Pasión de Buena Vista is replete with talented musicians, one of which is guitarist Dariel Lopez, who made the decision to pursue a career as a musician when he entered musical school at 16. He was a natural and eight months later he was performing live. His set at the Festival Internacional del Son (Santiago de Cuba) garnered the attention of Pasión de Buena Vista producer Uwe Dannbacher who spotted Lopez’s raw talent. The rest, as they say, is showbiz history and Lopez was drafted into the Pasión de Buena Vista ensemble. What’s On speaks with Lopez ahead of the Kyiv show and discovers just what it is about the beats of son, bolero, guajira, salsa, and rumba that makes Cuban music so popular.
People enjoy Cuban music even without any understanding of Spanish. How do you describe your music and the message you try to convey?
Our music is just as hot and tropical as our Cuba, it is the fruit and fusion of African and European (Spanish) music and our sound is unique. Our message is to bring to the public the richness of our culture as a living expression of the idiosyncrasy of Cuban folklore.
Cuban music was introduced to the world with the success of the album and the documentary both called Buena Vista Social Club. Credit goes to Ry Cooder who assembled the musicians and later Wim Wenders who brought this story to the screen. How much do you credit the success of those projects for inspiring you to create your own ensemble?
Thanks to these two gentlemen the world learned about the riches of indigenous Cuban culture. Our musical prestige went levels up, getting our music to achieve international leadership.
How would you describe the “soul” of Cuban music?
A Cuban musician is a born musician and does not need special education. It is something that every Cuban has in his blood. Salsa (Puerto Rican and Cuban popular dance music), sandunga (traditional Mexican waltz), maturity. El son, la rumba, el guaguanco , el mambo , el chachachá and la guajira have spread all over the world and people have embraced it. Cuban music is in a healthy state; it has acceptance on the international market, a lot of music in the world today has Caribbean sounds and the Cuban influence is especially strong.
Tell us a little bit about your company? What qualities should a performer have to be lucky to join your ensemble?
Our company consists of 28 members, musicians and instrumentalists, groups of singers, solo singers and dancers. How can you be a member? Above all you must be professional as a musician and as a human being – respect your duties to the company and work very hard to preserve the best of Cuban music and art. Our actual sound is quite fresh, although we respect the musical heritage of its first creators. We cannot forget our roots. If we did, we wouldn’t be Cuban.
What are your expectations of performing in Ukraine?
We will deliver to the Ukrainian public the best of our work and touch them with the warmth and richness of our music. There will be many surprises. We don’t want to reveal all secrets in advance. The only thing is to ask the Ukrainian public to brace themselves for a great show.
• Bits and Pieces of Pasión de Buena Vista
• The ensemble has been awarded the Radio Regenbogen Award, the most important media-award in Germany where it is based, in the category Show of 2009
• They performed live on German entertainment TV show Wetten, das..? in 2009 from Palma de Mallorca to an estimated 13 million viewers
• Singer Sotto Victor-Antunez performed in 50 concerts with Ibrahim Ferrer (of the Buena Vista Social Club Orchestra). They co-wrote and performed the song Dos Gardenias. It would become a hit worldwide
• Another singer Mariela Stiven went from humble beginnings in the small Cuban town of Jiguaní , but with performances at different festivals like Festival del Changui, the Musica National de Bayamo, the Sindo Garay and many more, she quickly became a success winning 19 awards over her career.
Pasión De Buena Vista (DE, Cuban Music)
22 October at 19.00
Tickets: 190 –1,590hrv
Palace Ukraine (V Vasylkivska 103)
by Olga German