Cubadisco 2022, all the music

After an exhaustive listening and analysis process, the jurors recently announced the albums and audiovisual materials nominated for the award in the different categories in competition.

According to several digital media on the island, the Cubadisco award committee's call for entries was answered by more than 200 productions representing the work of the country's record companies and labels over the past two years, and the work of artists and specialists in different areas.

Among the jazz players, flute player Orlando Valle "Maraca", clarinetist Germán Velazco, and saxophonists César López and Alfred Thompson stand out with the phonogram "Los herederos", a tribute to maestro Chucho Valdés and the "all-star" Cuban music group Irakere.


Composed of ten songs and produced by EGREM, the album "Los herederos" promises to be an exquisite musical proposal, as it is a journey from the traditional to the most contemporary and electronic of Cuban music. Among the artists invited to be part of "Los herederos" are Mayquel González, Leonardo Milano, Jesús Andaluz, Yasek Manzano, Cimafunk, Alejandro Falcón, Alexander Abreu, Cucurucho Valdés, Harold López-Nussa, Yaroldy Abreu, Enrique Plá, Rodny Barreto, Alfred Thompson and Rolando Luna.

César López repeats his nomination with his group Habana Ensemble with the album of the same name, as well as trumpeter Roberto García and his Latin Waycon "De Norte a Sur", and young pianist Adrián Estévez with the album "Despertar".

Among the audiovisuals in competition are documentaries, live and studio concerts, with high quality materials and solid artistic proposals.

The 25th Cubadisco 2022 International Fair will be held in Havana from May 14 to 22, in a hybrid format, with the award ceremony as one of its most important moments, although the program includes the usual concerts and record presentations, as well as the symposium.

Source Cubasí and Cubarte

A tribute to the Independents of Color

Photos: Courtesy of the interviewee

"Years ago I heard some songs of La Tumba Francesa related to the massacre of the Independientes de Color and we were motivated to rescue those three songs that only the teacher Bertha Armiñán Linares, knows ", says via WhatsApp the young filmmaker Yasmani Castro Caballero (Santiago de Cuba, 1992), about his latest work inspired by the tragic events in the summer of 1912.

"In the republic-according to Cuban essayist Fernando Martínez Heredia-blacks and mulattos continued to suffer from the very disadvantaged social situation in which slavery and the colonialist system left them, plus the harsh mark of racism."

In August 1908 a political grouping was founded, soon to become the Partido Independiente de Color (PIC), which set out to organize the struggle for effective equality and specific rights. Its main leaders were the veteran Evaristo Estenoz, Colonel Pedro Ivonnet, Gregorio Surín, Eugenio Lacoste, among others.

"Harassed and prevented from using the electoral route, they finally opted to launch an armed protest on May 20, 1912. During June and July of that year Estenoz, Ivonnet and some three thousand non-white Cubans were assassinated, most of them in the Oriente province," wrote the intellectual.

To make the video clip, Castro Caballero and his team set out from Pinares de Micara (Santiago de Cuba) where Evaristo Estenoz was killed, passing through La Maya where Pedro Ivonnet was murdered.

"In addition to meeting Arquímedes Hodelín, son of Francisco Hodelín Montalvo-one of the members of the Partido Independientes de Color who died as a result of being shot during the events of 1912-. We ended at the tomb of Pedro Ivonnet in the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. This year 2022 is the 110th anniversary of the events of the Independientes de Color war and its subsequent massacre, that's why we are making this audiovisual to remember that tragic event in national history", says Castro Caballero, a graduate in Education and student of Audiovisual Communication, also director of Massamba Producciones, who has been dedicated to investigate anthropological issues of artistic and literary culture, as well as issues of identity and gender.

"Cantos de Tumba Francesa a los Independientes de Color" will premiere on May 20 in eastern Santiago de Cuba and will later be exhibited at the II International Colloquium on Afro-American Studies, to be held June 15-18 this year within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development, declared by the United Nations General Assembly.

