Gianluca Tramontana, music journalist and host of the Radio Free Brooklyn show Sitting with Gianluca, spent 2017–2019 in the mountains around Guantánamo City, Cuba, immersed in—and recording— joyous, all-inclusive and mostly improvised, riff-based acoustic roots music of the island. The music was born in the sugar and coffee plantations in the mountains around the city, less than thirty miles from Guantanamo Bay, and serves as the soundtrack for joyous three-day parties called Changuisis.
This incredible collection of recordings, which includes over 50 brand new remote recordings and 100 intimate photographs of the culture and its people, was released this past July 30 by Petaluma Records as a three-disc deluxe box set with a hardbound full-color book and extensive liner notes titled Changüí – The Sound of Guantánamo. This release, the most extensive exploration of the Changüí style to date, has garnered four- and five-star reviews (MOJO, Songlines, No Depression, and Afropop) and been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, BBC6, PRI’S The World, and the CBC.
On November 17, Radio Free Brooklyn is partnering with the Pine Box Rock Shop for a free event that will be part belated record release party, part panel discussion and slideshow dedicated to this vibrant brand of Cuban music. Hosted by Tramontana, the event will include a conversation with four-time Grammy-winning producer Steve Rosenthal (co-producer) and Ned Sublette, Cuban music expert and author of the definitive tome Cuba and its Music. This will also serve as a “better late than never” album release party where a copy of the box (and some other special gifts) will be raffled off to a lucky audience member.
The Pine Box Rock Shop is located at 12 Grattan Street, Brooklyn. The 90-minute event kickoff at 8 pm. RSVP here.
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