Matanzas, Cuba has long been regarded as the source (la fuente) of many rich Afro-Cuban folkloric traditions. These ceremonial and secular Afro-Cuban musics are, for the most part, alive and well, and being documented for the first time by Matanceros themselves, rather than exclusively by Havana-based or non-Cuban imprints. The Matanzas record label and artist collective, Sendero Music/El Almacén, faces several challenges: oversight from the state, limited access to resources, curating which groups to record while paradoxically convincing the folkloric community of the value of their endeavors, and the conundrum of establishing meaningful connections outside of Cuba to disseminate the city’s music to the world. Produced by Harris Eisenstadt.
Feature image by Eve Andersson