Son (Habana 50)

No, not as in a male child.

Son as in the style of music that originated in Cuba of which Salsa is a derivative.

Cigars and rum may be obvious Cuban exports, but when the Soviet Union collapsed the country lost a vital source of overseas income.  Tourism was encouraged as a means of generating replacement funds and so naturally they turned to an example of domestic culture that is know the world over.

When Ry Cooder came calling and encountered the Buena Vista Social Club roughly a century after the style originated (from blending two different Rumba traditions) a phenomenon was created with both a best-selling album and accompanying film catapulting the members of that band to international recognition.

And now it seems that every bar has a band.  Every conversation with a Cubano references the Buena Vista Social Club.  Everyone knows where they used to play or has a connection to this musicians.

Of course you must take it with a pinch of salt, but it does give the place an amazing vibe.



8 thoughts on “Son (Habana 50)”

  1. I guess it doesn’t make sense, to say the Buena Vista Social Club album is “evocative,” since I’ve never been to Cuba, but it’s impossible to hear those songs without being carried off somewhere. One snatch of “Chan Chan” and it’s in my head for the next three day Like Dixieland players in New Orleans, you can imitate it, but hard to outdo the originals. Great shots, love the B&W trumpeter.

      1. Waiting for the key west ferry … I kid.
        I have my father’s ashes to take; a definite must. Plus my Cuban passport got renewed after month of helplessly waiting. Thank you for the amazing imagery; took me back in time. The standstill of my childhood. My reality 🙂

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