November 2008

Changuito & The T.O. Cubans All-Stars
November 1, 2008 Lula Lounge Toronto
Sifu Changuito
by Afro P. with photo by Roger Humbert
In November of 2008 Lula Lounge in downtown Toronto came alive with the sounds of master percussionist Changuito. For many in Toronto this was a chance to see one of the legends in Afro-Cuban rhythm perform. The crowd was buzzing in excitement waiting for Chanquito to take the stage. Lula Lounge was full of chatting and laughter between friends new and old while waiting for the festivities to begin. The back drop was vibrant Latin music encouraging the patrons to get up and dance.

Once Changuito hit the stage it was party at full speed. He lead the band through a stirring set that had the crowd sweating with exhilaration while tearing up the dance floor. At one point he dropped out into a solo that made most of us stare in awe. The combination of timbale and kick drum brought to light how much this man has influenced popular music today. His killer rhythmic combinations blow you away. To tell you the truth, nothing I write here will fully capture what went down that night.

Chanquito was accompanied by by The T.O. Cuban All-Stars (David Virelles, Joaquin Hidalgo, Alberto Alberto and Chendy Leon Jr). He opened with a Latin-influenced jazz set followed by an energetic salsa set. Toronto's own Salsa On Six and dj Billy Bryans were also on the bill.

Born in Cuba in 1948, ‘Changuito’ Quintana is considered the man most responsible for the polyrhythmic foundation of Cuban salsa and timba. He was the original drummer for Los Van Van (the most popular Cuban orchestra in the world) where he introduced the world famous songo rhythm.

Changuito is an extraordinary visionary and musical genius who continues to influence musicians from all around the world.
We welcome your comments and feedback
Afro P.
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report

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