Echoes of Cubadisco: From Colombia to Havana

Echoes of Cubadisco: From Colombia to Havana
Fecha de publicación: 
30 May 2024
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It’s not the first time that Alejandro Montaña visits Havana. In fact, he lived four years on the island of music, so he doubly enjoys the reunion with Cuban culture that the recently completed edition of Cubadisco gave him:

"All the contact with Cuban music has been wonderful, it has been fabulous, and we are happy to be here," this musician, a graduate of our Higher Institute of Art (ISA) and the Javeriana University of Bogotá, confessed exclusively with CubaSí.

Currently, he is in charge of the Music Group at the Ministry of Arts, Cultures and Knowledge of Colombia, and was part of the delegation that represented that nation, guest of honor at the most important event of music industry in Cuba.

Alejandro told us that there was a very substantial participation of Colombian musicians, 37 musicians invited by the Ministry to participate in Cubadisco 2024, and he highlighted:

«We wanted to collect several artistic lines that were identified with Cuban music, which, as is well known, is already international music, especially what has to do with son music, salsa and some Afro tendencies, and Colombia is no exception; we have received these influences from Caribbean music and Cuban music, particularly, for many years. This has been established, above all, in some regions of the country that have a significant Afro-descendant presence, such as San Basilio de Palenque, Chocó, Cali, Barranquilla, etc., which have welcomed son music as one of their important practices.

«So, in that framework, we invited the Tabalá Sextet, which is a Cuban sextet, but Colombian, with bongos, maracas, just like an old Cuban sextet, but with this seal of the Afro-Colombian palenques. For the dance music side, we brought a format similar to that of Joe Cuba from the 60s, a mini charanga, but with a vibraphone.

«In addition, we had a strong participation of women who make Afro-Colombian music, because we have identified that it has been a little more difficult for women to access these genres that are predominantly assumed by men, so, when the girls come in to play these rhythms, they always receive very complex looks, and that was part of what we wanted to collect.

«Kenny Mena, La Diva, also traveled to the island, as part of the Colombian delegation, a trans artist who is a prominent exponent of an urban sound known as the exotic rhythm of Chocó, and one of the best practitioners of avant-garde jazz. Colombian: Antonio Arnedo and Colectivo Colombia,”  said Montaña in his dialogue with CubaSí.

The South American artist and official considered his stay in Cuba beneficial in terms of the opportunity to "establish commercial agreements, collaboration, internships; training, circulation, creation agreements, among others, to create greater synergy and deepen the ties of cooperation between the two countries.

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