With origins in Cuba and the Afro-Cuban movement, the music, dance, and culture of Salsa and Son have garnered wide-ranging and expansive communities throughout the world. This interactive conversation and demonstration will explore the music and dance of Son, the people—soneros—who make it possible, and what has been lost and gained through its migration into new contexts. Following the discussion, attendees will learn basic dance moves, and participate in an open dance with live musical accompaniment.
Chino Pons, the son of an industrial machinery mechanic and a Geography teacher, was born in 1971 in San Miguel del Padron, Havana, Cuba, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Havana, surrounded by the Abakua Plantes, Bembe and Rumba cultures. Growing up in an environment of legendary traditional and Afro-Cuban musicians and legendary dancers from the 1940's and 1950's greatly inspired him to create music. In 1997, Pons began working as a band boy with the band Tropical Sound in Miami, and in 1998 moved to New York City. In 2007, he formed Grupo Irek with Hensy Perez, Tosso Hettinger and Heriberto Valentin. It was during this period that Grupo Irek became one of the best-known and most respected Salsa acts on the New York City circuit, including playing annually at the Vanidades Magazine anniversary party. Now established in New York City, Pons continues to play regularly in some of the top venues and has toured widely throughout Central and North America.
Carlos Mateu, born and raised in Havana, Cuba, has been inspired by a rich culture of art and music since childhood. He studied fine arts at the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Art in Havana, and worked as an artist and designer of international exhibitions. Since coming to the US in 1997, he has exhibited his art extensively, and also works as a graphic designer. Although an artist-painter by trade, he grew up in Cuba in a vibrant musical and dance atmosphere. Mateu learned to dance to traditional Cuban music—Danzon, Son, Chachachá, etc. and later dedicated himself to the study of the theory and history of Cuban music. In New York, Mateu has danced with a number of local dance groups and teaches dance and music workshops in the greater New York area. In 2015, Carlos founded his performance group Herencia D' Cuba and the same year the group won the second prize at Concurso Folclórico Latino Americano sponsored by Desfile de La Hispanidad.
Humu Yansané is a native New Yorker whose ancestral roots span several countries: Germany, Guinea, Ireland and Wales. In the words of Thomas Paine, "... my country is the world, and my religion is to do good." Dancing since age three, she gained her first professional performance opportunity touring with the Clive Thompson Dance Company at age eleven. From that point on, Yasané’s dance training has ranged from Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Ballet, Burlesque, Graham, Horton to House. She has trained with many great teachers such as Tania Santiago, Reginald Ray-Savage, Cecilia Marta, Kory "Kato" Watkins and Ana Marie Forsythe. Some of her choreographic credits include Andy Allo's Hooked music video; Le Produit (national French commercial); Gone at Crowded Fire Theater, San Francisco, CA; and Concord High School's productions of Zoot Suit and Guys and Dolls in Concord, CA. Yansané is also a commercial actor and print model. Her client list includes Amtrak, Ridgewood Savings Bank, SONY Playstation, PBS, Nike, Captial One and Jello-O to name a few.
BRIC’s Stoop Series welcomes you in for dynamic conversations that connect art, performance, media and other creative fields with big ideas that are important to Brooklynites. This season’s Stoop Series tackles the reclamation of culture, of healing, of voices, and of living. Join us on the Stoop—there’s something different every week!
The Stoop at BRIC House is a public cultural gathering space featuring free, drop-in programming, and offering a place to sit, observe, and participate in multi-disciplinary work.