Our colleague, Kevin Meehan (University of Central Florida) has just shared with us a wonderful dub version of “Lamento Borincano,” the Puerto Rican classic, written by Rafael Hernández. The dub project was done at Mighty Arawak Sound in Orlando, owned and operated by Manuela Acevedo (MAroon Mani).
Based in Orlando, Florida, Conjunto Kimbombó is a small musical group dedicated to preserving and performing traditional music from Cuba and other Latin American countries. [Kimbombó=quimbombó means okra or okra stew.] The core of Conjunto Kimbombó is a duo: Kevin Meehan and Jorge Milanés. Their “main focus is on guitar-based song styles such as guajira, montuno, and son— music that comes from monte adentro, the deep woods of Cuba’s countryside.” Meehan and Milanés especially enjoy performing pieces written or recorded by Miguel Matamoros, Guillermo Portabales, Los Guaracheros de Oriente, Compay Segundo, Elíades Ochoa, and others. They also perform bolero, merengue, and salsa, “a variety of traditional Cuban and Puerto Rican favorites, popular music, jazz, and original compositions.”
As an explanation of how Conjunto Kimbombó began, they say, “Listening to Portabales playing ‘El carretero’ in 2000: ‘I LOVE this song!’ (Jorge). ‘Do you think you can sing it?’ (Kevin). Thus was born Kimbombó; from our mutual love for Cuban folk music.” Although Meehan and Milanés have performed in many venues, they mostly enjoy going to educational settings to “offer performance-lectures on the history of Cuban folk music and its connections to Cuban poetry, especially the poetry of Nicolás Guillén.”
For more on Mighty Arawak Sound, see www.mightyarawaksound.com
For more information on Conjunto Kimbombó and musical clips, see http://www.myspace.com/conjuntokimbombo
Listen to “Lamento Borincano” here: kimbombo-meets-mighty-arawak-sound-lamento-dub