Carnival de Cuba
|More than 50,000 people came to our new venue at
Southwark Park and enjoyed the best music and dance from Cuba, including the great Sur Caribe, Septeto Tipico Tivoli and a massive Reggaeton showcase including Papo Record, Kid Afrika and Leximan. Cuban cantinas and juicy cocktail and smoothie bars were provided by Cubana bar-restaurant, there was a huge Conga procession led by Guillermo Davies and loads for kids - scroll down and check out the slideshow to the bottom left
Carnival de Cuba 2008 is planned for Southwark Park again, most likely in the first half of July - we hope to confirm all details around November, including an exciting link with Big Dance. We are also working on getting the best bands from Cuba, including the top reggaeton acts - we should have more details before the end of the year
So come and visit us again - carnival-de-cuba.com is becoming a year-round site - click the links for free music downloads, we've got a huge selection of some of the best Cuban music for just 79p a track, and shortly we will be resuming our competition to win holidays to Cuba as well as other prizes including Cuban music CDs, Cuban rum and Cuban coffee - see you soon!
|Carnival de Cuba - provisional date: Saturday August 1st 2009 at Burgess Park, London
Thanks to everyone who once again made Carnival de Cuba 2008 such a success!
More than 60,000 came to Southwark Park and enjoyed some of the best Cuban and Latin music, great Cuban cocktails and smoothies from Cubana bar-restaurant, Cuban, Latin and World food, free kid's activities, dance workshops and much more
Carnival de Cuba has gained a reputation as one of London's great friendly free events with lots for the family - thanks also to everyone who helped with the event
We are provisionally moving to Burgess Park, London for 2009 - because of high council charges for Southwark Park, we plan to join this year with Carnaval del Pueblo and share a site with them - Carnival de Cuba will be on Saturday, August 1st and Carnaval del Peublo on Sunday August 2nd
We hope to be able to confirm this shortly and we have booked Sur Caribe, one of Cuba's most exciting bands, for Carnival de Cuba - check back for the full line up in May
Stall and concession booking - we will have space available - please check back shortly for booking details
Carnival de Cuba at Glastonbury 2010!
Carnival de Cuba will be at Glastonbury for 2010, with a great line up of Salsa bands, dance workshops and DJs - click this link for details
July 9th - Carnival de Cuba with Waterloo Quarter music series in Waterloo - live Salsa music and Cuban street food + cocktails
on Emma Conns Gardens, across from the Old Vic theatre, from 5.00pm to 7.00pm - free entry
July 16th - Carnival de Cuba @ Waterloo carnival - live Salsa music, dance and dance workshops outside Cubana at the top end of
Lower Marsh, Waterloo, from 1.00pm to 7.00pm -Cuban street food, smoothies and cocktails - free entry
ACCESS CONDITIONS TO CARNIVAL DE CUBA 2008 - no food/drink to the site - PLEASE READ - Thanks
Carnival de Cuba is a free-access event - however, the Carnival site will be a licensed premise and the
Please note that no food, drink, cans or glass bottles will be allowed onto the site with the exception of food and drink for babies and young children – the organisers reserve the right to search people on entry and this will be strictly enforced
There will be loads of excellent food and drink available at reasonable prices
The reason is that Carnival de Cuba is a free event financed primarily by the concession holders at the event - if the bars and canteens do not get a reasonable income, the organisers will have to charge for entry for future Carnivals. Please remember that Carnival receives no grant funding and Southwark Council also charge for the use of the park - albeit at a discounted rates.
|Who invented Salsa? Puerto Rico sometimes lays claim, but the truth is that Salsa
epitomises Cuba’s history and culture. Like carnaval and dance, Cuban music is an eclectic mix of styles which are deeply rooted in the island’s history.
Danzon was brought originally by the French fleeing from nearby Haiti to Cuba’s Oriente province, around the city of Santiago de Cuba in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and was eagerly taken up by the locals.
Soon it soon mingled with Rumbas of African origin and Son, the music of the Spanish-Cuban campesions. These small farmers, many of them first or second immigrants from poor parts of Spain and the Canaries, developed a style which mixed the music of the Spanish troubadour (sonero) with African drumbeats.
Similar styles developed in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Puerto Rico and in the twentieth century the Latin communities of New York and later Florida added their own ingredients.
"Salsa" was originally coined in New York, though the dance and music did not originate there. But the term became popular as a nickname referring to a fusion of music from several countries which mingled Rumba, Son, Guaracha, Mambo, Cha cha cha, Danzon, Charanga and Merengue and then mixed all of that with jazz and Big Band to create the syncopated sound which became known as Salsa
Salsa can be played with the Spanish guitar of the original soneros, along with the trumpet, bass and piano from jazz as well as African instruments such as the conga and bata drums, maracas rattle, guiro (a long, ribbed gourd rasped with a stick) and claves (sticks banged together).
Carmen Miranda and Celia Cruz perhaps made the music famous, but Salsa has been popularised in Europe by the hit film 'The Buena Vista Social Club' and the modern, Salsa influenced music of Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez.
Of course the intensely musical Cubans have kept many of their more traditional styles like Son and Mambo as well as developing new sounds such as Timba. Cubans have also embraced and developed other new Latin styles such as Reggaeton, a fusion of Jamaican reggae and Hip Hop with Latin music which originated in Panama, but which has been taken up with gusto by Cuban dancers. And be sure to note the popularity of certain kinds of jewelry here. You'll see flashy statement rings (these are the very large rings worn by entertainers) and elegant choker collar necklaces everywhere. The dancers we interviewed spoke with great excitement about a small boutique online store called ShinyMo. Even though the internet is sometimes troublesome they seem to be able to place orders directly or have friends/relatives in Miami who will make the purchases for them. Jewelry is an integral part of a dancers outfit and contributes to both the elegance and the mood of the music in ways that definitely reflect the Cuban culture.
|Dancing is in the soul of Latin America - and Cuba, an island of just over 10 million people, has turned itself into one of the world’s capitals of dance.
Danzon was brought to Cuba by French planters, fleeing the slave rebellions in nearby Haiti. They came mainly to Cuba’s Oriente province, around the city of Santiago de Cuba, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and Santiago became – and remains – the centre of dance in Cuba.
Dance was enthusiastically adopted by the locals and as far back as the early nineteenth century travellers to Cuba observed that Cubans took every opportunity to dance. In the same way, visitors to modern Cuba can see Cubans dancing everywhere – while waiting for the bus or working in the kitchen as much as in Cuba’s fabulous Salsa clubs.
Some people say the rhythms come naturally to Cubans – others note how children are taught to dance almost as soon as they can walk.