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SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO - Biografia & New CD 2010-2011 By: Alden Gonzalez

LOS REYES DEL SON

BIOGRAFIA

Part I

El Septeto Santiaguero se fundó el 2 de febrero de 1995, consecuencia directa de Melodías de Ayer, añeja formación que desde 1962 estuvo profundamente ligada a la tradición santiaguera y a la Casa de la Trova.  Fernando Dewar último director de Melodías de Ayer, se decidió con muchos de sus integrantes a mirar la tradición desde la contemporaneidad con el formato de Septeto. Santiago de Cuba es la cuna del son cubano, de toda la música tradicional cubana, y en esos predios musicales el Septeto Santiaguero ha constituido un suceso desde su fundación. Su estilo es cautivador, prima la sonoridad potente, el ritmo certero y arrollador y la proyección heterogénea que posibilita satisfacer a públicos de diferentes composiciones e intereses.

El directo del Septeto Santiaguero es arrollador, en cada actuación hacen gala de su calidad a prueba de subjetividades, sus entregas, aún defendiendo la cubanía a ultranza, son sobre la base del respeto al buen gusto universal.  Poseen el mérito insuperable de lograr crear una empatía en extremo cálida con el público en todos y cada uno de los escenarios en los que se presentan. Elegantes, con una presencia escénica única, sus coreografías son gratamente acogidas en cada circuito.

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Su repertorio es un recorrido por diferentes vertientes de la música popular cubana, con énfasis en lo tradicional.  Trabajan desde un sentido bien personal obras de autores clásicos, legendarios, de la música cubana como Miguel Matamoros o Ñico Saquito, entre muchos otros, en perfecta concordancia con obras de autores cubanos contemporáneos, entre los que destacan varios integrantes del propio Septeto Santiaguero. Son, guaracha, bolero, changüí, bolero-son, nengón, descarga, danzón... conforman la base de géneros. El énfasis principal está en el son y la guaracha, siempre alegres, un poco picantes y con unos montunos que los hacen irresistible al baile.

Desde el mismo año de su fundación el Septeto Santiaguero inició su bregar por los escenarios internacionales, presentándose ese verano en el Festival de Getxo. A partir de ahí se han presentado a lo largo de quince años en diversos escenarios de Europa, África y América, exactamente en Alemania, Argelia, Austria, Bélgica, Croacia, Eslovenia, España, Francia, Holanda, Hungría, Inglaterra, Italia, México, Portugal, San Marino y Suiza. En esos países se han presentado en sitios del prestigio de salas como New Morning, Bataclan, Moods, Floridita, Galileo Galilei o Clamores Jazz; la Opera de Frankfurt; o eventos como la Fiesta de los Sanfermines en Pamplona, Expo 2000 de Hannover, Festival Jazz Rally de Dusseldorf, World Music Festival de Colonia, Festival de Documentales de Biarritz, Festival Mundo Latino de Benicassim, Semana Negra de Gijón, Expo Barcelona, Festival la Mar de Músicas de Cartagena, Carnavales de Mérida, Chetumal, Cancún, Cozumel e Isla Mujeres...

En 2010 se estrenó el largometraje documental "Los reyes del son" (Positivation Films-USA)

en el que el Septeto Santiaguero comparte el protagonismo con figuras cimeras de la música cubana como Roberto Nápoles y Reynaldo Creagh. Antes en 2009 participaron con un performance del tema "Los recuerdos del ayer" en la película inglesa "El día de las flores" dirigida por John Roberts. El video clip del tema "Los mangos bajitos"

estuvo nominado en el 2008 como mejor video clip de música tradicional cubana en los Premios Lucas, concurso anual al estilo MTV Latino en el que compiten los mejores videos musicales cubanos de cada año.

En Cuba se han presentado en los principales lugares: Casa de la Música Habana, Casa de la Música de Miramar, Café Cantante del Teatro Nacional, Salón Rosado de la Tropical, Teatro Heredia, Carnavales de Santiago de Cuba, en el "Son más largo del mundo" (Record Guinness 1997, Salón Rosado de la Tropical), todas las ediciones del Festival del Son ‘Matamoroson'; Encuentro Nacional de Septetos (1998, 1999, 2002 y 2009), Cubadisco (98, 99 y 2002), Festival de la Música Campesina "Eduardo Saborit"(1998) y en todos los Festivales de la Trova Pepe Sánchez desde su fundación hasta el presente. Sobre todo en los encuentros nacionales de septetos el Santiaguero se ha encumbrado, siendo la gran atracción de cada uno en los que ha participado.  Santiago de Cuba es la fuente principal de este tipo de formato y en dicha ciudad el Santiaguero es el patrón de los Septetos. Al finalizar el 2009 fue uno de los grupos musicales escogidos para participar el programa estelar de la TV cubana de fin de año "No quiero llanto"

En Santiago de Cuba es fácil encontrarlos, allí sus presentaciones habituales en la Casa de la Trova y en la Casa de la Música son las más concurridas.

