Timba From Peru

March Playlist Highlights






La Comision La Comision - Top 40 Cuban 2012 - Classic Cuba Chilled Bar Grooves El Muso y Su Gran Sonora Salsa Cuba
La Habana En Guanabacoa La Habana En Guanabacoa - Beginner's Guide To Timba Dan Den Salsa Cuba
Intro del Mayimbe Intro del Mayimbe - De La Habana a Peru Mayimbe Salsa Cuba
Si Tu No Vienes No Ba Si Tu No Vienes No Bailas - Edwin y Su Son Edwin Bonilla Salsa USA
Adicto a Tu Piel Adicto a Tu Piel (Salsa Version) - Independence Day Frankie Negron Salsa Puerto Rico
Acangana Acangana - El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico - 20 Aniversario (1962-1982 Historia Musical) El Gran Combo Salsa Puerto Rico
Olvidame Y Pega La Vuelta Olvidame y Pega la Vuelta - Amor de Tres Luna Llena Bachata Puerto Rico
Hello Hello (Album Version) - Hello (Album Version) - Single Berto La Voz Bachata Puerto Rico
Tu Sonrisa Tu Sonrisa - Suavemente Elvis Crespo Merengue Dominican Republic
Solo Quiero Amarte Solo Quiero Amarte (Feat. Pipe Calderon) - Solo Quiero Amarte (Feat. Pipe Calderon) - Single Vela Ft. Pipe Calderon Merengue Electronico Colombia
Puerto Padre Puerto Padre - Salsa World Series Volume 4 La Gua Gua Big Band Cha Cha Cha France


Who is Mayimbe

 I was recently in  California with the Salsaddiction Rueda Team for the San Francisco Salsa Festival.   It’s the largest Cuban Salsa festival in North America drawing  instructors, dancers and musicians from all parts of the globe.   The dancing and dance instruction at the event was incredible and the music even more so.  Timbalive and Manolin el Medico de la Salsa performed live as did some local musicians.  These bands were excellent but there was another  group that really caught my attention and it apparently caught the attention of other dancers and Djs.   Their music was playing in workshops, during the main dances and at the after parties.  The name of the band is Mayimbe.

Based in Lima, Peru and established in 2010 Mayimbe is an amazing  15 member Timba band led by 29 year old pianist and composer Barbaro (Barbarito) Fine Fortes from Havana, Cuba.  Before starting Mayimbe, Barbaro had been a pianist for a variety of Cuban groups including Charanga Forever, Salsa Mayor and Alain Daniel.   Besides Barbaro there are a few other Cuban musicians in the band.  However, many of the band members are Peruvian.  Apparently, Cuban music is very popular in Peru and Mayimbe has quickly become one of the most popular Timba bands in the country.

The group released its first album in 2011 entitled De Habana a Peru.  I have included one of their tracks in this month’s play list (Intro Del Mayimbe).  It  you like it I recommend checking out the entire album available on iTunes.  It is delicious.


Latin Music and Dance in Edmonton This Month

March is a happening month for Latin entertainment in Edmonton.  Besides the standard dance parties and socials that can be found every week there are some big names coming to town from the music and dance community.

  • March 2: Los Ex – Adolescentes Orquesta will be in town at the Sultan Banquet Hall (9248 34A ave).  The original Los Adolescentes was a Venezuelan salsa group made up of young Venezuelans.  The group was hugely popular in the 90s with hits like Hoy Aprendi and Arrepentida.  Ex-Adolecentes is made up of the singers from the original group and is backed by Orquesta Tropicana from Vancouver.  More details are available at fiestaval.ca.
  • March 22: Pitbull, aka Armando Christian Pérez, will be performing at Rexall as part of his PlanetPit World Tour.  Pitbull is a Cuban – America (he was born in the US to Cuban parents) artist who has taken the world by storm in the last couple of years.   His popularity and talent has allowed him to collaborate with an impressive number of artists including Marc Anthony (Rain Over Me),  Shakira (Rabiosa), and T-Pain and Sean Paul (Shake Senora).   I would describe his music as Latin pop with many songs sung in English, Spanish or both and despite the fact that most of his music is not the best for partner dancing you will occasionally hear his songs at OTR.  Tickets for the concert are available through TicketMaster.
  •  March 30-April 1: Duane Wrenn of Energetic Soul will be in Edmonton teaching some amazing salsa workshops.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to take one of Duane’s classes  I highly recommend you check him out.   He is fantastic salsa dancer but more importantly an excellent instructor and year after year Duane has been one of the most popular instructors at the San Francisco Salsa Festival.   He has taught Salsa all over North America and internationally and his unique  Soul-Sa teaching style is suitable for all ability levels.   Details about his Edmonton workshops will be available on the Salsaddiction website in the next week or two.  He will also be at the Salsaddiction Social on March 31.

