In SoCal, a big record chain went bankrupt, so all the records there were fire-saled. I bought a bunch of Cuban CDs at random, and all weekend listened away. Among them, was one real gem, a guy named Raul Paz, a French-Cuban musician of the Nuevo Latino style of traditional Cuban music, which combines in hip-hop, electronica and other elements. But don’t let that latter stuff scare you – they all may sound horrible by themselves but combined with Cuban sounds, it’s a whole different sound. Gorgeous!
The guy is a native of Pinar del Rio, and moved to Paris with his parents, who, from what I can tell, were probably castro’s nomenklatura because normal Cubans can’t just up and move to Paris when they like. However, I googled around on him and I don’t see any edge of politics on him. He’s never been seen in a che t-shirt or made a pro-castro statement. Even one of his his latest albums, Revolution, is inoffensive, it doesn’t sound like castro’s so-called ‘revolution’ he is talking about. It sounds like he keeps politics out of things, but he does travel back and forth from Paris to Cuba, signalling that he’s on some kind of good terms with the vile regime.
Still, he’s inoffensive and has done nothing for castro. All he’s done is spread the beauty of Cuban music to all over Europe and the U.S. – which makes him ok in my book. He didn’t pick his parents after all. What do you think?
He got a classical violin background there in Paris, because France is one of the few places on earth where classical music is valued, and iit’s one of the least-likely-to-get-you-in-trouble art forms if you have ties to a commie regime – commie regimes love classical music. But communist or no, this is the best kind of background for any musician of any kind to have, and the violin is the most demanding of all instruments. To be able to play a violin well, even though one now plays traditional Cuban music like the skill of good modern artists who have classical training and can actually draw if asked, no matter what their art form. He has that kind of high-grade musicianship.