Presentación del nuevo álbum de Diego Gutiérrez, Piloto Automático, en el Café Cantante, el 29 de noviembre de 2019. Foto: Jorge Villa.

Dessert displeasures

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Articles

In advance, I caution that this publication is not against reggaeton; so as my brother Ray Fernández says "don't lose focus", but come to the end.

It turns out that on Friday afternoon, another brother, the Cuban singer-songwriter Diego Gutierrez, presented his new album, at the Café Cantante of the emblematic National Theater of Cuba. This material was produced by the EGREM seal, with the title Piloto automático; and everything had been organized to first hold a press conference and then a concert. Everything seemed to be going well, because the press conference was developed correctly, and once he opened the room to the public, Diego took the stage with his band. Things were flowing (despite some issues with the sound, apparently fortuitous, mainly with the voice of Diego; which caused the anguish of several of those present, mainly from artists such as Frank Delgado, Rochy Ameneiro and David Torrens, who they had gone to witness the show, and tried - without any progress - that the local sound solved the issue).

Despite this, everything seemed to be going well, and after a lot of songs Diego finished his show, and without even giving him a chance to get off the stage, the DJ released his pure and hard reggaeton; Well, obviously it was what he wanted to hear that afternoon.

Presentación del nuevo álbum de Diego Gutiérrez, Piloto Automático, en el Café Cantante, el 29 de noviembre de 2019. Foto: Jorge Villa.
Presentación del nuevo álbum de Diego Gutiérrez, Piloto Automático, en el Café Cantante, el 29 de noviembre de 2019. Foto: Jorge Villa.

I repeat, this time the thing is not against reggaeton, but against the little respect for the work of the artists. It would be equally incongruous and disrespectful, that after a presentation by Los Van Van or Gente de zona, the DJ starts to put Beethoven and Mozart.

Regardless of whether the place had room for recorded music, first of all you have to have a little sensitivity and respect the atmosphere created by the artist who has presented himself with his proposal, which although it has finished, continues on the site, so as those who went to see him continue, and those minutes of desktop are always welcome and necessary.

In this case it could have turned to live music, perfectly compatible with what Diego was proposing, such as Habana Abierta, a la Interactivo, Kelvis Ochoa, David Torrens, Ray Fernández, Rolo Rivera or Alex Cuba, just to name a few examples; and then maybe enter the music of Leoni Torres or the Septeto Santiaguero and thus move towards a danceable spectrum where the dancers can demand (including, of course, reggaeton). But no, the style that prevails is to go straight to reggaeton or something similar.

That kind of "musical breakdown" should not occur; firstly because it is a sign of not understanding the artist that has been presented; second and worse, that it does not matter (and of course not respect) the work of the artist that has been presented (which has been convened by the institution); and third, the disrespect for people who come to enjoy the work of the artist.

Presentación del nuevo álbum de Diego Gutiérrez, Piloto Automático, en el Café Cantante, el 29 de noviembre de 2019. Foto: Jorge Villa.
Presentación del nuevo álbum de Diego Gutiérrez, Piloto Automático, en el Café Cantante, el 29 de noviembre de 2019. Foto: Jorge Villa.

This situation, unfortunately, I have suffered in recent times, both in state and private spaces, even in one that boasts of defending "good art." Although I find it unpleasant in private spaces, I find it worse in public institutions that are supposed to promote and defend Cuban culture; such as the Miramar Café, the Barbaram, the Yellow Submarine and the Singer Café of the National Theater, which are the four state places that come to mind at the moment, because the same thing has happened to me all in all; (Although in the Submarine it was not with reggaeton but with retro pop-up commercial pop music) and that is why I had to leave earlier than planned in these places.

In short, that many places in Havana (I don't know if it happens in other parts of the country as well), end up ignoring the identity of their spaces and their proposals; And it seems to be the most natural thing in the world. So nothing, I'm worried. Will I be the one who is wrong? Who put the bell to the cat?

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3 Comments

  1. Un Café para la Cultura.

    En días pasados la dirección de la EGREM sostuvo un importante intercambio con los trabajadores y dirigentes del recién aperturado Café Cantante Mi Habana, una instalación que se ubica en lo que se ha dado en llamar por la EGREM Complejo Cultural de Plaza de la Revolución.
    En la reunión de trabajo donde estuvieron presentes los miembros del Consejo de Administración de la EGREM el compañero Mario Escalona Serrano, director General de la EGREM reiteró con claridad y transparencia la política que rige a esta institución en su vínculo con los artistas representativos de la vanguardia artística y otros públicos que tradicionalmente han hecho de este espacio uno de los más atractivos de la capital.
    En este contexto fue analizado un incidente el día de su reapertura asociado a la falta de rigor profesional del Dj, al promover un tipo de música como complemento al disfrute del público que nada tenía que ver con la pauta que significó la presencia en vivo del destacado artista Diego Gutierrez y su grupo.
    La responsabilidad individual ante este hecho conllevó la correspondiente crítica pública y advertencia por parte del máximo dirigente de la institución en torno a las prácticas que lesionan la imagen de una institución ante las cuales se tomaran las medidas correspondientes.
    El colectivo de trabajadores fue determinante en el cambio de la imagen física del Café Cantante luego de la reparación a que fue sometida la institución, a lo anterior deberá sumarse la custodia de las prácticas necesarias para lograr los objetivos de la política cultural.
    Con un llamado al cuidado de la institución y el rescate de la programación para jóvenes y miembros de la tercera edad entre otros asuntos, concluyó el encuentro que antecede la futura reinauguración del Café Cantante

  2. Esta desagradable experiencia se da también en otras partes del país. Si malo es el reguetón «rompedor de atmósfera» al terminar el concierto, peor es antes del mismo. Una especie de sabotaje burdo que atormenta y predispone negativamente a los actores principales del performance artista-público. Hablo como músico y espectador. Sí, la culpa no es del reguetón es de los DJs (que generalmente no lo son, ni sonidistas, ni nada por el estilo) triste realidad. Gracias por este llamado de atención, ojalá llegue a los oídos receptivos y no «contaminados».

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