Mambo King Passes

Posted in Artists on March 24, 2008 by blackrep

Adrian Sainz, reporting for the Associated Press, discusses the enduring legacy of Israel “Cachao” Lopez:

“The origins of `mambo’ happened in 1937,” Cachao said in a 2004 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle. “My brother and I were trying to add something new to our music and came up with a section that we called danzon mambo. It made an impact and stirred up people. At that time our music needed that type of enrichment.”

The mambo was embraced early on and Cuban composers and jazz musicians have tweaked it over the years. It also influenced the development of salsa music.

In the 1950s, Cachao and his friends began popularizing the descarga (“discharge” in Spanish), a raucous jam session incorporating elements of jazz and Afro-Cuban musical approaches.

Cachao left Cuba in 1962, relocating first to Spain and soon afterward to New York, where he was hired to perform at the Palladium nightclub with the leading Latin bands.

Seems like the whole old guard in Cuban music is on the way out. Who will carry the torch and how easily will the rest of us in the world, hungry to hear this incredible music, be able to access their art? It all remains to be scene I suppose.


Chachi and Zé on BET

Posted in Articles of Interest, Artists, Hip Hop on March 20, 2008 by blackrep

In case you missed Chachi and Zé when they lit up BET’s 106 and Park this past January, here is the clip from their performance. Chachi is currently in the running for The Providence Phoenix’ best music poll. Go check out all the nominees and be sure to vote for him!

The Audacity of Hope

Posted in Articles of Interest, Slavery & Justice on March 18, 2008 by blackrep

Obama nailed it today when he addressed the comments made by his former pastor. Check it out and comment if you can!

Osmany and padre

Posted in Artists on February 27, 2008 by blackrep

Check out Osmany Paredes with his father on percussion from Mexico City’s Zinco Jazz Club!

Texas students march to the polls

Posted in Slavery & Justice on February 27, 2008 by blackrep

What to do if your Republican government tries to disenfranchise you by putting the nearest polling location seven miles from your campus? These Texas students shut down the highway!

Incredible documents

Posted in Slavery & Justice on February 14, 2008 by blackrep

Slave sale

Where’s the back-pay for royalties?

Posted in Articles of Interest, Artists, Slavery & Justice, White Privilege on February 14, 2008 by blackrep

LaVern Baker
This is an interesting, albeit old, article by John Floyd from the Miami New Times pointing out the sad and very real obstacles that faced many Black artists in the fifties:

Baker wasn’t the only black artist to have a hit stolen by a paleface milquetoast; Pat Boone built a career on robbing the songs of the Jewels, Fats Domino, Little Richard, the El Dorados, and Ivory Joe Hunter. And who hasn’t tried to forget the Crew Cuts’ vomitous rendering of the Chords’ doo-wop masterpiece “Sh-Boom?” But Baker was the first artist to do something about it: Incensed about the loathsome practice, Baker wrote a letter to her Detroit congressman, who actually managed to convene a federal hearing.