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Miami Alternativo: The Cuban Alternative Music Scene
The Cuban economic crisis in the 1990s led to a massive wave of migration mainly to the U.S. and Europe, which included many artists from the Cuban Alternative Music Scene. Living and working abroad, these artists are creating a transnational network of self-produced professional productions and collaborations throughout different countries, with other artists from the Cuban diaspora, and from the Island as well. These musicians engage in critical discourses about local and global challenges. They challenge monolithic views about the Cuban diasporic experience.
Here is a link to an article published in Cubaencuentro- an online magazine about the Cuban diaspora based in Madrid- which intends to map the experience of some Cuban migrants in the underground local music scene in Miami. Below you can find a video from this band.
The Cuban Alternative Music Scene groups a diversity of musicians that since the late 1980s furthered the cosmopolitan character of Cuban music through constant fusion and experimentation with world sonorities. Some of them were song-writers, former members of the “Novisima Trova” movement. Others received a high quality 15 year average training in classical music and art studies at the National System of Schools of Arts and Music in the Island. In general they are highly influenced by jazz music (ranging from traditional to more experimental and electronic jazz). They are also strongly informed by Brazilian harmonies and rhythms, Reggae, Argentinean and Anglo rock, funk and pop music. They have combined all these influences with the way of making songs and music from Cuban artistic movements like Feeling, La “Nueva and Novísima Trova” and previous Cuban jazz musicians like Emiliano Salvador, Bobby Carcassés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba. In some cases they also incorporate rhythms and harmonies from genres like timba, Afro-Cuban, hip-hop and have made occasional contemporary versions of emblematic jazz standards and traditional Cuban songs and genres.