Sunday, 3 June 2007

Soneando en Oxford - Claro Que Si!

What a pleasure last night to see a halfway decent homegrown salsa band - Soneando.

The creation of a Bristol-based keyboard player, Sara and two British conga/bongo players, Soneando also feature Jimmy, a Columbian bass player and Cuban tres-player and frontman (I think they called him Jesus...?). Yesterday they added in a terrific singer from Santiago de Cuba whose sultry, high voice blended brilliantly in the harmonies with the two male singers. It was a set of classics of Cuban son, but with groovy piano lines and pretty-darn-good improvisations.

They were as good as any small (i.e. non-famous) band we saw in Cuba. Seriously.

After dancing son all night, David and I felt as though we'd been at the Casa de la Trova in Santiago de Cuba - another place with zero air conditioning.
I went to talk to the lead singer afterwards. "You guys were great!" I said. He shook his head, embarrassed. "No...we were RUBBISH!".

A Cuban from Las Tunas, he was amazed and then sceptical to hear that I'd liked Las Tunas, through which we'd passed on the bus to Santiago, about two months ago. Jesus has a nice line in stage patter - in English too. He likes the word "Wha'eva".

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