Smoking hot salsa: Anacaona

Okay, I’m told that technically it’s more timba than salsa. Timba is a Cuban variant. Timba is identified by a few (debatably relevant) attributes like heavier use of African percussion and a trap drummer, the piano is more featured, it’s more strongly influenced by contemporary jazz and pop genres and it’s usually very fast paced. I don’t know if I agree with any of this but argue about it amongst yourselves.

One evening, following a rehearsal break, I was surfing for something on YouTube and ran across this band. Their sound floored me. I’ve loved the aggressive timba style since I first heard it years ago by a band called Calle Real, which ironically turns out to be Swedish!

Anacaona is an all-female Cuban band still based in Havana. They’re women with a past.  Anacaona was founded in Havana in the 1930s so the current lineup is logically the granddaughters and great-granddaughters of the band’s founders. Not many bands can claim a legacy like theirs.

It’s impossible to stand still with this music. They’re all great musicians and singers. The bass player’s (Georgia Aguirre) phrasing especially knocks me out. I think you have to grow up with this music to play like this.

I’ve had a reminder set in and for a possible Anacaona tour stop in NYC but unfortunately our own Cheeto Benito mindlessly reinstated travel restrictions with Cuba so that won’t happen any time soon.  My next opportunity to catch the band live is next September in Madrid.

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