Spilling the beans on Daymé Arocena
My son is one of those kids for whom the borders on his dinner plate are inviolate. A trip to one of our favorite spots for a weekend meal, for the comfortingly simple dishes of Cuba, Mexico and Spain prepared at Fort Lauderdale’s Tipico Café, is usually distinguished by a sad comedy routine.
The rice and the black beans must not interact until the beans, penned behind a network of nolegumes-land canals, are inspected. Sometimes a wall of plantains is employed. Often the beans are deemed “too” something or other and rejected. Because the wall has come in contact with the beans, the plantains also are somehow tainted. It’s an expensive wall.
I make the same rote argument: The magic is in the mixture, I say, watching his face congeal in horror as I pour the beans directly onto the rice, even allowing some of it to
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and on Twitter at @Ben Crandell infiltrate my masas de puerco. Yes, each individual serving is tasty, but together they create a new flavor, a sensation that must be experienced, not explained.
He has his ways. He is an old man in a 14-year-old body. And he has time to grow out of it.
Billboard recently named young Cuban jazz vocalist Daymé Arocena one of the “10 Latin Artists to See” this week at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, where they are mixing things up a little with the Sounds of Cuba showcase. While a recommendation of her show is a good (obvious) thing, Billboard’s segregating it into such a perfunctory, pre-fab list feels a little tone-deaf.
This is, after all, a singer whose 2015 album, “Nueva Era” (Brownswood Recording), was one of NPR’s 50 best albums of the year and who The Guardian (London) described as having the potential to be “the next major Cuban star.”
Arocena is one of the 10 artists to see, regardless of ethnicity and location, be it SXSW or South Florida.
The day after her SXSW performance in Austin on Friday, the 23-year-old Arocena will be at the ninth annual Global Cuba Fest for a Saturday show at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse (404 NW 26th St., Miami). The 8 p.m. concert, sponsored by Miami Light Project and FUNDarte, costs $25, $50. Info: 305-576-4350, MiamiLightProject.com, DaymeArocena.com.
Dayme Arocena performs Saturday at the Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.