Primo Cubana plays Billy's Tavern
Thomaston — On Friday, Nov. 9, Primo Cubano will perform at Billy's Tavern beginning at 8 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge; Billy’s is located at 1 Starr St., behind the business block.
Primo Cubano plays traditional Cuban dance music dating back to the turn of the 20th century. Son is the most popular style to come out of Cuba and is the primary contributor to the blend of Latin styles today known as salsa. It was first a music of the country people and eventually migrated to Havana, where it was urbanized and began to draw a wider audience.
Guitarist Paul D’Alessio came into contact with this music on a trip to Cuba in 2004 with the Brunswick-Trinidad Sister City Association, a cooperative between Brunswick and the city of Trinidad, Cuba. He began learning to play son music on a guitar-like instrument native to Cuba called the tres and subsequently formed Primo Cubano, which means “Cuban Cousin.”
Trumpeter Marc Chillemi also has spent time in Cuba and has played in various other Latin groups. He also plays percussion and sings on the choruses, or coros, to which the lead singer, or sonero, responds with an improvised lyric.
Lenny Hatch has loved the congas since he first heard Mongo Santamaría play “Watermelon Man,” and he has been playing them in addition to the bongo and other percussion instruments for more than 20 years. Eric Winter has been singing all his life and began studying Spanish at age 12. He has become particularly interested in Cuban music in the last few years. He also plays maracas and is the newest addition to Primo Cubano.
Keeping it all together is Duane Edwards on the bass fiddle, a graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta who plays in various groups in the area. As a jazz student, he took very quickly to the tumbao bass pattern that makes this music so danceable.
For more information, contact Billy's Tavern at 354-1177 or check out its Facebook page.
Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.