Caña Son
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Caña Son


Band Latin World


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"Cuban Tradition: Caña Son shares the sounds of Old Cuba"

In some ways Cuban Son music is like
Fidel Castro – both refuse to quit, and their influences will be felt for generations to come. But unlike the Caribbean island’s most polarizing dictator, Son is embraced by all.

And while the name Son may not ring
familiar, it’s sound most definitely will.

“Without Son there would be no salsa,” trumpeter and Portsmouth resident Farnell Newton explains of themore recognizable Latin style. Newton plays with Caña Son, a local band committed to preserving the traditional Cuban aesthetic.

Where the average listener might have a difficult time pointing out the differences between Son and Salsa, to an experienced player like Newton, the distinction is easy. “The instrumentation is different,” he says.
“It’s always just one trumpet and you always have a tres (a three-string instrument shaped like a guitar but played more rhythmically like a bass).”

All of the songs in Cana Son’s repertoire are standards from the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. “Real old school,” says Newton. “Songs from Buena Vista Social Club, and around that era.”

Paying homage to these traditions, Cana Son has become a fixture of the Latin music scene in Portland — though it was never planned that way.

The group began as the house band of
Canita, a Cuban restaurant formerly located in the most brightly painted building on West Burnside. John Connell-Maribona, who opened Cañita along with the still- flourishing Pambiche in Northeast, fronted the band. Maribona, a Portlander of Cuban descent, is intent in sharing his love of his heritage not only through food.

“We played at Cañita every Friday and
Saturday forever,” said Newton. “It was a part of the restaurant. The place was packed with more people coming every week.”

But while the band was growing, the
restaurant was not. When it finally came time for Canita’s doors to close, Cana Son had taken on a life completely its own.

And now, some two and a half years later, the band that the restaurant built continues to grow. Caña Son just released their first album, a self-titled affair on their own record label, Pure Cuban Sugar.

Mixing in with Maribona’s vocals,
Newton’s trumpet and the signature tres are bright acoustic guitars, bass and all types of organic percussion. What results is a spicy, swinging, upbeat, extraordinarily danceable,
party sound.

“That’s the one thing about (Son), it’s
fun,” says Newton. “Even if a song is sad it’s still exciting to listen to and it lifts your spirits a little bit.” And that the band continues to pack venues around town is testament to Newton’s assessment.

“Mississippi Pizza* has Cuban music
every week or two. It’s kind of like the
Cuban hangout spot when we play there,” Newton says.

But the music is so uplifting and accessible that Caña Son has become more than just a Cuban thing.

“We play around town, and a lot of people from different parts of Portland come and really like it,” Newton explains. “(Our music) really stretches across the Latino community. We have Argentineans, Venezuelans,Costa
Ricans, people from all over coming to our performances — white, black, everything — because it’s fun music.”

*Best of North Portland 2007, “Best Place to See Pohemia”
- The St. Johns Sentinel Feb. 2007 By: Andrew R Tonry

"Música that moves"

"…the strumming rich chords of the Cuban tres guitar, the sharp cracks of Cuban percussion (congas, bongos, maracas and clave), the deep reverie of the contra bass and the resonance of the recurring chorus' join in to create the rolling momentum of a freight train, with buoyant trumpet lines bouncing along on top. It is impossible to stay still." - Tribune

"sound check"

"……the nine-piece band of Cuban, Latino and American jazz players immersed in the rhythms of Cuban son from the 1920's and 1930's……frenzied with slapping congas and clanging cowbell the percussive intensity builds as Maribona's distinctive voice rides the driving mix………" - The A & E

"Fiesta in Grand Style"

"……el grupo cubano Caña Son, que han introducido el sabor y ritmo del Caribe…." Gratis - Gratis


Debut self titled Cd on Pure Cuban Sugar Records: Cana Son - Cana Son



Caña Son practitioners of traditional Cuban son music.
"deep Cuban music"...the Oregonian

Cana Son is a Cuban son band that plays traditional son music. The group focuses on popular Cuban son from the turn of the last century through the nineteen fifties. Following son musicï history out of the Eastern Provinces of Cuba to the Capital of Havana and beyond. Son is the forefather of contemporary salsa music and is said to be the most important genre of Cuban music. Ca�a Son covers material from favorite son giants such as Trio Matamoros, Guillermo Portabales, Celina y Reutilio, Ramon Veloz, Ignacio Pineiro, Compay Segundo, Nico Saquito, Arsenio Rodriguez, Beny More, Celia Cruz, Cachao, and many others.

Contemporary son revivalist such as Juan de Marcos Gonzïalez (Sierra Maestra, Buena Vista Social Club and Afro Cuban All-stars) Albita Rodriguez, Polo Montanez, Jesus Alemany's Cubanismo, etc., are all excellent examples of what this band strives for. The group follows the classic conjunto de son line up of acoustic guitar, tres guitar, upright bass, trumpet and Cuban percussion.
Committed to the son genre the band has an impressive and rapidly increasing repertoire of popular Cuban classics and has just released their debut full-length CD on Pure Cuban Sugar Records.