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Tito Y Su Son De Cuba
June 29, 2013
Master of traditional Cuban music
Saturday, June 29
8pm $33 & 10pm $29
There aren’t many people who can claim to have cut their musical teeth while traveling worldwide as a fisherman, been blasted onto national television as part of a taxi-driver’s collective of musicians, and had a government agency land them a gig playing for one of the top Cuban son bands of their era. Tito Gonzales spent his young life walkabout, picking up guitar licks around the rim of the sea thanks to a Cuban-run company that sent fisherman like him far and wide to find the catch. The open water swept him into the urban narrows, and, back on dry land, he traded up for the sound of the tres (small Cuban guitar) and the Cuban son, yet his talent only led him to ordinary labor. Fate had in store for him a different destiny, a rapid ascendance from cabbie to celebrity and star of the Cuban music scene. Now, with a new life in San Francisco and the songwriter’s freedom to experiment and story-tell, Tito, a consummate master of Cuban traditional music, brings a fresh sound to a lifetime of experience. His new album, Al doblar la esquina (March 9, 2010), features a fresh take on classic Cuban son backed up by exile talent in his band, the “Son de Cuba.”
Tito Gonzales possesses the sweet, confident eyes of an amorous gentleman of a certain age. Accordingly, Tito’s lyrical poetry embraces love and the lack thereof. Al doblar la esquina opens with “Buscar a alguien,” a cheer-up song that Tito wrote for his lovesick pianist, whom he found one evening, saddened for his lack of a companion. This upbeat hello to the sound of the son, featuring Tito’s frank poetic voice, is unworried and upbeat, like “Cuando tu te fuistes,” another song for a comrade in heartache. This one is for the young man who painted the album’s perky cover art, a landscape of Havana in rich Caribbean colors. Somewhere in that tangle of golden alleyways, Tito waits to meet you, just around the next corner.