“Exodus”, Ray Barretto and his Orchestra

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“Exodus” from 1962  is one of my favorite Ray Barretto tracks: so laid back, so eerie, and that repeated violin riff is just hypnotic. Perhaps it’s a little too contemplative to be the first song on an album called Carnaval, but it’s still a banger…

Exoduos by Ray Barreto

Exoduos

— juancho

Carnaval! better late than never

There are many good things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of which is that we have a decent sized multi-cultural carnaval celebration on the last Sunday of May of every year. It would be nice if we could be celebrating during the same week as the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America (it might make lent a little more popular), but better late than never.

It should come as no surprise that La Pelanga heavily embraces Carnaval, in fact a few of us even perform in it. For me, all types of carnaval music holds a special place in my heart/record collection. It’s one of the great communal celebrations that truly belongs to the people. The months of band and dance rehearsals, costume and float construction all for 1 huge explosion that floods the streets with some of the loudest sounds, dancing and colors. This week La Pelanga will be doing the same in our own little way by posting many of our favorite carnaval music and videos that we’ve been saving up all year long. Hopefully for those local we can help you get even more excited about this Sunday, (May 30).

To kick off the week, we’ll start with some classic calypso from one of the all time legends of Trinidad’s Carnaval – Calypso RosePan Rhapsody is of course referring to the national instrument of Trindidad & Tobago – steel pan.

Pan Rhapsody Part 1Calyspso Rose

Pan Rhapsody (Part 1)

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I’ve also included part 2 to this 1976 carnival song that is just her backing band letting loose with the horns and really expanding upon the vocal version.

Pan Rhapsody Part 2– Calyspso Rose

Pan Rhapsody (part 2)

For any non believers of the power of steel pan, this week La Pelanga will be performing baptisms into this amazing form of music. Check back daily for more Carnaval.

– Pozole