Cuba has a single-party authoritarian regime where political opposition is not permitted. There are elections in Cuba, but they are not considered democratic. Censorship of information (including limits to internet access) is extensive, and independent journalism is repressed in Cuba; Reporters Without Borders has characterized Cuba as one of the worst countries in the world for press freedom. (Full article...)
Son cubano is a genre of music and dance that originated in the highlands of eastern Cuba during the late 19th century. It is a syncretic genre that blends elements of Spanish and African origin. Among its fundamental Hispanic components are the vocal style, lyrical metre and the primacy of the tres, derived from the Spanish guitar. On the other hand, its characteristic clave rhythm, call and response structure and percussion section (bongo, maracas, etc.) are all rooted in traditions of Bantu origin.
Around 1909 the son reached Havana, where the first recordings were made in 1917. This marked the start of its expansion throughout the island, becoming Cuba's most popular and influential genre. While early groups had between three and five members, during the 1920s the sexteto (sextet) became the genre's primary format. By the 1930s, many bands had incorporated a trumpet, becoming septetos, and in the 1940s a larger type of ensemble featuring congas and piano became the norm: the conjunto. Besides, the son became one of the main ingredients in the jam sessions known as descargas that flourished during the 1950s. (Full article...)
The following are images from various Cuba-related articles on Wikipedia.
Image 1Rebel leaders engaged in extensive propaganda to get the U.S. to intervene, as shown in this cartoon in an American magazine. Columbia (the American people) reaches out to help oppressed Cuba in 1897 while Uncle Sam (the U.S. government) is blind to the crisis and will not use its powerful guns to help. Judge magazine, 6 February 1897. (from History of Cuba)
Image 2Iznaga Tower in Trinidad used to watch slaves over sugar plantations (from History of Cuba)
Isaac Oviedo (July 6, 1902 – June 16, 1992) was a Cuban tres player, singer and songwriter. He was the founder and leader of the Septeto Matancero for over 50 years, and the author of many famous sones such as "Engancha carretero". Throughout his long career Oviedo only recorded a handful of sessions, mostly for American record labels. He has been called "one of the greatest Cuban tres players" by other musicians such as Efraín Ríos and Pancho Amat. According to the latter, Oviedo was the pioneering and most influential tresero of the septeto format (the major type of son ensemble of the 1920s and '30s). His technical innovations include the alzapúa thumb stroke and the use of the pinky finger.
...that the Guanajatabey were indigenous inhabitants of Cuba, that lived on the island since at least 1000 B.C.? And that they were forced to the western point of the island by the arrival of the Ciboney people?
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