Playing tracks by
La Sonora Matancera w/ Celia Cruz, LOS PAPINES, La Sonora Matancera w/Carlos Argentino, La Sonora Matancera w/Emilio Dominguez, Angel Bonne and more.
After declaring an atheist state at the start of his Revolution, Fidel Castro ended Christmas celebrations in Cuba in 1969. One result was the silencing of Cuban Christmas music, which had its heyday in the forties and fifties, when great big bands like La Sonora Matancera mambofied popular Christmas songs translated into Spanish to liven up winter holidays in Havana. Christmas was reinstated in 1997, and I experienced that comeback of Christmas in Havana. As usual music was everywhere, but it wasn’t Christmas music.
But it was a Merry Christmas for some friends of mine who invited me to their party. The highlight of that night was the roasting of a pig that had been living in the bathtub of the family’s small apartment.
Since that year, some Cuban musicians have claimed the holiday as their own, mixing Afro-Cuban percussion with typical Christmas songs. Listen to Cuban Christmas past and present as you rumba into 2018! Feliz Navidad!