Buena Vista Social Club: Rico Suave
The man-powered bike carriage ride to La Taverna Cafe in Plaza Viaje felt cool at 70°F as it had been 91°F with 88% humidity earlier that day. Our driver took us for a little tour pointing out some historical buildings and then proceeded to drop us off at the wrong club. But with spits and sputters of Spanish, I managed to get him to take us to the correct location where we were met by one of our new friends and a handful of security guards on the lookout for two wayward Americanos.
While sipping a much-needed mojito (a national drink, I presume), the gentleman above opened with a beautiful love song which brought tears to my eyes. His voice: dulce, bendito, divino, is still clear and unwavering that one would never guess he is in his 80s.
During the 40s, the club was a place for musicians, singers, and dancers to gather and strut their stuff (and boy can they). In the 1990s an album release brought them instant success.
You did see the movie too, right? The one featuring the aging musicians of the Buena Vista Social Club (1999) who croon to Cuba’s Latin beat? If you didn’t, you must!
And, yes, there is dancing at the club too. I am always fascinated at the dancing abilities of the Latinos. How do they coordinate that hip- and foot movement while keeping to the rhythm? (Was the dancing gene buried too deep in my Spanish-Filipino roots? Did my mother’s Irish roots cause some distorted, gene mutation?)
But I am a dutiful tourist. When they asked me to shake my booty and every other appendage or body part that sticks out more than a few inches (smile)—I shamelessly shook it. Why not?
Gratefully, we didn’t have to peek through the windows to see the show, although the onlookers didn’t seem to mind as the woman in the middle gave me a big smile and blew me a kiss. (Perhaps this was spurred on by my booty-shaking!)
Yes, Dapper G and I felt lucky, happy, and alive that night. It’s a memory we’ll tuck away for a cold, wintry day.
Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity. ~Jose Marti
Daily Gratitude: sitting high and dry;at the bagel and coffee that Dapper G ventured out in the storm to buy; memories of Cuba
© Teresita Abad Doebley All rights reserved 2009-2012.
- Buena Vista Social Club (daniellepowell.wordpress.com)
- Cuban-born jazz manager buried in Miami; he was 95 (miamiherald.com)
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