La Familia Valera Miranda hasn't been stateside since 2001, but the musicians from Santiago de Cuba are currently on tour. Lucky for us naranjeros, they will make a stop in Santa Ana along the way! The septet from la isla are virtuosos in the tradition of Cuban son. The musical style spread widely throughout Latin America decades ago but recently became popularized once more before audiences in the United States with the emergence of the Buena Vista Social Club.
As the acclaimed group's name suggests, Cuban son is a family affair. Felix Valera Miranda, as founder, sings and plays guitar. His wife Carmen shakes the maracas to the rhythms of the beat. Their three sons Enrique, Raul and Ernesto play the cuatro, bass and bongos respectively. Outside the immediate family is Wilfredo Fuentes on congas as well as Antonio Rodon on the clave and vocals. Together, they have toured extensively since their debut release more than twenty years ago.
La Familia Valera Miranda have deeply planted roots in rural countryside of the Oriente where Cuban son originated from. Their descendents were campesinos who tended to the land. The quintessentially Cuban musical tradition is one melded of Spanish stringed instruments with West African percussive rhythms. In addition to their musical performance in Santa Ana at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, La Familia Valera Miranda will also be on hand for a dance workshop before the show.
Cultural exchanges between Cuba and the United States are loosening up a bit, but are still too far and few between. La Familia Valera Miranda cantando (singing), bailando (dancing) y gozando (and enjoying) el son live and in person is just too rare to be missed!
La Familia Valera Miranda performs at El Centro Cultural de Mexico, 313 N. Birch St., Santa Ana. Wed., 8 p.m. $5-7. All Ages.
Gabriel San Roman is from Anacrime. He’s a journalist, subversive historian and tallest Mexican in OC.