19 diciembre 2009

La canción de la semana #196

And now for the drinking song: Tequila, as performed by Ska Cubano!

22 noviembre 2009

La canción de la semana #192

Toro Mata is a famous Peruvian folk song. It was performed, among others, by Eva Ayllon, Susana Baca, Novalima, Perú Negro and (salsa-style!) Celia Cruz. My favourite version of this song is the one by Lucila Campos.

08 noviembre 2009

La canción de la semana #190

José Antonio by Peruvian legend María Isabel Granda Larco (1920–1983), better known as Chabuca Granda, from album Cada canción con su razón.

Por una vereda viene
cabalgando José Antonio
Se viene desde Barranco
a ver la flor de Amancaes
En un berevere criollo,
va a lo largo del camino
con jipi japa pañuelo
y poncho blanco de lino

11 octubre 2009

La canción de la semana #187

Jimmy Bosch is described by the Songlines magazine as "Hendrix of the trombone" and "Nuyorican salsa dura ambassador". This weeks's song is Descargarana from the album Soneando Trombon.

04 octubre 2009

La canción de la semana #186

I was more than impressed by Quatrotango performing with Tango Fire. The band features Gabriel Clenar on piano, Hugo Satorre on bandoneon, Marcelo Rebuffi on violin and Gerardo Scaglione on double bass. This week's song is Gallo ciego.

21 septiembre 2009

Paz sin Fronteras

El histórico concierto “Paz sin Fronteras”, organizado por el cantante colombiano Juanes, se desarrolla en estos momentos en la Plaza de la Revolución de La Habana, Cuba. (Leer más)

20 septiembre 2009

10 septiembre 2009

Los abrazos rotos

In this country, they do not screen films like Los abrazos rotos for very long. It looks like the last screening in Cambridge is today. Luckily, there will be a chance to see it again in Saffron Screen on 18 and 19 October.

06 septiembre 2009

16 agosto 2009

La canción de la semana #181

...is Saboreando sung by "Chiki Chaka Girl" Annalays Serrano Lazo. This song opens Mulatas Magicas, the 2003 album by Rubén González, Jr. (yes, the son of that Rubén González).

09 agosto 2009

La canción de la semana #180

According to Wikipedia, Lola "la Grande" Beltrán is "considered one of the most successful ranchera artists of all time". This week's song is La Retirada.

02 agosto 2009

La canción de la semana #179

...is Mi Playa by Ely Guerra.
Te regalo mi sol, mi luz, mi playa
Te comparto mi dicha y mi pesar
Te doy las llaves de mi casa y mi confianza
Te cocino y te llevo a pasear

Te regalo la sal de mis historias
Te comparto mi fuerza y mi debilidad
Te muestro el cielo al que también llamamos gloria
Te regalo mi voz, mi libertad

Solamente hay algo que yo me quedaría
Es la imagen de un santo que me cuida noche y día

Te regalo mis fotos preferidas
Te comparto mi humana condición
Te llevo más allá del límite y medida
Me convierto en tu amiga, la mejor

Solamente hay algo que yo me quedaría
Y es la imagen de un santo que me cuida noche y día

Pero en mi playa, estará el sonido del mar para ti
Rompen las olas del mar

19 julio 2009

La canción de la semana #178

...is Quitapesares by Colombian joropo band Cimarrón.
Hailing from the vast Orinoco plains which stretch from Colombia into Venezuela, joropo is a fast traditional rhythm played on harp, bandola and cuatro accompanied by bass, cajon and maracas. Cimarrón fire up flawless virtuosity with a heart-stopping sense of drama.

Cimarrón plays at WOMAD Charlton Park on 24 July. For more unusual and beautiful music, check out Catrin Finch and Cimarrón.

05 julio 2009

La canción de la semana #176

Enjoy Que Lindo Suena from Nuevos Sonidos Afro Peruanos, a debut album of Radiokijada. The band was co-founded by Rodolfo Muñoz and Christoph H Müller of Gotan Project. According to Charlie Gillett's review,
A kijada (also spelled quijada) is made from a donkey's jaw, used as a percussion instrument in Peru for centuries by former African slaves and wielded here by Rodolfo Muñoz, reportedly trained at the Conservatory of Havannah in Lima. Having seen Rodolfo in action, I can vouch that he is unlike your stereotypical conservatory graduate, making formidable sounds with both his voice and his instrument's rattling teeth while prowling the stage with menacing intent.
Radiokijada will play at WOMAD Charlton Park on 25 July.

27 junio 2009

La canción de la semana #175

In his feature on Cuba, Jan Fairley writes (Songlines #60, 2009, p. 27):

The misleading mythology of Ry Cooder as the prince who kissed back to life the princess (music), who had pricked her finger on the revolutionary spinning wheel, has blinded people to the fact that, not only was there always new music in Cuba, but the old music never stopped to be played to the older generation in clubs and classic hotels. While no one doubts the beauty of the music itself, the negative effect of the popular revival of Buena Vista sounds for audiences outside Cuba is that tourists arrive on the island expectig all Cuban musicians to be 'old' and hear Chan Chan everywhere. Cuban musicians puzzle as to why retro-romantic, pre-revolutionary music sung by a bunch of veterans appeals to a worldwide audience, while Cubans participate in more vital styles created by NG La Banda, Cándido Fabré, Manolito y su Trabuco, Haila and a host of others.
It's a shame none of these musicians were featured in this blog — until now, that is. This week's song is El Trágico by the creators of timba: NG La Banda.

21 junio 2009

14 junio 2009

La canción de la semana #173

...is El Cuarto de Tula as performed by the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.

