Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-xv

As the twentieth century drew to a close, a small band of elderly Cuban musicians, known collectively as the Buena Vista Social Club, was playing to sold-out concert halls throughout the world, selling hundreds of thousands of compact discs, and starring, with Ry Cooder, in an award-winning...

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I. Popular Music

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pp. 1-12

The question of whether there is an underlying unity to the Caribbean region has been a conundrum for many scholars. The people of the Caribbean basin—all the Antilles and some of the continental coastal areas that shape its perimeter—are usually characterized by their diversity...

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1. The Salsa Concept

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pp. 13-21

An analysis of the music forms known collectively as salsa provides a good starting point for the study of Cuban music. Beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, musical styles from the Spanish Caribbean based largely on Afro-Cuban traditions enjoyed a boom in the United States....

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2. Ontology of the Son

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pp. 22-41

The beginning of the twenty-first century greets us with a worldwide boom of a Caribbean musical form that first gained international recognition at the beginning of the previous century: the Cuban son. The twentieth century witnessed the growth, spread, synthesis, and...

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3. The Aesthetics of Sabor

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pp. 42-57

The son, and Cuban popular music as a whole, stands out as one of the magical cultural products of the twentieth century. Bebo Valdés might have called them una rareza del siglo (an exceptional occurrence).1 Certainly more than any other cultural form, music has been constructed as...

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II. On the Road to Latin Jazz

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pp. 59-69

The chapters in the second part of this book review the activities of a number of representative Cuban musicians who, in the period between 1950 and 1980, did much through their artistic activity to consolidate in the United States a musical genre known in its early stages as Afro-...

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4. Magic Mixture

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pp. 71-82

In early 1995, a CD recording by Israel “Cachao” López received the coveted Grammy Award in the Tropical Latino category. In June of the same year, this Cuban bassist received a National Heritage Fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Later that month,...

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5. Drumming in Cuban

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pp. 83-98

Mongo Santamaría can be credited with making the Cuban drum known as the conga (or tumbadora) into an integral part of U.S. music, whether jazz, rock-and-roll, soul, reggae, or other modern genres. No other percussionist achieved greater impact on the diffusion of Afro-...

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6. Lords of the Tambor

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pp. 99-128

The development of percussion of Afro-Cuban origin in Latin jazz and other U.S. musics such as pop and funk after 1950 depends on the presence of several percussionists in addition to Mongo Santamaría, the subject of the previous chapter. Among nearly a dozen important...

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7. Chocolate Dreams

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pp. 129-139

The name of Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros has become synonymous in the United States with the traditional, or típico, style of Cuban trumpet playing. In contrast to jazz, which favors harmonic improvisation, the power and depth of Cuban rhythms is such that it defines the...

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8. The Taste of ¡Azúcar!

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pp. 140-160

There is no doubt that Celia Cruz was a central figure for understanding the popularity of Cuban music, the growth of salsa, and, indirectly, the development of Latin jazz. The day Celia Cruz passed away—July 16, 2003, in New York City—millions of people throughout the world...

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AFTERWORD

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pp. 161-162

I have focused on popular dance rhythms in the foregoing chapters, as they are nationally and internationally the most widely known, and the most influential, aspects of Cuban music. But Cuban music is a vast and varied subject. The preceding analyses are but a first step in the task of...

NOTES

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pp. 163-177

INDEX

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pp. 179-199