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Beyond Salsa Piano - Instructional Series

Tom Ehrlich - Artes de Cuba 2018, Pt. 1

ARTES DE CUBA

THE KENNEDY CENTER, WASHINGTON D.C.

MAY, 2018

PART 1 MAY 17, 2018

PHOTOS AND TEXT BY TOM EHRLICH © 2018

Artes de Cuba was described as an unprecedented gathering of more than 400 Cuban and Cuban American artists across more than 50 events from May 8, 2018 through May 20, 2018. This festival included visual arts, film, dance groups, and music. I attended various events from May 17, 2018 through May 20, 2018 and will post a report and photos one day at a time.

The event schedule each day included a free concert from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by concerts in either a venue set up to be like a Havana night club called Cubano Club or one of the theaters located in the Kennedy Center.

 

There were two floors of art exhibits.

Map showing the various baseball teams on the island

Paintings by Manuel Mendive

Manuel Mendive is considered to be one of the most important Afro-Cuban artists to emerge from Cuba, creating art influenced by the Santeria religion and a deep love of nature.

Fashion exhibit

José Parlá presented an installation called Poly-Ritmó combining sculptural works and two paintings.

Emilio Pérez, Cuban American painter and muralist presented the world premier of Sombras Silvestres a video presentation on three walls combining colorful designs mixed with photos of Havana with a musical score of percussion by Papacho. (video posted above)

The free concert for my first day at the festival was Luis Faife and the DC Cuban All Stars.  The group included Luis Faife leader, flute and saxes, Juan Del Risco lead vocals, Walter Avalos keyboards and vocals, Jimmy Bass (Edward Fernandez) bass, Rigel Pérez drum set/timbales, and Miguel Rodríguez congas.

Left to right Luis Faife, Jimmy Bass, Juan Del Risco, Rigel Pérez and Miguel Rodríguez

Luis Faife

Most of the group's songs combined sections of son, jazz and timba and they had the crowd dancing through most of their set.

Juan Del Risco

Luis Faife

Rigel Pérez

Walter Avalos keyboard and Jimmy Bass bass

Miguel Rodríguez

Luis Faife and Juan Del Risco

LA REYNA Y LA REAL

The main music act this night was the dynamic duo of outstanding hip hop performers La Reyna y La Real, great at rapping as well as singing.  They were joined by part of their band including DJ Moises Whittaker Alvarez, Maria Carla Puga Marin bass and vocals, Reynel Ronquillo Sardá sax and Yan Reguero Garcia drum set. La Reyna's real name is Reyna Hernandez Sandoval and La Real is Yadira Pintado Lazcano. For me they were the most exciting group that I saw at the festival.

Photos on the wall in Cubano Club.   Left to Right Chucho Valdés and Omara Portuondo, Bunea Vista Social Club and Don Pancho Terry

Photo of Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie on the wall in Cubano Club

 

La Reyna y La Real and their group

Left to right Maria Carla Puga Marin, La Reyna and La Real

Left to right Maria Carla Puga Marin, La Reyna, La Real, Moises Whittaker Alvarez and Reynel Ronquillo Sardá

La Real and Maria Carla Puga Marin

La Real

Left to right Maria Carla Puga Marin, La Reyna and La Real


La Reyna left and La Real

La Reyna

La Reyna and Maria Carla Puga Marin


La Reyna and La Real

 

Maria Carla Puga Marin

Right to left La Real, Moises Whittaker Alvarez snd La Reyna

Moises Whittaker Alvarez

Left to right Maria Carla Puga Marin, La Reyna and La Real

Reynel Ronquillo Sardá

Yan Regzuero

Dancers from the audience joining the band

NOCHES CUBANAS

I was not sure who would be playing at the Noches Cubanas after party and I was surprised and happy to find out that the band consisted of some of the best Cuban popular music musicians from New York City, including Pepito Gomez leader, vocals and guitar, Ariacne Trujillo piano, Yesnier Bustamante playing congas and timbales at the same time and Benjamin Willis bass and the great DJ and music producer DJ Acho (Ariel Fernandez Diaz).  They rocked the house every night that I attended.

Left to right Yusnier Bustamante, Benjamin Willis, Ariacne Trujillo and Pepito Gomez

Pepito Gomez

Ariacne Trujillo piano, and Benjamin Willis

Yusnier Bustamante

Ariacne Trujillo

Pepito Gomez

Ariacne Trujillo

Luis Faife sitting in with the group

DAY TWO (MAY 18) COMING UP NEXT

 

 

 

 

Friday, 01 June 2018, 05:53 AM