Tumbao Habana, an Orchestra that Proved its Talent

(Prena Latina – Cumbancha) Havana, Cuba – Pascual Cabrejas Cambara is a daring musician who told popular Charanga Habanera salsa band director David Calzado that he had a new song for him and actually, when in fact he had nothing written. Calzado was looking for new themes and accepted the offer. After three days, he gave Calzado the song “Que te lleve otro,” which quickly climbed to the first notches of the national charts. “David and I have always been good friends. I used to attend every rehearsal of the Charanga Habanera and I tell you that I would have liked to have joined his orchestra,” says Pascual, who created his own band, Tumbao Habana that records on the Artex label. The band’s first concert took place at the famous Tropicana Night Club on December 29 1997. The repertoire includes international music but they prioritize Cuban son, bolero and rumba.

Born in Santiago but raised in Havana, Pascual Cabrejas has a degree in Musical Education. At the age of 10, his father Fausto Cabrejas registered him at the Guantanamo Popular Music School to study the guitar. He did not complete his studies but learned enough to play and compose his own songs. “I think that my father is a better musician than me, he even played with the Santiago Orpheus Chorus directed by Electo Silva, but preferred to be an engineer. I liked Mathematics, and look, I became a musician. I will invite my father to sing a bolero on the CD that I am recording with the Mexican JMI Music Company. This is very important for me and I am sure that he will like it.” The CD will be a surprise for many people because it mixes several rhythms such as son with rap, rap with reggae, and includes new versions of traditional songs.

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 TelevisiĆ³n EspaƱola (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.