“One thing is sure, not everything here costs money.” – Cuban rumbero [rumba musician] from Suave, Suave
by Gerardo Alfonso
Anyone who has attended Foco Neuvo concerts over the past decade would be familiar with Sue Monk, the author of ‘Looking through a prism …’ and leading member of Jumping Fences. Sue has bought into the popular realm political music from Latin America to help enrich our understanding of the popular struggles in that continent and hence the world.
In Looking through the Prism … Sue explains the unique political difficulties faced by musicians in that place because of the set of economic constraints imposed on Cuba by the United States called the blockade. We can also see the struggle by artists against commercial exploitation so prevalent in the West … and the damage that does to indigenous cultures and the continuing colonisation perpetuated by it.
The modern commercial giants of Google, YouTube and Microsoft have done their best to tap into this market but, although the New Song Movement no longer exists as an organisation, its principles are still apparent among artists like Jumping Fences.
We recommend this article for those interested in how music can help change the world.
8 Jan 2022
Looking through a prism: questioning Cuban music and Cuban music research