Meet the Only Female Timba DJ in the United States!

| 12/01/2010

Reyna “La Farandulera” Morales
When you want to throw a party and want a DJ who knows their timba music inside and out, you don’t need to look further than Reyna “La Farandulera” Morales. Headquartered in the Washington DC Metro area, Reyna brings a deep knowledge of what timba is hot and what tracks makes a casinero want to dance.

According to Wikipedia, “Timba is a Cuban genre of music, sometimes referred as salsa cubana (‘Cuban salsa music’).[1] However, the historical development of timba has been quite independent of the development of salsa in the United States and Puerto Rico and the music has its own trademark aspects due to the Cuban Embargo and strong Afro-Cuban heritage.” Because of the Embargo, timba has been slow to make its way through the United States and, therefore, there are few very excellent timba DJs.

When asked what made her interested in timba, Reyna replied, “I went to a party and they played Los Van Van. It was different and more remarkable then the Puerto Rican salsa I was used to, but at that time very difficult to locate. Honestly, once I heard the difference in types of music (PR) vs (Cuban) there was not much choice for me. I’m an intense person, so intense music makes sense and makes the soft romantic salsa unbearable.” At the time, timba was difficult to find (as it still is today) but soon Tower Records started importing international music and thus, Reyna’s collected started.

Ask Reyna who her favorite timba artist is and you may get more than one answer. She lists César “Pupy” Pedroso as her all-time favorite and recently had the honor of DJing for him when Pupy played a concert in Washington DC. Strong seconds are Elio Revé, Aldaberto Álvarez y su Son, and Manolito Simonet. Reyna also traveled to Miami to DJ for Elio’s concert. By djing, Reyna says, “Each song invites new timberos to fall in love [with the music] and the complexity of the riffs and percussions reminds seasoned timberos what they already know – that timba or Cuban salsa is to be respected. So for me it’s a challenge and a pleasure each time I play to show them that I understand the fury of the music and that Cuban Salsa is here to stay.”

Reyna takes great pride in being the only female timba DJ in the United States. She says that while it is an honor it can also bring difficulties where heavy equipment, late nights, and even non-payment is concerned. She doesn’t let that stop her and continues to search out venues and club-owners who want to take a chance on Cuban salsa and see what may be the future of dance and music in the salsa world.

People are often confused by timba and write it off immediately. However, Reyna likes to remind people that “Cuban music has always been popular and present – maybe [people] didn’t recognize it – but it has always been there.” She is confident that once people hear Cuban music and give it a chance, they will fall in love with it just as they did with Buena Vista Social Club. She adds, “Hardcore timba groups like Charanga, Klimax, Son Yoruba are invading your local salsa clubs sometimes disguised as Puerto Rican Covers.”

With traveling restrictions being relaxed, we have seen many Cuban groups finally being able to come and have concerts in the United States. Now people are able to go and see Charanga Habanera, Elio Revé, Manolito Simonet, and more! For Reyna, it couldn’t be better. She replied with, “Yes! It’s about time. Now everyone will hear what I know – the pleasure of Live Cuban Music.” Finally, she followed it up with, “Timba is real music. No fillers. No covers. Timba is intense.” Those who know couldn’t agree more.

Contact Reyna for your next event!!
Phone: 240-551-5782

For more information on timba, Cuban salsa, and salsa casino in Washington DC – visit

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