Questions, comments requests?  Send me an email.

Hasta la próxima


MPop – Merengue for the Masses

February Playlist Highlights






Un Monton de Estrallas Un Monton de Estrellas - Guajiro Natural Polo Montañez Salsa Cuba
El Maraquero El Maraquero - La Timba Soy Yo Soneros All Stars Salsa Cuba
Identidad Identidad - Beginner's Guide To Timba Azucar Negra Salsa Cuba
El Mas Rico Beso Guayacán Orquesta Salsa Colombia
En Mi Puertorro Andy Montañez y Julio Voltio Salsa Puerto Rico
Indestructible Indestructible - Indestructible Ray Barretto Salsa USA
Vicio Del Pecado RKM and Ken-Y Bachata Dominican Republic
Entre Tu Amor Y Mi Dolor Entre Tu Amor y Mi Dolor - 2 Grandes de la Bachata, Vol. 3 Yoskar Sarante Bachata Dominican Republic
Ya No Toy Pà Eso Ya No Toy Pa' Eso - Hecho en el Patio Ilegales Merengue Electronico (MPop) Dominican Republic
Bailando Por El Mundo Bailando por el Mundo - The King of Dance Juan Magan ft Pitbull y El Cata Merengue Electronico (MPop) Spain / USA
Mueve la Cadera Proyecto Uno, Reel-to-Real Meren-rap (MPop) Dominican Republic / USA


What is MPop?

Originating in rural areas of the Dominican Republic, merengue (which literally translates into whipped eggs or meringue) is a musical style that dates back to the late 1800’s.  In its most basic form, it is made from a collection of 4 instruments; a tambora drum, güira, and marimba box bass for rhythm and either a guitar, banjo or button accordion for the melody.  This simple country music gained popularity over the years and was raised to a level of national importance when it was made the official dance music of the Dominican Republic by General Rafael Trujillo, president/dictator from 1930 to 1961.  Merengue music is built on a 2/4 rhythm, which makes it very easy to dance to.  General Trujillo apparently had two left feet so this easily identifiable beat worked well with his limited dancing abilities.  It’s worth repeating that this simple rhythm is very easy to hear even for people new to Latin dance.  If you want your non-dance friends to enjoy themselves at a Latin club, introduce them to merengue.

Is the traditional form of merengue still around today?  Probably, and while I suspect that you would find it alive and well in many rural areas of the Dominican Republic, when it comes to merengue in an urban setting, the music has evolved.  Artists like Juan Luis Guerra, Elvis Crespo and Olga Tañón have modernized the genre making it accessible to a wider audience.  Not only has merengue been modernized but it has also been “popularized” and this is where the term MPop comes in.

MPop is a catch phrase I use to describe merengue influenced popular music.  This would include such fusions as merengueton, meren-rap, techno-rengue, and merengue electronico.  The fusing of genres happens with many popular musical styles but seems to be especially common with merengue.  The merengue 2/4 rhythm lends itself so well to being blended.  Take the song La Despedida by reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee as an example.  The song has elements of mainstream reggaeton but at its core is a basic 2/4 merengue rhythm.  That rhythm makes the song easy to listen to and easy to dance to and I don’t mean that as a criticism.  I’m a fan of catchy, danceable MPop in general and La Despedida is a great example of it.

I’ve included a few more MPop examples in this month’s play list, one of which dates back to the late 90’s.  It’s juicy meren-rap by the great House/Reggae band, Reel to Real and meren-rap group Projecto Uno.  Unfortunately, Reel to Real isn’t around anymore but Projecto Uno’s Magic Juan is.  You can find one of his MPop songs in January’s blog post.

Comments, questions or music requests?  Send me an email.

Hasta la próxima



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