Monday, February 16, 2009

Joe Cuba (1931-2009)

Bob Davis of Soul-Patrol.com passes along the news that Gilberto Miguel Calderón – a.k.a. Joe Cuba, the “Father of Latin Boogaloo” – died yesterday.

The New York Daily News obituary is here.

Born in Spanish Harlem to Puerto Rican parents, Cuba started playing congas in his teens. Inspired by Tito Puente to become a bandleader, he formed the Joe Cuba Sextet, which would rise to fame during the boogaloo era of the 1960s.

Click here to hear an awesome 1972 track called “Do You Feel It.”

10 comments:

Geneva Girl said...

It's ironic that a Puerto Rican went by the name of Joe Cuba. In my experience, people from those two islands don't get along. Maybe the muscians do, but not the rest.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ That reminds me, GG... a few years ago I stumbled upon the fact that some Dominicans in NYC like to claim they're Cuban. Some even go by street names like "Cuban Louie."

I'm not sure why they think Cuba is a classier homeland than the Dominican Republic.

Geneva Girl said...

This is my outsider view on this - which could be way off. Cubans and other Caribbeans may tend to disagree and I apologize to anyone I may offend, I don't mean to be offensive. Cubans, at least the first wave of immigrants, tended to be more European. Many early Cuban immigrants were Spaniards just one or two generations removed. Latinos from other islands, especially Dominicans, tend to be more black. I noticed some color discrimination among Latinos from the islands. Cubans, according to my Latino friends, tended to be snobbier.

I guess if someone claims to be Cuban vs. from the Dom. Rep., he's trying to come off as more white. I don't know. It's all a little strange to me. I guess it's like black folks trying to say they're Creole or part Cherokee.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Sounds like you kinda nailed it.

Matty said...

Damn. Any time "El Pito" comes on, my ass won't stop movin for a good six minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdHu26Hb9Co

bumpster said...

R.I.P. Joe Cuba. Great find David. Have you checked out Joe Bataan, Afro Filipino Odinary Guy? Another bad ass vato with the boogaloo. All of the local soul bands from the seventies out here in the sticks featured mixed lineups of Mexican, Filipino and African American players. Dudes from the fifties and sixties that grew up in Mariachi, Drum and Bugle, Gospel venues were thrown together in high school jazz bands and taught sceaming big band charts, soul covers, and straight up funk. To this day the hottest local club acts are Latin Soul outfits. From cumbias, to soul ballads, boleros and honking horn funk. Can't beat it.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I'm not deep into the Latin soul at all. I need to fix that.

bumpster said...

Check out the Salsoul label. Thank goodness for youtube.

Anonymous said...

I'm from DC. Not much Afro-Cuban and Salsa played on black radio when I was coming up, but a Joe Cuba cut did break through on both WOL-AM and WOOK-AM. "Bang, Bang" was one of my favorite songs as a kid. "RIP", Joe!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MenOmqIBmIM

destruction said...

When we were kids, my best friend and I would steal 2 records from his father's collection and play them before he got home. One was "Jeepers Creepers" and the other went...."Awwwww Beep Beep, Awwwww Beep Beep....."