Posted inMusic

Roberto Fonseca blends the sounds of past and present into dynamic Afro-Cuban jazz

I had a chance to see Roberto Fonseca play at the 2015 Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco, in a duo collaboration with Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara. In his thrilling, visceral performance, the Havana-born musician, composer, and bandleader embodied the multifarious musicality of Cuba’s best jazz pianists. Blessed with access to the island’s […]

Posted inMusic

Okan craft jazzy, heady grooves informed by Afro-Cuban culture and a world of sound

Toronto group Okan make heady, jazzy, superbly crafted music driven by two virtuosos born in Cuba’s cultural capitals: violinist Elizabeth Rodriguez hails from Havana, and percussionist Magdelys Savigne is from Santiago. Rodriguez was a concertmaster for Havana’s Youth Orchestra, and Savigne is trained in orchestral percussion, but since moving to Toronto about five years ago […]

Posted inBlogs

Fallen Gods

Ernesto Daranas’s drama “Fallen Gods” sets a Havana turf war against the legend of pimp Alberto Yarini Ponce de Leon, who murder led to France’s ouster from Cuba. It screens Tuesday 2/22 in the Latino Cultural Center’s Reel Film Club series.

Posted inFilm

A Night in Havana: Dizzy Gillespie in Cuba

For viewers (and listeners) who feel that the great Dizzy Gillespie didn’t receive his due in Bird, this conventionally made but charismatic and enjoyable documentary by John Holland about the jazz trumpeter’s concert in Cuba, occasioned by the fifth International Jazz Festival of Havana, goes a long way toward making up the difference. Gillespie’s personality […]