DJ Green Papi’s 5 Cuban music tracks you must listen to and why

Living in London originally from eastern Cuba, Ernesto J. Green Rután, known as DJ Green Papi, has over the last 15 years or so been carving his unique place within the UK Cuban music DJ scene bringing us a broad spectrum of dance music with Caribbean as well as Cuban roots, while also graduating as a digital audio producer/engineer. Yes, he really knows his beats!

Cuba50 caught up with Green Papi to find out his latest favourite dance music tunes coming from the island and why…. Enjoy the journey!

1- Alexander Abreu y Habana De Primera (feat. Adonis Y Osain Del Monte) – Raza

This musical collaboration represents the gold of our African heritage and it shines over poetic lyrics carrying a relevant message.

At the beginning of the song, we can hear the Afro Cuban 6/8 time signature clave-pattern evoking our percussive heritage from Palo Mayombe (Las Reglas De Congo). After 12 bars, an authentic Habana De Primera’s Latin-jazz part takes us to the rumba Guaguanco section by Adonis and Osain Del Monte, and then, the piece develops into the entire fusioned timba sound.

A must listen!!!

2- Maykel Blanco Y Su Salsa Mayor feat. Yoruba Andabo – La Cafetera (from the album ‘Que Tiene Que Te Mueve’)

This is another great collaboration between Maykel Blanco and Yoruba Andabo. The song “La Cafetera” epitomizes the brotherhood connection between Cuban rumba and the island’s contemporary timba sound.

This musical collaboration produced an effective reinterpretation of “La Cafetera” original composition by Yoruba Andabo (rumba/folcloric group). You can see that original version here
The integration of the Guaguanco’s clave and polyrhythmic syncopated drums’ pattern with the musical arrangement and sonic aesthetics of Maykel Blanco’s timba ensemble adds a nice density and a contagious rhythmic flavour to the composition. Check out the album!

3- Changüí De Guantánamo – El Llamado De Los Instrumentos (from the album ‘Este Es Nuestro Changüí’)

In this record, the group called Changüí De Guantánamo, showcases the musical essence of Guantánamo’s changüí sound—as I’m from Guantánamo, I feel identified with this composition.

The song begins with the vocalist singing a ccapella and introducing each instrument using authentic verses. Subsequently, each instrument—tres guitar, maracas, bongo drums, marimba and güiro— responds to the singer’s calling by joining the musical arrangement in a clever way. The singer’s original vocal delivery in combination with the Changüí’s instrumentation and musical
arrangement transports our imagination to the scenery of an authentic changüí party in the Yateras countryside in ‘El Guaso’—as Cubans fondly called Guantánamo. Check out the album!

4- El Niño Y La Verdad feat. Yasser Ramos – Bendíceme (from the album ‘Voces De Hoy’)_2020

This song is a dedication to Oshun “La Virgen De La Caridad Del Cobre” (The patron Saint of Cuba). Musical arrangement by Lázaro Váldez (Bamboleo’s director) and vocal performance by Yasser Ramos (Tumbao Mayombe’s director).
The record starts with four measures of a beautiful harmonic progression (key of A) and cymbal sprinkles seducing the listener with a jazz-funk breeze before going into an eight bars smoothed Guaguanco which eventually sends us into the uplifiting salsa-timba sound.
This songs reflects the religious background coming from our African ancestry and the strong faith Cuban people have in the Orishas (Regla De Osha). Check out the project!

5- Elito Revé Y su Charangón – “Me Gusto” from the album “UEA” album (2019)— interpretation from the original piece by Arsenio Rodriguez

This record is performed by Elito Revé Y Su Charangón, and it is an interpretation of the original composition “Mami Me Gusto” by Arsenio Rodríguez (a prolific Cuban composer and tres guitar player). Listen to the original Arsenio Rodriguez version here.

A solo piano part introduces the piece making us reminisce about Elio Revé (Elito’s father)’s early sound. This composition represents the authentic traditional Son Montuno from Oriente, Cuba. In this piece, the montuno’s andante rhythmic cadence combined with the trumpet parts and solos takes us to Cuba’s Oriente countryside where the sound echoes between the mountains and makes palm trees dance. A must listen!!!

Want to hear more great Cuban dance tunes and wide variety of musical genres and styles?
Check out a fantastic party mix here AFRO CUBAN FIESTA’s party-mix by DJ Green Papi

More of DJ Green Papi’s Mixcloud uploads here
He is also doing regular livestreams ‘La Base’ and uploads – follow DJ Green Papi on Mixcloud.