29.04.2014 - UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Jazz Day in Cuba

© Olivia Prendes.

Cuba is getting ready to celebrate International Jazz Day with a vast programme of activities that will gather renowned and up-and-coming exponents of this singular musical style, in jazz venues and other cultural spaces of the Cuban capital. The activities are organised by the Ministry of Culture (MINCULT), in coordination with the National Centre for Popular Music and the Cuban Institute of Music among other institutions, as well as by the Cuban civil society.

The MINCULT programme includes performances at the La Zorra y el Cuervo cultural centre: on 21 April (Cauce group), 23 April (Alexis Bosch and his Quintet), 28 April (Aire D'Concierto group) and 30 April (Leyanis Valdés, pianist). On 25 April, at 6 p.m., the Mella Theatre Gardens will feature Carlos Miyares, outstanding Cuban saxophonist, musical arranger and composer, together with young musicians Oliver Valdés, Carlos del Río, Tony Rodríguez, Yaroldi Abreu and Dreiser Durruthy. On the 26th, also at 6 p.m., the Gardens will feature the popular musical group Mezcla. The high point of the activities will be a concert given by the Jazz Band orchestra, under the direction of maestro Joaquín Betancourt, on 30 April, International Jazz Day, in the gardens of the Cuban Institute of Music.

In turn, from 15 to 30 April, the Regional Articulation of African Descendants from Latin America and the Caribbean (Cuban Chapter) will gather fans and performers, in activities basically designed to convey a message of peace and love, as well as to promote racial equality, primarily among the younger generations, through jazz. There will be master classes, exchanges, jam sessions, concerts, photo exhibits and lectures on topics such as "Young Cuban Jazz", "Raciality and Music: Jazz and Antiracial Struggles" and "Africa in the Memory". The programme will end with a 7-hour concert featuring over 20 bands and audiovisual materials dealing with jazz and its International Day.

Another action dedicated to International Jazz Day will be the first anniversary of the opening of Café Miramar, site of the concert that will be given by the Harold López-Nussa Quartet, accompanied by other prominent figures of the Cuban jazz world, such as Jorge Luis Chicoy, Ernán López-Nussa, Ruy López-Nussa, Rodney Barreto and Carlos Miyares.

International Jazz Day was proclaimed by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2011 and was commemorated for the first time on 30 April 2012. Cuba, a country that has notable masters of this unique musical style, has celebrated this day since its very first edition.


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