Another recognition for teacher Rosario Cárdenas

Cuban director, choreographer and 2013 National Dance Award winner Rosario Cárdenas recently received the Order of Arts and Letters, in the rank of Chevalier, from the French Ministry of Culture.

Rosario Cardenas was a dancer, teacher and choreographer of Contemporary Dance of Cuba until 1990 when she created her own company "Danza Combinatoria", which currently bears her name.

His many choreographies include: "Dédalo", "Imago", "Dador", "Germinal", "María Viván", "Canción de cuna", among others.

The teacher Rosario Cardenas was one of the members of the jury of the XXVII International Meeting of the Academy for the Teaching of Ballet, held recently in Cuba.

Source: Toda la Danza

Photos taken from his Facebook profile

AfroKuba suggests: Religious eclecticism. Rousseaux Durruty Family

The book Religious Eclecticism. Familia Rousseaux-Durruty by Mayabequense researcher Yoel Enriquez Rodriguez is an inquiry into the popular religiosity of Melenera, but at the same time is a journey to the vicissitudes of the religious spirit of the nation, from a historical and socio-cultural vision that is dressed in the shadow of anthropology, demography and linguistics.

The book exposes the almost infinite game of migration and culture, epistemological element of inestimable value, paladin of the tasty syncretic ajiaco of Cubanity. Memory and tradition support and inspire the dances, toques, prayers, altars, deities, beliefs and faith of the Rousseaux Durruty progeny, an inseparable binomial that operates in this framework as a vehicle, in the land of the West, of the oriental muertería.

Writer and anthropologist Yoel Enríquez Rodríguez is director of Editorial Montecallado, in Mayabeque.

Caridad Martínez: "What you leave in the audience as an artist nobody can touch".

Martinez is Director of the Brooklyn Ballet School. Director of classical training and performance at Ballet Hispanico of New York, faculty member of the Alvin Ailey Professional Program and faculty member of the Harkness Dance Center Joffrey, Concert Group of New York.

Before joining the Ballet Nacional de Cuba (BNC), she was a student of important figures within the company, among them Fernando Alonso, Ramona de Saá, Alicia Alonso and Joaquín Banegas.

I would like to start with a very simple question: who is Caridad Martínez?

I have played many roles. I have been many Charities since I grew up and up to this moment. But I was always very clear about what I wanted: to dance, to express myself... and for many years I had my life guided. I had everything very focused and things happened the way I wanted them to. Then I became interested in teaching, in choreographing and from there I became a regisseur, a rehearsal dancer-still a dancer. to being a rehearsalist -still dancing-, to giving classes. Then I started choreographing.

I ran a company, then I went to live in another country, and I found myself running a school. That wasn't something I focused on, it just happened, and that's what I've been doing. Later I came to live in the United States and also had the opportunity to direct a school here, to have the opportunity to do choreography, to present my work, to meet many people and to understand other artistic concepts, in other words, everything changed me.

Let's go to the genesis: where exactly do you come from, where were you born?

I am from Cayo Hueso, Havana, a neighborhood of many musicians and artists. My father, Rene, was a musician and instruments were rented in the house. That's the neighborhood of Omara Portuondo, Elena Burke, who were friends of my mother Obdulia... That's where I grew up.

In my house the roots of popular music were very deep and my mother also had an inclination towards art, despite being a tobacconist. All this influenced my education. My father was a musician, percussionist of the orchestra "Arcaño y sus Maravillas".

Mother of Caridad (Photo taken from their Facebook profile)

How was your first audition at the Ballet School?

Many people went to that first audition, I remember, at Calzada and D. My teacher tells me that I walked to where they were at a table and said: "Oh, take me, because I want to be an artist!

How old were you?

Ten years. It surprises me now, but then I analyze how people were in my neighborhood: spontaneous, open... that Cuban thing. When you work in other countries you can't be like that. It doesn't always work, you have to be very careful.

So you start your career at the Ballet School, right there at the headquarters of the National Ballet of Cuba?

