Celina y Reutilio - A Santa Barbara (45rpm Puchito, 1950s)

(Puchito/Talia X013).

A cuban classic from Puchito records label, sung by duo Celina y Reutilio, the track "A Santa Barabara" is more famous under the name "Que viva Chango". 

Celina Gonzales and Reutilio Dominguez begun their duo in Santiago de Cuba, playing originally countryside music as Punto cubano (popular style based on poetic improvised verses, including clave and guiro, and played with several guitars using picking technique). Collaboration with Nico Saquito led them to La Habana and then New York.
Santa Barabara is the catholic saint used to represent Chango, the fire divinity from the Yorubas, probably due to the red color and the sword they have in common. African salves brought their culture and believes in the Caribbean, but Orishas devotion was prohibited by colonists, which led to a syncretic alternative : almost each voodoo divinity has a correspondence with a catholic figure, allowing the believers to practice their religion, fitting with colonial catholic rule. In parallel, secret societies were created, like AbakuĆ”, in order to preserve and perpetuate african religions and traditions.
Therefore, presence of Orishas culture  in cuban recordings was not very common before the 60s. This song praising Santa Barbara (lyrics deal with Orishas but music is not based on traditional voodoo rhythms), it represents an interesting expression of the veiled devotion for afrocuban gods (which remains popular up to now).

Celina and Reutilio - A Santa Barbara (45rpm puchito version) :


Following video is another version of the song (supposed to be from 1949), more corresponding to habana urban mood than stricly countryside music, including a great piano solo.


Symptomatic from cuban music evolution, here's an more recent version, still from Celina (but after splitting with Reutilio in 1964), where the adjunction of a punchy horn section brings the song to a salsa track (may be influenced by Celia Cruz cover, which was a hit).

Celina Rodriguez - A Santa Barbara (later version) :

Shango being one of the divinities which is found in many musical expression al around the Black Atlantic du to voodoo original believes among the disapora, I will share a muzzicaltrips "Shango Mix" very soon...

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