Afro-Cuban All Stars recorded at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Scotland during Celtic Connections 2018-01-22, for BBC Radio 3 "World on 3", BBC live 320kbps HLS stream, ts audio transfers
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Kathryn Tickell introduces a concert by the Afro-Cuban All Stars, recorded at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
A rare concert from the band that was the springboard for the Buena Vista Social Club phenomenon. Juan de Marcos Gonzales still leads them 20 years on, now featuring Cuban veterans plus a new generation of Cuban musicians who are revitalisig the scene. Today's fourteen-piece band plays old standards plus new pieces, in this concert recorded at the Celtic Connections festival in January.
From the Daily Telegraph:
"Celtic Connections, Glasgow�s annual festival of traditional and folk roots music, is currently celebrating its 25th year. It is testament to the programme�s high international standing that it continues to attract major global artists such as the Juan de Marcos Afro-Cuban All Stars.
It is more than 20 years since musician and bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonz�lez shot to international fame for his work with the global phenomenon that was the Buena Vista Social Club. Since then, he and his band, the Afro-Cuban All Stars, have been at the forefront of popularising Cuban music around the world. This Glasgow show, as the 64-year-old maestro tells us, came within three days of gigs in Los Angeles and Vienna.
As if to emphasise the musical breadth of the Celtic Connections programme, the All Stars were supported by Scottish jazz quartet New Focus. (If you like your jazz as mellow as a creamy coffee on a quiet Sunday morning, you might want to check them out.)
The All Stars� themselves, a 13-strong touring ensemble which includes the bandleader�s wife Gliceria Abreu and his daughters Gliceria and Laura, gave a veritable masterclass in Cuban music. Gonz�lez jokes that he was once the youngster of the Buena Vista musicians, but he is now the oldest. He is clearly aware of his role as the keeper of the flame, as a heartfelt rendition of Miguel Matamoros�s Cuban classic Black Tears (complete with superb clarinet solo by Laura Gonz�lez) attested.
Song after song, one felt increasingly as if one was in Havana during the Fifties golden age of Cuban music. There were dedications to major figures in the nation�s remarkable 20th-century heritage, including the great Arsenio Rodr�guez.
However, perhaps the greatest moment of the evening came during the performance of Chan Chan, the famous opening number on the Buena Vista album by the late master Compay Segundo. �It is exactly 20 years and nine months since I first recorded this song,� Gonz�lez said, �and I still love it.�
The audience loved it, too. On an evening when they were also treated to fabulous solos on the drums, the bongos and (from Gonz�lez himself) acoustic guitar, the Glasgow crowd was only too happy to take up the maestro�s invitation to end the show by dancing in the aisles."
Music played + interview:
Cangrejo fue a estudiar
Laura en el Paraiso
Yo tengo pena contigo
Vete de mi
Son de Baloy
No creu en la Jeva