If we are to summarize the exploits of Cuban music in the recently finished 2020, any event or intention seems to vanish between the healing and solidarity vocation that creators and institutions assumed in times of pandemic.
Internet and social networks were filled with music to accompany the necessary confinement due to the pandemic and several musicians opened the Cuban doors of this virtual festival: David Blanco and his band, Jan Cruz, William Vivanco, New World, Pepe Gavilondo, DJ Landeep, Degnis Boffil, Idania Valdés, and Eduardo Sandoval.
To these solidarity enterprises in Internet, in support of the #YoMeQuedoEnCasa global campaign, the rapper duo La Reyna and La Real, the diva Omara Portuondo along with the Faílde Orchestra, the troubadour Rey Pantoja with his #SesionesCasaAdentro, just to mention some of those you could read and hear via CubaSí.
With a daily online concert, through more than a hundred Facebook pages and the platform Streamming Cuba, but also through national radio and television broadcasts, a wide range of artists from the Cuban Institute of Music tell us #EstamosContigo from the Cuban Institute of Music all the genres, styles, sounds, and aesthetics that bloom on this island of music.
An orchestra made up of young talents from Ibero-America premiered during this period on social networks, and Cuba was also there, through the violin and the composition of Jorge Enrique Amado Molina, recently interviewed by our cultural newsroom.
We travelled through Cuba from the comfort of our homes to offer coverage to events like the Piña Colada Festival, Ciudad del Mar, Eyeife, Corazón Feliz, or the Concert for Cuba organized by the Chicago
HotHouse, supporting the endorsement for the Nobel Peace Prize to the Contingent Henry Reeve.
We kept our profiles on social networks open to how much music was created to accompany and encourage people, so we had first-hand homemade videos, collective productions made in the distance, and we joined the essential and constant claims like the “Unblock me” that Raúl Torres translated in a guaguancó song.
Top record labels moved their releases to the virtual stage and, together with the representation agencies favored production and moved up projects under study with total observance to hygienic-sanitary measures.
The oldest music recording and publishing label in Cuba, Egrem, promoted and sponsored several songs and videos aimed at broadcasting messages of awareness or solidarity, among them those of the renowned singer-songwriter and humorist Virulo; Por un abrazo (For a hug), a song by Waldo Mendoza and Pepe López that pays tribute to the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade or the re-releases of theme-related songs, created by musicians from their background like Buena Fé (Valientes) and Arnaldo Rodríguez (It’s Depends on You).
Arnaldo also entered our houses so that music and joy were present on a different May Day (Live to Win), as well as in this unique CDR party (Sowing). Egrem also kept online a presentation space for several months named Tempo Cubano, which was generated from Santiago de Cuba.
CubaSí website was the bridge where you followed various musical novelties of this record label such as Haila María Mompie's children album A song to the smile; Brisas from the Concert Music Band of Regla, This is our Changüí, from the band Changüí de Guantánamo, awarded at the XVIII Independent Music Festival of New York; El viaje, by Zule Guerra, the first studio album with all the songs written by her, the most recent productions by Diego Gutiérrez, William Roblejo or Niño y la Verdad or the instrumental versions recorded on two separate albums by Arnaldo y su Talismán and Buena Fe, among many other excellent materials.
Bis Music also kept working in the times of Covid 19, so was CubaSí. We accompany the anniversary of the city of Cienfuegos through the video clip of the song Nací para quererte, by singer-songwriter Nelson Valdés. We shorten the gap between the young Cuban musician Cristopher Simpson, who presented his single Lejos, and we embraced Miguel Núñez's invitation to a "Journey to the Underworld." Among other productions that found space on our site. There are different works like the single «Paraíso», by Jan Cruz, the album Mejor Cantar. The concert, by the young Cuban band Club Conexo, La Teoría del hit, proposed by La Cruzada, Mírame, from La Reyna y La Real duet, La razón no valía with all the feeling of Moraima Secada or the album Mariposas, by the great Omara Portuondo, this album was nominated for the Latin Granmy.
By the way, among the first gifts from CubaSí during the new normalcy was the real-time coverage of the awards ceremony and exclusive interview with the Aragón Orchestra, which celebrated its 80th anniversary with this a hundred percent Cuban Icon that gave prestige to the Latin Grammy when it was awarded with the best tropical and traditional album.
To close this complex 2020, we suggested that you remember, get excited and dance with Mi songo, Van Van's latest album. Before we had presented you with the Mal Paso by Ángel Domper, Carlitos Lage and Ray Fernández and recently we shared with you the Cuban identity of Raúl Torres and a conga with feeling and truth written by Virulo for everyone to dance: Con Cuba no te metas (Don't mess with Cuba).
Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff