Posts Tagged ‘Havana’

Los Van Van in concert in Karl Marx Theatre in Havana

July 25, 2012

Los Van Van en concierto en El Teatro Karl Marx en La Habana en Cuba.

Los Van Van are a legendary Cuban salsa group.

Los Van Van are to salsa what The Who, Rolling Stones, Scorpions are to rock.

Typical salsa line-up: percussion, brass, vocals, keyboards, guitar, violin, flute. A dozen or more musicians on stage.

At the carnival in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife salsa groups play on the main stage in Plaza Charco from evening until 4am in the morning.

One night, in the early hours of the morning, a little girl climbed up on stage and danced, she was good and directed those around in their dancing.

In his delightful book Travels on the Dance Floor Grevel Lindop tells of going to a concert in Havana where Los Van Van were playing. Tickets were $10. Not a lot, but a week’s wages for a white-collar worker in Cuba.

Recording Les Sessions Cubaines at Studio Egrem

February 8, 2012

The beautiful haunting album Les Sessions Cubaines by Philémon Chante was recorded at the famous Studio Egrem in Havana, used by the Buena Vista Social Club.

Les Sessions Cubaines

February 7, 2012
Les Sessions Cubaines - Philémon Chante

Les Sessions Cubaines - Philémon Chante

Philémon Chante was not feeling too well. What do you do when feeling under the weather? Why travel to Cuba and record an album in the famous Egrem studio where the Buena Vista Social Club recorded their now classic album. What else would you do?

Je voulais enregistrer mon album en février, mais, pour des raisons diverses, je n’étais pas en grande forme. Un ami m’a dit de partir au loin durant un mois. J’ai pensé à Cuba. J’avais depuis longtemps envie d’y aller, avant que ça explose, et puis on dit qu’il y a d’excellents musiciens, enfin, le soleil, l’espagnol, La Havane.

I wanted to record my album in February, but, for various reasons, I was not in great shape. A friend told me to go away for a month. I thought in Cuba. I had long wanted to go before it explodes, and then they say there are excellent musicians, finally, the sun, Spanish, Havana.

Once there he assembled musicians for violin, double bass, Cuban tres guitar, piano, percussion, muted trumpet and, on backing vocals, a woman who had to learn the French lyrics phonetically, as she only spoke Spanish.

The result was the beautiful, haunting Les Sessions Cubaines, an album of 11 chansons.

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