The Buena Vista Social Club Phenomenon
A musical phenomenon and commercial were totally unexpected, but well armed, finished to corner Cuban salsa on the island: the recording of Buena Vista Social Club. The remarkable success of the project – which is then pressed on the film made, more or less, by the German director Wim Wenders – has truly outstanding universal a music genre that relied on the taste and ways of the 50s and even 40s, but has communication with foreign consumers that Cuban salsa, too avant-garde, more authentic and real, was unable to get by against.
In addition to advertising and economic benefits it has brought to involved, Buena Vista phenomenon caused … or at least rendered propitious, a review of the international penetration ability of Cuban music, and at the time, woke among Cuban musicians commercial greed until almost asleep.
Most affected by this backlash were precisely groups salsa, seeking success and markets, are engaged in a desperate persecution possible ways to achieve these goals surly. He then produced a redefinition of sounds in certain groups and other fragmentation, and none of these attitudes produce a true crystallization of new proposals, and sometimes, as contrary to the stagnation that has lasted recent years.
On the other hand, music that had succeeded in crossing fortune with the decades of 70 and 80, called the Cuban nueva trova – and its appendix, novísima trova – also shows signs of exhaustion music in the 90s . This intersection is especially notable for two major representatives of the movement, Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez, who are unable to show up the high quality standards they had established during their golden years. Depletion artistic way to Silvio Rodriguez is alarming and visible, with its latest releases – including with the symphony orchestra – can barely put a song in the preference lists – he mastered prior to his way – while his music became sought and baroque, as if they were hiding behind the tinsel and metaphor exhausted its obvious artistic source.
It is precisely when the trova seems exhausting and salsa falls into this panorama swamp because of the success of the Buena Vista Social Club, that we see the arrival of a new artist promotion through music Cuban, trying various models and references, are beginning to find a place in the beginning of the XXI century with a redefinition of the most notable proposals Cuban music today.
Several trends and new genres or just worked until fall into this proposal: firstly the Cuban rap, which began to gain followers, on the other rock, marginalized in the 60s and 70s, almost forgotten in the 80s and 90s, as well as jazz – sometimes marginalized too – which is played in a more systematic way, and finally the sound and even the proposal scenic cancioneros of baladistas rockers and Spanish language.
The report, which the U.S. model without abandoning attempts to introduce issues and Cuban sounds with its schematic structure, however gets high levels of acceptance among young people, although he did not receive the support of the distribution official for many years. Rock, for its part, with best intentions notable qualities – except some exception – earns shot persistence in the late 90s, a space that has been denied for decades and it nourishes the research of a group of young musicians. For its part, the Latin jazz in Cuba is definitely beyond the boundaries of the island and the Grammy Award won by its largest member, pianist Chucho Valdés, endorse the quality and validity of the project, the artistic and the commercial.
All these alternatives, but basically it involves generational change, gradually beginning to change and diversify the face of Cuban music. The popularity which had been before the pure troubadours and salseros is now capitalized by new groups or soloists who experience basically music that we might call fusion. The impressive success that had groups such as Carlos Manuel y su Clan Moneda Dura or, especially the duo Buena Fe, among young people, announce the arrival of a new air in Cuban music, in which mixed the most diverse components and most diverse influences – including salsa and trova, of course – that offer not only create a more or less new, but are also entering the surly conditions and competitive international market music.