Arnaldo Rodríguez: working tirelessly in times of Covid-19

Edited by Lena Valverde Jordi
2021-03-03 15:08:16


Havana, March 3 (RHC)-- Arnaldo Rodríguez, leader of the band Arnaldo y su Talisman prepares the release of two new albums under the label of Cuba’s record and musical editions company EGREM.

Cuban musician Arnaldo Rodríguez, leader of the band Arnaldo y su Talisman

The first one, entitled ‘Habana Mambo Orquesta’, proposes a new way to address danceable music without renouncing the band’s unique style. It includes the collaboration of several exponents of Cuban popular music.

In ‘Habana Mambo Orquesta’, Arnaldo does not sing, but rather participates as an arranger, instrumentalist and musical director. Mambo features prominently in the album.

The other musical production that Arnaldo y su Talisman is currently working on is a CD entitled ‘Tierra a la vista.’ About it, Arnaldo Rodríguez said it gives continuity to the work begun nearly 20 years ago, when he founded his band.

In statements to Cuban press, the renowned musician explained that he is also currently working on a new artistic project called ‘Luz de ciudad’ (City Light), which will be headquartered at the Cultural Center located on 31st and 2nd Streets in Plaza municipality with sponsorship by MusiCuba agency of EGREM.

‘The project is about creating new spaces in Havana for alternative music, including jazz, trova, fusion, electronic music, pop, and other genres and styles, which characterize contemporary music creation in today’s Cuba,’ said the artist.

Arnaldo Rodríguez has remained very active over the past nearly twelve months since the first Covid-19 cases emerged in Cuba. Ever since, he has contributed with his art to creating awareness about physical distancing, the use of face masks, frequent hand washing and other measures, either implemented or recommended by Cuban authorities to stop the spread of the deadly disease. The first tune released during this period, entitled ‘Depende de ti’, spreads messages of hope, while urging people to protect themselves and their loved ones against Covid-19.

The creativity of the leader of the band Talismán during the necessary period of confinement gave birth to several other tunes, among them ‘Vivir para Vencer’, dedicated to workers on International Worker’s Day. An article on Billboard magazine praised the tune, calling it a new anthem with a rumba beat for Cuba’s May Day.

"Vivir Para Vencer," was recorded in a Havana studio with a group that includes conga players and conservatory symphony musicians wearing face masks. The song's title and solidarity message can be taken as both patriotic - alluding both to the Revolutionary slogan "venceremos" ("we shall triumph") and the current fight to beat COVID-19.”

Also, in 2020, amidst the pandemic, Arnaldo completed and released a new album under EGREM label, compiling instrumental versions of his band’s top hits throughout 20 years of work. Another project in DVD format also saw the light on social networks, with footage from a concert by Arnaldo y su Talismán, marking the 15th anniversary of the Piña Colada Festival of Alternative Music, which the artist organizes every year in his native Ciego de Avila province.

Meanwhile, the band’s tune ‘Siembra’ released on social media around September 28th last, on a new anniversary of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs), was warmly welcome by internet users in and outside Cuba. The song speaks about hope, perseverance and the preservation of the high human values defended and promoted by the Cuban Revolution.


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