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In the Artist's Own Words

Venissa Santi: Reflections on the Cuban Roots of Bienvenida

By Published: April 24, 2009
Several of the tracks incorporate a bolero rhythm. While many are familiar with composer Maurice Ravel's "Boléro"—a 1928 classical composition based upon a Spanish dance—the bolero as a Latin rhythm may be less known. Santi explains: "Bolero is a rhythmic feel and song form that is said to have originated in Santiago de Cuba, and was brought up by the trova or troubadour/ minstrel singers. Later it spread as far as Mexico. It has a long history of composers and is often used in the Latin standard repertoire. It is the equivalent of a ballad, and there are distinct patterns played by conga and maraca in a traditional instrumentation. But I made some variations on the bolero. For example, I felt 'Como Fue' would be a killer blues, 'Delirio' would be a great up-tempo swing, and 'Convergencias' would make a lovely danzon."

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Venissa Santi

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