The basic success of the conga came from ...that basic principle of African music and dance: everybody participates. The conga eradicated the distinction between performer and audience, broke down the wall of the proscenium.

— Ned Sublette

The most grateful Ned Sublette quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

Music is so essential to the Cuban character that you can't disentangle it from the history of the nation. the history of Cuban music is one of cultural collisions, of voluntary and forced migrations, of religions and revolutions.

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On occassion, slaves in Spanish New Orleans owned slaves, whose labor they could appropriate toward purchasing their own freedom, or whose ownership they could trade as a partial payment on their own freedom.

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Chano Pozo created the role of the conga soloist in the modern band, somewhat th way Coleman Hawkins created the solo tenor sax.

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A laborer might last ten years or so before expiring.

But individual workers in the death camp of sugar were survived by their culture, which was constantly re-Africanized by fresh arrivals. To that plantation culture, the music of our hemisphere owes no small debt.

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Every farm with slaves was a slave-breeding farm. Raising slaves was mostly a cottage industry.

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Black musicians rhythmicized the contredanse, creating musical styles which evolved into the habanera (also known as the tango) and, later, ragtime, as well as the danza, danzón, and ultimately the danzón mambo and its offspring the cha-cha-chá.

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In 1942 Cachao wrote a tune for Arcao, 'Rareza de Melitn,' with a memorable catchy tumbao. In 1957 Arcao recorded a reworking of it under the name 'Chanchullo'; and in 1962 Tito Puente reworked that into 'Oye como va,' still with that same groove. In this form, audibly the same, it powered Carlos Santana's multiplatinum 1970 cover version, close to three decades after Cachao first played it.

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One often reads that the 1950s was the golden age of Cuban music, but it was really one long phase, from 1937 to 1958, each year with its own splendour.

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A second line is in effect a civil rights demonstration.

Literally, demonstrating the civil right of the community to assemble in the street for peaceful purposes. Or, more simply, demonstrating the civil right of the community to exist.

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Up through and including Lincoln, American politicians nursed a fantasy of repatriating blacks to Africa.

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The two biggest hits (by Machito)... were about that enduring Cuban song topic-food: 'Sopa de pichn' [pigeon soup] and 'Paella'. If you think that all songs about food are double entendres for sex... Well, maybe all songs about food can be double entendres, but in many periods of Cuban history, for many people, food has been harder to get, and the subject of more fantasies, than sex.

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Like slaves on the sugar plantations of the Antilles, .

..the sugar slaves of southern Louisiana had negative birthrates for as long as slavery lasted.

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About Ned Sublette

Quotes 17 sayings
Profession Composer
Birthday 1951

New Orleans is of such key importance to American music because historical factors combined to make it the strongest center of African musical practice in the United States, and, cliches aside, that practice really did travel up the Mississippi and did spread overland.

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Miguelito, liberated from having to sing with Cugat, sounds like he just got out of jail and is letting it rip.

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That spirit of mockery characteristic of the guaracha was part of the mambo from the beginning.

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The general disinclination of Spain to accept slaves from Islamicized regions of Africa during the formative years of Hispano-American society had enormous consequences for the development of music in the New World.

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