NEW CD 2010-2011 "OYE MI SON SANTIAGUERO"

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Part II

El Septeto Santiaguero presenta «Oye mi son santiaguero»


El grupo cubano Septeto Santiaguero presenta su nuevo CD, Oye mi son santiaguero, un disco de ritmo contagioso y "letras picantes".

27/10/2010 REDACCIÓN

Cuando se habla de son cubano, hay que mirar a Santiago de Cuba. Los ritmos más genuinos de la música tradicional cubana (son, guaracha, danzón, changüí, bolero-son...) siguen teniendo en el oriente de la isla su mejor escaparate. Y si se trata de buscar el modelo más equilibrado, donde se conjuga veteranía y juventud, respetando la tradición, pero apostando por la innovación sonora y las composiciones propias de calidad, la agrupación que más brilla actualmente tiene formato de septeto y radica en Santiago. O sea, el Septeto Santiaguero.

Ni muy joven, ni demasiado antigua, esta formación es el mejor ejemplo de son cubano para el nuevo milenio. Fundado en 1995 por Fernando Dewar -director y tresero del grupo-, el Septeto Santiaguero aglutina a siete virtuosos músicos, forjados en santuarios musicales como La Casa de la Trova o El Patio de los Dos Abuelos, y presenta en su alineación tres cantantes solistas, Rubén Matos (asimismo guitarra y bajista), Inocencio Heredia e Ismael Borges, más Alberto Castellanos en la percusión, Adolfo Aguilera al bajo y Edy Lobaina a la trompeta, amén del mencionado Dewar.

Un auténtico dream team del son cubano, que alberga cinco discos en su trayectoria musical, y que ahora presenta una nueva producción, editada por Picap, grabada a caballo entre los míticos estudios Siboney de Santiago de Cuba (donde Compay Segundo realizó sus primeras grabaciones) y Axis de Madrid, y masterizado en el estudio 44.1 de Aiguaviva (Girona) por Toni París. Oye mi son santiaguero es el título de este nuevo álbum del Septeto Santiaguero, a ritmo de guaracha, bolero, son y changüí, que incluye 11 temas de nuevo cuño, uno de ellos, Cuestiones de amor, obra del famoso sonero cubano Adalberto Álvarez.

El ritmo contagioso del Septeto, con esas letras picantes y con doble sentido tan típicas de la guaracha, afloran desde el primer tema, Esa niña, qué cintura (clip), donde se lanza un guiño a la Charanga Habanera con el estribillo "que dicen que soy un temba, que ya pasé de cuarenta, y solo tengo una jeva cuando me pasa la cuenta". Más explícitos y picarones son los temas Son cocos, una oda sonera a ciertas protuberancias de la anatomía femenina o La acupuntura, que empieza con esta sutileza: "Yo sé de una acupuntura que tiene punta y que es dura, si tú sabes colocarla en el punto deseado, el resultado logrado no tiene lugar a dudas".

En el CD no falta un homenaje a un país latino donde se aprecia la música del Septeto, Colombia, (Qué india y que buena: Bogotá, Santa Marta, Barranquilla y Cartagena...), para concluir a ritmo de changüí guantanamero, La fiesta del changüí, tal como mandan los cánones musicales orientales.

Listado de temas:

1 Esa niña, qué cintura (José Luis Losada)

2 Maduro, pero sabroso (José María Colás/Inocencio Heredia)

3 Flor de ausencia (Julio Brito)

4 Cuestiones de amor (Adalberto Álvarez)

5 Colombia (Fernando Borrego)

6 Ojos perdidos (José Luis Losada)

7 Son cocos (Sergio Cardona)

8 Tú tienes que cambiar (Rudens Matos)

9 La acupuntura (Jesús Llanes)

10 Oye mi tono (Reynaldo Hierrezuelo)

11 La fiesta del changüí (Fernando Dewar)

Oye Mi Son Santiaguero, New Album By Septeto Santiaguero

Part III

 

When it comes to Cuban son, you should look at Santiago de Cuba. The most genuine rhythms of traditional Cuban music (son, guaracha, danzón, changüí, bolero-son ...) have in the east of the island the best showcase. And if you are seeking for the most balanced model, which combines experience and youth, respect for tradition, but investing in sound innovation and quality self compositions, the brightest band that currently has septet format and is based in Santiago. That is, the Septeto Santiaguero.

