Founded in 1898, at the end of the war of Independence, in the capital city of the Oriente province of Cuba, La Banda Municipal de Santiago can pride itself on its rich past. Santiago is the birthplace of Cuba’s most popular musical genre, the son, as well as a specific Oriente style, the trova. Musical influences range from the European colonists’ ballroom dances, which gave rise to the danzón, to African-influenced styles such as the conga and guajira. With brass, woodwind and percussion instruments, the forty musicians of La Banda Municipal celebrate the great Creole composers. This double CD features their rendering of two famous French songs, Barbara’s “Petite Cantate” played as a habanera, and ‘Les Passantes’ by Georges Brassens. Over the years, La Banda Municipal has been a training school for many musicians –the most-noteworthy example being Compay Segundo, who played the clarinet in the band in 1929.