Completed last year and published earlier this year, here’s the first outing of Rumbatá
since 2011. If Rumba is usually associated with La Habana and the docks of Matanzas, this group from Camagüey are not intimidated. Restless rhythm switches characterise the razor sharp arrangements. They’ve taken Rumba in new directions and to a new level, covering Oscar D’Leon andPablo Milanés on the way. Wilmer, the director of the group kindly answered some questions I put to him, which I paraphrase below-
Rumbata was born in a place far away from where rumba originated. This has obligated a study of the sounds of Rumba, its image and the things that are close to it. They have never been in a hurry. Wilmer describes Rumbatá today as the synthesis of time, experiencing the atmosphere of Rumba and advice of great masters of the genre, many of whom are no longer with us. Rumbatá has sought to integrate and harmonise the constituent parts of the group, around a dynamic repertoire. Respecting the three variations of Rumba- Yambú, Guaguancó and Columbia, it is nevertheless rhythmically restless, taking breaks from traditional rhythms in a way the modern style allows.
Thanks Wilmer and long may your synthesis continue!
News just in, Gracias a La Rumba has won an award at Cubadisco 2018. Congratulations Rumbatá, sometimes the best do make it to the top!