Changüi to Invade the Cuban East

(Prensa Latina- Cumbancha) Guantánamo, Cuba – Chords from the “tres” guitar, marimba and maracas sound almost every day in different corners of Guantánamo city, venue for the First National Festival of Changüi to be held December 20 to 24, 2003. Helped by the “güiro,” the instruments identify this style of “Son,” created in the 19 century in the Eastern Cuban mountains; Changüi will be paid a deserved homage this year, along with its architect par excellence, late orchestra director Elio Revé Matos.

For two centuries, this rhythm has been the favorite dance music of farmers in the region that includes what are today the municipalities of Guantanamo, Baracoa, Yateras, El Salvador and Manuel Tames. The gatherings among musicians, dancers and experts will be a prelude to the theory workshop to be held during the Festival, dealing with different topics related to Changüi, the semantic and morphological aspects of the term, and the Loma del Chivo folklore.

Reve Matos (1930-1997) lived his childhood and most of his adolescence in a downtown neighborhood of Guantanamo, Cuba’s fifth biggest city. In his memory a monument will be raised during the celebrations. The versatile musician was the creator of the El Charangon orchestra, and he is considered the first to add kettledrums and unthinkable electronic elements to Changüí.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and 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.