Consumption and dissemination of traditional popular music in Cienfuegos

Consumption and dissemination of traditional popular music in Cienfuegos

Cienfuegos, as a historical-cultural context, treasures an invaluable arsenal that thickens the list of heritage, if we are talking about popular music. Like other regions of Cuba, this central part of the country has developed its own way of making and performing music.

Undoubtedly, at present it is worrying the existence of scarce spaces that contribute to the diffusion of traditional popular music, without taking into account the levels of preference that this type of music has among the new generations, continuers of the legacy of men and women during all the stages of musical history. Traditions so deeply rooted in the territory of Cienfuegos as dancing or simply listening to a "good son", no longer find a place in the hectic life of the 21st century man, being relegated to the taste of those who are already combing some gray hair.

The province has traditionally possessed a quality artistic talent. At present -prior to the appearance of Covid-19-, the musicians were already considering that the spaces were reduced for the interpretation of our endogenous music, taking into consideration the actions of the province and the desires of all the artistic personnel. However, there are several factors that in one way or another intervene in the correct management of the promotion of Cuban popular music in the territory, whether they are of an economic, legislative or social nature.

Cuban cultural policy decisively supports creation, but this support should not be seen only as the specific economic retribution that authorial legislations can provide. It goes much further, as evidenced by the subsidy to many valuable cultural projects that cannot survive on their own. In addition, this subsidy helps to protect native genres of Cuban culture that make up a distinctive musical tradition. Such is the case of danzón and its derivative genres: son, rumba and peasant music; in groups such as the Conjunto Tradicional de Sones Los Naranjos, the ObbaIlú rumba group and the peasant music groups, among others.

In addition to these, there is the development of concert music, especially the municipal bands (Cienfuegos, Cruces, Lajas, Cumanayagua and Palmira), the Cantores de Cienfuegos and Canticus Novus choirs, as well as chamber music projects such as the Orquesta Concierto Sur, Avanti, Concertante and the Orquesta de Flautas, through which, in some way, our communities appreciate musical works of high technical level. Events of social impact are developed, such as the Benny Moré Festival, the Boleros de Oro International Festival and Cubadisco.

The city of Cienfuegos, in line with Cuban cultural policy, has cultural institutions such as the Café Theater, El Cubanísimo de Artex, Minerva Hall, the Houses of Culture, the Sainz Brothers Association (AHS) and the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (Uneac), newly created open spaces, which also serve as stages for alternative music festivals that provide a cultural program for the enjoyment and enjoyment of our music identity.

The academic formation in this territory is an indispensable part for the conservation of the patrimony in the hands of the new generations; therefore, the Benny Moré School of Art, whose role is indispensable.

The Empresa Provincial Comercializadora de la Música y los Espectáculos (EPCME) Rafael Lay, should be governed by the cultural policy of our country in its highest aspiration, which has been committed to promote a cultural action from the roots, base of our society, and linked to the creative effort of the best of the Cuban intellectuality. To it is attributed the promotion, diffusion and protection of the artistic talent of the province and it is the one that must comply with the postulates that protect the cultural rights as far as music is concerned. However, there is still a lot of work to be done for these objectives to be fully met.

The scarce diffusion of Cuban popular music, specifically that of Cienfuegos, and therefore the existing limitation in the levels of promotion in charge of the different mass media, as well as institutional, is influenced by elements that condition and rule the tastes and preferences, which go hand in hand with the consumption and the musical diffusion. In the midst of an aestheticized consumer society where the media act as interlocutors and builders of scenes according to their interests, and where there is a whole intention of deforming sensitivity, we have to rethink and contextualize our traditions so that popular music is protected and does not die.
(Taken from 5 de Septiembre)

English version Hector Hdez.