Friday, August 21, 2009

Ruben Blades

Ruben Blades back on stage after five years.
Times have certainly changed since Rubén Blades took his proverbial mailroom job in New York City's Fania Records in the mid-'70s, but the visionary man and the thought-provoking artist remain charting their own destinies in this Twitter age.
As a young and aspiring singer-songwriter, the "Poet of Salsa" started writing insightful protest songs about Latin America's turbulent socio-political and economic woes while mingling with the likes of Ray Barretto and Larry Harlow in the hallways of the famed salsa label.
True, social injustices and financial uncertainty still reign in much of Latin America today (like in most parts of the world), but gone are most of the region's dictatorships; gone are the all mighty and powerful multi-national record labels that controled the careers, lives and pockets of musicians and gone are the "organic" days when recording and playing live was the nature of the business.
Still, the fabled Panamanian artist - who'll kick off  the first leg of his 2009 international concert tour on Friday in Puerto Rico — is firm on continuing making music that matters, music that transcends generations, music that speaks to the soul and the masses or "barrios" to connect with people.

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