Neither too young nor too old, this band is the finest example of Cuban son for the new millennium. Founded in 1995 by Fernando Dewar -director of the band-, the Septeto Santiaguero brings together seven virtuosos musicians forged in musical sanctuaries like La Casa de la Trova or El Patio de los Dos Abuelos, and has in its lineup three vocal soloists, Rubén Matos (also guitar and bass), Inocencio Heredia and Ismael Borges, and Alberto Castellanos on drums, Adolfo Aguilera on bass and Edy Lobaina on the trumpet, besides the already mentioned Dewar.

A real "dream team" of Cuban son, who has five albums in his musical career and now presents a new production, published by Picap, recorded between the legendary studios Siboney in Santiago de Cuba (where Compay Segundo made his first recordings) and Axis in Madrid, and mastered in the study 44.1 of Aiguaviva (Girona-Catalonia) by Toni París. "Oye mi son santiaguero" is the title of this new album by Septeto Santiaguero to the rhythm of guaracha, bolero, son and changüí, which includes 11 new tracks, one of them, "Cuestiones de amor" by the famous Cuban sonero Adalberto Álvarez.

The catchy rhythm of the Septeto, with those hot lyrics with double meaning and so typical of the guaracha, emerge from the first track, "Esa niña, qué cintura" where it is thrown a nod to the Charanga Habanera with the refrain "que dicen que soy un temba, que ya pasé de cuarenta, y solo tengo una jeva cuando me pasa la cuenta". More explicit and rogue are the tracks "Son cocos", an son ode to some bumps in the female anatomy or "La acupuntura", which begins with this subtlety: "Yo sé de una acupuntura que tiene punta y que es dura, si tú sabes colocarla en el punto deseado, el resultado logrado no tiene lugar a dudas".

In the album we do not miss a tribute to a Latin country where Septeto Santiaguero's music is appreciated, "Colombia", ("Qué India y que Buena: Bogotá, Santa Marta, Barranquilla i Cartagena ...»), to finish with a changüí guantanamero rhythm, "La fiesta del changüí", as it is set in the oriental musical canons.

The message is on the air: "Oye mi son santiaguero". Septeto Santiaguero says.

YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE 

SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO

Part IV

New Morning, Paris, September 10 2010 

The manager asks the Septeto Santiaguero if they would like the tables to remain front-of-stage before their gig at New Morning, a major Paris jazz club and a key stop on their 40-gig, nine-country European tour. "No," is the simple reply. 

And rightly so. Even if you can't dance, you can't stay seated when this seven-piece from Santiago de Cuba plays its son, guaracha, bolero and nengón sounds. Nengón? It's a basic, repetitive rhythm from eastern Cuba that Septeto leader and tres player Fernando Dewar has introduced to the band's repertoire. It's pounding, hypnotic and frenzied, and traces a path directly back to the music's African roots. 

After a six-year break from recording - partly caused by the economic crisis - the Septeto will release a new album this year, consisting of new songs written by band members, favourites already in their repertoire - and that nengón rhythm from rural Cuba. They are also negotiating their first ever appearances in the USA, and hope to add the UK to their itinerary in 2011. 

Along with Eliades Ochoa and the Buena Vista Social Club, the Septeto are among the defenders of traditional Cuban music, while the island's youth swings towards reggaeton and hiphop (tragically, you might well think). Trumpet, tres, guitar, bass, percussion and vocals: this is searing clear-the-tables Cuban music at it's best. 

Mike Nicks

 

FERNANDO DEWAR

‘It's a happy album - it's not about sadness and pain'

A conversation with Fernando Dewar, tres player and leader of the Septeto Santiaguero, on his band's new album, and their role as defenders of traditional Cuban music

What's the reason for the new CD? 

It's six years since we released our last album, Los Mangos Bajitos, in 2005. We have new material and we wanted to record again, but because of the economic situation our previous label, Egrem in Cuba, felt that they couldn't do it. Eventually we worked with the Picap label in Barcelona. The head of the label is a fan of Cuban music, travels to our home town in Santiago de Cuba, and has seen us play at the Casa de la Trova there. 

Tell us about the new CD 

It includes songs in our usual genres - son, bolero-son, la guaracha - that we've been playing for some time, but have never recorded, but it also goes further back to the roots of Cuban music with genres such as nengón and changui. The last two are similar: they're country rhythms from Eastern Cuba, from Granma and Guantanamo, and towns such as Bayamo and Manzanillo. They're very basic rhythms, where the tres maintains a chord pattern, but the soloists and the singers improvise. We play them at rural festivals in Cuba, all-day affairs where friends and family gather and the people like to drink a little rum. 

