Heritage and updating Cuban music
Cuban music stands out worldwide for its rhythmic richness and diversity of sounds. Heirs to tradition of yesteryear, our genres reveal the mix of African and Spanish roots fundamentally, as well as the influence of North American culture.
The rumba, branded as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2016, is one of the oldest rhythms. Its origin dates back to the 19th century and Cuba was precisely the cradle that saw it born. Considered the mother of many Latin bars and dances, among its derivatives is the son montuno from which, in turn, came the salsa.
The latter has a wide list of exponents that every day join the catalog of renowned record labels at national and international level. Salsa in Cuba is part of the idiosyncrasy and its legacy remains valid from generation to generation. Both in the Cuban artists' guild and at popular level, this genre is transmitted in order to keep their musical and dance values alive.
From Cuban artists such as Arsenio Rodríguez and Roberto Faz, to the popularly known orchestras Van Van, Elito Revé and his Charangón, Adalberto Álvarez and his Son, Pupy and those who are son son and Habana de Primera, just to name a few, have thousands of followers throughout the island and beyond the seas. And it is the energy it infects, makes it irresistible to the general public.
But salsa has also gradually evolved. New technologies have taken a leading role in the development of harmonic bases, while the fusion of new trends is developing daily with musical mixes and featuring.
For their part, artists increasingly move from one genre to another with total comfort. Currently, urban music, a name that refers to the mix of rhythms like jazz, hip hop, soul, pop, reggaeton and rap, is positioned considerably on the international music scene, defended by many singers.
Lenier Mesa is one of its most renowned Cuban exponents. At the beginning of his artistic career, he was linked to traditional peasant music, going through reggaeton as a chorus player of Jacob Forever, until he reached this more current genre. "I will stay with you", "La nochecita", "I touched you unintentionally" and "You will miss me", are some of his most outstanding songs. His lyrics have the gift of moving and enchanting those who listen to them. His melodies are coupled with the lyrics and make his songs recurring hits on music charts inside and outside Cuba.