OK I´m already late updating the blog, but I´ve been 5 days in the sea sailing from Panama´to Cartagena (Colombia)… I´ll write later about this great experience, but now it´s time for the first post about the Salsa.
The Salsa in Panama´city.
In Panama´, Salsa music is everywhere.
I mean that it´s enough to step on one of the colorful bus around the city (0.25$ a trip) to most likely find the radio tuned to a Salsa station, busting classics like “la vida es un Carnaval”, “Lloraras” or something from Hector Lavoe.
It seems like everyone around listen to Salsa music, that´s part of the colture in Panama like in many others countries in Latin America, I guess (I´ll verify myself during the rest of my walkabout ;))
To generate interest, it was enough to put on my FANIA t-shirt.
If you don´t know, FANIA Records is a very famous record label from New York that produced a lot of good Salsa music and put together the FANIA-All-Stars group where all the Salsa greatest musicians were playing together in the 70s & 80s.
In the hostel alone, 2 people recognized it “Fania! Salsa buena hermano! :)”
Panama is represented in the Salsa world by the famous Ruben Blades.
He´s really an icon here and everyone I asked about, knows him.
El senor Blades run for the presidential in 1994 for a left-centered party, and later in 2004 became minister of tourism for Panama.
He´s now well famous in all Latin America, as he was part of the mentioned FANIA-All-Star and is now busy with both music and movies.
In the video here he´s singing one his most moving songs, Patria, together with another music icon, the rock singer Robi Draco Rosa.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/JGohL6Sge0U]This song is about the meaning of the word “homeland”, a very important topic for Panamenians that had to fight hard to claim the Canal area back that was occupied by U.S. troups.
Below the lirycs both in Spanish and translated in English 🙂
Hace algun tiempo me preguntaba un chiquillo por
Flor de barrio, hermanito Patria, son tantas
son las paredes de un barrio de su esperanza
No memorices lecciones de dictaduras o encierros
Some time ago a child asked me
Neighbourood flower, my little brother
It’s in the walls of our barrio, and it’s brown hope
Don’t memorize lessons of dictatorship or imprisonment
Homeland is a feeling like an old man’s gaze