Renowned Cuban singer-songwriter Carlos Varela and his band will tour the United States this June on a series of dates presented by his friend and occasional collaborator Jackson Browne.  Varela, who is often referred to as “Cuba‘s Bob Dylan,” has rarely performed in the States, but is well known in the Latin world, where his songs are likened to the “essence of a generation.” With music that is alternately uplifting and defiant, as full of emotional truths as pointed protest, Varela is a poetic and outspoken voice, one of the most important artists of the newest Cuban “trova” movement.

The dates kick off June 10 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA, and conclude with three shows in Miami, FL, June 23-25.  A concert in Miami last year—Varela’s first there in a decade—brought the audience to its feet for most of the show, with many members of the Cuban diaspora visibly moved by words and music that evoked the home from which they’d been so long exiled.  Highlights of Varela’s 2011 tour also include a Playboy Jazz Festival performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA on June 12, and a show at B.B. King’s Blues Club in New York City on June 19.

Carlos Varela is a courageous person, and an amazing performer,” says Jackson Browne.  “I invite American audiences to experience one of the finest musicians I know.  The brilliance of his music is unmistakable. To have even one of these songs translated into English is to allow the English speaking audience to hear the truth and soul of this great songwriter come shining through.”

While restrictions have recently been loosed on Cuban artists performing in the U.S., Varela was denied such a visa for many years, limiting his exposure to American audiences.  In a 2004 Opinion piece in the New York Times, “Songs of Cuba, Silenced In America,” Jackson Browne wrote, “The policy of punishing Cuba works only when Americans see the angry face of Cuban repression.  But in the face of Carlos Varela, and the language of his music, Americans would not find the mask of a demon, but hear the aspirations of people just like themselves.  Perhaps the most prominent paradox here is that Carlos Varela is known not only for his talent, but also for his courage to speak out through his songs, many of which have been interpreted as critical of the Cuban government.”

On tour, Varela will perform songs spanning his more than 20-year career, including ones from his most recent album, No Es El Fin (It’s Not The End).  Previously, his song “Una Palabra” (“A Word”) was featured in the film Man On Fire, starring Denzel Washington and Dakota Fanning, and Oscar-nominated director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel, Biutiful) also used the track in a notable BMW commercial starring Clive Owen.  Carlos Varela‘s U.S. Tour 2011, presented by Jackson Browne, is produced by Rum & Humble, Inc.

For more information :

Carlos Varela U.S. Tour 2011:

June 10 – San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall

June 12 – Los Angeles, CA – Playboy Jazz Festival @ Hollywood Bowl

June 15 – Chicago, IL – Old Town School of Music

June 16 – Boston, MA – Coolidge Corner Theatre

June 18 – Croton-On-Hudson, NY – Clearwater Festival @ Croton Point Park

June 19 – B.B. King’s Blues Club – New York, NY

June 20 – Stewart R. Mott Foundation – Washington, D.C.

June 23 – Grand Central – Miami, FL

June 24 – Miramar Cultural Center, Miramar, FL

June 25 – Grand Central – Miami, FL


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