Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Daniel Ponce-New York Now!

Somos los cubanos que venimos invadiendo,
Somos los cubanos que venimos a decirte a ti
que la timba es brava,
la timba no es como ayer

We are the Cuban invasion!
We are the Cubans who have arrived to tell you
that our timba (sound) is fierce,
our timba is not like yesterday’s.
(Daniel Ponce, New York Now! 1983)
Daniel Ponce, himself both a Marielito and a professional rumbero, 
composed and recorded “Invasión 80”(New York Now! 1983). Playing with the
stereotype of the Mariel migration as an “invasion,” this recording revealed 
the larger history of migration and labor of which the Marielitos and rumba were a part.
 “Invasión 80” was a very different rumba from the conga lines that people 
had heard and experienced in previous recordings and performances by Mr. “Conga-man” 
Desi Arnaz. “Invasión 80” was intended to challenge the Hollywood disseminated 
Ricky Ricardo stereotype of Cuban Americans as white and middle class.
 Ponce’s rumba also lent visibility to rumberos who had participated 
in the emergence of Latin jazz, like percussionist Chano Pozo, who collaborated
 with Dizzy Gillespie between 1946 and 1948, the year in which he was assassinated.
 Finally, Ponce’s “Invasión 80” also recalled another invasion,
 which took place in 1917 during the sugar harvest season in the rural areas
 of Matanzas province. According to numerous recollections,borders with his own cohort of Mariel rumberos.
 famous rumberos from all over the country traveled the island in search of seasonal farm  work, 
and after their arduous labor, they competed among themselves,
 elaborating complicated dance steps that demonstrated their ability as Columbia  dancers.
 In his album, Ponce paid tribute to these transregional and seasonal workers’ contests,
 reminding listeners that the circulation of workers now continued beyond Cuba’s borders.

from The Acoustic Body:
Rumba Guarapachanguera and Abakuá Sociality in Central Park by Berta Jottar

Daniel Ponce 
Paquito D'Rivera 
Jose "Chi Chi" Trapaga 
Joe de Jesus 
Orlando "Puntilla" Rios 
Alberto Morgan 
Olefumi Mitchell 
Michael Beinhorn 
Bill Laswell 
Alex Rodriguez 
Ignacio Berroa 
Oscar Gonzalez 
Regino Tellechea 
Nelson Rodriguez 
Francisco Rigores