Of all the music forms Latin America has spawned, few are more paradoxical than nueva trova. Like American folk, nueva trova is an acoustic song form in which guitar plucks and strums pair with soaring couplets veering between love and violent revolution. Like American folk, nueva trova saw its heyday during the 1960s, when the promise of social change was still feasible and the Cuban government funded singers and songwriters such as Silvio Rodrguez and Pablo Milans to travel across the Americas and preach the gospel of Castro. And just like American folk, nueva trova is most popular among leftists who think they're listening to the music of the masses while wondering why such events draw small crowds.
Don't let that last note distract from the music this Sunday at the Centro Cultural de Mxico, which will host Cristian Medel and Armando Quiroz from Tijuana. The music will be nice, but notice that most of the people in attendance will be Latino bohemians whose talk of the glories of the revolution would be more palatable if they didn't do it from the comfort of America. Great music, though!
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Cristian Medel and Armando Quiroz play at the Centro Cultural de Mxico, 310 W. Fifth St., Santa Ana, (714) 953-9305; www.el-centro.org. Sun., 8:30 p.m. $5 suggested donation. All ages.