Cuban Culture - The Traveller


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Cuban Culture


Cuba marked the twentieth century by its extraordinary range of music and dance: rumba, punto, tonada, danzón, sound, Batanga, bolero, changüí, guajira, mambo, cha-cha-cha, pachanga, Songo, salsa, etc..

Originally made of songs and drums, rumba has three styles, the columbia, and the guaguanco yambu, each with their dance. The first is for men, physical and acrobatic.

The second, slower, suitable for couples tired. The third inflames the body: crazy with desire and seduction, couples brush against each other and separate to finally join in the merger of the sexual act.

Initially, it is the orchestra rumba was called his three singers with percussion, which will be added string instruments.

Mambo and cha-cha-cha

The mambo invading America in the 1940s was born in Mexico, led by the Cuban pianist Damaso Perez Prado. Like the jazz ensembles of the time, he founded his big band with drums and large wind section.

This invention is rivaling that of Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez manage to make the New York scene completely powerful mambo under the onslaught. In Havana, Moré Beni Bebo Valdés and are currently building their wild legends, when the wave swept the cha-cha-cha. Derived from the danzón, this new style, designed by Enrique Jorrin, joined the mambo to conquer the dance floors around the world. In the 1950s, the global dominance of Cuban music is consumed, a host of impressive names, including Celia Cruz and Alfredo Rodriguez.

The post-revolution

The 1970s saw the emergence of nueva trova, related to the movement of nueva canción committed in South America. The names of Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez scored this trend, that of Carlos Varela (more rock!) Is in order with those of William Vivanco and Amaury Perez.

As for the salsa, after having considered an avatar more or less degenerated from their original music, Cuban artists have come to adopt it.

With regard to Latin jazz, the most famous representative is the pianist Chucho Valdés.

Reggaeton or Cubaton

The salsa music flagship of Cuba? You're not! Tend to be in Cuba, go dancing reggaeton, a musical genre that Cubans are so appropriate that they have renamed Cubaton. This musical style born in the 1990s mixes techno beats and dance to reggae and rap of the 1980s.

It has become THE music of Cuban youth: dance clubs in Havana, heard on radio stations everywhere popular, it reached all strata of society. Considered a subgenre of rap which he attributes language and dress codes, reggaeton - or Cubaton - dance is very hot, explicitly mimicking the sexual act against a backdrop of thunderous bass ... What a program!

Salsa grew up in the Cuban community in New York and there flourished in the mid-1970s. Several waves had opened the way. First, the return to the charanga. The Boogaloo, then mambo tinged with soul. Finally, the popular orchestras típicos.

The nightlife of Latin musicians of the diaspora in New York is intense. In descargas, these jam sessions latinas, all influences mix with afro-cuban variants: bomba and plena of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, merengue, cumbia of Colombia.

The shelling promotional was such that, for everyone, equal salsa Cuban music. Big mistake! This is what appeared in Cuba the term "salsa" in the 1929's, Echale Salsita ("Put a little spice"), then in 1962 with the album Pupi Legarreta Salsa Nova. But do not tell Juan Formell, leader of Los Van Van, he plays salsa ... "Salsa is the music popularized by the Cuban-Puerto Rican New York," he says.

In the 1980s, all Hispanic America adopts salsa.


A History of Cuban exiles could be written in three chapters. First, the exodus 3 (1965, 1980, 1994) that put Cuba under the spotlight. Then the "news items": we learned that one or more Cubans had managed to reach U.S. shores, an airplane pilot landed on a runway in the United States, such as musician decided not to return to Cuba ... Finally, the last chapter, the exile today is one that, at a distance, boiled the pot of many Cuban homes Cuba.

Any Cuban who went into exile, or nearly landed one day in Miami. In this Florida town, one of the largest neighborhoods called Little Havana.

Today, one can leave and come back. With his permission to leave the country, the Cuban can also benefit, and this is more difficult, the U.S. visa. In this case, visits the family, friends, you have a full purchase. Haven, Miami has become supermarket.

Things have changed: the Cuban exiles became officially to Havana "members of the Cuban community abroad."

In Cuba, some 50 years, the bleeding was significant. A figure is advanced: over a million people, a tenth of the population, would direct the exiles, who fund a significant part of the subsistence economy of the population.

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