On our Radar: The Caribbean: New music & live shows feat. Cimafunk and Yasser Tejeda & Palotré| 22 August, 2019
Cuba’s Cimafunk at Summerstage and Blue Note Jazz Club
Cimafunk left a trail of fire in the United States once he debuted his style of Cuban soul and funk at this past year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. A string of shows in other states ensued, and he netted himself a booking deal with Magnus Media, the Miami agency founded by Marc Anthony and Michel Vega.
The Cuban singer with impeccable style returns to New York City this week, including a show on Sunday, the 25th of August, at Central Park Summerstage. He then performs at other notable festivals such as the Miami Pop and Barcelona Jazz Festivals. We asked him what this success means for him and his fellow countrymen.
“For me and the team that I work with, the positive reaction by the public at my shows has been amazing, and in some way what we’re experiencing inspires other Cuban artists with loads of talent to focus and dedicate time and resources to their art. We’re really lucky to be part of this moment in Cuban culture,” he said.
Cimafunk will also play two dates (26 and 27 of August) at the prestigious Blue Note Jazz Club next week. “The thought of playing at Central Park and at the Blue Note, wow, makes me crazy with happiness. I feel like soon dreams will be coming true and I plan to enjoy every second,” he said.
Dominican Republic/NYC’s Yasser Tejeda & Palotre at Rockwood Music Hall
Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and currently based in Brooklyn, Yasser Tejeda has collaborated extensively with artists like Vicente Garcia and Prince Royce. Soon, he’ll release his style of AfroDominican roots music, fused with funk, r&b, jazz and soul, on a forthcoming album, Kijombo.
His new track, “Nuestra Raices” is a frenetic, celebratory vehicle of Dominican rhythms that mixes together three different percussive instruments called “palos” with a hyperactive horn section and Tejeda’s power chord guitar. The song’s video is a visual representation of the album as a whole – between New York and Mata de los Indios, a small community in Villa Mella, Dominican Republic.
“What we’re doing is unearthing a hidden treasure. People dance at our live shows because in the end, African music and African American musical genres like jazz, blues, gospel, are all related to palos. I’m heavy into R&B, gospel and heavy rock music – you can see that all those connections go together–the Congolese guitar, the West African guitar. It’s the music of the ‘other’ Dominican Republic that’s for too long been hidden,” Tejeda said.
Watch his new video below and catch Tejeda and Palotré live at Rockwood Music Hall on Thursday, the 29th of August.
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