Cohesion and fracture - trans-Atlantic groove: musical commonalities in Cuban Son and Congolese Rumba

McGuinness, Sara ORCID: (2015) Cohesion and fracture - trans-Atlantic groove: musical commonalities in Cuban Son and Congolese Rumba. In: IASPM Biennal Conference, UniCamp, Brazil, 28 Jun - 03 Jul 2015, Unicamp, Brazil. (Unpublished)

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There is a longstanding historical and cultural relationship between Congo and Cuba via the slave trade and the ‘return’ of Cuban music to Africa, a relationship that has apparently been very scantily documented. It is acknowledged that Congolese roots are present in Cuban music but there is little musical analysis of the actual elements concerned.
Existing research has focused on issues such as the return of Cuban music to Congo (Topp Fargion 2004), the emergence of rumba Lingala in the 1950s and 1960s (Kazadi 1970; Stewart 2000), and the subsequent development in the 1970s and 1980s of Congolese music away from the Cuban era (Stewart 2000; Ewens 1994).
However, I contest that, rather than diverging from the 1970s onwards, Congolese and Cuban music retained commonalities that can be recognised by musicians immersed in the two styles.
In 2006 I created a band, Grupo Lokito, bringing together UK based Congolese and Latin Musicians. Using a performance-as-research methodology, I charted the experience of the band, exploring the ways in which musicians from the two traditions recognised and assimilated each other’s music. Today I focus on one aspect of this experience: the creation of groove and the common ground that we discovered therein.
Bio: Sara McGuinness specializes in practiced-based research, performance, and recording, with a focus on Congolese and Cuban music. She combines a career as a musician with her academic work primarily at the London College of Music and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Through her extensive work with musicians around the world, Sara actively explores the inextricable links between music, culture and identity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: Performing arts
Depositing User: Sara McGuinness
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2016 22:39
Last Modified: 19 May 2023 15:44


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