And The Beat Goes On

Posted on Aug 26, 2010

I recently emceed a rock show featuring two of Cuba’s forward thinking artists Equis (X) Alfonso and Osamu. Both artists had no problems mixing rock, hip hop, reggae, pop, blues, rumba, salsa and folklore into exciting new fusions of music. Equis Alfonso is a dynamo of a performer who knows how to play practically every instrument, has a terrific presence and singing voice…and knows how to get funky while rapping it down to the audience. It’s no wonder that he is a huge star in Cuba! Osamu is an astonishing guitarist and vocalist who leads a powerful rock band that features tv star Yoris on vocals. Performing his fusion of salsa and rock called Rock Con Sabor, he dazzled the crowd with his guitar riffs and danceable melodies. The biggest surprise was his special guest the ageless Pedro Calvo who was THE voice of Los Van Van for many years. Calvo ,nearing 70 was in tip top physical shape and commanding voice, tearing through rock versions of his hits with Los Van Van such as “Sandunguera”. Ironically enough, he looked more like a rock star in his trademark soldier style hat, tight t-shirt, leather jeans and silver buckled belt that Equis and Osamu! Both Equis and Osamu produce their own videos and the visuals presented at this Yerba Buena Center of the Arts “New Frequencies” show were outstanding, progressive and fresh!