Monday, September 26, 2016

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Juan Formell y Los Van Van

Artist:Juan Formell y Los Van Van
Song:Que Le Den Candela
Album:Por Encima Del Nivel

The best way to describe Los Van Van is they are a contemporary version of a traditional Cuban dance band. Cuban dance bands were very popular in the US in the 50s. Of course this all changed when Castro took over and Cuban music was not heard until cultural exchange loosened up. So Los Van Van didn't become popular outside Cuba until the 90s. they were formed in 1969 by bassist Juan Formell. He was previously musical director of Elio Reve's Orquestra Reve. Formell believed he could attract younger listeners by incorporating rock music to traditional Cuban dance music. This style of music became known as songo. In Los Van Van's early days, Cesar "Pupy" Pedroso was Formell's main collaborator. They wrote and arranged most of the songs. Percussionist Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana added key rhythmic elements when he joined Los Van Van in 1970. Then in 1974 Pedro Calvo became lead singer for the next twenty years. Later on Formell added trombones, strings and contemporary elements like synthesizers and drum machines. In the 90s, Los Van Van became more popular internationally as their CDs were more readily available. And they began to tour internationally. Que Le Den Candela is from the 1992 album Azucar which was released in the US in 1994. It's a cover of a song recorded in 1955 by La Sonora Matancera. You can get the song on this budget comp which is part of a series of Cuban music essentials. Juan Formell died on May 2, 2014. After an album was released posthumously, it appears that Los Van Van is over. But their music is still around and it is recommended to Cuban music fans. Here's Los Van Van performing Que Le Den Candela at the 1998 Stuttgart Jazz Festival in Germany.

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