Cuban musicians and the thaw in US-Cuba relations


The Huffington Post has just published a review of the Afro-Cuban All Stars recent tour of the United States that sheds some light not only on the relationship of US audiences to Cuban music but also on the composition and repertoire of this old-Cuba-nostalgia band.

As President Obama begins a new, more diplomatic chapter in American foreign policy with plans to talk to troublesome regimes in Iran and Syria, pundits are keeping busy speculating on how the President will handle the fifty-year old family feud with nearby Cuba, one of the touchiest subjects in American politics. Cubans in Havana and Miami alike are watching for signs of a thaw in the months to come.

One such sign perhaps came in February, March, and April of this year, as Cuban music guru Juan de Marcos led his Afro-Cuban All-Stars on a breakneck tour through 18 U.S. states, playing vintage Cuban sounds and setting bodies into motion from college auditoriums to hallowed city concert halls.

The Afro-Cuban All Stars are a nod to that time. More of a collective than a band, they are made up of a revolving cast of virtuosos and dedicated to reproducing the blaring big-band sound of son montuno and guarija from 1950s, often considered the Golden Age of Cuban music, when listeners from Paris to Tokyo waited for the newest cuts out of Havana.

For the complete article go to

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