Los Van Van Tickets
Los Van Van Tickets
One of the most celebrated bands in the history of Cuban music, Los Van Van have an incredible legacy. Grab some Los Van Van tickets and catch the legends live on stage.
There is always an immense demand for Los Van Van to play in their native Cuba, and an almost equal demand for Los Van Van tickets in the United States. 2015 sees them go coast to coast, with dates in the Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, followed by shows in the James L Knight Center in Miami. There are currently no plans for them to travel to Europe, despite having a huge fanbase in the UK and around the continent.
Los Van Van translates literally as "The Go Go's". This has nothing to do with the Belinda Carlisle-fronted rock band from the 80s, and instead is a tribute to the go-go dancers that were popular in the 60s. It was intended to show that, despite their use of traditional and folkloric music, they were keenly aware of modern pop and rock music. It was almost as much a manifesto as it was a name.
The term "Cuban fusion" describes everyone from Los Van Van to Pitbull. But in the 60s this was a radical departure, and nobody had ever attempted to blend Cuban rhythms with pop music beats before. The music was an incredible success and established the group as the musical kings of post-revolutionary Cuba. For most of their career, they were known as Juan Formell & Los Van Van, in honour of their band leader and bass player. Sadly, Juan passed away in 2014, but the original band members keep his memory and music alive today.
In the early 1970s, the drummer Changuito joined the band and led them on some wild experiments in drumming. The result was an entirely new genre, known as "songo", which mixed American funk rhythms with traditional Samba sounds. In the world of Cuban music, this was as big a deal as Elvis recording "Houndog", and it took 20 years before other musicians really got to grips with songo and managed to successfully copy it. Eventually, groups such as La Banda and La Charanga Habanera building their careers on songo. Songo was also the name of the record released in 1988, which was the first Los Van Van album to be released internationally. It won them universal acclaim, and introduced this band to audiences outside of Havana.
Los Van Van have released almost 30 studio albums, from 1969's Los Van Van Vol I to 2014's La Fantasia. Perhaps the peak of their career was the 2000 album Llego Van Van, which went Gold in the US and secured the band their first and only Latin Grammy. Their most recent work has taken a new direction, not least because of the death of Juan Formell. For the first time, the band has a female lead singer, Yeni Valdez, whose soaring vocals bring out a whole new dimension in the band's music.
This is music that was written in sultry nights in Havana and played in cafes as the sun went down. The infectious rhythms got people dancing. Its spell is incredibly powerful and only the truly tone-deaf won't find themselves carried away by the salacious salsa rhythms. Performed by a group of artists who are, quite simply, the best musicians in Cuba, you have no excuse not to rush out and grab some Los Van Van tickets right now.
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