Los Van Van offer Latin Jazz at Quebec City Summer Festival

Los Van Van offer Latin Jazz at Quebec City Summer Festival

Main pic: Los Van Van – Festival d’été de Québec. 15 July 2015 – Place d’Youville. Photo credit: Victor Caico.

Festival d’Été de Québec – 300 Shows – 10 Stages – 11 Days of music.

Los Van Van in Quebec City – A great show, but way too short!

By Philippa Jabouin

Sunday 19 July 2015 (Quebec City, Quebec) Rarely do they actually stop in Quebec City for a show, but for this edition of FEQ, Los Van Van, the Cuban reference in Latin Jazz, offered salsa lovers a great closing concert.

Starting right on time, the final act in Place d’Youville sang a potpourri of its best hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s. They also sang homage to Juan Formel who passed away a few years ago. He was the founding father of the group and acted as musician, artistic director and creative genius.

Few Cuban salsa groups have lived on for so long and with such fame and success. Few salsa groups have as many musicians on stage and live instruments. They were 16 artists on stage. The quality and sound of the music is a category above the rest.

It’s impossible to listen to Los Van Van and stand still, if you enjoy the music that is. Slowly but surely, couples paired up to dance and groups started forming. A sizeable group started La Rueda de Casino, or the “Cuban” wheel, where couples dance in a circle and on the leader’s cue, change partners all the while remaining in the circle.

Throughout the years, artists have come and gone from the group, at times separating to form their own music ensemble. Most, if not all have succeed. The group is probably the best training ground for Cuban musicians. When you come from Los Van Van you easily gain international fame.

There are not that many Cuban expatriates in Quebec City, and the group just came back from playing at the Montreal Jazz Festival. But Quebecers love to vacation in Cuba, and for those who wander further than the usual touristic spots, Los Van Van are an inescapable cultural reference. This, you could tell from the crowd. Cubans, Latinos from all origins, and mostly Quebecers moving to this mix of Caribbean salsa, Afro-Cuban melodies and modern pop.

Enrique, a Cuban living in the city and a die-hard fan loved the show. “I found it fascinating because they played their tunes from the past decades” he said. “For those of us who have been living outside of Cuba for many years, we were able to recognize the music and sing along.”

Yuri, a Quebecer of Colombian origin now living in Montreal was having a great time as he danced with his girlfriend. He was a student in the University of Havana from 2001 to 2006 and reminisced with the songs that shaped his undergrad years.

But all in all, the comments were constant: the show was great but much too short. The group ended exactly an hour and 25 minutes after they began.

However, it is rare to have the opportunity to see these musicians for free in Cuba. And when you do, it is even more difficult to enjoy the show in such an intimate venue. Without doubt, this was greatly appreciated by Cuban and Quebec fans alike.

It may have been too short, but seeing this legendary group up close and personal is a considerable stroke of luck.

Festival d’Été de Québec – 300 Shows – 10 Stages – 11 Days of music.
If you’re a music-lover then Quebec City is always the place to be in July.
…………………………………………………………………….

About the author:

Philippa Jabouin has been living in Quebec City since 2007. In 2013, she left the legal practice and made a career change to return to her first love: journalism. She is a freelance writer for various publications, including a independent bi-monthly she founded covering social issues. She is fluently trilingual and has published articles in French, English and Spanish.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Opinion

About Author

LifeinQuebec.com

News from across Quebec. For more Quebec news, business, politics, sport, entertainment, opinion pieces, events and other information please visit our social media accounts: Facebook: facebook.com/lifeinquebec Twitter: twitter.com/lifeinquebec

Write a Comment

Only registered users can comment.