Results for Cuba

interviews

Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde has been making music for more than three decades. But in that time, she's never released an album under a name other than the Pretenders…until now. She joins Jim and Greg to debut her new project JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys. Chrissie and 31-year-old Welsh musician JP Jones describe how they began their collaboration over the trading of tapes and a whirlwind trip to Cuba. Chrissie admits the songs are intensely personal, and many deal with the two's unrequited love. As Chrissie explains, she's just too old for JP, despite him possibly being her "Perfect Lover." But their lost love, is our musical gain. Fidelity comes out in August.

Go to episode 239

Rodrigo y Gabriela

The Mexican duo Rodrigo y Gabriela joined us for a special performance at the Goose Island Barrelhouse in Chicago. The duo moved from Mexico City to Dublin and famously busked on the streets. It's now a worldwide phenomenon, combining the sounds of flamenco music, heavy metal and folk rock. Gabriela acts as the bands drummer, using the body of her guitar as a percussive instrument, and Rodrigo plays the guitar as if he were headbanging. In fact, Greg wonders about his collaboration with Testament guitarist Alex Skolnik. The band's last album, Area 42, took them to Cuba, where they collaborated with local musicians.

Go to episode 424
world tours

Cuba

Cuba

After stops in countries like South Africa, Japan, and Sweden, the Sound Opinions World Tour is trekking on. Jim and Greg hop over to Cuba, inspired by the historic changes in U.S.-Cuban relations announced recently by President Obama. Their guide to Cuba's influential rhythms is Ned Sublette, author of Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo. Ned tells us that Cuba has been alive with music ever since the sixteenth century. Drawing upon its unique ethnic history, Cuba developed a polyrhythmic style quite different from what emerged in North America. Innovative artists like Arsenio Rodríguez brought Cuban dance music into maturity during World War II. The unshakeable rhythms of the mambo, rumba, and cha-cha-chá filtered into the United States, particularly in the world of jazzDizzy Gillespie's collaborations with Chano Pozo changed music forever. Rock ‘n’ roll and the blues also adopted Afro-Cuban flavors. Even after Cuba's isolation following the 1959 revolution, the music never stopped, according to Ned. Nueva trova, for example, a movement led by singer-songwriters like Silvio Rodríguez and Pablo Milanés, began to fuse revolutionary politics and idealism with traditional song forms. Cuban rhythms also provided the basis for the global salsa phenomenon of the '70s. Today music in Cuba thrives in both traditional genres and in modern ones like reggaeton. Though he's not personally a fan of the hit 1997 Buena Vista Social Club album, Ned was happy to see North Americans reengage with Cuban artists. With the political changes underway, he expects to see an even more exciting cultural exchange between Cuban musicians and the rest of the world.

Go to episode 482