cuban musician tendency separated into three way: pursuit of new rhythm (like Los Van Van), pursuit of traditional music (many charanga groups), and in between the former two ways. Orquesta Tipica, CubanaOrquesta, Tipica Habanera, Charanga Tipica Cubana, Charanga Nacional de Concierto are the tradional music example. Orquesta America, and Enrique Jorrin (the person who created cha-cha-cha) took intermediate position.

Rebirth of son and Buena Vista Social Club
Son, which faded because of nueva trova during the 1960s, got revived in the 1970s. Adalberto Alvarez updated this Cuban musical backbone, fusioning traditional son of Oriente region, salsa, and songo. His group Son 14, a conjunto format group formed in Santiago, became also in Puerto Rico, with the hit song "A Bayamo en coche".
Alvarez moved Havana to form his new group Alvarez y su son. He keeps on showing us modern interpretation of son music.

Traditional son also spotlighted again, thanks to the Buena Vista Social Club.
Ry Cooder traveled to Cuba and recorded with local musicians, and this album won the Grammy Award in 1997- the album, their live tour, and the movie directed by Wim Wenders, became phenomenon.
This Buena Vista Social Club release was also an epic: it was really a new release from U.S. record company since 1961, when U.S. quarantined with Cuba.

In the End
Cuba was to be musical island- it is obvious seeing its history (mixture of races/culture), its geographical position (between U.S., Europe, Africa, and latin America), and even historical irony (Cuban revolution effected to preserve traditional music).
Cuba has tremendous musical influence to various music, and we can touch them in daily life, in spite of the fact this island is under U.S. embargo.
Nobody knows the future of Cuba, but it will not stop Cuba creating new rhythm, new music.


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