Singapore Sun Festival 2009 – Afro Cuban All Stars

Image from Esplanade website.

I haven’t been this drench from dancing for years and I haven’t been this high for a long time. But yesterday I found my happy feet again (although they are aching from the dancing now). What am I talking about? The Afro Cuban All Stars concert at Esplanade yesterday evening.

The magical performance got the whole Esplanade Concert Hall dancing to the soulful Cuban favourites. The first two pieces got our hearts racing already but typical of Singaporean attending a concert, everyone just (recklessly) sit and listen, soaking up the Cuban beats. Then Juan de Marcos González came over to the mic and said, “You guys gonna dance right? Free your mind.”

Slowly, two by two people started to go to the aisles and area near the exit sign (the green sign near the exit door when there are usually to dance. Vivien picked the seats on level 2 where its a single row (at the curve of the hall) so we could just stand up and dance without interrupting others. And before we knew it, everyone was on their feet dancing. The talents in this band is unbelievable and whenever one of the members had a solo to flaunt their skills, it always ends with thunderous applause from the audience.

The above youtube clip shows a classic performance from the “old school” Afro Cuban All Stars when the Cuban legends like Rubén González and Ibrahim Ferrer were still alive and playing with the band.

This clip shows the “new” Afro Cuban All Stars, similar to the crew that had performed for us yesterday (except we didn’t have the trombone guy).

If you had heard of or known and love Buena Vista Social Club, Afro Cuban All Stars would not be foreign to you. If you are new to them, “Free Your Mind” and have a listen to their music. Optional Rum and Cuban cigars for complete experience.

p.s. I feel like dancing again!

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