Buy Entre La
Habana Y El Yuma

Buy Mamborama's
Night of the
Living Mambo


Mambo Blogorama
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Here in the US, it's Thanksgiving, a holiday originally meant to express thanks for everything you have, but has since degenerated into a feeding frenzy football-watching day of indulgence which usually leaves one thankful for some alka-seltzer. Don't get me wrong, I have my turkey in the oven, and I am thankful for everything I have, but I'm also remembering where I was last year at this time.

I was in Havana, and David Bencomo invited me to ride the bus with him and the rest of Manolito Y Su Trabuco to a gig they had in Cienfuegos province. Never having been to el campo, I jumped at the chance. I didn't get a chance to eat before the bus left, so when we stopped at the equivalent of a Cuban truck stop, I bought a stale bocadito (literally, little mouthful. It's a small Cuban sandwich usually made with ham, cheese or mystery meat). I assumed that would be my Thanksgiving dinner, and I didn't mind a bit, because I was having fun with my compaƱeros and seeing new parts of Cuba.

At one point, David lowered one of the bus windows and drew in a deep breath. "Ah, la cana..." They were harvesting the sugarcane, and you could smell it in the air. Naturally, this enhanced the flavor of the rum that was being passed around the bus.

When we got to town, there were almost as many horse drawn carts as there were cars--a totally different world from the third-world sophistication of La Habana. And they did feed us--yellow rice with roast pork and plenty of beer.

Trabuco was the headlining act for this town's carnaval, and the open field where the stage was set up soon filled up like the Cuban version of Woodstock. Everyone in the band was in great spirits, and they played their asses off. I was camped out onstage by the piano, and Manolito asked me to sit in. Now I've sat in with them a bunch of times, and usually screw up just enough that Manolito stays real close, and takes over fairly quickly, but this night I fell right into the groove, and for a good two or three minutes Manolito ran around the stage playing a guiro, and I felt like I had been handed the reins to a team of large, well-trained, powerful horses. A word like exhilarating doesn't even come close to describing the feeling.

After the concert was over, the rum was everywhere. I don't know how many bottles we went through that night, but the next thing I knew, David was nudging me in the ribs. It was six a.m., the bus was dropping me a block from my house, and I staggered home and slept til noon.

Best. Thanksgiving. EVER! Happy Thanksgiving to all my amigos and amigas!
Sunday, November 23, 2003
Wow! This German/Austrian/Swiss site has Mamborama at NUMBER ONE on both the singles and albums charts! I'm speechless... Die Salsa-Charts Homepage
The New York Times travel section has an article that may prove useful for Americans wishing to visit Cuba: JOURNEYS; Cuba: You Can't Get There From Here . . . "But the real draw of traveling to Cuba: it is illegal. ''There's certainly an excitement to going somewhere that's off limits,'' the man said, speaking on condition of anonymity. He said he had been to Cuba three times, most recently for a weekend trip in late 2001." Hmm. I have always traveled there legally. It's not as difficult as you may think. has all the info on how you may qualify for a general license to travel to Cuba. They also have flight schedules.
Kevin Moore and have created a guide to Timba on the internet with LINKS to many sources of information, including this site! Mil gracias, Kaybeen!
Tuesday, November 18, 2003
The Italians have to be the greatest fans of Cuban music and salsa in the world. Check out this site, the Italian multimedia portal of salsa music: Scroll down the News section on the left, and follow the "Anteprime" link to a page that launches a player (click "Ascolta Qui") with clips of the very latest tunes directamente de Cuba. Two new songs by Los Van Van, Manolito y su Trabuco, Tirso Duarte, Paulito FG and a bunch of others. Thanks to the Timba Geeks group for finding this site!

And that's just the tip of the Italian salsa iceberg. There's SoySalsero,, CDLatino and many more. Mil Grazie a los locos de la musica en Italia!
Friday, November 14, 2003
Well, the fat lady is singing over at The site will be shut down on December 2. Kind of a shame. Although it's gone way downhill the last year or so, it allowed us to share our music with people all over the world. Mamborama has been played over 400,000 times on's pretty good exposure. If you want to hear some older live Mamborama, do it now, because I don't think I'll be hosting those mp3s on this site--don't have the space. Thanks for everything,, it was great while it lasted!

Mamborama news and the world of Cuban music, accompanied by occasional self-indulgence.

Extensive Cuba trip report now online.

Here's an online scrapbook of photos of La Habana and some of the recording sessions for the new album.

August 2003 / September 2003 / October 2003 / November 2003 / December 2003 / January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / February 2005 / April 2005 / June 2005 / December 2005 / March 2006 / April 2006 /

Powered by Blogger