Cuba’s “Conjunto Chappottin y Sus Estrellas” has a long history, stretching back into the ’40s.
Like R&B and gospel groups that have been working under the same name for that many years, of course, the members have changed over time. But it’s remained family. Founder Arsenio Rodriquez — key influence on Latin jazz and salsa — passed leadership of the group to his trumpeter Felix Chappottin in 1950. It then passed to his son, and now to a grandson, along with the son of a former lead singer.
But throughout those years, its reputation as one of the top bands playing music based in the traditional son genre while incorporating an array of the forms that make Cuban music so vibrant has remained strong. Despite its star status in its native country, the band is currently doing only its first U.S. tour.
And when it plays here in Cleveland as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s weekly July Ohio City Stages series, it will be playing for free — an event that shouldn’t be missed by fans of Latin music.
July 4, 2014