They say it is not about returning to a recent past. It is the same son but from a different period, from the second decade of the 21st century. So, are they organizing these kinds of events now? A frequent dancer in those usual concerts in Havana during the 90’s asked while making a gesture that confused me and my photographer, aswe waited this Saturday at the Latin American Baseball Stadium for the second stop of Artex’s tours around neighborhoods, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of that cultural institution.
The activity was threatened by an intermittent rain. “Some time ago Elito Reve’s and Manolito Simonet’s bands would have created a lot of expectation. Look, just now”, said the dancer while looking at the few people gathered around the Stadium, around 9 o’clock that Saturday.
The moment Tania Pantoja and her band literally “broke” the ice, there was a different atmosphere. Pantoja sang songs by Bamboleo, the band that made her famous at a time when timba had an important position in the popular preference. She also interpreted some of the latest songs included in her repertory. The Stadium was then full.
It started to rain and Tania told the audience that she was the daughter of Yemaya. The public no longer worried about the rain;the son had seduced them in such a way that when organizers decided to make a stop and wait for the rain to be over, theyasked the singer to continue her performance.
When the short storm ceased, a heavy weight took over the stage. Elito Reve’s band made everyone forget about the storm. Esa soy yo and El nombrecito, two hits included in their new album, put the audience to dance at the rhythm of the incredible trombone set of the band.
With the song Agua pa’ Yemayá there was no one sitting still and, once again it rained as if answering people’s prayers for refreshing them.
It was easy for Maykel Blanco y Salsa Mayor to go on with the show. They were the third band to perform in the concert, which also included Manolito Simonet y su Trabuco, and Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini.
Blanco succeeded with Potpourri, Tremenda pinta and some other of the hits by his band. His singers, filled with adrenaline, kept a positive energy flowing in this performance, which has transcended given its way of approaching our sonority and that thanks to the help of cultural institutions it is touring around Havana’s neighborhoods already.
Manolito Simonet was a hit with “La Habana me llama” and everyone started dancing. This band owns a peculiar style within popular music. Se rompieron los termómetros, Marcando la distancia and Control are albums of obligatory reference in order to appreciate the contributions made by that virtuous pianist.
Its main vocalist, Ricardo Amaray, noted: “Discipline, discipline”, a phrase he coined and people asked for more. So Simonet pleased the audience by inviting Tania Pantoja to interpret a classic of this genre by Bamboleo –immortalized by Vania Borges– Ya no hace falta, written by Lazarito Valdes.
The final moments of the concert were in charge of Pachito Alonso y sus Kini Kini, who accompanied by his sons Cristian and Rey, turned the Stadium into one of the most important dance floors in the Cuban capital. It is impossible to be away when the peculiar rhythm of our music is playing. Years go by but son continues to have its usual effect in people.