Cuba and Its Music by Ned Sublette
From the First Drums to the Mambo

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This entertaining history of Cuba and its music begins with the collision of Spain and Africa and continues through the era of Miguelito Valdés, Arsenio Rodríguez, Benny Moré, and Pérez Prado. It offers a behind-the-scenes examination of music from a Cuban point of view, unearthing surprising, provocative connections and making the case that Cuba was fundamental to the evolution of music in the New World. The ways in which the music of black slaves transformed 16th-century Europe, how the claves appeared, and how Cuban music influenced ragtime, jazz, and rhythm and blues are revealed. Music lovers will follow this journey from Andalucía, the Congo, the Calabar, Dahomey, and Yorubaland via Cuba to Mexico, Puerto Rico, Saint-Domingue, New Orleans, New York, and Miami. The music is placed in a historical context that considers the complexities of the slave trade; Cuba's relationship to the United States; its revolutionary political traditions; the music of Santería, Palo, Abakuá, and Vodú; and much more.

About Ned Sublette

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Ned Sublette is the cofounder of the Qbadisc record label. He has coproduced the public radio program Afropop Worldwide for seven years and traveled frequently to Cuba since 1990.
Published February 1, 2007 by Chicago Review Press. 690 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Cuba and Its Music

The Guardian

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Sublette describes the entry of the conga and bongó into mainstream Cuban dance music and - starting with "El Manicero" ("The Peanut Vendor") in 1930 - its worldwide triumph.

Jan 01 2005 | Read Full Review of Cuba and Its Music: From the ...

Publishers Weekly

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As the cofounder of the important Cuban music label Qbadisc and coproducer of public radio's Afropop Worldwide , Sublette is a well-known figure among elite mambo aficionados.

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The Brooklyn Rail

In Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo, Ned Sublette has taken on no less a task than rethinking and rewriting Western musical history, going back to 1191 A.D., from a Cuba-centric point of view.

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