There have been a number of notable deaths this year and in Caribbean music none more significant than the recent one of Juan Formell.
As this blog’s readership is made up of mostly English speakers, (the global stats indicate this), many of you may have not heard of Juan Formell before.
Formell was the founder, composer, arranger and leader of the most popular post-revolution music group ever to come from Cuba, Los Van Van. This group, which has been around since the late 1960s is to Cuba what Bob Marley is to Jamaica, Kitchener to Trinidad, Blades to Panama and Red Plastic Bag to Barbados. If you doubt me, take a brief look at minute 20 when they managed to get 270 000 people to a concert in Santiago de Cuba.
In short, Formell was immense. Thanks for the music Juan, a Caribbean music great. Music aLive, now and forever more, Amen!