This year Los Van Van, Cuba’s best known and longest running “train” of dance music, celebrate and retrace their 50-year career in music.
Founded in 1969 by bassist and composer Juan Formell – LOS VAN VAN is a formidable living legend of contemporary Cuban music. Accompanied by José Luis Quintana, known as “Changuito” and Cesar “Pupy” Pedroso, they invented “Songo”: Cuban rhythm derived from son, it is the predecessor of “timba” or “Cuban salsa”, a kind of “salsa -son”, but with a Cuban sound. Changuito participated in the development of the style in Havana, taken up by other percussionists and groups such as Ritmo Oriental, Los Latinos, Los Reyes 73, Grupo Irakere… Not afraid to experiment, they added trombones, synthesisers, electric bass, drum machines and violins, and mixed contemporary styles such as jazz, rock or funk with Cuban pop.
LOS VAN VAN have made several generations of Cubans dance to chronicles of daily life and romantic ballads and have set the standard for popular music among Cubans who have immense affection for Juan Formell who died in 2014. In 2018, LEGADO, which means heritage in Spanish, was the group’s first album since his death. It was an album in tribute to the legacy left by the Maestro, a great source of pride for his son Samuel Formell, now leader and musical director, and the members of the band. Van Van’s work and spirit have continued in good hands… Que viva Los VAN VAN!
Date: Saturday 31 July 2022 from 8pm.
Venue: The Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, London SW2 1RJ
020 7274 2290
Listen to Los Van Van top tracks on Spotify