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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Buena Vista Social Club 'Chan Chan'

So in Spanish class we watched this documentary by Ry Cooder on the Buena Vista Social Club and their musical impact on Cuba. The documentary looked at the artists and musicians that made up the Buena Vista Social Club and Ry Cooder's want to get them together again and perform at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York City. The documentary is in Spanish with English subtitles (well the version we saw), and it gives a great outlook on the style of music that dominated Cuba during the 40s and later emerged with the help of Ry Cooder in the 90s. The Buena Vista Social Club used to be a members only club in Cuba where different musicians would come and play during the 1940s, however after the club closed down some of the musicians were forgotten, or stopped playing amongst other things. Once reunited the members including Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Rubén González, Onara Portuondo, and Hugo Garzón amongst many other singers and musicians, were able to sing and play the songs they used to like they were back at the club. Their live performances at Carnegie Hall were wonderful, and their trip to New York City was the first time many of the members had been outside of Cuba. This was my first time experiencing Cuban music, and after watching the documentary, I now have this want to listen to more musicians from Cuba and learn more about how their music has shaped the country.
One of their most well known songs is 'Chan Chan' which is a beautiful love story between two people. I suggest reading the translated lyrics if you don't know Spanish that well and to listen and watch as the Buena Vista Social Club performs the song. I hope you all enjoy.


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