No, that's where the tests took place. My generation studied in boarding school, in Cubanacán, which is the School of Arts. So I grew up listening to actors, musicians, painters... It was the time of an exchange, of course, one is not aware of any of that, one is living it; but later I realized how much growing up with them helped me in my general culture. At the Escuela Nacional de Arte they took us to see the performances of Danza Moderna. They took us to concerts, to screenings. They would discuss Italian Neorealism... It was a tremendous experience.

My generation was that of Ofelia, Amparo, Charín, Esquivel, Pablo Moré, among others. And teachers like Fernando Alonso, Joaquín Banegas and Ramona de Saá. Mirtha Plá was my first teacher. But the teachers who were very close to me, from second grade until I graduated, were Joaquín Banegas, Fernando Alonso and Ramona de Saá.

Caridad Martínez and Alicia Alonso

How is student life with them?

Wonderful. Enviable. When I see now what Fernando Alonso did, creating and developing that methodology. Then to see Joaquín Banegas absorbing all that... They were very young, they were teaching and learning at the same time; but they did everything with a tremendous dedication and devotion to teaching. That is the result: a couple of consecutive generations where we all became members of the ballet, soloists or leading figures. The idea was advocated that we had to dance to help accelerate our process as dancers. And then, very early on, we started to participate in the National Ballet performances doing small roles, the court roles, mostly. But, in short, we had incredible teachers.

How do you move into your first major role in your life as a dancer?

In school I played the soloist, yes, it was a variation of "Don Quixote". Later, whenever there were stagings, I was one of the soloists. But what I remember, something that, boom, threw me, was the role of Fanny Cerrito in the Pas de Quatre.

Someone got hurt-I don't remember who-and they called me, they told me I had two days to dance it; and Laura Alonso prepared me. It was a success, really. I didn't know the specifics, but I really wanted to dance it. Laura prepared me very well, in detail, because everything had a meaning, every movement. Laura looked for my relationship with the piece, she created a story for me, my relationship with the audience, with the space, with the light.

I remember that they applauded me a lot and the next day, in class, Fernando, who knew me since I was a little girl, looked at me as if I was something... I will never forget that; he looked at me and looked at me. I think he was surprised by that result and told me: "Yesterday you finished very well, Caridad, very well".

And the day you arrived, shall we say, on the scene?

The first thing was when they told me that I was going to compete at the Varna Festival (Bulgaria). Alberto Méndez staged "Plásmasis" and Joaquín took my rehearsals. There is another teacher who had a great impact on my career: José Parés. I started to learn the pas de deux of "Don Quixote", "La Fille Mal Gardée", and I danced "Las Llamas de París". That had never been danced in Cuba and Azari Plisetsky put it together for me. Now all the kids play roles, normal, because everybody goes to competition and from a very young age they start doing that. But in our time it wasn't like that. You had to be a first figure to be able to do it.

"Plasmasis" was a tremendous success.

Who did you dance with?

With Lázaro Carreño. It was very successful. When we finished dancing, Arnold Haskell came to congratulate us. He said that it had been tremendous and that our way of interpreting was going to mark a moment in Contemporary Dance, in Contemporary Ballet... And, well, we won. I got an Honorable Mention. 

Plasmasis – Caridad Martínez and Lázaro Carreño

What happened next?

Well, little by little, opportunities followed. I started working with Alberto Alonso: a very good experience. I was lucky enough to experience one of the Grand Prix organized at Les Champs Elysées, in Paris. I was in the corps de ballet of "Swan Lake" and it was awarded. 

They were wonderful tours. We danced in the most important theaters in Europe, it was really incredible to have the opportunity to dance in Paris, London, Holland....

There was a very special moment: the first performance of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba at the Metropolitan Opera House. That was something incredible, the audience went crazy. The performances at the Metropolitan were crazy. They were performances from Tuesday to Sunday, with double performances, twice a week, and it was a full house, totally full. Wonderful, and they filled the stage with flowers when the show was over, it was tremendous. We also danced at the Kennedy Center, in Los Angeles?

