CALENDAR RELEASE. SCREENING
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas "Live in L.A"
directed by Alvaro Perez Betancourt
-TO BE RELEASED WEND. SEPTEMBER 11, 2002-
WHAT: The best Rumba
from Cuba: the legendary Muñequitos de Matanzas
presenting a unique review of music and dance "Live
in L.A.", a video directed by Alvaro Perez from
the theatrical presentation of "La Rumba Soy
Yo" (I am the Rumba). Recorded August 2001 at
the Wilshire Theatre of Los Angeles. Produced by Stage
Of The Arts, Inc. under license for OPCION SONICA
WHEN: September, Thursday 26, 2002
VIDEO RELEASE Party. Screening: color/57 min
WHERE: Cafe Bolivar and Gallery
1741 Ocean Park Boulevard. Santa Monica, California
90405. Parking available
Phone: (310) 581-2344
960-0389; (323) 906-2610
www.AFROCUBA.org/liveinla Email: LiveinLA@AFROCUBA.org
A year ago, September 11, 2001 after
touring during a month in California and performing
with the musical review "La Rumba Soy Yo"
at the Wilshire Theatre, the ensemble of 17 top rumberos
was scheduled to perform at the television showcase
of the Latin Grammy Awards.
The World has more dramatic images
to view on that tragical date with the attack at the
WTC. The Grammy ceremonies became cancelled; it was
later announced that the compilation CD "La Rumba
Soy Yo" received the Award to the Best Folkloric
The group got its start fifty years
ago, in 1952 at a bar in Barrio La Marina in Matanzas,
Cuba, when a group of youths began following the rhythms
of a song by Arsenio Rodríguez that was then
playing, using dishes and bottles, as is the style
in "kitchen rumbas". Then and there, they
decided to create a group to play in fiestas and dances
in the barrio, contacting professional musician, Florentino
Calle "Catalino". Their emphasis was on
rumba in three variants -el yambú (from Matanzas),
a slow rhythm danced by couples, la columbia, a rural
which men alone would dance as it urban rumba. All
these variants are based on percussion, with instruments
such as clave, la catá. la guagua, la maraca,
las congas and even the batá.
At the begining, the group was called
Guaguancó Matancero, and was made up of Florencio
Calle, Gregorio Díaz, Angel Pellado, Ernesto
Torriente, Juan Mesa, Hortensio Alfonso, Esteban Lantri
and Pablo Mesa, percusionists all. They recorded their
first record in 1953 under this name and it included
on one side "Los beodos" (the drunkers)
and on the other "Los Muñequitos de la
calle" (the cartoons are on the streets). This
last song which dealt with characters from comic strips
in Cuba proved to be very popular and people started
calling them Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, which
became their name. They recorded for the Puchito label
before the the Revolution and since have made many
records with the state company EGREM, always giving
percussion the mos important role. Many member have
come and gone through the group over the years and
today there are three generations int he group, considered
by many the most important rumba group in Cuba. The
current director is Diosdado Ramos Cruz.
Their discography is a full list,
and includes "El guaguancó de Matanzas"
(Siboney,88), "Los Muñequitos de Matanzas"
(Ace,90), "Rumba caliente" (Qbdisc,92),
"Oyelos de nuevo" (Artex,93), "Real
Rumba" (Corasón,94), "Vacunao"
(Qbdisc,95), "Ito Iban Eshu" (Qbdisc,96)
and "La Rumba soy yo" (Bis Music,2000).
Los Muñequitos de Matanzas
are part of the living legend of African music in
Cuba, and they remain very close to their Abakuá
(Efik/Efo) roots. (AfrocubaWeb.com/Munequitos/muneq2.html)
Producing Director is Jorge Luis
Rodríguez. Stage Of The Arts, is a non-profit
California Educational corporation funded 1982.
Post-production & graphic design
by escuchalo productions - www.escuchalo.com
A presentation of the AfroCuban Research Group
(www.AFROCUBA.org) Stage Of
The Arts, Inc. in collaboration with Educational Opportunity Programs
and the International Programs and Services Departments of California
State University in Los Angeles.
Under license for OPCION SONICA USA;
32221 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca 90039. Email:
OPCION SONICA S.A. DE C.V. is a division of Next Millenium
Music S.A. de C.V.