What can we rumba to?
June 6, 2007 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Wedding Music Filter: My fiancee and I are taking rumba lessons and we need to pick music for our first dance. Would "paper moon" played by our three-piece jazz band work? Any other rumba-able song suggestions?

Anything along the lines Louis Armstrong or Ella Fitzgerald would be great. Our dance instructor has suggested using recorded music for our first dance because it's more reliable in terms of tempo etc... but it seem like a wasted opportunity if we don't use the band, thoughts?
posted by JPDD to Human Relations (9 answers total)
This might sound perfectly horrible - but do a youtube search for dwts (dancing with the stars) and rhumba and have a listen to those songs, that might help.
posted by heartquake at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2007

The band will be perfectly reliable in terms of tempo. Just let them know that it's your "first dance" song and that you don't want them to do any crazy soloing or tempo changes and they'll stick with it for you.

For a rhumba, you'd traditionally want something latin. Paper moon is going to be too fast unless you really get them to slow it down, and then it's going to drag on forever.

Google "rumba song" or "Rhumba song" and you'll come up with lots of song lists. You can listen to snippets at allmusic.com.
posted by some chick at 2:57 PM on June 6, 2007

Hmm. This isn't necessarily that helpful, but I would make sure that the group is familiar with rhumbas. This is a somewhat uncommon latin style.
posted by peetle at 3:02 PM on June 6, 2007

I've performed in wedding bands -- here's my advice:

You need to talk to your band & plan this out. I don't know what kind of experience they have, but everyone has their strengths and weaknesses as well as a repertoire of songs already in their book. Work as a team with the band to find the perfect song that they can confidently turn into a rumba. They might not know Paper Moon or perhaps they are used to doing it as a swing tune & don't have the experience to switch it well. Maybe they have another song that they can do better for you & that you wouldn't mind using instead. Or maybe the band kicks ass and can make ANYTHING an amazing rumba, who knows. Not all wedding bands are on par with the Dancing With The Stars Orchestra.

One thing that would help... bring a recording of the exact kind of tune, groove & tempo with you when you meet the band. Burn a disc for them. Tell them it's what you want. GIVE THEM DIRECTION or else you might find yourself very unpleasantly surprised with what they psychically thought you meant. And by the time you can complain, your wedding will be over.

Truth is, I know that you want to use the band but it all depends on the quality of band as well as your expectations & comfort level for the dance. If the band isn't experienced with pulling off rumbas for dancing, use a recording. Are you planning to do a specific routine? If so, use a recording. But if you are just doing a relaxed & fun dance with no pressure and the band seems trustworthy, then you can try dancing with them.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:05 PM on June 6, 2007

BTW, one of the reasons I'm being so adamant about communication is just because I've seen what happens. I just went to a wedding where the leader of the band forgot half of the bride's requests. She was super upset, but I later realized that part of the reason he had flaked out was that she was unclear (she had assumed he was a mindreader) and it was only his fifth wedding gig so he wasn't a seasoned pro yet.
posted by miss lynnster at 3:13 PM on June 6, 2007

We managed a rumba to a recording of Happy Ever After by Julia Fordham. Whatever you choose, enjoy and have fun.
posted by cairnish at 3:18 PM on June 6, 2007

It would help to get the useable range of tempo, bpm, or mpm, of rumba from your teacher - the speed of American-style (aka rhythm, aka Latin Caribbean) rumba is a lot faster than that of International-style (aka latin, aka Latin American). They are distinct dance styles.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:55 PM on June 6, 2007

Jazz bassist here. I have a hard time hearing Paper Moon as a rumba.

"Besame Mucho" should ne no problem.
posted by sourwookie at 10:15 PM on June 6, 2007

We were taking dance lessons before our wedding too, and learned the rhumba. I listened and trolled around for a decent song and nothing really hit the mark. So we did a cha-cha instead. You'll probably learn it at the same time as the rhumba as they are so similar. And you can cha-cha to most any modern 4/4 song. It's faster and more playful.
posted by GeneticFreek at 10:01 PM on June 7, 2007

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