Do you consider that the ballet Muñecos has been defining in your career as a dancer?

That one was created for Fernando Jhones and they put it together for me. From the first day that was danced it was an incredible job. Rembert Egües, who is the composer of the music, attended the rehearsals daily. When he went to record the music, the four of us went to the studio; so that music was recorded with Fernando Jhones, Alberto Méndez, the choreographer, Rembert, -who had to be there- and me, together.

Rembert played many instruments. The work had to have a unity in the creative process. He had it, very strong, that's why one understood everything.

Muñecos – Caridad Martínez and Fernando Jhones

The impression and what you leave on the audience as an artist cannot be touched by anyone. That is not given by a category, a hierarchy, a name, or a medal. That is something that people leave with for life. I am very grateful, very grateful to have had the opportunity to transmit something like that to others. I will always be very grateful, because not everyone has the opportunity to get those roles like in "Muñecos" in which one manages to transmit emotions, so strong, that people do not forget and relate you to them forever.

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Mary Prince's Story, the testimony of a 19th century slave

Considered a historical document, the project recreates in first person the vicissitudes of this West Indian slave, who became a symbol of the abolitionist movement in England.

According to the book's translator, Ana Elena de Arazoza, the story maintains the essence of Prince's oral storytelling, while noting the challenge of "preserving the warmth and simplicity of the language of an uneducated woman from the early 19th century and bringing it to the present day to captivate readers".

Mary Prince became in 1829 the first black woman to file a petition to claim her freedom before the English Parliament, which became a fact on August 1, 1834.

In 2012 she was recognized as a National Heroine of Bermuda, where her day is celebrated every August 2, as her story and subsequent publication had a significant influence in transforming the perception of slavery, through a narrative marked by painful experiences.

With a completely subjugated family, the iconic woman had five different owners in her life in Bermuda, traveled to London, UK with one of those families and there managed to escape and tell her story.

Recognized as a national heroine in Bermuda, Prince is the symbol of an era and her story becomes the starting point to recover the memory of the African diaspora in America, explained the president of the Institute of Cuban History, Yoel Cordoví.

Source: Prensa Latina

Requiem for José Luis Cortés "El Tosco".

He was not the best, but he was the most authentic; he did what he felt and not what was convenient for him. His music and his songs were a cry from the jungle, a loud cry of Cuban music.

He was born on October 5 (Pop Music Day), 1951. He reached the age of 71, lived long enough to leave for history a new rhythm: "La timba" (son, guaracha, mambo and rumba), all fused in a musical pottage with Caribbean and pop-jazz flavors. True funky Cuban style.

But, there is more, it was the detonator of a boom of Cuban music (salsa with timba), massive dancing, multitudinous concerts of joy.

He brought massive joy to an entire people in difficult times, in times when, as José Martí said, music can save an entire people.

Cortés achieved as much as he set out to do, he wanted great Cuban music to travel all over Cuba in dredges full of sound equipment to perform concerts in stadiums, squares and parks.

José Luis Cortés is going to meet his musical friends up there in heaven, his life is rising, his genius is rising. He is going to meet Juan Formell, Adalberto and Revé: three of the greatest contemporary timba musicians of the end of the 20th century.

Also at the reception will be: Dámaso Pérez Prado, Aresenio, Piñeiro, Matamoros, Egües y Lay, Jorrín, Rolando Valdés... popular classics of the best Cuban music. We know that Cortés will be well received there and, here, it will take us a long time to forget him.

He left many masterpieces, he left many experiences, he left much love to his culture, to the national identity.

Rest in peace José Luis Cortés, a musician who never slept: he lived for Cuban music.

Taken from El Portal de la Cultura Cubana: Cubarte

Activities to celebrate International Dance Day this April 29th

The National Theater, historical headquarters of Contemporary Dance of Cuba, a regular venue for presentations of groups from all over the country, will organize several actions to thank those who have devoted their existence to the art of dance.

