As a DancePapi.com reader, you care about dance steps and about the music that makes them possible. It is the inspired work of talented musicians that allows us to express ourselves through dance and, thankfully, those artists continue to produce excellent material for our enjoyment. Following are three recent releases that we know you’ll enjoy, whether you are a dancer or a percussionist.
Richard Bona & Mandekan Cubano
(Qwest Records, 2016)
Musician extraordinaire Richard Bona is originally from Cameroon. Heritage is his eighth album, but his first in collaboration with the Cuban band Mandekan Cubano. This is a riveting recording that traces the roots of Cuban music back to Africa. At least six of its tracks are ready for the dance floor, there are two cha-chas in the mix, and the rest of the tunes, like the lovely and soft “Matanga,” are a gift to your senses. You can check out the album here.
(Changüí del Guaso Productions, 2016)
This is the band’s first and self-titled album – Changüi Majadero. The band leader is Gabriel Garcia, from East Los Angeles, who in his teenage years fell in love with the sound of the guitar and with Cuban music. That love grew into a master’s degree that explored Afro-Latin music, during which he discovered the work of Grupo Changüi Guantanamo, an established ensemble that plays traditional music in Eastern Cuba. Garcia ended up on the island, where he fell completely under the charms of Changüi. Back in the States, he resolved to introduce the music genre to as many music lovers as possible. In collaboration with two Ortiz brothers – Alfredo and George – and Norrell Thompson (all of whom you may have heard already as part of the Los Angeles Salsa band Son Mayor) Changüi Majadero came to fruition and is now here to delight you.
The album is available for purchase on Amazon. Peruse, for example, track 3, “Vamos Pa’l Guaso,” which was written by Jose Antonio Moreaux Jardines, of Grupo Changüi Guatanamo. You can hear in this tune what makes Changüi special, including maracas that keep the beat, and voices and a tres that freely improvise. Check also track 9, “Changüi Pa’ Ayotzinapa,” a Mexican corrido about the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, here turned into a Changüi, demonstrating how the genre was traditionally used to tell stories at gatherings and celebrations. Check also the connection between Changüi and Salsa by listening to tracks 7 and 11, the first one a traditional Changüi, and the second a tune ready for the dance floor after incorporating horns and other instruments.
Los 3 De La Habana ft Eddie K
“Aunque No Viva en Cuba, Cuba Soy Yo”
(Hit Productions, 2016)
This is a new single by Los 3 de la Habana (composed by Germán Pinelli, Ana Páez, y Tirso Luis Páez) in collaboration with Cuban reggaeton singer Eddy K. It is a song of great rhythm with a positive message that invites you to sing through life, because it is fleeting. It also underlines the singers’ Cuban pride and sense of belonging, as they chant (and the song title declares): “Even if living elsewhere, I am Cuba.”
“The fact that one leaves one’s country does not mean that one stops being from that country. Unfortunately some people think that leaving Cuba means renouncing to it, and that’s not the case,” said the group to Fusion 4 Media recently. They are hoping that this song will give voice to the feelings not only of Cuban expats, but of emigrants from any country of the world.
You can check out the song on Amazon.
We hope you have enjoyed this first batch of new releases. It won’t be too long before we will be back with more!