Magazine AM:PM
Faro X Alfonso, Ele Valdés, Carlos Alfonso and Eme Alfonso. Photo: Courtesy of Vistar Magazine.

Panorama May: Cuba

By Magazine AMPM

Ancestors Symphonic (Fac Music, 2022) is the album that will identify the Alfonso Valdés family in this era. A 10-track phonogram, with an original idea by X (Equis) Alfonso, in collaboration with his sister Eme and his parents Carlos Alfonso and Ele Valdés, along with Síntesis, the band they founded back in 1976. An explosive album that, at first listen, paralyze the body, for its powerful symphonic orchestration conjugated with our religious roots, and that brings the Afro-Cuban rites of those first albums 一ancestors 1 (1987) and ancestors 2 (1990)一 to a new sound level.

Among Ibarago Moyugba (Elegguá) and Iyamilé Oro (Oshun) the songs and prayers to the deities of the Yoruba religion unfold, only unlike the originals, these new versions with symphonic arrangements bring a bit of everything: sound renovation, creative ingenuity, harmonic-timbral-magical experiment (listen to the intro of Aguanileo Oggun), choirs sung in unison, harmonies by fourths and octaves. Powerful emotions that dominate the body when listening.


Good herb, Jon Batiste, Daymé Arocena, Pedrito Martínez, Alain Pérez and Ron BlakeThe Man with the Hat and the Tan (Manhattan): a collaboration full of good energy, mixing genres such as bossa nova, jazz and son. The video of the song is pure Cuban download.

Pedro Martinez Jícamo spoke to me: rhythmic theme, where the rumba timbre of the Cuban percussionist stands out, together with the accuracy of the percussive blocks of the congas and the timbal, the piano tumbaos, the mambos, improvisations and choruses full of flavor.

National Septet Ignacio Piñeiro and Gilberto Santa Rosa Give it to me in life: This theme is part of the record production Great Combo for a while (Bis Music, 2022), by the Septet, in homage to the 60th anniversary of the Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and its director Rafael Ithier. A version to the rhythm of Cuban son to move your feet.

Pedro Guerra and Silvio Rodriguez— When you are not here: bonus track belonging to the disk Trip (2021), by the Canarian troubadour Pedro Guerra and recently released on digital platforms this month. An extremely beautiful song, one of those that bring tears and fall in love.


During the 28th and 29th of May, and changing the scheduled dates on which the showcase, occurred  Havana World Music one of the most anticipated festivals by the Cuban public. In Fábrica de Arte Cubano, the new award-winning bands in the First Base Contest in 2021 (Misifuz, Los Monos Lácteos, Kambu, Raulito Prieto, Isla Escarlata and Kill The Party) were presented, while performances took place in the Sports City Coliseum by Wesli, Mateo, Rommel, Haydée Milanés, X Alfonso, Real Project, Carlos Varela, Héctor Téllez Jr., among others.



Faro Faro Alliance of Ibero-American Musical and Cultural Media. More posts

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