Something we’re listening to this week is a brilliant cover of the popular song, "Para Que un Día Vuelvas," originally by Cuban singer Leoni Torres. The Afro-Cuban band, Rumba Timba de Matanzas, brilliantly transforms this ballad into a guaguancó that is sure to get you practicing your Cuban-rumba steps.
The original song, featuring legendary nueva trova musician Pablo Milanés, is accompanied by a video that depicts a young bride trapped in a romantic love triangle. The actors in the video, with the exception of Milanés, reflect the 64 percent of white Cubans in the country. In the version by Rumba Timba de Matanzas, we see a reflection of the other 36 percent of the population that is categorized as black or mestizo. The video of this cover version shows the musicians, many of whom are original members of Los Muñequitos de Matanzas--a folk group upholding traditional Afro-Cuban Abakuá drumming traditions--playing outdoors while adults and children dance, free of inhibition. In comparison to the four minutes and 30 seconds length of the original, this cover is just over eight minutes but it still feels so short, especially during “the get-down” in which the infectious refrain,“si tu no lo siente” (if you don't feel it) is sung at the end. Check it out for yourself!