Afro-Cuban Music comes to Milwaukee
Published: Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 2, 2012 17:11
International Ethic Fest jazzed up their program with a little worldly music. De La Buena lead by David Wake played afro-Cuban music for a crowded MATC cafeteria.
De La Buena was the third band to play in the Global concert series arranged by the International Student Organization (ISO) for Ethic Fest. The series kicked off with Jam Ak Jam and later hosted Ras Movement with Naima Adedapo. All the concerts were held in the MATC cafeteria.
“We are like a collection of musicians, like a family,” Julio Pabon said. Pabon is a member of the band that also teachers at the Conservatory of Music. Pabon is also involved in teaching drum making and music playing at the Tamarack Waldorf School.
Many members of the band are part of other bands too. Some mentioned were One Drum, The Static Chicken and Kings Go Forth. The band is not set for every performance, and with the pool of talent available to the musicians they are able to find enough members for each gig.
The bands name La De Buena means ‘poised for great things to come’ and with this amazingly talented group, that seems inevitable. De La Buena is more active during summer months where they play two to three gigs a week. Their usual gigs are played at clubs in River-west and on the east side, as well as festivals like Summerfest. They have also been involved in the Jazz in the Park series.
The band averages about eight members in the band per gig. They brought seven to their MATC performance, and later added Holly Haebig Wake, David’s wife who joined in on vocals.
Wednesday’s performance had two percussion players, Julio Pabon and Cecilio Negron Jr. who both sang as well. Jeremy Kuzniar played drums while Matt Turner added bass to the mix. Eric Jacobson played trumpet with Aaron Gardener switched between tenor sax and flute. David Wake the bands musical director is also their keyboard player.
The band started in 2003 with just three members, and has grown dramatically since then. They released two CDs, titled “En Vivo y Directo” (live and direct) and “La Trotuga”.
The sound produced by this mixed group is hard to explain as it is such a mix of everything. Eclectic would probably be the best word.
“We are a mixture of Afro-Cuban music,” Pabon said. “We have latino jazz influence too. I would say we also have West-African and Brazilian influence on our music. And of course a taste of Puerto Rico too, since Celcilio and I are both from there.”
The band sings in Spanish as well as a little English, so their versatile backgrounds are apparent from watching a set. As soon as they began to play, students in the cafeteria started to pay attention.
“La Trotuga” is available on iTunes and at CDBaby.com. The band also has its own website, www.delabuena.com and they have a facebook page.
Their music is catchy and easy to move to. Their voices (whether you understand Spanish or not) are wonderful and soothing. Many members of the audience were keeping the beat of the music by nodding their heads or tapping their toes.