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Tropicology

Episode 47: Rumba and Guaguanco

12:00pm, 5-24-2020
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This episode is a great education in one of the cornerstone rhythms of the latin music world. This music was born in Cuba, has historical roots in Africa, and more than any other strain of latin music it inspired modern salsa music. The music in question is rumba from Cuba, specifically guaguanco… but these terms are often misused, so part of my job today is to give you the true meaning behind these names. The first thing to know is that rumba is a somewhat flexible term for a genre of music, while guaguanco is a specific rhythm that is one type of rumba music. The term rumba can be applied to several styles of music, much like we use the terms samba or merengue. Guaguanco, on the other hand, must always observe a very particular rhythmic sequence. In Cuba, if you see a performance of guaguanco, it will almost certainly involve no guitar, bass, or horns… purist guaguanco is just vocals and percussion, the same way it was performed when it was created by the Afro-Cuban community almost 150 years ago. In terms of the music in today’s show, I feel pretty confident saying everything here is accurately categorized as Cuban rumba or rumba fusion. But I suspect that a purist would find perhaps only 10 songs today that they would call true guaguanco, even though you will hear that word repeated in at least half of these tracks.

  • 12:02pm Angoa by Grupo Afro-Cubano de Alberto Zayas on Afro-Frenetic (Panart)
  • 12:04pm Arere by Totico y sus Rumberos on Totico y sus Rumberos (Montuno)
  • 12:08pm Ya Me Canse by Papin y Otros on Guaguanco Vol. 2 (Puchito)
  • 12:11pm La Teta E by Chano Pozo on Legends of Afro-Cuban Muic (SMC Pro-Arte)
  • 12:14pm Chencho Ya Se Va by Alfredito Zayas y su Grupo Folklorico on El Guaguanson (Panart)
  • 12:17pm Fiesta en el Solar by Arsenio Rodriguez on Primitivo (Mas)
  • 12:21pm Jawbone of an Ass by Ritmo y Frutas de Cuba on Jawbone of an Ass (Cook)
  • 12:23pm Un Toque de Bembe by Papin y Otros on Grupo Guaguanco Matancero Vol 2 (Puchito)
  • 12:26pm Dejame Tranquilo by Rene Alvarez y su Conjunto Los Astros on Dejame Tranquilo (Carino)
  • 12:29pm Ni Hits Ni Carreras by Conjunto Kubavana de Alberto Ruiz on Sonaremo El Tambo (Carino)
  • 12:32pm Me Bote de Guano by Arsenio Rodriguez y su Conjunto on El Sentimiento de Arsenio (Carino)
  • 12:35pm El Reloj de Pastora by Arsenio Rodriguez y su Conjunto on Latin Roots (Carino)
  • 12:38pm Con Mana Se Rompe by Conjunto Modelo on Guaguanco en la Habana (Carino Records)
  • 12:40pm Mi China Si by Rene Alvarez y su Conjunto Los Astros on Dejame Tranquilo (Carino)
  • 12:43pm Micaela Me Boto by Chappottin y sus Estrellas on Roots of Salsa Vol. 2 (Grosso!)
  • 12:45pm Mama Regla by Caridad Cuervo on Caridad Cuervo (Panart)
  • 12:48pm Por Que Me Siento Cubano by Conjunto Marquetti on Goza Mi Son Montuno (Panart)
  • 12:51pm Amor Verdadero by Chappottin y sus Estrellas on Chappottin y sus Estrellas (Puchito)
  • 12:54pm No Hay Amor Sin Caridad by Conjunto Modelo on Guaguanco en la Habana (Carino Records)
  • 12:56pm En El Bajio by Celia Cruz on Asi Era Cuba (Seeco)
  • 1:01pm Baila Guaguanco by L'Ensemble Abricot on L'Ensemble Abricot a la Bananeraie (Aux Ondes)
  • 1:03pm A Mon Ami Lucien Jolibois by Raymond Cicault et son Orchestre Volcan on Disques Debs International Vol. 1 (Strut Records)
  • 1:06pm No Te Vayas Pal Monte by Luis Grinan y su Orquesta on Ritos Santeros (Suave)
  • 1:09pm Sabor de Guaguanco by Caridad Cuervo on Caridad Cuervo (Panart)
  • 1:12pm Como Tiene Cosas Cubita by Luis Grinan y su Orquesta on Ritos Santeros (Suave)
  • 1:15pm Claro Que Si by Les Vikings de la Guadeloupe on Les Vikings de la Guadaloupe 1966-2016 (Heavenly Sweetness)
  • 1:18pm Guaguanco in Jazz by Les Vikings on Boum Vacances avec Les Vikings (Aux Ondes)
  • 1:22pm La Brocha by Estrellas de Chocolate on Prefiero El Son (Areito)
  • 1:25pm Papa Upa by Arsenio Rodriguez y su Conjunto on Arsenio Rodriguez y su Conjunto vol. 2 (Ansonia)
  • 1:28pm Ven Y Ven by Estrellas de Chocolate on Fiesta en Curacao (Bravo)
  • 1:31pm Camina y Prende el Fogon by Chappottin y su Conjunto on Chappottin y su Conjunto (Teca)
  • 1:34pm Tremendo Guateque by Felix Chappottin y sus Estrellas on Cucarachita Cucarachon (Caramelo)
  • 1:38pm Cucarachita Cucarachon by Chappottin y sus Estrellas on Cucarachita Cucarachon (Caramelo)
  • 1:43pm Cuchillo Para La Pina Cubana by Felix Chappottin on Mi Son, Mi Son, Mi Son (Barbaro)
  • 1:45pm Timbalaye by Los Hacheros on Bambulaye (Chulo Records)
  • 1:50pm No Me Llores Mas by Jorge Cabrera on Homenaje a Arsenio Rodriguez (Kubaney)
  • 1:54pm Atrevida by Ray Rodriguez y su Orquesta on Fuego Fuego (Discomoda)
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