"De la Rumba a la Timba" is a collection of photos of Cuban
musicians begun in 1994. Numbering over a hundred fifty and growing,
the purpose of the project is to document and preserve images of the
keepers of the flame of the human spirit that is Cuban Music.
is one of Cuba's greatest natural resources. The Cuban GMP (Gross Musical
Product) is per capita one of the highest in the world. In Cuba music
is like air (and dance is like water). Music permeates both history
and daily life, animating, enriching, elevating, aestheticizing, educating
and humanizing as it flows. In Cuba even dogs bark in clave. A sarcastic
expression in the Cuban vernacular goes "me iré con mi música
pa' otra parte," which loosely translates as "me and my music
are outa here.
American embargo of Cuba, over forty years old, not only contributes
to the economic deprivation of every Cuban, but also contributes to
the cultural deprivation of every American, by preventing us from learning
about the rich, healing, profoundly civilized achievements of our neighbors.
Garten has been photographing Cuba since 1994. His photos of Cuban musicians
and dancers have been published in Jazziz and Latin Beat magazines,
the New York Times, and seen on CBS Sixty Minutes II. They have appeared
on Grammy-nominated CDs for Blue Note, Bembé and Blue Jackel
records. He has lectured and exhibited at the University of Vermont
and Middlebury College.
Francisco Bay Area radio personality Jesse Varela wrote about David
in the April, 1996 issue of Latin Beat Magazine: "I'd like to send
long overdue kudos to photographer David Garten, for his contribution
as a photojournalist in capturing those magic moments in Afro-Cuban
music from Havana to San Francisco. Based out of Vermont, Garten's dedication
to quality makes his work radiate with brilliance."
David Garten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
©2003 David Garten