Los Van Van | SFJAZZ
Los Van Van
Legendary superband Los Van Van is the most popular and influential musical act to emerge from Cuba since the revolution, bringing the irresistible timba rhythms of Havana to audiences worldwide, and maintaining their status as national heroes for over 40 years. Founded in 1969 by bassist and composer Juan Formell, who led the band up to his death in 2014, Los Van Van is a rare cultural phenomenon that broke through boundaries of nation, generation, politics, and genre. With the rise of Castro and post-revolution Cuba’s subsequent clamping down of outside influences, Formell’s integration of American pop music elements and his lyrical commentary on the daily struggle of Cuban citizens were acts of freedom and rebellion made at great personal risk. Nicknamed “el tren” (the train) by their fans in reference to their live approach – a non-stop steamroller of infectious dance rhythms – the band has recorded nearly three dozen albums and each performance remains cause for celebration by fans both young and old. With the future of Los Van Van now in the hands of Formell’s son Samuel, the band’s drummer, they stand ready to inspire the world to dance for another 40 years.