Category: Music and Dance

The Bearers

English + Español
Viñales’s spectacular natural beauty makes it one of Cuba’s busiest tourist attractions, but tourists don’t come to this mango grove, and the bus driver who brought us wasn’t happy about taking the beat-up road that leads here. Plus, it’s raining. No matter, there’ll be a party…

In the Footsteps of La Rebambaramba

English + Español
Tracing the journey of Amadeo Roldán’s Afro-Cuban ballet La Rebambaramba (1928) I arrived in Paris. Yes, in Paris, France… both the author of the original libretto, the Cuban writer and musicologist Alejo Carpentier, and the—also Cuban— choreographer Ramiro Guerra…

La Candela Viva

The drum beat is the pulse of Palenque de San Basilio; it is central to birth, death, marriage and other celebrations. In this Colombian town, drumming is about communion and…


Nina Simone once said that her life had been a constant struggle between blacks and whites…and that she had finally found her balance between the black and white keys of…

Afro-Roots and Mozart Too

I discovered jazz at 13 in my musical household in Cuba when my brother brought home a cassette tape of Chick Corea’s record “Friends,” and ever since I have been obsessed with…


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