Habanero, habanera, what's the difference?


Submitted 7 months ago
Created by
Rebecca Alice Bailey

Please your ears or burn your mouth - you decide!

Afro-Cuban jazz sensation Daymé Arocena, performing at the Hop Thursday, April 12,  is the quintessential habanera - a female resident of Havana, which she sings about in "Me lleva la Habana (I come to Havana)":

Habanera also refers to a 19th-century Cuban dance rhythm. Here's a classic habanera:


The habanera infused early jazz - the first of many times American jazz would be saturated with Afro-Cuban musical elements - such as Scott Joplin's Solace (1909)...


...and W.C.Handy's St. Louis Blues (1914):


It also found its way into opera, in the torchy aria "Habanera" from Georges Bizet's Carmen:


But watch your spelling! A mere change of one letter gets you this:


 Want to hear more?

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Artist Talk: Using Your Voice
Wednesday, April 11, 5 pm, Faulkner Recital Hall, Free
 Daymé Arocena talks with Taylor Ho Bynum, director of the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble, about finding her voice in the unstoppable lineage of Cuban music.

Daymé Arocena in concert
Thursday, April 12, 7 pm, Spaulding Auditorium
Dazzling young Havanan sings Afro-Cuban music suffused with jazz, soul and funk.

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