Havana Fairfax Connection 0072

A carnival of music, joy and danceable tunes with host Toni Basanta. www.cubanbridge.wordpress.com
Jazz and Rumba with Kono in Havana - Haruhiko Kono was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1958.
He began studying Cuban percussion at age 21 with the late Yoshinori Nomi, who at that time was a member of The Tokyo Cuban Boys, a big band founded in 1949, and is still the most representative institution of Latin Rhythms, absorbing the tradition and introducing the Mambo and all the Cuban genres in Japan.
In 1984, Kono traveled to CUBA to take part in the Varadero Beach Music Festival, where he first got in touch with his mentor Oscar Valdés, former lead singer and percussionist of Irakere. Three years later, the bug bit him so hard in his island, that he decided to settle down in Havana and continue playing his percussion set.
In those days, Haruhiko Kono could barely speak Spanish, and his mentor did not speak Japanese, but the language of the Drums. In 1995, Kono became a charter member of his mentor's band, Diákara Ten years after, he produced his first album as a leader Thanks Cuba !. Kono's interest in Cuban percussion led him to become a student at the Fine Arts Institute (better known as El ISA) in Havana.
In this new episode, the band siding Kono's Happy Anniversary, stands out in my mind as magical !
About Kono his mentor Oscar Valdés II stated : "I consider him a scholar, a scientist of Cuban percussion, Kono has visited all the provinces, investigating all aspects of drumming, and now he has the largest catalog of our folkloric music. He began very important works, for his dissertation at El ISA which led him to a deeper analysis and study of all our Afro-Cuban percussion roots".
Since 1984, Haruhiko Kono has augmented the wires that join two cultures, apparently so distant and so different, but with ancestral love in common for arts.
Retro Mission
Historically, jazz has turned to the popular music of the day for its repertoire, but here you will have the opportunity to discover young composer and trumpet player Alejandro Delgado contributing one of his compositions Crazy Men in a fiery dialogue with Julio Rigal. But the core of the Live Show embraces the fire, erudition and activism of Diákara's well-seasoned Group sound honed over 20 more years, with the longest running weekly jazz gigs at La Zorra y El Cuervo and El Jazz Café in Havana.
This episode celebrating Kono's Anniversary, covers new territory musically and sonically, pushing the boundaries of Afro-Cuban Jazz with classics of Luciano "Chano" Pozo, Dizzy Gillespie, Walter "Gil" Fuller, John Coltrane, and Yemayá, a traditional song from Nigeria, arranged by reedman Liván Morejón.
The band is completed with pianist Eslys Edrey González, drummer Vicente Homero García, percussionist Mary Paz, another alumni of Oscar Valdés II, singers Haila Mompié and Tania Pantoja, and bassist Mayelín Velázquez. The soloists express their individualism without sounding fettered or compromised, making the tunes their own. Yet, none of these tunes let you forget for a moment who owned them first.
Peace is all we need

Production Date: 
Monday, April 13, 2020
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