Cuban music icon Pablo Milanes to play in Miami

Cuban music icon Pablo Milanes is finally coming to Miami, a South Florida concert organizer announced Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Milanes helped found Nueva Trova, a form of political folk music that emerged following the Cuban revolution and went on to gain worldwide fame.

Concert promoter Fuego Entertainment says Milanes’ Miami concert will be part of a larger tour beginning in Washington on Aug. 25. Other stops are Puerto Rico, New York and San Francisco.

“Miami should be a natural market for Cuban artist, not only because of the Cubans, but because of all the Latin Americans (living here), and Pablo is an icon and an idol for many Latin Americans,” said Fuego president Hugo Cancio.

Milanes is among the most famous Cuban musicians outside the island. During his career, which has spanned more than five decades, he has recorded 29 albums, including hit songs like “Yolanda” and “Yo me quedo,” and has won two Grammys.

He has played in New York, but his historical connection with Fidel Castro and the revolution long made him persona non grata with Miami exiles, even as he has occasionally publicly advocated for more liberty on the island.

His concert is part of a broader increase in cultural and academic exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba in recent years, due in part to policy changes implemented by President Barack Obama’s administration.

It also reflects changing attitudes among members of the Cuban-American community, who no longer take to the street en mass to protest performances by artists from the island.

Still, in April a South Florida concert featuring Cuban performers was canceled following complaints by Cuban exiles.

Cancio says he doesn’t think Milanes will face protests.

“Music unites us, and Pablo, though his music, can serve as a vehicle to unite all Cubans and Latinos,” he said.

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