band made its last U.S. appearance at the 1933 World's Fair
in Chicago, where it won a Gold Medal by spreading the Afro-Cuban music
made popular in the 1930s called "son." That was long before the Buena
Vista Social Club, which Ry Cooder made famous.
Fans of Cuban roots music have what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to catch the
legendary group -- composed of the fourth generation of musicians
who've kept the music of its prolific founder and composer Ignacio
The band will play two shows at Hoy Como Ayer, a cafe night
club on SW 8th Street and 22nd Ave., Saturday, November 21.
"They've never received the recognition they deserve," said Fabio Diaz, one of the nightclub's owners.
The group's current singer and director Eugenio Rodriguez joined the
band in 1982, but most of the current members came on board in 1995 and
2000. The music, as old Cubans would say, "es mas viejo que andar a pie"
(is older than walking), and includes such standards as "Esas no son
cubanas" and "Échale salsita."
It is said that when George Gershwin visited Cuba in 1932, he studied
Piñeiro's sones and cited "Échale salsita" in his "Cuban Overture."
For New York promoter Leo Tizol -- who brought Los Van Van and Orquesta
Aragon to the states -- bringing Septeto Nacional on a U.S. tour was a
no-brainer. "I'm a traditionalist," Tizol said. "I needed (to bring) the crown jewel."
The shows at Hoy Como Ayer, 2212 S.W. 8th St., start at 10:30 and 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 and can be reserved by calling 305.541.2631.