Dancers and technicians of Contemporary Dance of Cuba of relevant and long trajectory in the performing arts will be recognized. Photographer Gabriel Dávalos will open his exhibition Matria, in the lobby of the Covarrubias Hall. The Centro de Documentación de las Artes Escénicas María Lastayo, of the Teatro Nacional, will present the Boletín Prometeo, dedicated to the women who have received the Premio Nacional de Danza. The National Council for the Performing Arts and the National Theater will present Toda la danza, a Cuban dance magazine, with a special issue on dance. Cuban dance magazine, with an edition dedicated to Johannes García, National Dance Prize 2020, and includes a dossier on folkloric dance.

La prensa tradicional y los medios digitales se harán eco de lo que sucederá el próximo 29 de abril, Día Mundial de la Danza, en el Teatro Nacional.

International Festival of Videodanza DVDanza Habana Movimiento y Ciudad announced

El Festival Internacional de Videodanza DVDanza Habana Movimiento y Ciudad vuelve al itinerario cultural de La Habana, nacido de la conjugación de los valores estéticos de dos manifestaciones.

Una programación diversa, con amplia presencia de obras recibidas para las citas precedentes, que en 2020 fue cancelada y en 2021 transcurrió de manera virtual debido a la COVID-19, llegará del 22 al 24 abril.

Según Prensa Latina, el certamen acogerá a artistas de la Isla como Carolina Romillo, quien estará a cargo de la apertura del encuentro con el estreno mundial del audiovisual The power upon us, realizado junto a grandes de la danza cubana: Santiago Alfonso y Rosario Cárdenas.

Cartel del Festival

El perfil oficial en la red social Facebook de la compañía Danza Teatro Retazos, comunicó que prestigiarán también en esta cita al bailarín y coreógrafo de la nación caribeña, Abel Rojo, y a la profesora argentina, Silvina Szperling.

Paralelamente, tendrá lugar en calles, parques y plazas de la capital cubana, el Festival Internacional de Danza en Paisajes Urbanos, conocido como Habana Vieja Ciudad en Movimiento, con escenario de los sitios emblemáticos de la ciudad.

El evento retomará el formato presencial y se desarrollará con estricto apego a las medidas implementadas en el país para evitar el contagio por la COVID-19.

Desde 1996, año en que fue creado, el festival fusiona la danza contemporánea con otras manifestaciones, a la vez que enlaza el talento de artistas de diferentes naciones que irrumpen en la cotidianidad de las calles de La Habana Vieja. 

El mundo de Santiago Álvarez hasta el 26 de abril

Un programa de actividades dedicado al cineasta Santiago Álvarez, titulado El mundo de Santiago Now comenzó desde el pasado 2 de abril y se extenderá hasta el 26 en las ciudades de La Habana y en Santiago de Cuba.

El evento contiene actividades teóricas y cinematográficas relacionadas con la obra del realizador, coordinadas por la oficina que lleva su nombre del Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (Icaic).

Entre las acciones estará una proyección y debate de documentales realizados por jóvenes de la Facultad de Comunicación, de egresados de la optativa Recursos audiovisuales del cine de Santiago Álvarez y de la Cátedra homónima sobre las temáticas: Memoria, Diversidad y Género, así como algunos del propio padre del Noticiero Icaic Latinoamericano. En paralelo, se presentará una muestra documental y de noticieros en el Multicine Infanta.

Mientras, en Santiago de Cuba acontecerán la conferencia de la narradora Mirna Caballero sobre las minorías en la documentalística de Santiago Álvarez y la de Fátima Patterson, actriz y Premio Nacional de Teatro 2017 sobre el Teatro Documental como categoría de investigación del teatro.

Para cerrar transcurrirá el encuentro «Los jóvenes miran a Santiago Álvarez» en la Sala de proyecciones del Edificio Varona de la Universidad de La Habana, los días 25 y 26 de abril a las 10:00 a.m. y 2:00 p.m. respectivamente.

Source: Periódico Granma