In Search of Traditional Rumba Songs

(Prensa Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – A meeting to recover unpublished rumbas is taking place at Martinez Villena Hall in the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC). Sponsored by the Casas de Cultura’s National Council, an institution promoting the “Luz a la rumba” (Light to the Rumba) project, the event will seek to contribute to the preservation and promotion of little known rumba songs.

It will highlight figures such as Gonzalo Hernández Kesel, author of “Consuélate como yo” (Comfort yourself as I am), and Argeliers León, researcher of the work started by prestigious ethnologist and musicologist Fernando Ortiz.

Among its aims are to inform on the current conditions of rumba and reflect the treatment that specialists and musicians give it. This framework will serve to enhance debate on “La Rumba”, included in the CD “Del canto y del tiempo, by León, and to pay homage to Gonzalo Asencio, nicknamed Tio Tom (Uncle Tom), and also popularly known as “El Rey del Guaguanco” (The King of Guaguanco).

One of the greatest concerns from musicologists is to find new forms to revive the so-called intangible patrimony, that musically speaking, is made up by songs passing on from one generation to other.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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