ABQ Latin Dance Fest Lecture Series: Cuban Music: Beyond Buena Vista Social Club
August 22, 2018
6: 30 pm
PRESENTER: Daybert Linares Díaz
SYNOPSIS: In 1999, the release of a documentary “Buena Vista Social Club,” which depicted the process of recording the album of the same title two years prior, became a worldwide phenomenon. After decades of partial musical obscurity due to the U.S. embargo on the island, the international audience was once again regaled with the sounds of a pre-1959, pre-communist Cuba. For many U.S. people, Buena Vista Social Club signified a return to those times, a memory of a “lost” island and rhythms—both also lost in time.
Buena Vista Social Club’s international success and critical acclaim, however, bypassed entire generations of Cuban music. Indeed, the album focused mainly on rhythms that had been produced between the 1930s and 50s. But what happened between 1959, the year Fidel Castro took power, and the advent of the second millennium? What music were Cuban musicians producing during this time? What new rhythms were developed? How did the music of Cuba evolve during all these years? And more importantly, was Buena Vista Social Club an accurate representation of the contemporary music in Cuba at the time that it was released? This presentation is an invitation to explore these questions, to listen to music, and to learn what Cuba has produced, musically speaking, beyond Buena Vista Social Club.