Joaquin la Habana
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Joaquin la Habana

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE

Berlin, Berlin, Germany | INDIE
Band World Pop


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"RBB - Radio Multikulti"

Chiha - "Chiha"
Die abgespeckte Demoversion einer "richtigen" CD stellt ohne Berührungsängste mit neueren Dancefloor-Rhythmen und der deutschen Sprache eine vielversprechende tunesische Sängerin vor.

In Anbetracht der nur halbstündigen Spielzeit dachte ich an eine reine Vorabversion für Promo-Zwecke – aber nein, es ist die fertige CD, bei der wir uns gerade mal mit sieben Stücken begnügen müssen. Die Stimme von CHIHA, einer mit einem Deutschen liierten Tunesierin, ist aber so beeindruckend, dass ich ihr eine ausgewachsene Produktion üblicher Länge und Art von Herzen wünsche. Die instrumentalen Backings kommen nämlich überwiegend aus dem Sampler des Schlagzeugers Matthias "Le Trip" Tippner, der seine Sache – nämlich Chihas Stimme optimal herauszustellen – sehr gut macht: So müsste ihm auch gelingen, mitteleuropäische Tanzböden zu bevölkern. Dennoch: Arabische Flöte, Hackbrett, Laute und Trommeln sowie das für dieses Genre obligate Streichorchester würden Chiha auch nicht schlecht zu Gesicht stehen.
Die beiden deutsch gesungenen Lieder wirken auf der CD zunächst wie skurrile, nicht ganz ernst zu nehmende Bonustitel. Als etwas abseitiger Geheimtip für eine Charts-Position könnte "Oh Mami" aber helfen, Chiha auf dem Markt zu etablieren

- Máthyás Kiss

"JAZZDIMENSION - Carina Prange"

Worth listening Highlights are both pieces "We are the gazelles" and " oh mummy ". The first one fascinates more by Chihas vocal power and programmed Arabian rhythms which sound not artificial here, however, but very vividly. " Oh mami " wakes up interest on account of the alternately German and Arabian text - the "Arabian" intonation and linguistic melody is also preserved with the German passages. In some other pieces the minimalist programming looks too technical and lets the song sounds likewise phoney. However, this is certainly not "purposes of the inventor".
These are many good ideas on this disc - the voice and the tragic texts full of longing with the subject main focus "love and cultural conflict" fit basically very well to experimental programming. The approach is right. Indeed: It should still be work on them a little.

CD: Chiha - "Chiha" (United One 402 4569 2029 2) -


1996: Joaquín la Habany "Besame mucho"



JOAQUIN LA HABANA REYES was born in Cuba in August 1952, into a musical family. Joaquin’s aunt is singer OLGA RIVERO and his cousin is the percussionist “PATATO VALDES”, and through their international recordings became famous beyond the borders of Cuba. Following a competition in Cuba age 12 , he got a scholarship for the public art school San Alejandro, Havana, to study painting, sculpting and ceramics. In 1966 Joaquin settled in USA where he graduated from high school. Three years later, in 1969, he studies music, dance and avant-garde theatre at the conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts (USA). He was the guest choreographer of the experimental Cambridge-Dance-Theatre in Loeb Drama Center at Harvard University, USA.
Joaquin has also worked with different chamber opera ensembles at renowned universities such as Harvard University, Radcliffe, New England School of Art, North-Eastern University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
Between the years 1967-1971 he studied modern dance, Afro-hindu dance, Afro-Haiti dance in the Dance Circle of Boston and in the Elmer Lewis Afro-American Dance Centre with renowned teachers such as James Truitti, Geoffrey Holder, Talley Batty, Charles Moore and Eugene Compson.

After the move to New York in autumn 1971, La Habana specialized in multimedia performance. The teachers of this new theatre direction are pioneers of this field - MERCE CUNNINGHAM and ALWIN NIKOLAIS. His got his training in modern dance and jazz dance at studios of teachers like JOSÉ LIMON, PHIL BLACK, LUIGI. Under ALVIN AILEY he studied the technique of Horton and Cath Serine Dunham. As well as dance, he studied singing in New York by the famous teacher of art songs LYDIA DE RIVIERA and he became familiar with a wide repertoire of Cuban art songs and operetta-vocals as well as Spanish Zarzuela.
Religiously Joaquin La Habana originates from the Yoruba-community. He is initiated in the Santero (Oshun-Priests) and was instrumental in the direction of Folklore and contemporary dance in the mid 80s in Havana, Cuba, with the ENA (National Art School), the “Conjunto Folclórico Nacional” and “Cuba Danza”.

In the years between 1971 and 1981 Joaquin La Habana performed in many bilingual productions (Spanish-English). Among that he was in different “Off Broadway” theatres: La Mama ETC, WPA THR, Actor’s Studio. Finally he made a jump to BROADWAY where he performed with IRENE CARA in “Gotta go Disco”.
Joaquin has appeared in films, such as “THE BRONX” (with Paul Newman) and the musical “HAIR” and
“THE WIZ” (with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross). During this time he had also a role in the dance-ensemble Le Clique Fantasie Follies” in the TOM JONES SHOW at Cesars Palace, Las Vegas.

In 1981 Joaquin moved to Berlin and began a series of shows in the Carribean, Canada and all over Europe, where he performs art songs and Cuban Folklore. These were to be heard on theatre stages, in radio, TV and in movies. Since this time, he made numerous of co operations with Rosa von Praunheim, for example “Stadt der verlorenen Seelen”, 1981.
In 1986 Joaquin organized the first “FESTIVAL KUBANISCHER KULTUR” (Festival of Cuban Culture) at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin. This festival was a start of an intensive co-operation with ELENA GARCÍA (soloist of the “Conjunto Folklórico), whom he invited as a choreographer and solodancer and later co-founded the group IROKO (contemporary Afro-Cuban dance theatre) in Miami, Florida. With this production they went on a tour to Argentina, Germany, Spain and USA. Parallel to his work in the theatre and in film, he studied the African culture and its artistic expressions by masters in this field: KOFFI KOKO (Rep. Benin) and GERMAINE ACOGNY (Senegal). Joaquin made collaborations with MAYMONA SUMBÚ (Guinea Bissau), PARANA BOMFIM (Brazil), MURAH SOARES (Brazil) and ELISE PINTO (Brazil).