Cinco Changuiseros: El Changui de Guantanamo, Cuba

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Cinco Changuiseros
Nino Olivares (Marimbula player Grupo Changui de Guantanamo)
Pedro Vera (Cuban Tres player & singer Grupo Antillano & others)
Taberas (Bongo player & director - Grupo Changui de Guantanamo)
Mikiki (Cuban Tres player & singer Grupo Changui Santiago & others)
Andres (Guayo player & lead singer - Grupo Changui de Guantanamo)

"Cinco Changüiseros" is a musical documentary about Changüí - the traditional dance party music of Guantánamo Province, Cuba. Today's Salsa music and dance branched out from the vibrant tradition of Cuban Son. It is said that Changüí is the mother of the Son.

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In December of 2004, two novice filmmakers travelled to Eastern Cuba to study and document Changüí. By knocking on doors and making new friends, some of today's best Changüí musicians gladly gave interviews in their homes and performed in intimate settings. In this way, five central changüiseros shared their personal stories and illuminated the nature of this frequently mentioned, yet seldom understood music and dance form. The full length documentary film "Cinco Changüiseros" that resulted from this journey is an up close and personal journey to Guantánamo where the Changüí is alive and well

1
This first of five parts of "Cinco Changüiseros" features the beloved elder of the Changüí community and former marímbula player for Grupo Changüí de Guantánamo - Nino Olivares. As the foremost proponent of this unique music, Grupo Changüí has toured extensively throughout Cuba and the world. For almost 50 years, Nino was an anchor member of the group on marímbula - the large box drum with metal keys from the mbira family of instruments that plays the role of the bass in Changüí.

2
This second of five parts of "Cinco Changüiseros" features one of the greatest living "tresero cantantes" (tres player-singers) of the Changüí tradition - Pedro Vera. Mr. Vera has played with Grupo Changüí de Guantánamo, Group Antillano, Los Morenos del Changüí and many of the other Changüí groups in Guantánamo Province. Pedro has competed in several national musical festivals and most recently won the tres player competition at the National Changüí Festival in 2012.

3
This third of five parts of "Cinco Changüiseros" features bongó de monte player and current director of Grupo Changüí de Guantánamo - Andrés Fistó 'Taberas.' As the foremost proponent of this unique music, Grupo Changüí has toured extensively throughout Cuba and the world. Taberas is one of the greatest living Changüí bongoseros who gives keen insight into how to play the more rustic bongó de monte which are unique in structure and playing style from contemporary bongó with metal tuning hardware. He is also a constructor of instruments who specializes in making marímbulas and bongó de monte.

4
This fourth of five parts of "Cinco Changüiseros" features another of the greatest living "tresero cantantes" (tres player-singers) of the Changüí tradition - Mikikí. Mikikí has played with Los Guaracheros de Perseverancia, Cambron Junior y su Changüí, Los Morenos del Changüí and many of the other Changüí groups in Guantánamo Province. Mikikí has performed in several national musical festivals and won the tres player competition at the National Changüí Festival several times.

5
This fifth of five parts of "Cinco Changüiseros" features the lead singer and guayo player of Grupo Changüí de Guantánamo - Andrés. As the foremost proponent of this unique music, Grupo Changüí has toured extensively throughout Cuba and the world. Andrés is one of the most skilled singers of Changüí who is a master of vocal improvisation and is especially proficient in the ten line décima verse form. In his discussion and multiple décimas, he gives keen insight Changüí history, instruments, stylistic elements, and its relationship to Cuban Son and Salsa.

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