Friday, May 15, 2009

Rock an' Roll y Guaguancó

Ever wondered what rumba is? Here is your Rosetta stone: a Beatles song performed by Cuba's venerable rumba group, Los Papines.

"Hello Goodbye" rumba (video)

The singer is Yuliet Abreu Fernández, daughter of Jesus, the youngest of the four Abreu brothers from the Havana suburb of Marianao who formed Los Papines in 1962. (Alfredo Abreu passed away in October, 2001.) The band celebrated its 45th anniversary last year with a series of concerts throughout Havana.

Yuliet, a percussion instructor at the Escuela Nacional de Arte (ENA), originally recorded this song in 2000 with her father and uncles for the album Beatles Cubanos: Here Comes El Son. Los Papines continue to perform in Havana every third Sunday at the Casa de la Cultura Plaza.

Thanks to "asere3" Dr. Benjamin Lapidus for the link!

UPDATE 5/19/09:

By coincidence, some bad news breaking: Los Papines booking contact Eli Silvrants says founder Ricardo "Papin" Abreu is gravely ill and hospitalized in Havana. The family is "expecting the worst." Let us hold this great rumba family in our thoughts.


Some lovely photos of Ricardo "Papin" Abreu at Mark Sanders' blog Fidel's Eyeglasses

UPDATE added 11:35 pm:

Sadly, he passed away today. I got the word at 9 pm today from Los Papines' representative and family friend, Eli Silvrants.

Ricardo "Papin" Abreu Hernandez
19 dec 1933 - 19 may 2009

UPDATE added 5/20/09:

This obituary appeared today in Cuban Granma (in Spanish).

Granma states that Ricardo formed his first group, Papin y sus Rumberos, in 1959. The article notes that he played the famed Tropicana and brought rumba to the international stage as well, performing in over 50 countries. It states the cause of death, at age 75, to be cerebral hemorrhage. His body is at the Funeraria de Zapata y 2, on the Plaza de la Revolución, no word yet on when and where he is to be buried. In the photo, Ricardo is seated, surrounded by the current incarnation of Los Papines consisting of his 2 surviving brothers Jesus and Luis, his niece Yuliet and nephew Luisito.


View videos at Los Papines' myspace.

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