It seems that young people in the capital, Havana, prefer reggaeton and hiphop to traditional sounds

It's true, and not just in Habana but throughout Cuba. A few years ago big bands playing salsa and timba were popular, and then came the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon, with Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, Omar Portuondo and the others. But that success was more at an international level and not in Cuba. People knew about it and the bands would appear on television, but they were not doing concerts in Cuba.  

How do you manage to keep in to keep in touch with your roots in the Cuan countryside?

We normally play in the Casa de la Trova and the Casa de la Musica in Santiago, but you have to pay in divisas to get in and Cubans don't normally have access to that currency (Cuba has two currencies - one of them for everyday use by the people, the other mainly for tourists). But to cater for the Cuban people, these places put on free shows, such as the matinee performance at the Casa de la Trova. There are also the town festivals and carnivals, and national holidays such as New Year, the anniversary of the Cuban revolution on July 26,  and Workers' Day on May 1. So, yes, we keep close to our roots and to the people. 

There are 11 songs on the new CD. How many are new and written by the group? 

Some are Cuban classics, such Polo Montanez's Colombia, and Questions of Love by Adalberto Alvarez and Son 14. Others were written by composers in Santiago such as Sergio Cardona, who provided a song called Son Cocos. We were awarded third place in the Festival of Composition contest in Cuba with that one, so we put it on the album. 

What are the themes of the songs?

Everyday life in Cuba, beautiful women, and risqué, double-entendre lyrics about relationships between men and women. It's a happy album, it doesn't deal with depression and sadness and pain. 

How has the band's sound evolved since the last album? 

We've grown together as musicians, and there's better understanding between us. We've got a fuller, more developed sound now. 

How did you become a musician? 

I was born in Holguin in eastern Cuba, but I had no real interest in traditional music until I was at pre-university college on the Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth). Before that I played guitar, but I was 15 or 16 and I was playing music such as The Eagles' Hotel California and the Bee Gees.

I joined a septet on the island to play the bass. That was my first real connection with traditional music, and I started listening to groups like Ignacio Pineiro's Septeto Nacional. I was going to college in the morning, working in the fields in the afternoon picking oranges and grapefruit, and in the evening we would go out to play at festivals and other colleges. At that time there were a lot of international schools on the Isla de la Juventud, with students from Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and other countries, and we would play when there was a visit from an ambassador, a president or a minister of culture.

Later I went to university in Havana and played in a septet and in a larger band, and studied music at night. When I finished university in 1989 I moved to Santiago, and in 1991 I got my first professional job with the group Son de Oriente.

You play the tres, the Cuban guitar. What's the difference between the tres and a conventional guitar? 

The tres has three pairs of strings, so when you play one of the pairs you create just one note. With a normal six-string guitar you can play six different notes. The tres makes a distinctive sound, and it reinforces el tumbâo - the beat, the swing - in the band.

To outsiders, the difference between musical styles such as son, changui and guaracha can be confusing

Don't worry - even for Cubans it's complicated! But they're all based on a similar tumbâo - the rhythmic beat.  

  

How has Cuba managed to contribute so many different rhythms to the Latin scene - among them the cha-cha-cha, the mambo, son, the danzon? 

It's a result of the different social levels that used to exist in Cuba, and the different music they enjoyed. Changui, son, guaracha - they came from the poorer classes. There were also ballroom dances, such as the danzon, for the more refined classes, who rejected popular music at first. But once it was accepted, it was the fusion between these two worlds that created the variety of Cuban musical styles.

Interview by Mike Nicks

To get this great CD "OYE MI SON SANTIAGUERO" just click in the following link sent by Alden Gonzalez (Leader of group Son Santiaguero)  www.actualrecords.com/mostradiscint.php?idioma2=ct&order=910949

CREDITS:

  • Los textos han sido enviados y autorizados a DeeJay gonzalo por Alden Gonzalez  email: (alden_gd@yahoo.com)  director del grupo SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO para ser publicados en klavelatina.
  • "Part I" es cortesia de Alden Gonzalez ,"Part II" es cortesia de la website Cancioneros, "Part III" es cortesia de la website Picap &  "Part IV" es cortesia de la website MikeNicks.
  • La primera foto es cortesia de la website Agroturs,la segunda foto es cortesia de Alden Gonzalez.
  • El link para obtener una copia del mas reciente trabajo discografico del grupo SEPTETO SANTIAGUERO es enviado por el director del grupo,Alden Gonzalez.
  • Recopilacion efectuada por Klave Latina Team. (info@klavelatina.com)

 

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