Sunday, April 6, 2008

Llego la musica cubana!

When Pedrito asked me (a while back) to join him in a Timba band he was putting together, I accepted truly thinking it wasn't really going to happen. I realize now and admit that I was wrong to think that, but I had my reasons: 1) I didn't know Pedro very well, 2) I didn't believe there was going to be much interest for Timba in Seattle, 3) I had heard so many failed attempts from other musicians wanting to brake the status quo of latin music in Seattle that my hopes of being in a Timba band had diminished to the point where I had accepted to be just a Timba listener. Not that there is anything wrong with being a listener, but my heart had always landed on performing timba music first and foremost.

Last Thursday's debut (04/03/08), Grupo Ashe helped me confirm how wrong I was to not believe in Pedrito at first. I understand now how passionate he was about the project and how much time, effort, and heart he has placed on it. I was also wrong to think that there was no audience for Timba, and to doubt the fact that a latin band can perform other than the established rhythms & songs that many thought were expected by the Seattle crowd, musicians and promoters. It's interesting to realize that I was as surprised and excited to be on stage singing "El Temba", as our audience were surprised and excited to hear a local band performing it. Even though I understand there is much to improve on, Grupo Ashe received many compliments that night, but the best compliment I heard was from a friend that has been to years and years of performances with me, and hear him say "This is the best band I've heard you perform with". Did I mention this was our first gig?

Last Thursday was more than the debut for Grupo Ashe, it was the rebirth of a timba fanatic, the energetic refueling I've been needing for so many years, and the birth of the idea that cuban music is now here, to stay!... ya llego la musica cubana!

Clips from Grupo Ashe's debut
(via DJ Thomas)


Sam said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. (one of my first ones!) I didn't have your email address, so I decided to leave a comment on YOUR new blog. ;)
Thank you for linking to my page as well! I'll be sure to return the favor. I'm glad you put a photo up, so I know who to introduce myself to next time.

It's interesting reading your thoughts and dreams about timba...b/c they resonate in a similar way with the other side (as you mentioned) - with the small, but growing group of Timba fans in Seattle. You probably heard some of the same feelings from the audience. My friends, as well, said they didn't think Seattle was ready for Timba. Let's prove them wrong!!! You're on a great start...You've got the ruedaseattle folks supporting you, I'm sure! - The heart of the timba audience.

I remember when i first heard/saw you at the Triple Door. My ears were so happy. I turned to my friend and said, "who is this guy??"...I thought - Where did he come from? (I may have seen you with other bands, but just didn't remember you) You brought the Timba sabor to the vocals! Something I hadn't heard Live in Seattle. I thought, well maybe he IS Cuban. he-he.
And to my great pleasure, in the next few weeks Thomas/Pedro announce Grupo Ashe. I'm glad Pedrito asked you to be a part of it!! and thank you for bringing your unique Sabor!

All the best,

Eddie Rodriguez said...

I've been getting that a lot recently. I've actually been singing with Latin Expression for about 7 years now, but recently started getting out of the same and pretty much just started jamming with some of the guys of Latin Expression and called it "Matambo". It's pretty much Latin Expression, only 7 of us and not 13. The main reason Matambo sounds different is because we don't follow the same rules Latin Expression follows - kinda of weird now that I think about it.

Thanks for you comment, and no, I'm not cuban. I was born and raised in Lima until I was about 13 and moved here to the states. I've been a Timba fan for about 10 years (just blogged about it too ;))

Take care,