New Island Sounds from Cuba's Young Guard

Cuba's younger musical generation has adopted the classic Cuban rhythms — familiar to fans of the Buena Vista Social Club and other old-school performers — and added international influences to create a new flavor of island music.

Descemer Bueno

Descemer

The song is about being caught between the all-controlling Cuban government and the influence of a United States that is confusing and daunting. In the end, "His heart will be broken if he never goes back to Habana."

Haydee Milanes

Haydee Milanes

Milanes has been friends with Descemer Bueno since they were children in Havana. "Iguapele," written by Descemer, means "happiness" in the Yoruba language of West Africa, which Descemer heard spoken in his neighborhood as a child.

Juan-Carlos Formell

Juan-Carlos Formell

Juan-Carlos Formell's album makes socially conscious statements about Latin culture and history. This song employs poetry by national hero Jose Marti, who led Cuba's independence movement in the 19th century.

Habana Abierta

Habana Abierta

Habana Abierta's song (the title translates loosely as "What's Up, Dude?") offers incisive political comment from the perspective of a Cuban immigrant. The song criticizes Cuba's lack of freedoms, but regards a larger post-Sept. 11 world with some trepidation.

Purchase Featured Music

Haydee

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Haydee
  • Artist: Haydee Milanes
  • Label: EMI International
 

Sieto Rayo

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Sieto Rayo
  • Artist: Descemer Bueno
  • Label: Universal Latino
 

Son Radical

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Son Radical
  • Artist: Juan-Carlos Formell
  • Label: Narada
 

Boomerang

Purchase Music

close

Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Boomerang
  • Artist: Habana Abierta
  • Label: EMI International
 

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.