En el barrio La Cachimba se ha formado la corredera,
En el barrio La Cachimba se ha formado la corredera.
Allá fueron los bomberos con sus campanas, sus sirenas,
Allí fueron los bomberos con sus campanas, sus sirenas.
¡Ay, mamá! ¿qué pasó?
¡Ay, mamá! ¿qué pasó?

Al cuarto de Tula, le cogió candela.
Se quedó dormida y no apagó la vela.

07 junio 2009

La canción de la semana #172

Incredible as it is, but so far this blog did not feature a single song by the great Peruvian singer Susana Baca. I am going to correct this oversight of mine right now and here with Maria Lando from her 2001 album Lamento Negro.

10 mayo 2009

La canción de la semana #168

This week, I chose a flamenco song, even though sung mostly in Arabic: Ech Edani by Algerian singer, songwriter and guitarist Souad Massi, from her second album Deb ("Heartbroken").

03 mayo 2009

La canción de la semana #167

When I was looking at the harbour of Corralejo, I did notice a boat named Celia Cruz. It was one of the boats going to Isla de Lobos daily. This made me to realise that I never posted on this blog a single song by the artist who was known as "Queen of Salsa". I can't think of any song that is associated with Celia as much as La vida es un carnaval.

27 abril 2009

Naming names

According to Lonely Planet's Canary Islands Travel Guide, 4th edition, p. 31:

Although the term Canario has come to designate all of the islanders, it once referred more strictly to the people of Gran Canaria alone (now more often as not referred to as Grancanarios or Canariones). The people of Tenerife are Tinerfeños; those of Lanzarote are not Lanzaroteños but Conejeros; Fuerteventura, Majoreros (from the Guanche name for much of the island, Maxorata); La Gomera, Gomeros; and El Hierro, Herreños.
Unfortunately, this text misses Isla de La Palma, whose inhabitants, I believe, should be named Palmeras (f) and Palmeros (m).

04 abril 2009

La canción de la semana #164

Orlando 'Cachaíto' López, who died on 9 February 2009 in Havana, was a Cuban double bass player who appeared on each of Buena Vista Social Club records and took part in every BVSC tour since 1997 till 2008. His motto was "siempre con swing". This week's theme, Tumbanga, co-written by and featuring Miguel 'Angá' Díaz and Hugh Masekela, is taken from his only solo album, Cachaíto (which won the Best Artist in the Americas category of the BBC Radio 3 Award for Word Music in 2002).

27 marzo 2009

La canción de la semana #163

It is great to see my (and this blog's) favourite artists in Songlines Music Awards 2009 list of nominees: Lila Downs (in Best Artist category), Ska Cubano (in Cross-Cultural Collaboration) and Buika (in Newcomer category). However, until now, I never heard (of) Los Desterrados, the London-based "Sephardic flamenco fusion" collective who were nominated as the Best Band. This week's song, Mi Suegra, La Negra, opens the band's new album, Miradores.

17 marzo 2009

La canción de la semana #162

According to the Africando All Stars website,
Africando is a musical project formed in 1990 to unite New York-based salsa musicians with Senegalese vocalists... the goal of Africando was to merge salsa rhythms from both sides of the Atlantic, mainly based on the African salsa tradition.
This week's song is Ntoman featuring legendary Malian singer Salif Keita.


07 marzo 2009

La canción de la semana #161

The music of Señor Coconut (Uwe Schmidt, resident of Santiago de Chile) is so ridiculous that it is simply great. He takes the international rock and pop hits and makes a Latin party out of them. Here, listen to Humo en el Agua played as Cha-Cha-Cha and you will forget the original. More Coconut, please.

Fiesta Songs

01 marzo 2009

La Línea '09

La Línea - The London Latin Music Festival opens on Wednesday 1 April with Novalima!

28 febrero 2009

La canción de la semana #160

No, I did not run out of Spanish-language music, it is just I have an urge to share with you some, I'd say, mesmerising jazz experience. Last week I was in Barcelona and my friends took me to Jamboree to see Clara Sallago Quartet (actually, a quintet: Marcel.lí Bayer was playing sax). One of the songs they were performing was Love me or Leave Me.


15 febrero 2009

La canción de la semana #158

This week, it's Chick Corea's Spain. There are zillion interpretations of this composition, starting from the original (and still awesome) 1972 version from Light as a Feather album and right through this 2006 duo of Chick and Hiromi Uehara. Now, can anyone point me to free sheet music of Spain on the web?


08 febrero 2009

La canción de la semana #157

Descarga total (listen and watch the video!) from the album of the same name, by Cuban flautist and bandleader Orlando "Maraca" Valle. Check his MySpace site for gigs dates – he will appear on VI Tampere International Salsa Festival (thanks to Maraca, now I know that such thing exists).


01 febrero 2009

La canción de la semana #156

...is Teach The Children performed by Katiuska, El Medico and Kuva Man To Man. This song appears on Reggaeton: the Cuban Revolucion and, as you may hear for yourself, features an interpolation of Pink Floyd's "We don't need no education". The message, however, is very different.


25 enero 2009

La canción de la semana #155

"If there is one place in the world that can be credited for giving birth to the musical phenomenon of salsa, it is Spanish Harlem". So opens this review of Spanish Harlem Orchestra published by Australian webzine Diaspora World Beat. This week's song is En El Tiempo del Palladium — a tribute to the famous Manhattan’s Palladium Ballroom, "the home of the mambo" — from SHO's 2007 album United We Swing.


11 enero 2009

La canción de la semana #153

I can't think of any better performer to start this year with than my absolute favourite singer Lila Downs. This week's song is Ojo de Culebra from her recent album, Shake Away/Ojo de Culebra, where she is joined by La Mari from Chambao. (To explain the double name: the album also features the English version of the same song, Shake Away.)